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The Bottom Barrel Basics of Mastering Wii
Having made its debut in November 2006, the Wii has enjoyed great success ever since. Known far and wide for its wireless controls, the Wii has been able to create devotees out of those who have never showed a prior interest in video games. Since its release, the Wii has made headlines than any other video game console. This is mostly due to its benefits in the area of active play phenomenon. At a base price of $250, which includes one controller and basic setup accessories, the Wii can also be found in complete bundle packages that include games and accessories starting at $350 and on up.
The main features of the Nintendo Wii are its wireless controllers referred to as Wii Remotes and a lightweight 6×8 console in a vertical stand. At a weight of less than three pounds, the console is now known as the lightest pieces of gaming technology available. The console currently only comes in white; however, other colors such as silver, black and red are slated for arrival in the near future. One of the top features of this console is the ability to play not only Wii games but other Nintendo console games. This can include all GameCube games and even games downloaded off the internet.
The Wii is most widely known for providing players with active play experience. Wii Remotes and their infrared sensors detect position and movement, allowing players to swing, jab, toss, bowl, shoot, drive, cast and much more. The active play experience not only gives games a realistic feel, it, unlike other game consoles, gets the player up and moving. A vast number of parents and teachers that were previously uneasy with video games have managed to make peace with the idea of active play. Many are still wary about the number of hours spent playing video games but are much more comfortable with what time is spent on the Wii.
The Wii is not only found in homes but in occupational and behavioral therapy settings, hospitals and even retirement homes. The number of games, lack of wires and user friendly set up makes it easy to use for those who are younger or older, with or without video game skills. The fact that the Wii Remote requires action to be effective has made it an extraordinary physical therapy tool. Whereas other activities can seem repetitive and monotonous, some therapists have found that certain games can be of great help for patients needing large or small motor therapy. It gives patients the benefit of focusing on fun and therapists a covert method for rebuilding and enhancing motor skills.
One of the main goals of the Wii was to bring in a new crop of video game players both young and old- and thus far, Nintendo has been more than successful. With 20 million units throughout the world, the Wii has managed to commandeer holiday gift buying as the ‘must have’ toy of the season for the past two years.
The way that technology blows on most things, it can leave many wondering if the ‘next big thing’ will still be the next big thing six months down the road. After all, there are very few these days who haven’t spent their hard earned cash on a big ticket item only to find it old hat or obsolete way before it is paid off on the old credit card. Luckily, most consumers are getting smarter and will want to make sure anything they purchase, even if it is somewhat antiquated by year’s end, is something they will continue getting good use out of in the coming years.
With the Wii, one can expect 4 major advantages over any other game console.
At a base price of $250, the Wii comes with the game playing console, a Wii Remote, a Nunchuk add on, one Wii Sensor Bar, Wii A/V Cables, Wii Power Cords and a Wii Sports game (golf, tennis, boxing, bowling, baseball) right in the box. It is the basic set up that allows one to go from purchase to play in one fell swoop. However, the Wii is much more fun when played with two people and more games. It is possible to buy additional accessories separately but is often more cost effective to purchase the console in a package- or bundle- that can start as low as $350 dollars.
There is an assortment of bundles that allow one to acquire a basic console with anything from one or more Wii Remotes to extra accessories and games. For instance, on the low end there is Wii Two Player Bundle that includes the primary game console package in addition to: 1 additional Wii Remote Controller, 1 additional Nunchuck Controller, 9 additional games developed by Nintendo and a 1 Year Nintendo Manufacturer’s Warranty.
The Wii Two Player Bundle runs approximately $450.
On the other end, end, the Ultimate Wii Bundle comes with the primary game console package in addition to: 25 family games (Day at the Races, Shooting Gallery, Ring Toss, Frog Leap, etc) 2 games of choice, 3 additional Wii remotes, 1 additional Nunchuk controller, 9 additional Wii games developed by Nintendo, a Wii HD Component Cable, Wii Dual Remote Charging Stand, a 1GB SD Memory Card and a 1 Year Nintendo Manafacturer’s Warranty.
The Ultimate bundle price? A mere $750.
