With the release of Xenoblade, we have seen the end of quality games coming out for the Wii. People keep mentioning Last Story as one more good game, but it's unlikely that that will actually live up to expectations in any way. It's from Mistwalker, a studio with extremely high quality personel that has never actually put out a product of note.
So, we are at the end of life for our Wii. Looking back, I have mixed feelings about it overall. I picked mine up on day one, and while Wii Sports was a lot of fun and a genuinely new experience, my initial Wii ownership was still marred by the lack of component cables. Having also picked up Zelda, I couldn't actually play that game for another six weeks when component cables started hitting the market. Then? Waggle was bolted on to a game designed for a gamepad. The result was a great game with crap controls that I promptly shelved.
Scanning through my library, there are a couple things of note, and a few glaring patterns. First, the positive. Wii Remote controls can work extremely well. Resident Evil 4 Wii is the definitive version of the game, even better than the recently released HD versions. The Wii Remote control scheme was brilliant. Metroid Prime 3 and later the Metroid Prime Trilogy proved to function far better with a Wii Remote than with a Gamecube pad. Boom Blox and Mario Party 8 rounds out the list of games that I found to be genuinely improved by the addition of the Wii Remote. Shaking the Remote for various effect, balancing, flinging, and aiming at the screen were all improvements here.
We then had a variety of games that weren't particularly hurt by the Wii Remote, but weren't really improved by it. Mario Galaxy was not better than Sunshine because it used a Wiimote instead of a Gamecube gamepad. Mario Galaxy was awesome because of gravity, and that could have easily been done with Gamecube controls. Super Paper Mario, Mario Kart, and Smash Brothers Brawel would have all functioned just fine on a Gamecube pad.
Then there were the games that were actively harmed by forcing Wii Remote controls. New Super Mario plays better on the DS than the Wii. The SuperNES controller layout fits that game style perfectly, which the DS delivers upon. On the Wii, we were limited to a pair of buttons, with a stupid shaking motion to pick items up. I didn't have to shake the NES controller to pick things up in Mario 2. Why did I have to here? Metroid M was a return to the Super Metroid style, forced on to a stupid NES style controller. Yes, half of that game's problem was that Samus was suddenly a whining little girl, but the other half of the problem was the terrible control scheme. There is a whole host of further games that fit in to this catagory, but I have long since gotten rid of them. Mad World is the first thing that comes to mind. Far too often the issue with Wii Remote controls was simply a matter of motion recognition. Just like with voice controls in games on other systems, motion is great until the moment that it doesn't register your command. Then it is immediately a broken piece of crap.
Finally we have Xenoblade. They forced a Wiimote control scheme, as that is what everyone owns by default. Of note is that this control scheme uses zero motion, and zero pointing. It's just a bunch of buttons spread across two sticks, without a dedicated camera control. They also support the Classic Controller, which is where the control scheme works correctly. They pretty much said "Hey, if you can, just set the Wiimote to the side and use a real gamepad to play this game." In the end, a Nintendo owned studio gave up in Wii controls.
In short, the Wii had some fantastic games. Rarely did the Wiimote ever improve anything though, and far too often the Wiimote ruined what would have otherwise been an enjoyable experience.
What about the rest of the system? All of the downloadable widgets were genuinely interesting. They certainly had a distinctly Japanese flavor to them, but they were fun. Mii integration works great! So well in fact that Microsoft stole the idea and improved upon it quite a bit. Sony also tried to steal the idea, but their execution was unbelievably poor. It would have been nice to see Nintendo make a more concerted effort to bring us weird little widgets. I would have liked to see a new thing monthly, instead of rarely and sporadically. Hiring a team of ten to spit out widgets would have given me more reasons to turn the thing on. From mid-2009 until now, I've really only brought my Wii up to check out something new that had shown up. The last game I really spent some serious time playing on it was Mario Galaxy. The first one.
The Virtual Console is a great idea, poorly executed upon. The store is in horrible disarray. While I like the idea of playing N64 games in 480p, reality proved otherwise. I spent probably $60 on Virtual Console items, played Super Metroid for three hours, and nothing else. There is just too much new stuff coming out elsewhere to spend my time on games I already played 15 years ago.
The Balance Board is interesting, but eventually proved to be pretty pointless.
Motion Plus is the Wii's 32x. Splitting the market is stupid. Nintendo should be less stupid.
Overall, I spent probably $1500-2000 on the Wii over it's life, and it has been my least used console in history. It's not like I didn't give it a chance. You don't spend that much on a console without trying out a bunch of stuff that looks interesting. Unfortunately, most of what was on offer turned out to be pretty mediocre. Even when things were absolutely brilliant as with Metriod Prime 3, there was still the nagging "Man, I wish this was at least 720p" always in mind.
Don't get me wrong, I have always thought that I genuinely like the Wii. It's a nifty little system that tried out something new. Flipping through the integrated "when was the last time you turned it on?" system though proves that overall, the thing just wasn't that interesting. Nintendo still makes some fantastic games. I just want to play them in HD, on a gamepad, and with the 3D slider in the "off" position.