The Wii (ウィー, Wī) is a Nintendo video game console that was released on November 19, 2006, in North America for $249.99. It was then released in Japan on December 2, 2006; Oceania on December 7, 2006; and Europe on December 8, 2006. In every country except Japan, Wii Sports is included with the Wii. The Wii came with 30 titles at its launch. Before the official name was announced on April 27, 2006, the console was codenamed "Revolution." The Wii has backwards compatibility with the Nintendo GameCube and features four GameCube controller ports, meaning GameCube games can be inserted into the disc slot and can be played on the Wii. This makes it the first home Nintendo console to provide official backwards compatibility with its predecessor.
Unlike the Nintendo GameCube, Wii game discs use the standard DVD size, which allows them to hold more memory than the GameCube discs: up to 4.37 GB for single-layered discs, and up to 7.92 GB for dual-layered discs. Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection allowed players to interact with other players around the world while playing a game. The first game in the North American region to do so was Pokémon Battle Revolution on June 25, 2007.
The Wii sold 101.63 million units as of March 31, 2021, making it Nintendo's best-selling home console. Additionally, the Wii outsold its competitors (Microsoft's Xbox 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3) by a wide margin, making it the most popular seventh generation home console.
The Wii U was announced at E3 2011 and succeeded the Wii in 2012. It can still play Wii games and controllers with backwards compatibility.
Since May 20, 2014, online play for many Wii games has been discontinued because the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service has discontinued. The Wii Shop Channel has been discontinued as of January 31, 2019, with the ability to add Wii Points for new games having ended on March 26, 2018.
Wii Family Edition
The Wii Family Edition (RVL-101) was announced on August 17, 2011. This model is designed to only sit horizontally (with the buttons changed accordingly) and is incompatible with the Nintendo GameCube's software and its accessories. This model was released in North America on October 23, 2011 and in Europe on November 4, 2011 in order to replace the older model and stop its production. The Wii Family Edition includes a black console, the game New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and the Super Mario Galaxy Original Soundtrack. The Wii Family Edition's release in North America was not originally intended to replace the older version of the Wii.
The Wii mini (RVL-201) was announced on November 27, 2012. As its name suggests, the Wii mini is the smallest model of the Wii. Like the Wii Family Edition, it is missing some features such as the compatibility with Nintendo GameCube and its accessories. It also does not have online features and several built-in channels, such as the Photo Channel and the Weather Channel, similar to the Wii Mode on the Wii U. It also can only sit horizontally. The main feature is its notable redesign. Unlike the original Wii or the Wii Family Edition which are mostly white, the Wii mini is black with a red framing. All the buttons are located on the top of the console and it lacks online support for Wii games. Additionally, the Wii mini has a manually operated top-loading disc drive (similar to the GameCube) instead of the slots that former models have. The console launched in Canada on December 7, 2012 for $99.99. It was then released in Europe on March 22, 2013 at a cost of at least £79.99. It was launched in North America on November 17, 2013 bundled with a red Wii Remote Plus and a red Nunchuk for $99.99. The Wii mini is the third home Nintendo console since the SNES and NES to receive a redesign right after its respective successors launched though the NES 101 model launched 2 years after the SNES launched. The N64 received no redesigns of any kind and the GameCube had a small revision which lacked the unused Serial Port 2 (though the cover still remains) and the unpopular Digital AV Out port.
Super Paper Mario was the first traditional Mario game on the system and launched on April 9, 2007 in North America. WarioWare: Smooth Moves, however, preceded it, coming out on December 2, 2006 in Japan as a launch title, on January 12, 2007 in Europe, January 15, 2007 in North America, and January 25, 2007 in Oceania. However, the first traditional Mario game released in the PAL Region was Mario Strikers Charged.
Released Mario-related games
In order of first release:
Canceled Mario-related games
Virtual Console games
In addition to being backwards-compatible with Nintendo GameCube games, the Wii Shop Channel has a section called Virtual Console, which allows the players to download emulated versions of games from the Nintendo 64 era and before to play on the Wii. Each downloaded game costs between 500 and 1000 Wii Points. The games are priced based on the system they were released on, with imported games costing an additional 100 points.
The Virtual Console versions of games are primarily straight emulations with no major changes or additions, although a few games such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Mario Kart 64 are edited to remove potentially seizure-inducing or copyright-infringing graphics. Additionally, Nintendo 64 games do not support the Rumble Pak or Transfer Pak accessories, meaning parts of games which use these features may not function completely in the Virtual Console version.
The Wii Virtual Console is also accessible from the Wii U inside Wii mode, independently from the Wii U's own Virtual Console.