The benefit of the Wii is that there is no requirement to spend a vast amount of money on the extras that will be used very little if at all. An individual can make their purchase of a basic console and then build it as they see fit. Major gamers will of course personalize their Wii systems with the all the high tech accessories they consider necessary. The rest of the population will no doubt be rather content with an additional Wii remote and Nunchuk add on, adding any other extras along the way.
Backwards compatibility gives Wii the ability to play all GameCube games. The compatibility also includes GameCube memory cards and GameCube controllers. This is very good news for Nintendo fans moving up to the Wii from the GameCube console. As brand new games can be rather pricey, the ability to include games rather than relegate them to a separate shelf makes things much more convenient- and cost effective. Four controller ports allow the console to support GameBoy and GameBoy Advance applications via the GameBoy Advance cable. Wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS is also possible; however, this capability will require no supplementary accessories.
Before one rushes out to buy their favorite GameCube titles, let it be known that the Wii’s backwards compatibility requires GameCube games be played only with GameCube controllers. Once again, this is good news for those who already have the GameCube console. Not so great for those who don’t. Saving any information from a GameCube game will require a GameCube memory card as well.
From Wi-Fi to WiiConnect24, there are a number of high tech services to be had with this console. Of the most notable is the opportunity to buy Wii Points and purchase a browser that allows one to surf the internet. Not only does this give access to a bevy of free services, it allows one to find fast and fun downloadable games for $10 or less. The advantage in this is that the games are original versions of titles of the last twenty years- and they don’t necessarily have to be other Nintendo games either. This feature can offer an exciting blast from the past for those who haven’t been able to play the original Donkey Kong in quite a while.
The Wii has gained much applause for finding a way to combine video games with movement. In fact, a new phrase- exergaming- has been coined by a number of fitness experts. For years, many have dreamed of the ultimate chance to take part or ‘be’ in their favorite video game. While some video game companies have tried to create a more realistic feel with steering wheels and vibrating controllers, Wii technology provides a real-time capture that encourages full body movement. When players see their own actions matching those of a character on the screen, it is easy to feel as if one has entered their own virtual world. Though some will forever debate just how far the benefits go, the main thing for fitness and physical therapists is just seeing players, young and old, get up and move.
Function and implementation is the name of the game with the Wii. Despite having wireless remotes, the Wii is fully connected to the information superhighway. Not only can one receive updates and game demos via Nintendo’s WiiConnect24 service, a user can also find current news and weather or make use of the Virtual Console to download games. When feeling creative, users can even wander over to the Mii Channel and create an avatar in their own likeness for use on Mii Sports and Mii Play games. No matter what the feature, Nintendo has made it so that there is no passively sitting by. The Wii is able to beckon players and encourage them to interact at every turn.
The Wii menu is comprised of a framework of six basic channels. Users can navigate any one of the choices using their Wii Remote. Along with the News and Forecast channel, one can visit the Mii Channel, the Disc Channel, the Wii Shop Channel and the Photo Channel. To add other channels to the menu, one simply visits the Wii Shop Channel and uses their Wii Points to purchase more. The Internet Channel browser is written by Opera and many enjoy this feature’s simple navigation. For fun, one can insert a digital camera card into the Wii’s SD slot and pop into the Photo Channel to create slides shows accompanied by music.
This free online service provides access to Nintendo DS and other Wii Games. Once connected, the unique feature allows individuals to take their favorite game into cyberspace to find players on a local level or worldwide. Players also have the opportunity to enter a 12 digit friend code that will allow them to seek out acquaintances online. When meeting up online, there is a chance to not only play games but communicate via text or voice chat. Certain safeguards keep friend codes from being copied or stolen. While the Wi-Fi Connection is always a free service, some features will be pay-to-play.
The WiiConnect24 feature is the medium for receiving messages from other Wii consoles, software updates, e-mails, game demos and other bits of communication. Users will need to enable their console in Standby Connect mode in addition to WiiConnect to receive full benefits. This is easily done using the Setup Interface. The Mii, Wii, Forecast and News channels rely on both the WiiConnect feature and Standby Connect mode in order to function. Certain games, such as Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, will not work unless the WiiConnect feature is enabled.
The Wii Shop Channel is where players go to purchase or redeem their Wii Points and download Virtual Console games and WiiWare. Anything downloaded from the WiiShop stays right in the Wii’s memory and then shows up as a new channel choice on the main menu. A handy shopping guide helps players find new and popular must have games and other items. A Wii Points card with two thousand points will run approximately twenty dollars. Along with online purchase, Wii Points can be procured from retailers as well.
