New console launches are always slightly farcical events with queues of adoring fans, the specialist press and even mainstream press all converging on one manic day. Indeed, it's one the few times when the games industry receives any significant mainstream news coverage, though such coverage is often little more than reinforcing the idea that gaming is the sole preserve of geeks, teenage boys and social outcasts. That is, until Nintendo's Wii.
Once codenamed Revolution, Wii has already done much to open consumers’ eyes to the potential delights of gaming. It eschews the quest for “photo realism” and is not only fun to play but looks like fun too. It's a unique selling point, and record sales in the UK and worldwide suggest it to be one people are truly interested in.
Long gone are the days when you could plug in a new console and just start gaming, but Wii comes as close to that ideal as you're ever likely to get these days. Out of the box Nintendo provides pretty much everything you could need, including the Wii Sports game, to get you playing immediately.
All the usual items are included with an external power supply, composite cables and a SCART adapter all present. The lack of component video cable is always a disappointment, but not a great surprise given the lower tech nature of Wii. A ready synchronised Wii Remote and Nunchuk are also included in the package, along with a pair of decent quality alkaline batteries to power them.
There's also the Sensor Bar, which makes it possible for you to point at the screen using the remote. The Sensor Bar itself is relatively inconspicuous and can be placed above or below your TV. Nintendo also includes a stand and extra adhesive pads for securing the bar, though you don't actually need them. Its cable is very thin and, at just over 3.5 metres long, is sufficient for the majority of media setups.