A popular video game console from Nintendo (www.nintendo.com) introduced in 2006. Pronounced "wee," it runs Wii and GameCube software and features a wireless motion sensing controller that looks like a TV remote rather than a game controller. After a sensor bar is placed in front of the screen to orient the Bluetooth-based remote via infrared signals, the unit is strapped to the wrist and swung like a tennis racket, golf club or other sports equipment. Dubbed the "Wiimote," its internal accelerometers sense the motion on three axes, and up to four players can have their own controller. The speaker built into the device sounds a "thwack" when hitting the ball.
Users were exuberant from the start. With thousands of consoles sold immediately, players found their wrist straps breaking and controllers flying across the room. Nintendo immediately improved the strap and offered everyone a replacement.
Nanchuk and Classic
While using the Wii Remote to hit the ball, a secondary "Nanchuk" unit, also motion sensitive, is used to move the gamer's character on screen. Named after the Chinese nunchaku, a weapon made of two sticks chained together, the Nanchuk plugs into the Wii Remote. For traditional games, a "Classic" controller more familiar to gamers can be used. See Wiinjuries
and Wii U
Console and Remotes
When the Nanchuk is plugged into the Wii Remote, it more or less resembles the Chinese nunchaku sticks. The Nanchuk moves the character on screen while the Wii Remote moves the bat, racket or club. For traditional games, the Classic controller plugs into the Remote. (Images courtesy of Nintendo, www.nintendo.com)
Play Tennis and Bowl in Your Living Room
The Wii has brought sports into the living room. In these examples, players move as if they were actually on the courts or in a real bowling alley.