The Virtual Console is located on the Wii Shop Channel and is one of the most talked about features. With the Virtual Console, players can download a number of ‘old school’ games off the internet- regardless if they are Nintendo titles or not. Compatible systems include Nintendo 64, NES, Super NES, Turbografix-16, Neo Geo and Sega Genesis. While the graphics are slightly improved thanks to today’s technology, the games are every bit as original as the day they were originally released. One will need Wii Points in order to purchase Virtual Console games.
The ability to safeguard younger children from not only violent or explicit video games but internet access has earned the Wii console even further praise. Offering the Wii as a family friendly game console has allowed it to reach a wider audience of homes; especially those that make a special effort to monitor TV and internet content. Once a parent or guardian uses a four digit access code to set an approved ESRB rating, no Wii or Virtual Console game above the approved rating will be able to load. The only way to get past the safety feature is for the parent or guardian to re enter the code. The feature, however, will not work when the Wii is being used with GameCube games.
…that the Photo Channel can display a maximum of approximately 1,000 photos?
Nintendo and the Wii will always stand out because designing and marketing a game console to reach a wider market means coming up with a concept that offers a collective, user friendly approach. This is especially true for a segment of the population that really has nothing against video games except for the frustration of fumbling over a controller. Using the Wii with natural movement of the body is the easiest thing for the vast majority of players to do. Nonetheless, even the most seasoned gamer will need to adjust to the medium of using body movement and the handling of Wii remotes.
Wii Sports is a starter game included with the Wii console at purchase. Its main focus is
to help new players get acquainted with using the Wii and the Wii Remotes. A compilation of five different games (bowling, tennis, baseball, golf and boxing), the setup helps players learn to swing, jab, toss, roll and putt with remote in hand. With two or more players it creates the perfect group learning session. One cautionary recommendation is to always wear the wrist straps. As many have come to find, it is all too easy to become engrossed in a tennis match or baseball game and watch a Wii Remote go flying through the air at mach speed.
Wii Sports is rated E- appropriate for everyone.
Warioware: Smooth Moves is just as its name suggests: a more in depth game that does not call for much in the way of complex moves. The game largely consists of mini games where players must hold their Wii Remotes in a variety of angles and positions. For example, a game may require one to hold their remote in ‘The Umbrella’ position. The various moves and mini games push a novice down the path of getting more familiar with the buttons and knobs of their Wii Remote. The game offers a good amount of silly fun for more than one player and the mini games add variety and keep the game lively.
Warioware: Smooth Moves is rated E10-appropriate for children ages 10 and up.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a wildly popular Nintendo game for Wii that allows players to use concentrated but fairly straightforward moves throughout various missions. Up to four players can get together and face off in matches using everything from swords to character related signature attack moves. Players will learn to pick up, block, grab, throw, and duck throughout the game. The free movement of characters further allows players to establish a good familiarity with their Wii Remotes. Before taking on the game, there is a training mode that helps acquaint players with moves they will use throughout the game.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is rated T-appropriate for children ages 13 and up.
Super Paper Mario is a unique game that acquaints players with using the Wii Remote sideways. The player uses the remote to point at various objects on the screen throughout the game as well. As Mario, the main character, endeavors to stop Count Bleck from destroying the world, he is charged with the duty of collecting pure heart pieces. To accomplish this, players will travel through various levels and take on a number of missions to complete the game. Players will use flips, head stomps and even shake the controller to defeat enemies. For the most part, the single player game greatly focuses on creating a familiarity with the buttons on the Wii Remote.
Super Paper Mario is rated E- appropriate for everyone.
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a popular Nintendo series that makes playing the Wii very enjoyable. There are a number of tasks to perform and puzzles to figure out as well. Along with wielding a sword using the Wii Remote, one will also need the Nunchuk to perform fun moves such as shooting arrows. Carrying out certain tasks and solving puzzles requires one to push and pull objects as well as lift and throw. As certain buttons perform essential functions in the game, the Legend of Zelda offers a smooth incorporation of physical movement and the use of the Wii Remote buttons.
