I don't know if anyone remembers Nintendo's first attempt at a system like the Nintendo Wii. The late 1980's were filled with hilarious attempts to incorporate body movement and live action into video games. The most famous of these was definitely the almost unusable Power Glove, but there were many others. A sound activated helmet, a bazooka, a Twister foot pad, and many others.
Nintendo finally got it right with the Nintendo Wii launch in 2005. A sleek two-handed nunchuck replaced the clunky accessories of the 80's. And lo and behold, it actually worked!
Released beside Sony's Playstation 3 and Microsoft's XBox 360, critics worried whether the Wii would find an audience. Its competitors boasted vastly superior graphical quality and more adult oriented games. Unlike the days of Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis and the Mortal Kombat blood code saga, however, Nintendo stuck to its guns and the Wii continued to market itself as the more family oriented next-generation game system.
Upon the Wii's release, gamers were immediately struck by not only the quality of the games, but the physical interaction which the Wii allowed players to put into games. Suddenly, players of The Legend of Zelda were catapulted into Link's sword and arrow fights with multiple enemies, swinging their way around the living room with reckless abandon. Nintendo brought back many classics from its namesake system, namely Super Mario, which boasted realistic 3D physics, Punch Out, with classic fighters and rhythm based gameplay, and Zelda, which absolutely blew away the gaming world upon its release. Nintendo got the price point right, too, as its nearly $299 price tag ate up market share from the $600-800 Playstation 3 and XBox 360.
The main achievement of the Wii, however, has to be its ability to bring families together. Never has there been a game system which can serve as a gaming system, school tutor, and workout machine in one. Parents play games with their kids more than ever before, according to recent studies.
The Wii has also revitalized the fitness industry to a degree, with some of its most popular games being fitness videos by various celebrities and gurus.
Nintendo's come a long way since the 1980's, and we can't wait to see what's next.