Take away all the cables and plugs and extra bits, and you'll have the Wii itself: a pretty white box with a pretty white remote.
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Look for this box on the shelves of your favorite electronics or game store. The name says it all.
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The $250 Wii system comes with the console, a Wiimote with nunchuck attachment, Wii Sports, a sensor bar, a power cord, an A/V cable, and a base for the Wii.
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It's hard to deny that Nintendo's new system bears more than a small resemblance to the products of another well-known electronics company.
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The Wii's tiny sensor bar is a far cry from the ugly plank NES Power Glove users had to strap to their televisions. The bar is about the size of two pens laid end to end and can be placed above or below your television.
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The Wii's slot-loading drive can take both full-size Wii discs and the GameCube's smaller game discs.
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Powering the sensors, the accelerometers, the speaker, and the force feedback are two humble AA batteries. The Wii doesn't come with a controller charger, so you might want to invest in a set of rechargeable NiMHs.
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Secure Digital cards are readily available and inexpensive and are used by the Wii to store save files and Virtual Console games. It's a much handier setup than the more expensive, proprietary memory cards of older consoles.
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The Wii supports full backward compatibility with the Nintendo GameCube, so you can play classic games such as Wind Waker, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and Metroid Prime.
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The back side of the Wii includes a handful of connections. The red port connects to the sensor bar, the vertical black port connects to your television, and the horizontal black port plugs into the power outlet. Finally, those two USB ports near the top give the Wii some expansion options.
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Besides Wiimotes and SD cards, the Wii can use up to four GameCube controllers and two GameCube memory cards at a time.
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Nintendo players no longer worry only about finger cramps from clutching their controllers tightly. Now with the Wiimote and nunchuck, they just have to worry about flailing around looking vaguely ridiculous.
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Not all games require the nunchuck adapter. Certain games such as Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Excite Truck, and Wii Sports Bowling, Golf, Tennis, and Baseball can be played with just the Wiimote itself.
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The Wii comes with Wii Sports, a collection of five sports games (Baseball, Tennis, Bowling, Boxing, and Golf). While none of the games are very complicated, their simple and infectious nature have the potential to turn Wii Sports into this generation's Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge.
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With games such as Wii Sports and Madden 07 offering multiplayer options, you might want to pick up a spare Wiimote for around $40. It might seem a bit steep, but can you truly put a price on friendship?
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The nunchuck attachment might not be as necessary as the Wiimote itself, but if you need a spare, it can be found for around $20.
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Unlike the tiny discs the GameCube used, the Nintendo Wii uses full, DVD-size discs. Don't be fooled by their size and shape, though; the Wii doesn't currently play DVD movies.