A Wii console running a GameCube disc is restricted to GameCube functionality, and a GameCube controller is required to play GameCube titles. A Nintendo GameCube Memory Card is also necessary to save game progress and content, since the Wii internal flash memory will not save GameCube games. Also, backward compatibility is limited in some areas. For example, online and LAN-enabled features for Nintendo GameCube titles are unavailable on the Wii, since the console lacks serial ports for the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter. The Game Boy Player will also not fully work with the Wii, as the console lacks the port needed to connect the Wii to the player and due to design differences between the 2 consoles.
The Wii has received generally positive reviews. The system was well received after its exhibition at E3 2006. At the event, Nintendo's console won the  Also, backward compatibility is limited in some areas. For example, online and LAN-enabled features for Nintendo GameCube titles are unavailable on the Wii, since the console lacks serial ports for the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter. The Game Boy Player will also not fully work with the Wii, as the console lacks the port needed to connect the Wii to the player and due to design differences between the 2 consoles.
The Wii has received generally positive reviews. The system was well received after its exhibition at E3 2006. At the event, Nintendo's console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. In the December 2006 issue of Popular Science, the console was named a Grand Award Winner in home entertainment. Spike TV's Video Games Award cited the Wii's breakthrough technology. GameSpot chose the console as having the best hardware in its "Best and Worst 2006" awards. The system was also chosen as one of PC World magazine's 20 Most Innovative Products of the Year. The console received a Golden Joystick for Innovation of the Year 2007 at the Golden Joystick Awards. In the category of Engineering & Technology for Creation and Implementation of Video Games and Platforms, Nintendo was awarded an Emmy Award for Game Controller Innovation by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2009, IGN named the Wii the 10th greatest console of all time (out of 25).
The Wii's success caught third-party developers by surprise, lead
The Wii's success caught third-party developers by surprise, leading to apologies for the quality of their early games. In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot and Alain Corre admitted that they made a mistake in rushing out their launch titles, promising to take future projects more seriously. Take-Two Interactive, which released few games for the GameCube, changed its stance towards Nintendo by placing a higher priority on the Wii.
At the same time, criticism of the Wii Remote and Wii hardware specifications had surfaced. Former GameSpot editor and Giantbomb.com founder Jeff Gerstmann stated that the controller's speaker produces low-quality sound, while Factor 5 President Julian Eggebrecht criticized the hardware audio as substandard for a console of its generation. UK-based developer Free Radical Design stated that the Wii hardware lacks the power necessary to run the software it scheduled for release on other seventh-generation consoles. Online connectivity of the Wii was also criticized; Matt Casamassina of IGN compared it to the "entirely unintuitive" service provided for the Nintendo DS.
Game designer and The Sims creator Will Wright shared his thoughts on the Wii in the context of the seventh console generation: "The only next gen system I've seen is the Wii – the PS3 and the Xbox 360 feel like better versions of the last, but pretty much the same game with incremental improvement. But the Wii feels like a major jump – not that the graphics are more powerful, but that it hits a completely different demographic."
The Wii is seen as more physically demanding than other game consoles. Some Wii players have experienced a form of tennis elbow, known as "Wiiitis". A study published in the British Medical Journal stated that Wii players use more energy than they do playing sedentary computer games. While this energy increase may be beneficial to weight management, it was not an adequate replacement for regular exercise. A case study published in the American Physical Therapy Association's journal, Physical Therapy, focused on use of the Wii for rehabilitation in a teenager with cerebral palsy. It is believed to be the first published research demonstrating physical-therapy benefits from use of the gaming system. Researchers say the system complements traditional techniques through use of simultaneous gaming rehabilitation efforts. In May 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed the Wii to encourage sedentary people to take the first step toward fitness. The AHA heart icon covers the console and two of its more-active games, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort.
By 2008, two years after the Wii's release, Nintendo acknowledged several limitations and challenges with the system (such as the perception that the system catered primarily to a "casual" audience and was unpopular among "core" gamers). Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that the lack of support for high definition video output on the Wii and its limited network infrastructure also contributed to the system being regarded separately from its competitors' systems, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Miyamoto originally defended Nintendo's decision to not include HD graphics in the Wii, stating that the number of HDTV's in people's homes at the time was "really not that high, yet. Of course I think five years down the road it would be pretty much a given that Nintendo would create an HD system, but right now the predominant television set in the world is a non-HD set." Miyamoto said in an interview with Japanese magazine 4Gamer in 2013 that he regretted not giving the Wii HD graphics.
