The birth of mainstream motion controls | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 AM, November 19, 2018


The birth of mainstream motion controls

The Nintendo Wii was released on this day back in 2006, and while you can't consider it a success in Bangladesh or South Asia, it was more than revolutionary, being the third most sold gaming console of all time. A lot of the Wii's massive success comes down to its gimmick however which was the Wii Remote that is, motion controls.

The Wii was the last console to come out in the seventh generation and while it wasn't even close to being as powerful as the Xbox 360 or Ps3, the Wii's focus on non-gamers worked wonders for the console. It sold around 101 million units and it made for a great past time for family gatherings and casual entertainment but there was just one problem – it was a gaming console that didn't appeal to gamers.

Except for a couple of first-party titles and some third party games, the Wii did not have the plethora of games that were available on the Xbox 360 and Ps3. While some of it can be attributed to Nintendo's marketing and relations with third-party developers at the time, the major issue was the fact that motion controls were first generation technology and Nintendo's reluctance to take risks with it.

The most notable games on the Wii are Wii Sports, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 and MadWorld. While MadWorld, a game developed exclusively for the Wii by PlatinumGames, was meant to capture a more mature audience, it was all in vain. While Nintendo was already established as a kid-centric company, no other Nintendo product has ever been as vocal about that fact as the Wii. It also says a lot about a console when it's most successful game, Wii Sports, comes pre-packaged with the hardware. The list of most successful games is all but shovelware now, with titles like Wii Fit and Wii Play being at the top. The most fun titles were the first part Zelda, Mario and Kirby games which implemented motion controls well into the pre-existing formula. But it was still not enough to warrant praise for the console as ultimately, the Wii never felt like a gaming console nor did it try to capture the interest of gamers. All of its most successful titles are either tech demos or don't pair well with motion controls and a 101 million console sales later, you wonder how the Wii took off in the first place.

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