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The Nintendo Wii was released in November of 2006. We are just about two months shy of the one-year anniversary of the Wii’s original release in the US. And at a time when Microsoft’s X-BOX 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 are all out for gamers to choose, the Wii has stood out and manages to remain the hottest console on the market, leaving 360 and PS3 in its proverbial dust. But what is it about the Wii? What does this system have that the others don’t, especially a system that doesn’t have as large of a focus on third party games? Why do retail stores sell out of the system as soon as they get it in?

Right off the bat, you have to look at economics. You have to pay upwards of $350 for a X-BOX 360. The PS3? The original 60 gig hard drive PS3 system when some stores dropped the 20 gig hard drive version cost over $600, and that’s not even factoring in a $59.99 priced game. The Wii came onto the scene at a much more reasonably priced $249.99. And it came with a game, Wii Sports. So gamers were not just getting a system, but a game to start with as well.

But what about the games? When X-BOX 360 has a much bigger library to choose from? And the graphical power of the PS3 is second to none? Well here’s the thing about the games on the Wii. What they lack in pretty graphical CG imagery, they make up for in fun-factor and game-play. Wii Sports is not a terribly complicated or visually breathtaking game to look at, but I went over to a friend’s house after he had just gotten the Wii, and we had a great night of playing Wii Sports which is simply very fun and easy to get into. The Nintendo Wii simply captures the simple enjoyment and fun in gaming.

The revolutionary controls allow gamers more interactivity with the game than ever before, another thing lacking in the competing consoles. The games are more active than passive now, that might actually require the gamer to get off their feet and get more invested in what they are playing. And that’s pretty exciting. Getting down to the wire in a bowling match in Wii Sports can be quite tense.

Wii games are fun for all ages in way that PS3 and X-BOX 360 are not. The system plays to a much wider demographic than PS3 or 360. More families buy or want to buy the Wii than they do any other console. More of the kid and family-friendly titles will be available on the Wii. But what hardcore adult gamer doesn’t like the Zelda or Metroid game franchises? So the Wii games cater to both the older and younger crowd as well.

In short, I’m looking to more continued greatness, fun, and popularity from the Wii with the coming holiday season. And I hope to get Smash Brothers Brawl as a Hanukkah present. Another price drop could make the Wii an even bigger economical choice than it currently is. While 360 has certainly carved it’s niche for now, and PS3 finds itself well behind, the Wii still dominates almost a year later.