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is T-appropriate for children ages 13 and up.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a good introduction to the Wii for the more serious player. It is considered a shooter, platforming and adventure game where one takes the role of a bounty hunter trouncing alien beings. Players will move the character using the Nunchuk control and aim weapons using the Wii Remote as a pointer. The single player game requires one to be quite adept and comfortable with the aspects of playing games in first person. Many skilled video game players have found that Wii controls and Metroid Prime 3 harmonize rather well together and provide a rather enjoyable gaming experience.
Metroid Prime is rated T-appropriate for children ages 13 and up.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is a fun but challenging game that incorporates 100 levels of tricky tasks with 50 different mini games in between. One can use the Wii Remote to roll, jump, dash and swing through various challenges while using the Nunchuk to control camera movement if desired. The mini games consist of brain thumping puzzles and physical challenges where multiple players can go head to head for the highest score. Players will have fun maneuvering through tasks with the Wii Remote by tilting the controller forward, back and to the side.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is rated E- appropriate for everyone.
…that the initial recommended distance for using the Wii Remote is 3 to 8 feet from the console sensor bar? The influence of direct sunlight and various light sources can also make the remote’s operation less optimal.
The Wii will always be known for its wireless remotes with motion sensors that give players freedom of movement. Whereas it used to be considered silly to try and make a character in a game jump higher by waving a controller up in the air, now it’s a requirement. A combination of tiny accelerometers and a motion sensing bar prompts players to swing, dip and flick their way across the screen in a number of adventures. As players begin to see their actions mimicked in real time, they often forget about their own movements and become engrossed with what they see on the screen.
The technology for Wii remotes first made its appearance in missile guidance systems. Luckily, the hardware is much smaller and cheaper than it used to be. At the same time, not much has changed in the silicon springs secured to a silicon wafer. As the Wii Remote is swung up, down, side to side, forwards and backwards the springs measure the force and transmit information accordingly. The harder the swing, the greater the movement on the screen. The other half of the equation- the sensor bar- gives off two beams of infrared light that the Wii Remote senses. The remote then uses a type of pixel grid to calculate position and transmits it back to the sensor bar. The result is the winning home run or knock out punch that wins the game.
The Nunchuk controller is the happy cousin that connects to the Wii Remote by means of a four foot cord. The Nunchuk has an analog stick control as well as two buttons known as the C and Z buttons. The Nunchuk is basically used for adjusting camera angles, aiming and providing extra options from one game to another. As the Nunchuk contains the same silicon spring technology as the Wii Remote, the two controls work together almost fluidly. Unlike previous controllers, there is an ability to use the Nunchuk in either the right or left hand.
Examples of Wii Games that require the Nunchuk for play:
The Classic Controller available for the Wii is a unique piece of gear that helps make playing classic games just that much more fun. Many like the comfortable fit the Classic Controller provides and can be a good alternative for those who can’t quite get the hang of playing certain games with the Wii Remote held sideways. Like the Nunchuk, the Classic Controller plugs right in to the remote; however, rather than a wire that leads from the top, the wire instead stems from the bottom. Though the Classic Controller was originally slated for use with Virtual Console games, there have been several Wii games developed to work with it.
Examples of Wii Games that work with the Classic Controller:
The Wii Zapper is an expansion instrument that makes holding and pointing the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller much easier. The remote fits in the front of the casing while the Nunchuk fits in the back giving the appearance of a futuristic laser gun. It was specifically designed to help players avoid fatigue and keep a steadier hand in games with a good amount of gun or bow simulation. Upon purchase of the gun shell, one also receives a ‘Link’s Crossbow Training’ game that includes not only twenty seven levels but a number of game modes and a four person multiplayer option.
The Wii Wheel offers players the chance to take on a more comfortable and authentic experience with driving games. With most driving games, the Wii Remote is held sideways; however, by fitting the remote in the middle of the Wii Wheel, one now has that opportunity to keep their hands at the ten and two position. The lightweight construction and textured grip makes the Wii Wheel feel natural and easy to hang onto.
Games that work with the Wii Wheel:
The following peripherals and expansion controls are often used with Wii products but are actually made by unofficial third parties.
The Wii Perfect Shot Gun made by Nyko and is an alternative to the The Zapper that some find awkward when playing certain games. The Wii Remote slips firmly and snugly right into the pistol’s barrel and leaves the player’s other hand free to manipulate the Nunchuk. The trigger of the gun activates the B button on the Wii Remote and provides a more authentic and comfortable firing action.
