It’s official: Nintendo has halted production of its Wii gaming console after almost seven years on the market. The company’s Japanese website lists the Wii console as “shussan shuuryou” (or 出産終了), which means “production ended.” The Wii had a good run while it lasted, and while it slowly started to lose steam after a few years, it completely changed the way people play video games, even if that meant throwing around a controller to get your character to move.
Since releasing in 2006, the Wii has been the best-selling console overall, selling over 100 million units globally. To compare, the Xbox 360 just recently reached the 80 million mark last month. Microsoft’s console has been the best-selling gaming system for the last two and a half years in the US, but the Wii has sold more units overall, making it the unsung hero of the gaming world.
The Nintendo Wii was the first gaming console of its kind, getting gamers up off the couch and controlling games with a motion-controlled remote control called the “Wiimote.” It allowed gamers to realistically play games as if they were actually the character, so if you’re playing a baseball game, gamers can swing the bat, throw a pitch, etc.
Nintendo sort of went the other way with the Wii U, getting rid of motion control and going back to the traditional gamepad, although you can still use Wiimotes with the new console. However, other consoles have followed in the footsteps of the Nintendo Wii, bringing motion-controlled games to the Xbox 360 with the Kinect, only this time around, there’s no controllers — just your body to control games, thanks to motion sensors and cameras.
While Nintendo is slowly going downhill, thanks to the advancements in the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, the Wii will always be a gaming staple. The Wii U certainly isn’t selling well, and it will most likely get buried under Microsoft’s and Sony’s new console this holiday season, but Nintendo loyalists will no doubt stick to their roots, and a lot of gamers are still rocking out with the Wiimotes, accidentally tossing them into their TVs and walls. But now that production has ended, we shouldn’t see as many unfortunate home repair bills.