The arrival of the Wii in November 2006 marked the return of a gaming stalwart to industry prominence. Having struggled with its successors to the Super Nintendo, it seemed like the Big N had lost the golden touch and was struggling to regain its footing in a field it once dominated. The expansion of the video game industry into more mature fare coupled with Nintendo’s reluctance to embrace new technology delivered the perfect opening for Sony’s PlayStation and, later, Microsoft’s Xbox to come in and take a slice of the pie.
And take a slice they did – Sony not only displaced Nintendo entirely but nearly put the company into a position of irrelevance, a thought once impossible but increasingly likely given the PSX’s success.
As you can imagine, after the Gamecube failed to set the market on fire, Nintendo was looking to throw a hail Mary pass and throw it they did. The Nintendo Wii, in classic style, combined lower-end graphical capabilities with innovative new controls that transformed gaming from a sedentary sport to an activity.
Perhaps best exampled by Wii Sports, the Wii’s motion controls attempted to mimic real-world actions as closely as possible for an entirely new – and, most importantly, unique – console experience.
While many derided motion controls as a gimmick at first, Nintendo quickly proved them wrong and the Wii not only went on to become the go-top party console of the generation but also Nintendo’s single most popular home console of all time, falling only under the Nintendo DS and Game Boy in terms of total lifetime sales.
Not only did the Wii dominate the generation in which it competed but also it returned Nintendo to prominence in the video game world, inaugurating a miniature golden age for the maker in the process.
The Steering Wheel Peripheral for Mario