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The State of Your Wii

by Nicholas Bray, Andrew Brown, James Dawson, David Egolf, James Jones, Josh Max, Zachary Miller, and Scott Thompson - August 18, 2012, 4:49 pm EDT
Total comments: 20

With the Wii U looming, the staff of NWR comment on the condition of their Wii.

Simultaneously an unexpected commercial smash and a critical whipping boy, the Wii hasn't exactly had the smoothest lifespan. The six year old console was a step behind its competitors in tech right from the start and experienced long lulls between noteworthy games. Making matters worse, this final year before the launch of the Wii U has been bone dry in terms of software, with the only exception being Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story finally arriving in North America. The old white box isn't drifting quietly into the night; it has been buried alive.

Despite a great library of games, the lack of serious support in 2012, as well as some hardware issues, got us talking about what it is our Wii consoles are doing these days. Below, you'll find write-ups from a handful of Nintendo World Report editors who share the current status of their Wii consoles. From barely functioning and barely used to recently acquired and constantly running, these stories relay the experience of Wii owners who are all waiting on the console's death knell: the release of the Wii U.

Scott Thompson's Wii

My Wii, seen above completing the Wii360 meme, has had a good, long run. This is technically my second Wii; the original launch day unit I purchased bricked with the first system update, and a week later I received this new one from Nintendo of America. The console has traveled from my mom's basement to my first apartment and now rests in the living room of my house, awaiting retirement. Unfortunately, a few months ago, it lost the ability to read dual-layer discs, which means it can't play the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles or Skyward Sword, but it's still good for some Donkey Kong Country Returns and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It will remain in my entertainment center, hooked up and ready to go, until the Wii U arrives.

Nicholas Bray's Wii

My Wii has been hooked up ever since the launch. The console itself has continued to work perfectly for me and has served me well over the past five or so years. Granted, my Wii actually hasn't been used as heavily as my Cube and N64 were, but I have still managed to use it quite a bit and have amassed a fairly large collection of games.

Andrew Brown's Wii

My TV has three consoles and two disc players hooked up to it, and I can still safely say my Wii is the most used of them all. I got it back at launch, and it has been hooked up and in use ever since. It went to the repair shop once when the disc drive started buzzing loudly and giving read errors, but apart from that, no problems. On the software side of things, yes, I do have Homebrew Channel installed so that I can play and review import games and run translation patches (Fatal Frame 4, baby!), and I keep a 16gb SD card in there to hold a multitude of Virtual Console games and experimental homebrew software. No HDD loaders; winners don't pirate games. I've been using the 3rd Earth remote charger for close to three years, saving a fortune on batteries since then! It's the console of choice for running my GameCube collection as well - check out the sweet Platinum Wavebird I got from Japan!

James Dawson's Wii

My launch system is still running strong, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. And unlike many Wii systems, mine hasn’t had a huge amount of time to rest. With 42 games and counting, it’s my most played console, despite the fact that I own both a PS3 and an Xbox 360. Only my handhelds get more use than my Wii.

David Egolf's Wii

Not the most exciting story, but I just ended up in possession of a Wii and a few games yesterday. I've had it hooked up since then and have been hard pressed to find time for anything else. Haven't had any time for any fancy unlocking/homebrewing, but I have been enjoying netflix without the need to either use my phone or laptop.

James Jones's Wii

My Wii is a launch day unit. It's currently hooked up. I played it yesterday. I've been engaging in the pursuit of games I missed. For the last year it has been sustained by import games.

Josh Max's Wii

I got my Wii within the first week of launch. The bad boy has seen some action, lemme tell you. Currently my TV is hooked up to my Wii and PS3 and my Wii has seen far more playtime to date. No HDD loaders or Homebrew channels over here. The old boy's never seen a repair shop, either. He never needed it. It's my go to console for GameCube games, although I don't always turn to it when I wanna play some N64. I have, however, gotten as many Mario Party games on it as possible. My Wii's been yelled at so many times over coins and stars that it's almost laughable. Almost (coins and stars are no laughing matter). The old boy's lasted me quite some time. Gotta say, I've been pretty pleased.

Zach Miller's Wii

No good thing lasts forever. Sometime in 2010, my launch-day Wii decided it just couldn’t go on living. It refused to boot past the “Press A to continue” screen. Sometimes it wouldn’t even get there. It wouldn’t read disks. It wouldn’t boot from the SD card. It wouldn’t play VC or WiiWare games. Clearly, something was horribly wrong. Knowing that I’d face a steep repair fee were I to send in the ailing system, I hopped instead on a wholly original plan: purchase, on Black Thursday Night, a studious new blue Wii at Wal-Mart that didn’t have GameCube support. My plan was to simply tell Nintendo of America my plight, whereupon they would surely just transfer whatever they needed to transfer from my account to my new blue Wii. After the purchase, I called NOA and spent a long time talking to three different people only to find, to my horror, that they couldn’t simply transfer my digital content, but instead, I would have to send in the old Wii for repairs—which I was trying to avoid. But they did agree to give me a significant discount (as it was my birthday) and waive the shipping fee. I got my white Wii back five days later—a stunning turnaround. Happy as a clam, I booted up my rejuvenated Wii only to witness shock and horror: my VC and WiiWare games were gone. All of the save information—for ALL MY GAMES—was gone, though I was able to re-download all of my digital games. I never took back the blue Wii. It was only $100, and it looks really cool. Both systems have separate purposes now. I only play digital games and GameCube games on the launch Wii, and I only play disc-based games on the blue Wii. My hope is that, with two systems sharing the workload, both of them will last longer than either one would on its own.


