When I first received a Nintendo Wii in the winter of 2008, one of the first accessories I’d come to notice was its trademarked Wii remote. Excited to finally try out the new console, I swung the world-famous remote around in my hands.
In terms how the remote works, it uses infrared technology in correspondence to a sensor bar that automatically comes with the Wii. When taken into consideration the time this remote came out, the technology in these remotes is absolutely groundbreaking.
Keep in mind that this is NOT your average TV remote. The design for this remote is very ergonomic compared to almost every other remote I’ve ever held.
At the top-left of the remote is the power button for the Wii Console. With this button you can turn you Wii on from a distance. Not too far below this is the D-pad—which doesn’t have much use unless you’re browsing Netflix, playing a primitive 8-bit game, or trying to move the camera in a regular Wii game.
One of the buttons you’ll be using the most is the A button—which you will most likely take advantage of when selecting and grabbing objects in games. Only a few millimeters below this button are the -, Home, and + buttons.
The + and – buttons serve the purpose of Start and Select buttons. In some cases, however, they can be used to zoom in (+) and out (-) of applications such as the Wii Weather Channel.
Right in between the + and – buttons is the Home button, which—as its name implies—ill bring you up to the Wii Menu or “home” of your console.
One of the Wiimote’s most famous features—besides its motion controls—is its front-face speaker. Almost every Wii game takes advantage of this speaker in some way, almost always when a specific action is performed in your game. While this speaker doesn’t need to be here, it’s nice to have it around. Although the Wiimote lacks in a strong vibrator, Nintendo makes up for this by adding the speaker.
The last two buttons of the front of the Wiimote are your 1 and 2 buttons. These buttons, however, usually don’t serve any purpose unless you’re holding the Wiimote sideways. In which case, the 1 and 2 buttons will feel much like the B and A buttons on the NES controller.
So far I’ve covered all the features on the front of the remote. But on the back remain a few features we haven’t gone through yet.
The first and most noticeable of these is the trigger-like B button. Sometimes in shooting games you’ll use this for firing your weapon. In most cases, however, you’ll use it for going backward in a game menu.
Now that I’ve covered all the buttons you’ll use in gameplay, I’ll go over a few extra features the remote offers.
Covering the entire bottom half of the remote is the Wiimote’s battery pack--which takes two AA batteries. I prefer to use Energizer’s Rechargeable batteries on my Wiimotes. Besides batteries, however, opening up this pack also reveals a small, red synchronization button. This button is used for when you receive a new remote and want to connect it to your Wii console.
Finally—for the last accessory of the remote: the wrist-strap. What’s the point of this wrist-strap? To keep players from throwing their Wiimotes halfway across the room when they become completely hooked in their games. This strap is used specifically so that you don’t hurt any passersby/the remote by accidentally throwing it out of your hands. Every Wii game you’ll play will give you a reminder to wear this strap during gameplay. I have to admit that even I found this wrist-strap helpful at certain points.
Overall, the Wiimote is by far the most revolutionary controller I’ve ever dealt with—not including the Kinect. But for its time, the Wiimote was Nintendo’s key to opening themselves to the motion control industry.
Final score: 8/10