Wii Message Board
The Wii Message Board, powered by WiiConnect24, was a messaging system that users could use to send messages to other Wii users prior to its discontinuation. The user could either register a different Wii Friend Code separate from the games that use Friend Code exchange or send a friend request to someone that uses a 3rd party e-mail service, such as Hotmail or Gmail. The service was discontinued on June 27, 2013. Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Mario Kart Wii use this feature separately from WiiConnect24.
In Mario Kart Wii, a picture of the playable Mario, Peach, and the player's Mii before all gold on all courses or a picture of all the playable characters with the player's Mii after getting all gold will be sent to the Wii Message Board upon finishing the credits.
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, a picture is obtained when the player beats Bowser one time and another one once the player beats the game 100%.
The Wii is Nintendo's first home console with a wide variety of built-in software. Wii Channels are channels accessible from the Wii Menu. There are four pages of channels; each page can hold twelve channels, meaning there can be in total 48 channels in a typical Wii Menu. The channels can be moved around on the Wii Menu by holding + and dragging them.
Using an SD card in a newer version of the Wii (via updates) makes it possible to use instead of four pages, twenty pages of channels to use, meaning there can be in total 240 channels on an SD card.
On June 27, 2013, the Forecast Channel, News Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, Nintendo Channel, and Check Mii Out Channel services were all discontinued, due to the discontinuation of WiiConnect24. On January 30, 2019, streaming services such as Netflix were shut down on the Wii.
The Disc Channel is the channel in which game discs are loaded and played. It is the first channel on the menu and cannot be moved. It displays a preview icon of the game currently inside the disc slot; if a Nintendo GameCube game is in the slot, it does not have a preview, and only displays the Nintendo GameCube logo. When a disc is loading, as seen in the picture, a Nintendo GameCube disc and a Wii disc are shown spinning, and whichever disc type that was inserted will lower into an opening denoting a disc reader.
Miis are customized characters that can be used in various Wii games, including games such as Mario Party 8, Mario Kart Wii and the Mario & Sonic games. A maximum of 100 Miis can be created and saved in the Mii Channel in the Mii Plaza. By using WiiConnect24, friends' Miis can be displayed in the Mii Parade; a parade of various Miis saved on friends' Mii Channels. Miis can also be stored in Wii Remotes, with a maximum capacity of 10. These Miis can then be transported to a different Wii by using the Wii Remote on a different Wii and then loading the Miis from the controller. The option to transfer Miis to a supporting Nintendo 3DS system can be unlocked by pressing , , , and in that order.
The Photo Channel allows the user to save, view, and apply various effects to photos and videos from either an SD card or the Wii Message Board. Effects include doodling, stamping, and altering brightness settings. Photos can also be turned into sliding puzzles. When the game Mario Kart Wii is beaten, the player is given the choice whether or not to send the winning photo to the Message Board. There are several other games that behave like this such as Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
Wii Shop Channel
The Wii Shop Channel was a virtual shopping network where users could purchase and download WiiWare and Virtual Console games in exchange for the required amount of Wii Points. The Virtual Console allowed players to download games that were originally released on the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64, and play them on their Wii console. They could also buy special games called WiiWare which can be purchased only on the Wii Shop Channel itself. Rather than using money to directly buy the games, a credit currency called Wii Points is used. Wii Points can be earned by either purchasing them with a credit card or redeeming a Wii Point Card. Other free-of-charge channels, such as the Nintendo Channel and Internet Channel, were also available for download at the Wii Shop Channel.
When downloading a game or channel from the Wii Shop Channel, one would be asked to verify their purchase (if Wii Points are needed), after which they will be presented with the download screen. The download screen consisted of an 8-bit Mario character continuously running across the bottom of the screen and collecting coins as they moved towards him. The progress of the download was indicated by three Brick Blocks floating above 8-bit Mario's head, which he will jump up and hit as he runs across the screen. Every time the download progresses 33%, a Brick Block would have turned into an Empty Block. The final Brick Block represents the point at which the download has reached 99%. When 8-bit Mario reaches this block, he would jump and hit it multiple times and continue to do so until the download was complete.
Sometimes, Fire Mario would have appeared instead of regular Mario. When this happens, one could have made Fire Mario shoot fireballs while the download was in progress by pressing the button. Occasionally, 8-bit Luigi appears in place of 8-bit Mario, or both 8-bit Mario and 8-bit Luigi would swim across the screen instead of running across it. There is a total of six different animations one may have experienced while downloading software from the Wii Shop Channel, some of which appear more often than others.
The Wii Shop Channel service was discontinued on January 30, 2019, though the ability to add Wii Points discontinued on March 26, 2018. Between these times, users would have still been able to browse and download purchased software.
The Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch have a similar online shop called the Nintendo eShop. The Nintendo DSi also had an online shop (simply called the Nintendo DSi Shop), but that shop has been discontinued.