Those are our stories, but what about you? Be sure to tell us about the state of your Wii in the comments!



My Wii is: 2008 vintage, sent my roommate at the time to another country to get it (OK, the US)
Still hooked up: Yep.
Still getting work: Yes. Virtual Console largely, but also seeing some RPG play (about to start Sakura Wars).

AVAugust 18, 2012

still supporting launch one, the GCN memory card cover flap broke off. It runs fine, at times a little slow but still pretty good.

purevalAugust 18, 2012

I have one from just after launch (late December or early January) and it has no problems yet. I used it pretty heavily a few years back when my computer died and it was my only means of accessing the internet. As of late my son plays a few of his games on it and I play when I have the free time, which is not often.

JRokujuushiAugust 18, 2012

I got my Wii close to launch (I was one of the suckers who paid extra on eBay to get one earlier).  It's been hooked up almost constantly and it's served me fairly well since then.  A few months ago it started ejecting discs when I tried putting them in, but I just unplugged it and it worked again the next day.  (I think the WiiConnect24 functionality was heating up the system and the heat was just enough to put something in the disc loader out of whack.  I no longer use WiiConnect24 and it doesn't heat up any more when I'm not playing games.)

TizonaAugust 18, 2012

My Wii is a launch day unit, with a super sweet  wood panel decal set on it to make it look like a piece of late 70's furniture.

It only half works.

Mine has the same issue that Zach says he had with his unit, that being about a week before Xenoblade hit, I fired it up to find it froze up after the "press A" screen everytime. Sometimes not even getting there.
Fortunately there IS a workaround for this that I had never heard of until searching for solutions online.
If you hold down the " " and "-" buttons on the "press A" screen and then press A, you Wii will boot up in a sort of "safe mode". Strangely, the only thing I could find that this disabled was the uses of the Message Board (oh no!),
but both disk and digital games, even from the SD card, booted up fine, and I just recently put my 113 hours of Xenoblade behind me.

I have a PS3 but it's the one collecting dust (except netflix) and I'm looking forward to getting Last Story pretty soon and riding the wave all the way to WiiU!

joshnickersonAugust 18, 2012

Still playing mine, in fact I had some friends over last week to play Rayman Origins, which quickly devolved into a slapping match. I sadly don't have much time to play anything these days; I have yet to even crack open Xenoblade, which is yet another daunting game on my looming backlog.

I'd never heard of a "safe mode" for the Wii, Tizona, but I'll keep that in mind if I ever run across an issue like that! Thanks!

broodwarsAugust 18, 2012

I received my Wii in Spring of 2007, and w/ the brief exception of a days' play at Rhythm Fever Heaven (upon which I decided I really didn't like the game) my Wii's been collecting dust on my shelf or otherwise not in my possession (i.e. loaned out to my best friend, who plays VC games on it) since Xenoblade released in Europe last year.  And before that, I don't think I had even turned my Wii on (except to download Chrono Trigger) since DKC Returns a year prior.

As for how well the thing works, very early on in my ownership I had to send my Wii in to Nintendo to be fixed because the disc drive was breaking down (it was being very noisy) but otherwise it's worked just fine.  It does constantly make a very noticeable clicking sound as I play The Last Story, though.

Hooking up my Wii to play The Last Story brought a rather depressing thought to mind: when I was a child, I used to blow on my Nintendo console as part of a common ritual to get the damn thing to work.  Now that I'm an adult, I blow on my Nintendo console to get all the dust off it from not being used.  My how the times have changed.  :-\

DremmyAugust 18, 2012

Mine is also a launch day purchase. I didn't pre-order it like everyone else did. I went from store to store to see if they had any for general release. All the stores I went to only had pre-order quantities except one; Toys R Us. I ended up being the second in a line of about 30 people and the first to purchase a Wii at that store.

I only use mine to watch Netflix and only play Virtual Console games every blue moon. I like using the Wii for Netflix due to the remote-like quality of the Wii-mote.