Wii games that work with the Wii Perfect Shot Gun:
The Guitar Controller is largely a medium for playing the Wii version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The Gibson Les Paul design offers a fun rock and roll feel and provides a perfect spot where the Wii Remote can be inserted safely and snugly. While players rock out following the game’s lead, the controller makes the most of the Wii Remote speaker and rumble feature. The controller also comes with guitar strap and stickers that allow players to personalize their guitar controller just like a rock star would. In addition, the controller offers a detachable neck to make for easy storage.
…that you can place the Wii’s sensor bar upside down and it won’t reverse the directions of your movements?
Some accessories are very necessary for ensuring a good gaming experience. They not only enhance play and help gear last longer, there is an element of fun in them too. Some accessories will have great influence over how a controller handles or a game is played. Some help with storage and organization. Others simply lend a signature touch to the otherwise plain white Wii. Whatever a player wants or needs, there is a vast number of Wii accessories to be had. Some of them helpful, some of them handy- and some of them just plain wacky.
The following are accessories most commonly found in a Wii fan’s repertoire.
Included with the console as standard equipment, the Wii strap attaches to the base of a Wii Remote and is probably one of the most essential and necessary accessories for game play. The strap fits comfortably around the wrist and works as a safety device. Should a player accidentally let go of his or her controller during a maneuver, the remote can be recovered rather quickly. Those who play without a wrist strap risk not only a broken controller but a busted TV screen- and maybe even a yelp from whoever else is unfortunate enough to get in the way.
This accessory goes hand in hand with the Wii strap. The Wii jacket is a molded silicon covering that fits over the Wii Remote but leaves open access to the buttons and sensor. The silicon grip is quite comfortable for the hand and allows players to keep a much better hold on the remote during play. These are also provided free of charge.
As avid Wii fans can drain the juice from remote batteries often, chargers are one of the first accessories players go out and buy. Although Nintendo has not come out with its own chargers for the Wii, there are a number of third party manufacturers that offer rechargeable battery packs and stands for two or more Wii Remotes. While helping to keep batteries charged, a handy stand can provide aesthetic value as well as convenient storage.
Those who want to take advantage of the Wii’s backward compatibility with GameCube games will need GameCube controllers on order to play all GameCube titles. GameCube controllers also work with a number of Virtual Console games.
When playing GameCube games on the Wii, saving progress will mean having to have a GameCube memory card.
One of the biggest draws of the Wii is its Virtual Console feature, where players can purchase and download all the classic Nintendo games from the days of old. However, purchasing those downloadable titles will require Wii Points. The Nintendo currency translates to roughly one hundred points per U.S. dollar. Therefore, two thousand Wii Points will run approximately twenty dollars. Wii Points can be procured via the Wii Shop Channel or at retail video game stores.
Wii’s comes with 512MB of storage; however, it’s easy for some players to fill that up with Virtual Console games. Extra storage with a 1GB SD is perfect for creating available space.
Those who plan to access the Wii’s online channels for free via the Wii’s built-in Wi-Fi will need a wireless access point or router. As an alternative, one can purchase a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector and simply plug it into any PC on a wired network and get online access for the Wiiandthe Nintendo DS.
The component video adaptor will be a must for anyone who is using the Wii on a large HDTV and wants sharp graphics. On the other hand, if a player is fairly tech saavy, several sites such as Engadget and GamesSX Network have step by step guides for putting together do-it-yourself component cables.
Horizontal stands offer all in one storage of the Wii console and remotes. There are a number of different styles; however, one should always choose a stand that allows the Wii console to receive plenty of unrestricted access to fresh air.
Wii cases are a plus for those who would rather have a console in any other color but white. Although Nintendo has announced that the Wii is slated for future release in different colors, the company really hasn’t been all that forthcoming of when that future will be. In the meantime, there are replacement cases that can chrome out a console giving it a unique and sleek look. Cases can also be found in patterns such as camouflage or in striking neon greens or pinks.
This handy accessory cools down the Wii’s temperature and charge remotes. This is a great idea for serious gamers that have their console on for long periods of time.