The Forecast Channel was added on December 19, 2006, about one month after the console itself was released. The channel preview displayed the local weather of where the user is located. The Weather Channel provided weather information from all over the world to the user. Features included the five day forecast, current temperature, highs and lows for the day, along with other meterological data. Using the Globe, players could use the Wii Remote to rotate a virtual globe to see the weather conditions from each region of the world. Japan had unique cartoonish weather symbols, compared to the rest of the world.
Some games, including Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, have an option that allowed the game to draw information from the Forecast Channel and use that weather as the weather conditions in the game.
The News Channel provided daily news from all over the world. The channel preview displayed three of the latest headlines from the news, scrolling from right to left. The News Channel's news was categorized into various subjects, such as Technology, Fashion, Sports, etc. Like the Forecast Channel, the News Channel also had a virtual globe that allows users to see the news by region. When a certain region or city had many news articles about it, a pile of newspapers, each newspaper representing an article, would appear piled up into a tower, giving the user a visual representation of how much news each region has.
The Internet Channel is one of the free-of-charge downloadable channels from the Wii Shop Channel and can be used to surf the web. This channel was free up until the end of June 2007, but from then on, users were charged 500 points to download the Internet Channel. However, in August 2009, Nintendo made the Internet Channel free once again. Anybody who had already downloaded the channel for 500 points was offered a free NES game from the Virtual Console, starting October 2009.
Everybody Votes Channel
This channel was added on February 13, 2007, and could be downloaded for free from the Wii Shop Channel. This channel presented polls every day that players could use Miis to vote in. Up to six Miis could be registered as voters. They could also predict which answer will be more popular. Results can be compared with other users on the national and worldwide scale. Statistics are kept for each registered Mii for winning percentage of predictions, as well as how close they are to the rest of the community (i.e. How many of their votes corresponded with the popular vote).
Virtual Console Channels
Virtual Console channels are downloadable games that can be purchased from the Wii Shop Channel at varying prices. These various channels allow users to play classic NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 games such as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong and even later ones such as Super Mario 64. The Virtual Console also supports selected games from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and the TurboGrafx-16 systems. Although some games can be played using the Wii Remote, others require the use of either a Nintendo GameCube controller or a Classic Controller.
The Nintendo Channel was available in November 2008 in Japan and May 7, 2009 in America. The Nintendo Channel allows people to view video features and information on upcoming games. Demos of Nintendo DS games such as Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends are also available for download through the DS Download Station section. After downloading, the demos will remain in the DS's memory until the system is switched off. Users can also recommend games that they have played for more than an hour by filling out a brief survey that asks whether the player thinks the game is suitable for men or women, casual or hardcore gamers, and single-player or multiplayer play. That information is then aggregated and accessible through the channel's search function, allowing users to search for games that fit their particular tastes.
Other features include DS and Wii demonstration videos, with gameplay videos of newly released Virtual Console and future WiiWare titles. If a game sparks the player's interest, they will be quickly directed to one of several popular purchasing sites via the Internet Channel. The Nintendo Channel was removed along with WiiConnect24.
Mario Kart Channel
The Mario Kart Channel is a channel specifically made to work with Mario Kart Wii. Once installed from the game, this channel can be used to register friends, race ghosts, race friends or random users, enter tournaments, and get updates from Nintendo or other players. The Nintendo 3DS game Mario Kart 7 also includes Mario Kart Channel as an in-game mode, though it has different features.
Wii U Transfer Tool
The Wii U Transfer Tool allows Wii U owners to transfer Wii save data and channels from their Wii to a Wii U console.
WiiWare was a feature that was launched for the Wii Shop Channel in 2008, which consisted of smaller-sized games that could be downloaded onto the Wii or SD card memory using Wii Points, which would then appear on the Wii Menu as individual channels. Some Mario-related WiiWare titles included Dr. Mario Online Rx and WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase. Some WiiWare titles used Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, allowing the player to play with other Wii players over the internet. Others included Mii compatibility, allowing players to play the game as their own Mii created in the Mii Channel. Also, some games allowed the player to transfer and use the data from a Nintendo DS game, such as My Pokémon Ranch or WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase.
The Wii Remote (also known as the "Wiimote") is the standard game controller for the Wii. It has a rectangular shape, resembling a television remote, making it unique from other consoles' controllers. It consists of several buttons (one behind ()) and a directional pad () as well. The Wii Remote also has a power button (), which can be used as a remote to either turn the Wii console on or off, rather than pressing the power button on the machine itself.
The Wii Remote cannot be used for SNES and N64 Virtual Console games because it cannot be mapped to emulate an older controller properly.
Wii Remote Plus
The Wii Remote Plus is an upgraded version of the Wii Remote, which includes the Wii MotionPlus attachment's system incorporated in the controller. The Wii Remote Plus was shown in the Nintendo's conference of September 2010, and is available in white, black, pink, cyan, and red colors. It was released in Europe on November 5, 2010 and in Japan on November 11, 2010.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for the Wii U was the only Mario game to ever use the Wii MotionPlus.
