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The Nintendo Wii



The seventh-generation home video game console called the Wii was announced by Nintendo in 2004. While the Nintendo Wii was in the concept phase during 2001, the console did not complete it's major launch until December, 2006. The Wii is Nintendo's fifth generation console and faces stiff competition with the Sony PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Several features set the
Wii apart from the other video game consoles. One distinguishing feature is it's wireless controller giving the Nintendo Wii the ability to detect movement in three dimensions. This controller operates as a remote control that can be used as a handheld pointing device.

Another distinct feature of the Nintendo Wii is a function of the console called WiiConnect24. This feature allows the Wii system console to actually receive messages and updates over the internet while it is in the standby mode. Also, all of the Nintendo GameCube games are all compatible with the Wii system.

Not many people know that the future of the Wii game console depended on the 2005 success of the Nintendo DS. Developers at Nintendo were influenced by the design of the DS. However, they did not want the two gaming systems to be identical. Some of the important factors in the design were price, movie playing, graphics, fun, and game library.

While the late 2006 launch itself was successful, the
Nintendo Wii game system console remained in short supply during 2007. By the end of 2007, Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime, expressed that even though approximately 1.8 million Wii systems were produced each month, demands still outpaced supply and agreed to increase production in 2008. In June of 2008, Nintendo reported sales of almost 11 million Wii console units in the United States. By December of 2008, Nintendo Wii was producing 2.8 million units per month worldwide.

In the early development phase of naming the Wii, Nintendo had several ideas. Until April of 2006 and just prior to the product launch, the Wii was known by the name "Revolution". The name was changed to emphasize the meaning of "we" and that the community of people that would play the game meant that the game is for everyone. It also was short and to the point. The two lower-case letters "ii" actually represent two people gathered together, side by side. Sharing the fun.

Between April 2008 and March 2009, Nintendo reported a rise in sales, with operating profits at an all time high. The Japanese market tends to be the leading indicator in global markets and saw the Wii sales drop by 47% during this same period. Therefore, forecasts for 2010 indicate that game console sales will drop. While this may be discouraging news for Nintendo, it means consumers are the winner. In September 2009, Nintendo announced its first U.S. price drop for the Wii, reduced from the original price of $249.99 down to the new price of $199.99!