Can you believe it's already been two whole years since Nintendo launched the Wii in North America? What heady times! The Yanks were still reeling from the PlayStation 3 launch two days prior, still making off-colour Wii puns, confident that they'd be able to stroll into a Best Buy, Target or GameCube Hut and walk away with one of the many Wiis that would be available at retailers nationwide. And they'd pay for it with the winnings from their recently auctioned-off PS3.
Obviously, that didn't happen.
What did happen was that a fraction of the now 13 million-plus strong U.S. Wii user base went home with copies of Wii Sports, Excite Truck and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, ushering in the Age of Waggle, changing the game forever. The rest waited in lines, camped outside electronics stores for the next shipment and watched as Wii fever swept a nation.
Since then, the console has seen major releases from Nintendo, including Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Fit, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Mario Kart Wii. Nintendo has added new platforms to its Virtual Console service, launched WiiWare, shipped a slew of hardware peripherals, and announced a sequel to the console's biggest hit in Wii Sports Resort.
Third parties have seen success — critical or financial, but not always both — with Wii offerings like Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Okami, Red Steel, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, de Blob, Trauma Center: New Blood and No More Heroes. And the shovelware? Oh, God, the shovelware!
In just two years, Nintendo has gone from third place from the previous generation to an uncontested first, outpacing its nearest console competitor by nearly 2 million units. Not bad for a console that know-it-all gamers derided for its TV remote-like controller and a couple of GameCubes slapped together.
We and the Imagine Party Babyz wish you a happy second birthday, Wii.