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In a test 15 years ago: Nintendo Wii provided clean gaming fun

Game consoles, unlike the Nintendo Wii (test), operate indirectly via a controller, including buttons and sticks, which also control the operation of the controller in the control room. In a test 15 years ago, the new game concept was confirmed.

The hardware was behind

With that said, Nintendo is not about creating high-speed consoles with better graphics, but rather introducing an innovative control concept and putting the fun of the game at the forefront. Accordingly, the Wii’s hardware could not compete with the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in almost any way. This was evident in the individual technical specifications, but above all reflected in the maximum output resolution of the 576i – the minimum of the PlayStation 3. Compared to its predecessor Nintendo GameCube, the Wii should have twice as much system power. In practice, the graphics of many games were not excellent, but the best equivalent. Admirable: The Wii was 100% downhill compatible with GameCube and not only enabled all topics, but also provided links to older GameCube controllers.

Compared to the PlayStation 3

Control feedback

The most important aspect of the Wii is the controls. The included Wii controller differs significantly from other controllers in terms of shape and functionality. The elongated controller had infrared sensors, which determine the distance and horizontal and vertical angles of the sensor bar attached to the Wii. This made it possible to use the Wii controller as an operating controller, and the movement or rotation of the controller was sent to the game via the room. If shooter games require a “complete” controller, for example, you can add an analog stick to the standard Wii controller using the Nunchuk extension, or purchase a Wii Classic controller designed as a SNES controller with two analog sticks.

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The focus was on watching the fun

In Europe and the United States, the Nintendo Wii came with Wii Sport, a collection of five sports mini-games. These introduced motion control and were especially party games. For example, you can play bowling with a large number of players and the controller can simply be sent. To make it easier for beginners to get started, five sports are broken down into a minimum of tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing. In addition, a slight movement of the wrist was sufficient to make a strong movement in the game. As a result, there is no depth to the games: some rounds of one of the mini-games could not be further improved by the players.

One must-have for the Wii was The Legend of Zelda – The Twilight Princess, which was consistently a great game. The controls used both buttons and the navigation components of the navigation pad and Wii controller; For example, the rapid movement of the controller hit the character in the game.


The Wii did not have to accept much criticism in the test, especially due to the lack of multimedia capabilities and some problems with the startup of the somewhat immature software. However, there was one thing the Wii did better, and it was fun. Games like Zelda guarantee a round of bowling or wee hours of hours of fun at Wii Sports with a large group at the party. Like other consoles, Nintendo did not rely on particularly good graphics, but it did look a bit dusty, prompting some criticism of the console. The manufacturer followed a similar idea, for example with the switch (test), which shines not with fast hardware, but with many exclusive captions and good control.

In the “Tested 15 Years Ago” section, the editorial board visits the test archive every Saturday from July 2017. The last 20 articles in this series are listed below:

More content of this kind and many more reports and events can be found in the retro corner of the ComputerBase forum.