The Wii airplane controller stand holds fast to a flat surface and puts the Nunchuk on one side and the Wii Remote on the other. The result is a sturdy setup like the flight control stick of a Boeing 747. Though designed to prevent fatigue in players, it can be a good choice for those using the Wii for therapy purposes but have problems with weakness in the arms or hands.
The Wii wrist pedometer allows players to actually see just how many steps they have taken or how many times they’ve swung their arms throughout the course of a game. It can be an ideal accessory for those looking to burn a few extra calories with some exergaming.
…that even if you don’t have an SD card and still want to check out Photo Channel, you can just e-mail a .jpg to your Wii Message Board? However, there is a 1 MB size limit for any mail you send.
Taking it Further:
Modifications of the Wii
Of the many game consoles available, the Wii is considered fairly tame. After all, it is largely meant for easy play by people of all skill levels. Nonetheless there have been a number of tech saavy individuals who have taken on the Wii, ramped up power and found ways to modify and transform the console into fantastically unique creations. Just knowing that the Wii has such capabilities based on its interactivity is a strong selling point for many. It is a long awaited technology that is not commonly seen in other technological venues.
Modification chips, or modchips, are commonly used in game consoles to alter or even immobilize certain basic functions. For the most part, modchips are used to get around the technical buffers that deal with playing homebrew software. Homebrew software is unlicensed user created games and programs. It is also for bypassing the regional coding, something that will keep American consoles from playing Japanese versions of games.
While this may raise some questions over the legality of bypassing copy protection checks, installing modchips into a console for personal use is not considered illegal unless or until it is done for profit. There are many online sources that offer modchips in a variety of models with different capacities. The average price for a modchip will run anywhere from $40 on up.
NOTE: As installing modchips takes a good degree of technical know-how- i.e., soldering the motherboard- it is a good rule of thumb for individuals to never attempt to modify a Wii without knowingexactlywhat they are doing. Plus, installing modchips may lead to the inability to download certain Nintendo software updates due to unauthorized technical modifications.
The following are modchips commonly used in the Wii console:
The Wiinja was the first marketed modchip to come out for the Wii. While it can play backup discs with relative ease, it can only do so in its own region. Though newer Wiinja modchips are available, this basic model makes it clear it is not capable of upgrades and therefore cannot circumvent such things as the new Super Mario Galaxy copy protection. Nonetheless, it is also known for being one of the easiest to install.
The Wiikey has received applause as a fully upgradeable Nintendo Wii modchip. In addition, the installation is more or less wireless as far as the chip is concerned. Quick solder pads make the Wiikey ready for use right out of its packaging. The chip supports Wii and Gamecube backup games. This includes GameCube homebrew games as well. In order to obtain regular updates, all one has to do is visit the Wiikey website.
The D2CKey modchip works on a Wii with the D2C chipset. As it was specially created to work with these newer drives, it is therefore completely incompatible with older versions of the Wii. Installing the chip requires a sharp and extensive technological acumen. While the chip only offers a limited region free coding, it can be updated to be completely region free on the D2CKey website.
The CylcoWiz is the second modchip to ever be released for the Wii. Not only can the chip be updated, it plays backups of its own region and limited playback from other regions as well. Many prefer the CycloWiz because of the way it is installed. Like the Wiikey, the CycloWiz comes with Quick Solder pads but does not require one to solder wires to the motherboard.
The WiiD is a commercial modship that can receive updates via DVD. The chip supports the ability to play backup discs from Wii and GameCube of a matching console region. The chip has recently become region free with a good number of available titles. Updates provide support for games such as Super Mario Galaxy.
Interesting and extra creative alterations of the Wii have found their way onto college campuses and internet websites dedicated to its modification. The modifications range from utterly zany to pure creative genius. One of the most talked about concepts is the ability to use the Wii as a low cost multi-touch whiteboard. There has been little progress in the way of everyday tools using interactive means but the Wii has proven extraordinarily effective for making low cost, interactive communication mediums.
The following are example of other notable Wii adaptations:
… that you can rearrange almost anything on the Wii (messages, channels, etc) just by holding down the A and B buttons?