It functions just fine for me with one exception. Once every few months the Wii refuses to shut down when asked to shut down. It goes black and just doesn't shut off. I have to unplug it to get it to do anything further. It's not a big deal since it doesn't happen very often. Other than that, thumbs up.

yoshi1001August 18, 2012

I had my Wii repaired earlier this year because of Netflix. When the console stopped working, I tried using my iPhone 4 and sending it to my TV, but the interface just isn't as good there. I considered just getting a new Wii, but I didn't want to give up my VC games.

BlkPaladinAugust 19, 2012

My two launch day Wii consoles are still going. I'm also currently going through my backlog.

NinSageAugust 19, 2012

We got our Wii during its second Holiday on the market.  Haven't had a pause in gaming activity or any hardware issues since day one.

By the way, I find it hiiiiiiilarious when articles/people say the Wii lagged behind in terms of technology.  Since when is the only measure of technology raw horsepower?  The wiimote is one of the biggest technological breakthroughs in gaming.  Giving motion control mass appeal and a serious range of (albeit imperfect) functionality?  That's the kind of tech that changes the course of an industry.  Move and Kinect showed that it was, in fact, the other companies who had to play technological catch-up.  Meanwhile, the Wii HD only had to ever exist inside Michael Pachter's head. =P

I didn't submit for this feature, but I'm pleased to say that after being unloved for a while and then breaking, my Wii is back in the saddle again.

However, I did put it on its side instead of using the stand, which I had done since launch prior. It fits snugly right in between a side of my TV and the TV stand.

My Japanese Wii is currently on the floor in front of the tv with a USB keyboard cable hanging from it and the USB drive with DQX on it jutting out the back. It's been on nearly 24/7 since DQX came out. My American launch day Wii on the other hand, while still working, has been collecting dust since I finished Okami over New Years.

LudicrousDa3veAugust 19, 2012

I'm on my second; the launch unit wouldn't play dual layer discs, and after a fun fiasco with FedEx 'losing' it, I got a free replacement. This one has seen better days, though. It refuses to play dual layers now, and I occasionally get a "System Files are Corrupted" message on startup. A restart (or several attempts) does the trick.
    She's seen countless hours of use, journeyed around the country, and been dropped pretty hard by the kids a couple of times. I'll retire it when the WiiU drops... it's been a great six years!

DaemonrunnerAugust 20, 2012

Wii is still hooked up and still works like a charm!  It was actually an impulse buy Wii.  I got it in January 2007 when they were still in short supply.  I was walking around Wal-Mart and noticed they had 2 left, so I HAD to get it out of principle!

Just recently played a little Skyward Sword Hero Mode after my Club Nintendo Golden Nunchuk came in the mail!  ;D

One of these days I will actually pick up Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story...perhaps after I finish Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection...we'll see!  I have a ton of Virtual Console games I would like to finish and I recently realized I still have to get through the entire 150cc Circuit in Mario Kart Wii and I never finished Title Defense in Punch-Out!!

So many games, so little time.

OblivionAugust 20, 2012

My current Wii is a black one I got about...two years ago? Thanks to the first one dying because of Brawl.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)August 20, 2012

Launch unit still works for me, albeit with the caveat that any time I unplug it (usually to move it between houses), it fails to read the disc the very first time I launch the Disc Channel after I plug it in, then after that, it runs absolutely fine. No idea why that happens, although I know that Andy Goergen wrote a blog post about this same phenomenon a while ago. Apparently, the Wii doesn't like to be unplugged!

Vrgin XAugust 20, 2012

Got mine 6 months after launch, had games for it before I got it.

Own 72 games for it, played only a third. Guess what I'm playing on Wii U for awhile...

TaffypoolAugust 20, 2012

Got mine in mid-07 on a whim and a hunch. Have about twenty-five games knocked down in full (or almost in full), a lot of Netflix and A LOT of the Nintendo Channel (R.I.P. Nintendo Week! I miss you!). It's still going strong and I doubt I'll pick up the Wii U, do I look forward to bargain-binning a bunch of titles I still haven't played. And hitting the VC and WiiWare some more too.

Love the Wii. My favorite console to date.

EDIT: No real problems to-date as far as functionality. Sakura Wars: So Long My Love locks up sometimes, but I suspect that's a disc issue (and it doesn't show up on my game log! Lame...). My remote charging station is on its last leg. Takes perfect positioning on the cradle to get it to recharge.

Pixelated PixiesAugust 21, 2012

I'll just give you all a quick run down.

Purchased in 2007.
The system has never played dual layer discs consistently.
I hacked the system in 2008 so that I could get Smash Bros early (there was a delay in Europe) and so that I could play the bloody version of No More Heroes.
I have purchased an embarrassing amount of VC and Wiiware games and constantly worry that the system will stop working and all my games will be lost.
The only online games I've enjoyed on the system were Mario Kart Wii and Goldeneye.
I have three Wii remotes and three Classic Controllers.
The last retail game I played on the system was Beat the Beat (Rhythm Heaven: Paradise).
For the past 2 years my system has been sitting horizontally.

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