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Children's Console Review:

Nintendo Wii

Console Review: Nintendo Wii
Children's Computer Game for the PC

By Nintendo

Our Recommended Age: Ages 5-up

Our Rating: A

about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's video game and console reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.

We've been evaluating the Nintendo Wii game console since its release in November, and we are still very impressed with its offerings. Truly a family affair, the Wii is fun out of the box. The package comes with Wii Sports, a game that my children expected (before its release) to be like other sports titles for consoles--none of them are big fans of sports games. They were wrong, happily--Wii Sports gets the whole family involved. Kids actually "swing" their baseball bats (the remote), punch the air as they box their opponent, bowl, and otherwise become totally involved--physically, too.

Setting up the Wii is quite straightforward. A sensor bar is placed above or below the TV, and this allows users to point their remote at the screen in order to interact with the programs. Essentially, it's much like a computer mouse--users point and click rather than push arrow keys in order to navigate menus. The Wii automatically detects wireless networks within range, so that part of set-up is a snap. The Wii accepts Game Cube games as well as, of course, Wii games in two different slots due to their difference in size and format. The remote truly is intuitive. It doesn't take long for kids to get the hang of it. A Nunchuk (also included in the box) can be attached to the bottom of the remote and is necessary to play Wii sports. Nintendo has recalled the thin wrist straps that shipped with the earliest Wii releases, and newer shipments include a thicker strap.

Kids create Mii characters or profiles of themselves, of friends, and of other family members. The Mii is one's on-screen character or identity, and can be customized with such features as hair color and style, wardrobe, body shape, and so forth. The Mii are cute and fun, although we found them to be rather limited in terms of customization. One of the fun aspects of the Mii characters is the fact that, for example, other Mii characters (like Mom or sister) cheer on the current player as he or she bowls!

The Internet channel is currently available (it wasn't yet available at the time of the official launch). This feature allows users to surf the Internet on their TV, provided, of course, they are wirelessly connected. The Forecast channel gives around-the-world weather reports. The Photo channel allows users to load photos into the Wii from an SD card, and then play around with them on their TV (creating photo puzzles, for example). Users can also "go shopping" on their Wii. Virtual console games can be purchased using Wii points, which in turn can be purchased retail or online on the Wii itself using a credit card. Other costs associated with the Wii are batteries for the remote (some games use more functions and therefore more batteries) and additional games, of course. Although kids will have a great time with the console's Wii Sports, they will want to enjoy more games on their new system.

It's delightful to watch our kids jump up and down and actually work up a sweat as they play Wii Sports. The whole family can get involved, creating their personalized avatars and joining in a game of bowling or tennis.

Our Rating:


more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Nintendo Wii

Reviewed: January 2007

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Nintendo Wii

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