The Nintendo Wii is the sole home console on which Boom Blox and Boom Blox Bash Party are playable. The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of both. As of December 31, 2008 the Wii leads the generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales.
A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and detect movement in three dimensions. Another distinctive feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.
The Wii is Nintendo's fifth home console, the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube, and some Wiis are even able to play all official GameCube games. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled the system at the 2005 E3. Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in four key markets.
The Wii is Nintendo's smallest home console to date; it measures 44 mm (1.73 in) wide, 157 mm (6.18 in) tall and 215.4 mm (8.48 in) deep in its vertical orientation, the near-equivalent of three DVD cases stacked together. The included stand measures 55.4 mm (2.18 in) wide, 44 mm (1.73 in) tall and 225.6 mm (8.88 in) deep. The system weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 lb), which makes it the lightest of the three major seventh generation consoles. The console can be placed either horizontally or vertically. The prefix for the numbering scheme of the system and its parts and accessories is "RVL-" after its code name of "Revolution". The console also features a recurring theme or design: the console itself, SD cards, the power supply and all the sockets have one of their corners chipped off in a triangular fashion.
The front of the console features an illuminated slot-loading optical media drive that accepts both 12 cm Wii Optical Discs and Nintendo GameCube Game Discs. The blue light in the disc slot illuminates briefly when the console is turned on and pulsates when new data is received through WiiConnect24. After the update that includes System Menu 3.0, the disc slot light activates whenever a Wii disc is inserted or ejected. When there is no WiiConnect24 information, the light stays off. The disc slot light remains off during gameplay or when using other features. Two USB ports are located at its rear. An SD card slot hides behind the cover on the front of the console.
The Wii launch package includes the console, a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a removable stand for the bar, one external main power adapter, two AA batteries, one composite AV cable with RCA connectors, a SCART adapter in European countries (component video and other types of cables are available separately), operation documentation, and, in all regions except Japan and South Korea, a copy of the game Wii Sports.
The disc reader of the Wii does not play DVD-Video or DVD-Audio discs. A 2006 announcement had stated a new version of the Wii capable of DVD-Video playback would be released in 2007; however Nintendo delayed its release to focus on producing the original console to meet demand. Nintendo's initial announcement stated that it "requires more than a firmware upgrade" to implement and that the functionality could not be made available as an upgrade option for the existing Wii model. Despite this assertion, third parties have used Wii homebrew to add DVD playback to the original unmodified Wii units. The Wii also can be hacked to enable an owner to use the console for other activities than those intended by Nintendo. Several brands of modchips are available for the Wii.
Nintendo has shown the console and the Wii Remote in white, black, silver, lime green, and red, but it is currently available only in white. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that other colors would become available after the easing of supply limitations. On June 4, 2009, Nintendo revealed that it will release black versions of the Wii console and several of its controllers in Japan on August 1, 2009, coinciding with the Japanese release of Monster Hunter 3 (tri-). Capcom announced that the black Wii, Wii Remote, and Classic Controller Pro would also be available together in a bundle with Monster Hunter 3 (tri-) in Japan.
On July 11, 2007, Nintendo revealed the Wii Balance Board at E3 2007 along with Wii Fit. It is a wireless balance board accessory for the Wii that contains multiple pressure sensors used to measure the user's center of balance. Namco Bandai produced a mat controller, a simpler less sophisticated competitor to the balance board, that connects to the GameCube controller port.
The Wii Remote is the primary controller for the console. It uses a combination of built-in accelerometers and infrared detection to sense its position in 3D space when pointed at the LEDs within the Sensor Bar. This design allows users to control the game using physical gestures as well as traditional button presses. The controller connects to the console using Bluetooth and features rumble as well as an internal speaker. The Wii Remote can connect to expansion devices through a proprietary port at the base of the controller. The device bundled with the Wii retail package is the Nunchuk unit, which features an accelerometer and a traditional analog stick with two trigger buttons. In addition, an attachable wrist strap can be used to prevent the player from unintentionally dropping or throwing the Wii Remote. Nintendo has also since offered a stronger strap and the Wii Remote Jacket to provide extra grip and protection. The Wii MotionPlus was announced as a device that connects to the Wii Remote to supplement the accelerometer and Sensor Bar capabilities and enable actions to be rendered identically on the screen in real time. Nintendo also revealed the Wii Vitality Sensor, a fingertip pulse oximeter sensor that connects through the Wii Remote.
The Wii console contains 512 megabytes of internal flash memory and features an SD card slot for external storage. An SD card can be used for uploading photos as well as backing up saved game data and downloaded Virtual Console and WiiWare games. To use the SD slot for transferring game saves, an update must be installed. An installation can be initiated from the Wii options menu through an Internet connection, or by inserting a game disc containing the update. Virtual Console data cannot be restored to any system except the unit of origin. An SD card can also be used to create customized in-game music from stored MP3 files, as first shown in Excite Truck, as well as music for the slideshow feature of the Photo Channel. Version 1.1 of the Photo Channel removed MP3 playback in favor of AAC support.
At the Nintendo Fall Press Conference in October 2008, Satoru Iwata announced that Wii owners would have the option to download WiiWare and Virtual Console content directly onto an SD card. The option would offer an alternative to "address the console's insufficient memory storage". The announcement stated that it would be available in Japan in the spring of 2009. Nintendo made the update available on March 25, 2009. In addition to the previously announced functionalty, it lets the player load Virtual Console and WiiWare games directly from the SD card. The update allows the use of SDHC cards, increasing the limit on SD card size from 2 GB to 32 GB.