An executive for Frontline Studios stated that major publishers were wary of releasing exclusive titles for the Wii, due to the perception that third-party companies were not strongly supported by consumers. In his blog, 1UP.com editor Jeremy Parish stated that Nintendo was the biggest disappointment for him in 2007. Commenting on the lack of quality third-party support, he stated that "the Wii landscape is bleak. Worse than it was on N64. Worse than on GameCube...the resulting third-party content is overwhelmingly bargain-bin trash." The Globe and Mail and Forbes noted that the Wii had few successful third-party titles compared to its rivals (due, in part, to its weaker hardware). Third-party developers often skipped the Wii instead of making games for all three consoles simultaneously ("blockbusters like the Call of Duty franchise either never arrive on Nintendo hardware or show up in neutered form"). Forbes observed that of the most successful games of 2011 (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Portal 2, L.A. Noire, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), although all were released for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, only Modern Warfare 3 received a Wii version which was also the least positively received port of the game. The lack of third-party games may be exacerbated in the future, as Nintendo faces the "dilemma of having fallen out of sync with its rivals in the console cycle"; Microsoft and Sony would design their consoles to be more powerful than the Wii U. Strong third-party titles are seen as a key sign of a gaming console's health.
The Globe and Mail, in suggesting why Nintendo posted a record loss of $926 million for the initial six months of its 2011–2012 fiscal year, blamed the Wii's design for being "short-sighted". The Wii initially enjoyed phenomenal success because it was inexpensive (due to its being less sophisticated than its competitors) and introduced a "gaming gimmick". However, this approach meant that the Wii's hardware soon became outdated and could not keep up long-term (in contrast to more-advanced rivals such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which were expected to continue doing well in 2012–2013) "as both user desires and surrounding technologies evolved" later in the generation. Furthermore, price cuts and the introduction of motion-sensor controllers for the Xbox 360 and PS3 nullified advantages once held by the Wii. The Globe suggested that there were other reasons for Nintendo's poor financial performance, including a strong yen and a tepid reception to the Nintendo 3DS handheld as mobile gaming became popular on smartphones and tablets, such as the iPad.
Since its launch, monthly sales numbers of the console were generally higher than its competitors around the globe. On November 28, 2006, Nintendo reported that it had sold over 600,000 consoles in the first eight days of launch in the Americas, making it Nintendo's largest console launch until the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Including the sales of accessories and games, Nintendo's Wii-related revenue had hit $190 million in its first week. Japan initially received 400,000 Wii consoles, and sold an estimated 372,000 units in two days, with Wii Sports and Wii Play being th
Since its launch, monthly sales numbers of the console were generally higher than its competitors around the globe. On November 28, 2006, Nintendo reported that it had sold over 600,000 consoles in the first eight days of launch in the Americas, making it Nintendo's largest console launch until the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Including the sales of accessories and games, Nintendo's Wii-related revenue had hit $190 million in its first week. Japan initially received 400,000 Wii consoles, and sold an estimated 372,000 units in two days, with Wii Sports and Wii Play being the best-selling games. While many PlayStation 3 consoles were resold on online auctions for a much higher price, the average Wii price on Yahoo! Auctions were only 30,000 ¥ (USD: $260). This is perhaps because more people wanted to use the consoles, rather than resell them, as the Wii software tie ratio was 1.69. Nintendo announced on December 13, 2006 that the Wii had sold 325,000 units across Europe in its first two days of availability and had sold 33,000 units in Australia in its first six days of availability, making it the fastest selling console across the entire European continent and the largest launch of a video game system in Australia. By the end of 2006, the Wii had sold 3.19 million units worldwide.
According to the NPD Group, the Wii sold more units in the United States than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined in the first half of 2007. This lead was even larger in the Japanese market, where it led in total sales (having outsold both consoles by factors of 2:1 to 6:1 nearly every week from its launch to November 2007). In Australia the Wii broke the record set by the Xbox 360 and became the fastest-selling game console in Australian history, selling 32,901 units within the first four days of the console's release. It also broke the 360's Australian record for the quickest amount of time to sell 100,000 units, reaching the milestone within six months and two weeks. The Wii became the fastest selling console in the United Kingdom at the time, selling 1 million units in just 38 weeks after launch.
