Pros: Ease of use, Nintendo game series, innovative controls
Cons: Lower Resolution Output, Some games poorly implemented
The video was a disappointment, as it would have been fairly easy to upscale to 1080, for a small price bump, especially when they released the cheaper $99 version without the gamecube controller plug-ins.
The design of the cooling was also an oddity, as the fan was on the bottom for intake, and blocked off when in the stand. I never did stand mine up.
No HDMI Cable.. component included in box.. 3rd party HDMI available.
Audio processing is also limited. The wii controllers also have speakers in them which enables some games to use them in unique ways. (Example, wii party has one where you find/seek controller, or the one that makes the right noise you grab first).
Memory card slot is in there so you can store game saves on a card.. but also the controllers have some storage on them to take your Mii (character you make to represent you) to other people's houses with your remote.
The system has held up well for the many years.. never had the disc drive fail, nor power failure. In the same time we've had our wii, others who had xbox/playstations have all since had to get new ones because of failures.
The innovation of controls was at first laughed at, but now has been shown to actually enhance gameplay. So many games capitalized on the motion, and made it more intuitive and fun to play than their counterparts on the xbox/playstation.
The motion plus accessory was an afterthought it appears, and a costly one at first.. now they have them built in.
The nunchuck is an option controller, but it was either a game required all players to have it, or not at all.. so getting by with 1 or 2 was ok.
The "snes" controller was a good add on well worth it for the legacy games you could buy through the store.
I think I spent over $400 in controllers.. since got the original before motion plus, which seems high to me looking back. I would hope to spend half that on my next console for getting all 4 player controls.
The way games handle the controllers is fragmented. Games like super smash bros allow you to use either the nunchuk, or just the wii remote sideways (or even a gamecube controller). While the options are nice, the sideways wii remote is very ineffective, the B button is hard to trigger and such, so using nunchuk is easier, but the game won't tell you such. In this way, having a standardized controller like xbox or playstation, makes any game you play easier, just remember what button does what.
One hindrance on the nunchuk is children often .. catch their feet on the cord and like to yank on it, causing the plug to go bad. We only had to replace one so far though, so they are somewhat resilient.
Of course you have your Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong titles that are fun to play, and will draw people to the system. These are well done on the wii.
New Super Mario Bros having for the first time 4 players at once was such a great idea. I play that game the most, and we have anyone from 10-40 years old playing that, and they enjoy it so much.
The Mario Party titles are good. The games they added to work with the controllers are great! We only really play mini-games because the actual party gameboard was pretty boring and took too long.
The Wii Sports (and Resort) are fun, with the resort being much better as far as realism, and are interesting to those who don't normally like video games. Bowling especially, can even get old people playing, good move on Nintendo's part.
Super Smash Bros Wii is mostly what the kids and their friends play.. seemingly endless entertainment. Kids even want to go to the library because they have this game and want to see how good they are verses other kids.
Madden.. which while the controller made it somewhat fun, the gameplay was made.. very kiddish.. and the lack of resolution made it much harder to see what is going on compared to the ps3/xbox360 versions. 5v5 is all we play.. EA struck out here.
The graphics on other games that were merely ports, showcases the deficiency of high resolution.
Games that were designed for the system, like kirby epic yarn, appear much better.
Playing on a projector is ... not ideal. The controllers are the "reader" of the IR and the bar that you must place above or below the screen just has some IR lights inside it. So if you had a permanent projector spot, you can create your own bar and power it so it isn't even connected to the wii.
But, if you are taking your wii and hooking it up to a projector.. the AV cables have to reach the projector, and then the "sensor" bar has to be up by the projected image.. usually not ideal. Big tripping hazard.
I have added a hard drive to store all the games I have. With wiiflow it makes it so simple for young kids to pick which game they want to play. No changing of discs, and a lot faster load times.
The hacking isn't that difficult, and I have modified several for friends, and never had an issue getting it set up.
The major issue you have is when they release new channels or such and a game wants to run an update.. you have to be aware that it will usually break your modification and will have to start over.
The wii is not a media center.
It can get netflix on it, which we had used quite a while until we got a new TV. The layout with the pointing of the remote was very easy for pre-k kids to control. The setup netflix finally put in with the kids section showing the actors/characters made it so easy for shows to be found.
It doesn't play DVDs (nor blu-ray), nor can it play videos hosted on your LAN.
Hacking also opens up some media options, like playing a dvd, and streaming a video from a share, but the support is very limited, not all movies work. Even after modding, I won't use it for any media.
Very easy setup with the ends of the power, a/v etc having very different plugs so you cannot plug them in wrong. The connectors are very well done, they stay tight even if the wii is moved around some.
Since the controllers (non gamecube) are all wireless, and the snes classic controller plugs into a wii remote, the "cables running across the floor", or the "kid yanks controller and system flies off shelf" problems are gone.
We often backpack the wii up and take it places. The wii remotes and accessories fit well in the front zip of a backpack, while the system and the cables fit in the main compartment. (as we have the hard drive, we don't worry about the games).
The value seems to be steady, and while not many people are very interested in the WiiU, you can sell your wii pretty easily, especially the gamecube integrated version.
Video/Audio Quality 3/5