Playing with the Wii

[As ever, you can also read this on the BBC News website]

The Nintendo Wii is an astonishing computer, the console for people who don’t play games, nestling next to the TV like a family pet and encouraging those who would normally sneer at a PlayStation to wave their arms around in order to play virtual tennis.

The Wii remote has a lot to do with its success, of course. This motion detecting wireless handheld controller gives players a far more direct sense of engagement with the game than the buttons, pads and triggers of traditional consoles, and accounts for much of the Wii’s success as a family gaming platform.

Like other games systems the Wii is as far from an open platform as you can imagine. Games cost a lot of money to develop, and Nintendo have worked hard to make it difficult to get inside the Wii for fear that easy access would allow games to be copied and distributed.

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