On September 12, 2007, the Financial Times reported that the Wii had surpassed the Xbox 360 (released a year earlier) and had become market leader in home-console sales for the seventh generation, based on sales figures from Enterbrain, NPD Group and GfK. This was the first time a Nintendo console led its generation in sales since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
On July 11, 2007, Nintendo warned that the Wii would remain in short supply throughout that calendar year. In December, Reggie Fils-Aimé revealed that Nintendo was producing approximately 1.8 million Wii consoles each month. Some UK stores still had a shortage of consoles in March 2007, demand still outpaced supply in the United States in June 2007, and the console was "selling out almost as quickly as it hits retail shelves" in Canada in April 2008. In Singapore, local distributor Maxsoft said that 2,000 consoles were sold in the first two days of retail, much greater than for the launches of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and that many preorders remained unfulfilled due to a low stock inventory. In October 2008 Nintendo announced that between October and December the Wii would have its North American supplies increased considerably from 2007 levels, while producing 2.4 million Wii units a month worldwide (compared to 1.6 million per month in 2007).
In the United States the Wii had sold 10.9 million units by July 1, 2008, making it the leader in seventh generation home console sales according to the NPD Group (and surpassing the Xbox 360).
In Japan, the Wii surpassed the number of GameCube units sold by January 2008; it sold 7,526,821 units by December 2008, according to Enterbrain. According to the NPD Group the Wii surpassed the Xbox 360 to become the best-selling "next-generation" home video-game console in Canada (with 813,000 units sold by April 1, 2008), and was the best-selling home console for 13 of the previous 17 months. According to the NPD Group the Wii had sold a total of 1,060,000 units in Canada by August 2008, making it the first seventh generation home console to surpass the million-unit mark in that country. In the United Kingdom the Wii lead in seventh generation home-console sales with 4.9 million units sold as of January 3, 2009[update], according to GfK Chart-Track. On March 25, 2009 at the Game Developers Conference, Satoru Iwata said that worldwide shipments of Wii had reached 50 million. According to GfK Australia, the Wii had sold over 500,000 units in Australia within 84 weeks of its release, beating the PlayStation 2 and the DS as the fastest system to accumulate 500,000 sales in that country.
While Microsoft and Sony have experienced losses producing their consoles in the hopes of making a long-term profit on software sales, Nintendo reportedly has optimized production costs to obtain a significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold. On September 17, 2007, the Financial Times reported that the direct profit per Wii sold may vary, from $13 in Japan to $49 in the United States and $79 in Europe. On December 2, 2008, Forbes reported that Nintendo made a $6 operating profit per Wii unit sold.
On September 23, 2009, Nintendo announced its first price reductions for the console. Nintendo sold more than three million Wii consoles in the U.S. in December 2009 (setting a regional record for the month and ending nine months of declining sales), due to the price cut and software releases such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii. On January 31, 2010 the Wii became the best-selling home video-game console produced by Nintendo, with sales of over 67 million units (surpassing those of the original Nintendo Entertainment System).
In 2010, sales of the Wii began to decline, falling by 21 percent from the previous year. The Wii continued to decline in 2011, with Nintendo's quarterly revenue dropping by 41 percent. Despite a slowdown in sales, Nintendo reported that on Black Friday in 2011, over 500,000 Wii consoles were sold, making it the most successful Black Friday in the Wii's history. Wii sales declined even further in 2012, having decreased by half from 2011. The Wii Mini sold 35,700 units in its first two months of availability in Canada after being released on December 7, 2012.
The Wii surpassed 100 million units sold on June 30, 2013, selling 210,000 units between March and June 2013.
There were lawsuits concerning the Wii console, Wii Remote, and other accessories.
Lonestar Inventions, L.P., a Texas-based company, sued Nintendo in June 2006, claiming that the company copied one of Lonestar's patented capacitor designs and used it in the Wii console. The two companies agreed to dismiss all claims by July 20, 2009, alongside a settlement made between Lonestar and AMD, which provided Nintendo's microprocessor technology; whether the Lonestar-Nintendo dismissal included any out-of-court settlement terms was not clear.