Though there has been some talk of injuries occurring while playing the Wii- either to the player or nearby participants- this is often because players forget to take a few precautions before settling into play. The Wii is a fun and exciting way to playing video games and it doesn’t take but a few moments to get sucked into the action. Many enjoy the fun of moving to the music and swinging their way to victory. That is, until someone accidentally lets go of their remote or gets in the way of a make believe tennis serve. Luckily, it is quite easy- not to mention important- to take a quick minute to create a safe play zone before powering up the Wii.
The following are recommendations for setting up a safe play zone:
First and foremost, start by clearing a play area. The recommended distance between the TV screen and players is eight feet. In that area, look up, down and side to side to make sure there aren’t any obstacles within arm’s reach. This can be furniture, light fixtures, decorative accents and the like. Keep pets out of the room.
It is important to understand that the technology the Wii uses is very sensitive. It doesn’t take much for the infrared sensor to detect movement. Large, over-exaggerated moves are hardly necessary to get the desired effect on screen. Sometime light, easy moves will have as much affect as wide swinging arcs. Take the time to experiment with small moves versus large moves and see what really works.
While it is a good rule for all players, this is especially necessary for younger players. Younger children are very prone to using their entire body to move, yet at the same time are still developing their fine motor skills. Holding onto a Wii Remote in the midst of excited movements is likely to result in letting go of the remote at least once. Not to be left out, adults have also been known to do the same on one or more occasions.
Try to limit movement to the wrist or forearms rather than the shoulders. Relax, move lightly, evenly and have a good time. When a game gets too intense or aggravating, take a break!
By keeping movements low and adequate space between players, accidents are less likely to occur. Whenever a player or observer enters or leaves the room, pause the game to make sure there is adequate opportunity for a person to get through without accidentally wandering into the path of an oncoming controller.
Exergaming has become a pretty popular way to get moving for young and old. While nothing beats actual aerobic exercise for keeping the heart and body healthy, exergaming beats a life of inactivity hands down. The Wii console can be found in a number of therapy settings where patients are having fun while retraining their muscles, both large and small motor, to move again. Retirement homes are anything but with the number of Wii Sports parties. The Wii console has definitely taken the difficulty of being a kid stuck inside on a rainy day.
At the same time, the human body is such that moving around can sometimes result in a light twist here and a light strain there. This is especially true when really concentrating on a game. Just like any other activity, it is important to warm up before exergaming. Warming up does not require breaking a sweat; only that the blood starts pumping to the muscles and the ligaments and tendons are warm and pliable.
The following are recommendations for warming up before a play session:
Really pump the arms and legs. It doesn’t take much to get the blood flowing to the muscles.
Wear footwear supportive of ankles and steer clear of long, hanging clothing or garments with too many strings or beads.
There are some games that don’t require large movements and are better for small motor workouts. In these cases, if the game doesn’t require one to stand, don’t. Keep arms relaxed and at the sides of the body when possible; or hold the controller close to the body like a microphone. It’s not always easy to do but it is important. Letting the elbows and shoulders do all the work is what accounts for a large number of strains and pulls. Try to balance work from the wrist and forearm .
For games that require large motor movements, be careful not to overextend the knees past the toes and pay careful attention to the hips and back. Be sure to keep the back straight and retain a good center of gravity. These games require that individuals be well aware of their surroundings. A number of exergaming injuries actually occur when a lamp is inadvertently knocked over or the cat makes the mistake of getting in the way.
As always, don’t forget to wear the wrist strap as well.
If there is a pain, a strain or shortness of breath, it is important to stop playing immediately. A small strain can become a big strain very easily. One small strain is sometimes enough to keep a person inactive for several days. The sooner a player stops for pain, the shorter the healing time and the faster he or she can get back to exergaming.
The average exercise requirement is thirty minutes per day, three to five days per week. As it is very easy for time to pass when fun is being had, most exergamers spend one hour per day on a favorite activity.
An after game stretch will prevent injuries- and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Stretch through the shoulders, roll the head side to side, stretch up towards the ceiling and stretch the quads. Only stretch to the point of comfort- and never bounce.
…that in Wii Sports bowling, you can release on the back swing and throw the ball backwards. It scares all the Mii’s behind you.
There are pro’s and cons to any type of game console and the Wii of course has its advocates and opponents. For the most part, the Wii is a game console geared for a wide audience but an audience of young and novice players. Other consoles geared for adult gamers, like Microsoft’s XBox, offer much in the way of difficult games and adult level subject matter. Sony’s PS2 hovers somewhere in the middle with an audience of teenage players. With each offering certain benefits and features, what some see as a positive, others will see as a negative and the debate can go on forever.