The Nunchuk is the main attachment to the Wii Remote. Upon buying a Wii, one Wii Remote and one Nunchuk are included. It consists of two buttons ( and ) along with an analog stick (). Like the Wii Remote, the Nunchuk also includes motion sensors. It is named as such because of the similarity in appearance to nunchaku when being used together with the Wii Remote.
Buttons and Stick
The Classic Controller is an extension or accessory for the Wii Remote. Besides the two analog sticks, the button layout resembles that of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System's controller. The Classic Controller must be used to play some Virtual Console games such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World. Some Wii games, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii are compatible as well.
Classic Controller Pro
On February 26, 2009, Nintendo listed a Classic Controller Pro on its Japanese website, which features the and buttons as full-fledged shoulder buttons, like the or button on the Nintendo GameCube controller, as well as added controller grips. However, the and buttons are no longer pressure-sensitive, unlike with the original Classic Controller. The controller is also slightly bigger than its old revision. The Classic Controller Pro was released in Japan on August 1, 2009 in both black and white colors.
Buttons and Sticks
Wii Balance Board
The Wii Balance Board is a controller for the Wii that is used for various games, most prominently in Wii Fit. The Balance Board, unlike the Nunchuk or Classic Controller, acts as a separate controller, and does not need to be connected to the Wii Remote. The Board is capable of measuring weight, balance, and movement of the player that is using it. The only Mario game that ever used the Wii Balance Board was Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. A Wii Balance Board sporting a black color was released in 2010.
The Wii Wheel is an accessory for the Wii that resembles a car steering wheel and is designed for Mario Kart Wii. One Wii Wheel is packaged with Mario Kart Wii, but more can be bought separately. The Wii Wheel is used to assist in holding the remote and may help players control the game more easily. The Wii Wheel does not connect to the Wii or Remote in any way and is used to only hold the Remote. Because of this, if only the Wii Remote is held sideways (without the Wheel) on Mario Kart Wii, it still shows that a wheel is being used.
The first prototype was made when Nintendo was trying to discover the best position to put the Wii Remote. Since Nintendo could not decide where the button would be used, there was nothing on the back. For the second prototype, Nintendo examined real go-kart wheels, and the company discovered that they are usually more square than round. The third prototype was the basis for the final Wii Wheel. This prototype had a window for using the Wii Menu and a hole for the button. The fourth prototype had a button in the Wii Wheel itself, so a child’s finger could reach. Finally, the fifth prototype had a two-tone color scheme. A pure white color scheme was eventually decided on to match the Wii Zapper and the Wii Balance Board. Kenichiro Ashida made two Wii Wheels to show at the "Iwata Asks" interview on Mario Kart Wii.
The Gold Wheel was available only as a redeemable prize from Club Nintendo in Australia, Europe, Japan, and North America.
The Wii Zapper is a rifle-shaped shell used for shooting-related games. The Zapper was uniquely made to hold both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck together in a rifle-like position. Nintendo originally sold the Zapper bundled with Link's Crossbow Training, although it can be bought separately. The accessory was never used for any Mario games released on the Wii.
The Nintendo GameCube Controller can also be used for certain games such as Mario Kart Wii and Virtual Console games, and as an alternative to the Wii Classic Controller (Pro).
Appearances of peripherals in Mario-related games
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
The Wii Remote (known as the Form Baton in the game) appears in several microgames in the game, as well as an object in the game's story. The Nunchuk (known as the Balance Stone in the game) appears in Orbulon's microgames and story.
Super Paper Mario
When the player enters Francis's room in Fort Francis and flips, they can see a large TV and a Wii with a Wii Remote. Also, when the player fights Fracktail, Fracktail starts downloading information about Mario. While he is doing so, his eyes turn into the circle that appears when the Wii Shop Channel is loading from the Wii Menu.
Mario Kart Wii
In the cutscene before the file selection screen, Mario and Luigi use Wii Wheels to race and drive in invisible karts. Peach joins them with her own Wii Wheel, and their karts become visible shortly afterwards, with their Wii Wheels becoming the karts wheels.
Mario Super Sluggers
Yoshi's Woolly World
Super Smash Bros. series
Starting with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Wii Fit Trainer's entrance animation has them balancing on a Wii Balance Board before stepping off of it. In addition, the Wii Balance Board appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The Wii Balance Board also appears as a Master spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, teaching the Lightweight Style to other spirits (said style increases move speed and jump height, but decreases offense, defense, and weight). The Wii Balance Board spirit battle is against Wii Fit Trainer on the Wii Fit Studio stage with the music "Wii Fit Plus Medley" (from Wii Fit Plus) playing, with all fighters having increased movement speed and being easier to launch after some time.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
References to earlier console generations
Accessory and controller gallery