is a home video game console
released by Nintendo
on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation
console, the Wii competes with Microsoft
's Xbox 360
's PlayStation 3
. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic
than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2012, the Wii led the generation over PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, and in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.
The Wii has many advanced features compared to previous Nintendo consoles. For example, the primary wireless controller (the Wii Remote) can be used as a handheld pointing device and detects movement in three dimensions. Another notable feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. Furthermore, it is the first console to offer the Virtual Console service, with which select emulated games from past systems can be downloaded.
It succeeds the Nintendo GameCube, with early models being fully backward-compatible with all GameCube games and most accessories. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled it at the 2005 E3. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets.
In late 2011 Nintendo released a reconfigured model, the "Wii Family Edition", which removed Nintendo GameCube compatibility; this model was not released in Japan. Its successor, the Wii U, was released during the fourth quarter of 2012. The Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the compact SNES, succeeded the standard Wii model on December 7, 2012 in Canada.