Therefore, the Wii game console is a best bet for those who:
The Wii will not be a good choice for:
Using the Wii with HDTV will require a component video adaptor with a 480 progressive output for a higher resolution.
In addition to what the Wii already offers, as of 2008 there are even more fantastic features planned for the console, such as:
Depth Sensing Webcam
A depth sensing webcam integrated with Wii consoles using technology from 3DV Systems means the beginning of deep-immersion technology. To get an understanding of the concept, rather than controlling movement of a video game character with handheld wireless remotes, imagine being able to do the same thing by moving around the living room.
The Wii Fit Program is a fun fitness plan developed as a way to encourage families to exercise together. It will not only offer aerobics, yoga, muscle conditioning and other exercises, it will able to measure each player’s weight and center of gravity in addition to body mass index. After taking up a regimen of exercise with the program, it will then track the user’s progress over a period of time. The Wii Fit Program has already been released in some parts of the world to the tune of one million copies but is still waiting to be released in other countries.
As Nintendo continues to develop the Wii for online players, there will be more fun and practical WiiWare and Wii Channels added to the menu. In addition there will be a larger selection of pay to play options for those hard core gamers who like role playing and mass multi-player online games.
…that you can catch the evil cat that runs across the screen on the Photo channel to get tips? The feature appears in the Fun option and you can grab the cat with the A and B button.
Cheat codes have been a useful aid in video game play almost since the beginning. Once a working tool used by game developers, cheat codes eventually developed into somewhat of a treat for game players. There can be many different cheat codes throughout a game; and each can enhance a virtual adventure by creating access to features that make completing difficult tasks easier. A cheat code can make a character jump higher, run faster or even fly. Some cheat codes even enable players to skip certain levels or change the look of their character. At the same time, there are cheat codes that do nothing more than keep a game amusing and lively. For instance, a certain cheat code for a game may have the player completing tasks in ‘monkey mode’ or add silly music.
Cheat codes are entered into a game by using the buttons on a controller; or by keying in a string of numbers and letters somewhere in a game’s controller menu. Whether it’s infinite health, infinite bullets or super magic carpet, just about every game available has some kind of cheat code to go with it.
There are entire books, magazines and game disks specifically devoted to cheat codes; however, a majority of these helpful hints are found online. It is not uncommon for die hard gamers to share a bevy of codes, helpful hints and walkthroughs in forums, blogs and chat rooms. Because cheat codes have a tendency to be quite long and rather confusing, it is important to keep in mind that some may be incorrect or faulty. Cheat code sites of good quality will not only list a cheat code and what it does but any special instructions of how, when or where the code must be entered.
…that one of the earliest cheat codes for a game called Manic Miner- 6031769- was actually a game developer’s phone number?
Within the Wii, there are a number of delicate wires, boards, conductors, superconductors, infrared sensors and silicon chips all working at once to bring a player their sophisticated gaming experience. That being the case, glitches can happen and anyone can run into the occasional technical difficulty with their game console. However, most problems can be easily remedied without needing to send the Wii in for repairs.
The vast majority of problems with the Wii console occur upon initial set up of the system. Knowing what wires go where can require one to pay extra special attention to the manual’s instructions. This is especially true when it comes to setting up the Wii with high definition televisions. Nevertheless, even when the installation goes smoothly and things seem to be going fine, the occasional anomaly can still pop up.
The following are common issues and recommendations for dealing with minor problems with the Wii:
If there is no picture on the screen, it is always a good idea to try the obvious first:
Additional trouble shooting issues can be accessed viasupport.nintendo.com(troubleshooting steps) or calling 1-800-255-3700.
Good upkeep is essential to ensuring a long life and maximum use of a Wii console. A regular routine of care not only allows a unit to last longer, it will be much easier for an owner to spot any mechanical issues as they arise. Heading troubles off early is much better than taking on problems that have manifested into something else a great deal larger.
Recommendations for keeping a Wii in good shape are as follows:
…that a plasma burn-in reduction feature kicks in the second the Wii Remote shuts down? Your Sony Play Station doesn’t do that!
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