So Many Wii Accessories…
The wide variety of Wii accessories is a primary reason that the 7th Generation Nintendo console breaks the mold from traditional gaming systems. The Wii was designed to appeal to a broader demographic of player, changing the way recreational video game playing is viewed by the consumer and the market. Outpacing the sales of PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, relative to release date and units sold, the Wii has earned a following of loyal players who prefer its format over the other systems. But this will certainly be challenged with the introduction of the new XBox Kinect games and the Playstation Move.
Nintendo’s development of a wireless, ergonomic remote with the ability to act as a pointing device and transmit movements in 360 degrees created new options for game play concepts. In addition to using the handheld alone for play in many Wii games, there is a plethora of accompanying Wii games accessories which are available for connection to the remote and further expansion of gaming concepts. No other system on the market has as many complementary features and accessories as the Wii, offering a broad range of genres to all players and promoting movement and physical activity to the traditionally static gamer.
From the beginning, the Nintendo Wii was promoted as an effort to include more players as opposed to a competitive counteraction to Sony’s PS3 or the Microsoft XBox & XBox 360. The home console launch pack, Wii’s most popular seller, includes one game and one Nunchuk attachment. Though the Nunchuk is separate from the base remote, it is not a reflection of the accessories for Wii that owners can pursue. The Nunchuk is essentially an introduction to the world of movement and coordination that represents effective play in most of the console’s titles. From the stripped-down versions of its handheld remote to the addition of a Nunchuck accessory, Wii started a concept of add-ons for play that has continued to evolve dramatically.
Wii Fit Revolution
The Wii Fit series of games introduced new technology to game play that brought users to their feet and off the couch. One of the more common complaints of video game play to the outsider was that it involved a great deal of time sitting, inactive, and staring at a screen. The Wii Fit and included balance board were designed so that, in addition to using the handheld remote for replication of physical movement, an individual standing on the board could mimic athletic movements such as skiing or hula-hoop. To complement the usefulness of the Wii Fit Balance Board, Wii Fit has programs for monitoring an ongoing training program for maximum effectiveness and physical health. Wii Fit Age is an element of the Wii fit games that assigns a number to any individual based on data such as height and weight combined with preliminary tests of balance and coordination. There were over forty options for game play in the original Wii fit package, though that number has grown significantly through Wii Fit Plus and other new games utilizing the functions of the Balance Board and other Wii Fit Accessories.
Wii Sports Games
Sports games have created a large market for production of accessories for Wii, starting with attachments linkable to the handheld remote. A Wii remote can be plugged into replications of steering wheels, baseball bats, tennis racquets and a number of other sporting goods to maximize the feel of athletic movement being portrayed in the titles. By accommodating the shape of the original Wii handheld remote for sports equipment add-ons, Wii owners are afforded the convenience of switching out attachments without have to change plugs or synchronize repeatedly through the console. Recent innovations on the sports equipment front have come in the form of boxing gloves and a skateboard device. The Wii Knockout gloves add an aspect of realization to Wii boxing games such as Punch-Out. The S3 Sportboard, a skateboard surface which attaches securely to the Wii Fit Balance Board, has been an effective piece of equipment for not only skateboarding games but snowboarding, skiing and surfing as well.
Shooting Games and Wii Guns
First-person shooting games and other titles associated with combat have led to the fabrication of many models of weapons designed to complement the Wii handheld remote. Weapons have long been a vital accessory to arcade game play, and Wii has effectively translated the concept into its system, with manufacturers offering a number of shooters, sword and other weapons for play. Many of the weapons designed for the Wii are built to replicate the item seen on screen to maximum likeness. Star Wars light sabers, the Rayman Raving Rabbids Plunger Gun, Link’s Crossbow and the Clone Trooper Blaster are just a few examples of this growing line. Using a weapon similar in style and feel to the one represented onscreen during game play maximizes the feel and realism for the gamer.
Wii Dance and Music
Games designed for the Wii focused on music and musical instruments spawned many accessories for the Wii, most of which are associated with the blockbuster Rock Band series. The Wii has become known as a point of congregation for families gaming together, and there may be no finer example than the ability to create a family band through Rock Band’s guitars, microphones and drums. Releases of the Rock Band series specific to a musical genre or band, such as the Beatles Rock Band, have generated different models of guitars specific to their musician or style. Another concept, combining music and dance, was the Dance Dance Revolution series. Similar to the Wii fit and its growing family of compatible games, the Dance Dance Revolution Dance Pad Controller has become integrated into many new releases. Dance games continue to generate a loyal following of Wii users, and bring many new players into the console’s faithful following.
Wii Skins – Your Wii Your Way
As an additional accessory for Wii enthusiasts, there are countless options of skins and themes available for Wii products. It is possible to personalize nearly every Wii accessory, either through decals, protective covers or plates. Accessories to the accessories have also begun to proliferate on the market for Wii, further enhancing game play. Weights, fitness outfits, yoga mats, aerobic step platforms and armbands to hold the Wii remote have all been released to enhance the training with Wii Fit. Additionally, Wii Fit accessories come in packages to favor the male or female exercise enthusiast, dressing up their entire catalog of Wii Fit add-ons. Travel bags, bundle kits specific to a genre of games and pre-colored hardware are commonly available for Wii compatible pieces. Each step Nintendo takes in offering personalization, portability and convenience brings the console closer to its mission as a system for everyone to play.