I'd wager that a Nintendo Wii is lying somewhere in your house. You probably bought it when it was featured on Oprah and all the other daytime talk shows as the first gaming console to really be for everybody. Now it just sits in your closet collecting dust with maybe two or three games to show for it. As it turns out, Nintendo has done the same thing with Wii production.
Nintendo of Japan announced today that the Wii is officially out of production. In other words, the company will no longer be manufacturing the original Nintendo Wii for sale. The hardware that's currently on the market is all that's left, and anything remaining after that will all be second-hand.
The Wii may be the first of the seventh generation consoles to exit the market, but it accomplished the most in its seven years on this Earth. For starters, it was the first games console to really excite the masses. The idea of being able to play a game simply by swinging the Wii remote in various motions was incredibly exciting to a lot of people.
The expansion of the gaming audience to more than just the usual 18-34 male demographic led to heartwarming videos like this:
With this expansion of the gaming audience, the Wii also became the best selling home console of the seventh generation with a little over 100 million units sold worldwide. In fact, the only home consoles to outsell the Wii are the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 with 102 million and 155 million units sold worldwide respectively.
The Wii wasn't without its failings, however, as Nintendo had to endure reports early on of people breaking their televisions as the Wii remote would fly out of players' hands and into TVs.
In response to this, Nintendo began to include stronger wrist straps on its controllers to prevent damage to the strap and any electronics that happened to be in the way. In 2007, Nintendo also released the Wii remote jacket - a rubber cover for the controller that was lovingly referred to as "the condom" by many gamers. It was intended to protect the Wii remote from any damage caused by drops or other user errors.
Despite all this, the Wii became one of the most recognized game consoles of all time. It will also go down in history as the catalyst of the motion control uprising that led to the creation of the PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect.
In short, our hat's off to you, Nintendo Wii. You may have inspired monstrosities like this, but you at least gave us Super Mario Galaxy. For that, we thank you.[Image: Nintendo Japan] [h/t: Polygon]