The Wii[g] (/wiː/ WEE) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. It was first released on November 19, 2006, in North America and in December 2006 for most other regions. It is Nintendo's fifth major home game console, following the GameCube, and is a seventh generation home console alongside Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.
In developing the Wii, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata directed the company to avoid competing with Microsoft and Sony on computational graphics and power and instead to target a broader demographic of players through novel gameplay. Game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda led the console's development under the codename Revolution. The primary controller for the Wii is the Wii Remote, a wireless controller with both motion sensing and traditional controls which can be used as a pointing device towards the television screen or for gesture recognition. The Wii was the first Nintendo console to directly support Internet connectivity, supporting both online games and for digital distribution of games and media applications through the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii also supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS handheld console for selected games. Initial Wii models included full backward compatibility support for the GameCube. Later in its lifecycle, two lower-cost Wii models were produced: a revised model with the same design as the original Wii but removed the GameCube compatibility features, and the Wii Mini, a compact, budget redesign of the Wii which further removed features including online connectivity and SD card storage.
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