Wii Sports

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Wii Sports
Wii Sports Europe.jpg
European box art depicting the game avatars, Miis, playing the five sports: (clockwise from top left) boxing, bowling, golf, baseball, and tennis
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
  • Keizo Ohta
  • Takayuki Shimamura
  • Yoshikazu Yamashita
Designer(s) Junji Morii
Programmer(s) Tsutomu Kaneshige
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Series Wii
Platform(s) Wii
  • NA: November 19, 2006
  • JP: December 2, 2006
  • AU: December 7, 2006
  • EU: December 8, 2006
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Wii Sports [lower-alpha 1] is a 2006 sports video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game was released in North America along with the Wii on November 19, 2006, and was released in Japan, Australia, and Europe the following month. It was included as a pack-in game with the console in all territories except Japan and South Korea, making it the first sports game included with the launch of a Nintendo system since Mario's Tennis for the Virtual Boy in 1995. Wii Sports is available on its own as part of the Nintendo Selects collection of games.

A sports game is a video game genre that simulates the practice of sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sports, track and field, extreme sports and combat sports. Some games emphasize actually playing the sport, whilst others emphasize strategy and sport management. Some, such as Need for Speed, Arch Rivals and Punch-Out!!, satirize the sport for comic effect. This genre has been popular throughout the history of video games and is competitive, just like real-world sports. A number of game series feature the names and characteristics of real teams and players, and are updated annually to reflect real-world changes. Sports genre is one of the oldest genres in gaming history.

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Wii home video game console produced by Nintendo in 2006

The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, with more than 101 million units sold; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.


The game is a collection of five sports simulations, designed to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote. The five sports included are tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. Players use the Wii Remote to mimic actions performed in real-life sports, such as swinging a tennis racket. [1] The rules for each game are simplified to make them more accessible to new players. The game also features training and fitness modes that monitor players' progress in the sports. [2]

Wii Remote controller for the Wii video game console

The Wii Remote, also known colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary game controller for Nintendo's Wii home video game console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its motion sensing capability, which allows the user to interact with and manipulate items on screen via gesture recognition and pointing, using accelerometer and optical sensor technology. It is expandable by adding attachments. The attachment bundled with the Wii console is the Nunchuk, which complements the Wii Remote by providing functions similar to those in gamepad controllers. Some other attachments include the Classic Controller, Wii Zapper, and the Wii Wheel, originally used for the Mario Kart Wii racing video game.

Tennis ball sport with racket and net

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Wii Sports was well received by critics and received a number of awards. Selling over 82 million copies by the end of 2017, it is the bestselling single-platform game of all time, and fourth best overall. [3] Wii Sports has been featured on television in Wii commercials, news reports, as well as other programming. [4] [5] [6] [7] The game has become a popular means for social gatherings and competitions among players of varying ages. [5] [8] [9] A sequel, Wii Sports Resort , was released in 2009, while a high-definition remake, Wii Sports Club , was released in 2013 for the Wii U.

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.

<i>Wii Sports Resort</i> 2009 sports video game

Wii Sports Resort is a sports video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console, and is a direct sequel to Wii Sports. It is one of the first titles to require the Wii MotionPlus accessory, which was bundled with the game. Wii Sports Resort was first announced at E3 2008 and was released in Japan on June 25, 2009 and in nearly all other regions in the following month. While the game was originally released only as a stand-alone title, as of 2009 the game was bundled with newer Wii consoles, along with Wii Sports.

<i>Wii Sports Club</i> video game

Wii Sports Club is a sports video game from Nintendo released as downloadable software for the Wii U. It consists of HD remakes of the individual sports from the 2006 Wii launch title, Wii Sports, which can be purchased individually or rented for a period of time. The first set of sports, bowling and tennis, were released in Japan on 30 October 2013, in Europe and North America on 7 November 2013, and in Australia and New Zealand on 8 November 2013. Golf was later released following a Nintendo Direct presentation on 18 December 2013. Baseball and Boxing were released at the end of June 2014.


The player uses the Wii Remote to mimic the motion of putting a golf ball in a game of golf. WS-WiiRemote Example.jpg
The player uses the Wii Remote to mimic the motion of putting a golf ball in a game of golf.

Wii Sports consists of five separate sports games—tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing—accessed from the main menu. [10] [11] The games use the motion sensor capabilities of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment to control the actions of the on-screen ball pit. The player moves the remote in a similar manner to how the separate games are played in real life; for example, holding and swinging the Wii Remote like a golf club, baseball bat or bowling ball. [1] Some aspects of the gameplay are computer controlled. In tennis, player movement is controlled by the Wii, while the swinging of the racket is controlled by the player. Baseball consists of batting and pitching, with all of the fielding and baserunning handled by the Wii. [11]

Bowling class of sports in which a player rolls a bowling ball towards a target

Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball toward pins or another target.

Golf sport in which players attempt to hit a ball with a club into a goal using a minimum number of shots

Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Two people Wii boxing; the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used here to control punches. Duo playing Wii Sports.jpg
Two people Wii boxing; the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used here to control punches.

The in-game characters are taken from the Wii's Mii Channel, which allows the user to create a Mii (a customized avatar) that can be imported into games that support the feature. Wii Sports is the first Wii title to use this feature. [10] Miis saved on the Wii will appear in the crowd during bowling games and as members of human-controlled teams in baseball. The non-player characters in the game were also created using the Mii Channel toolset. Miis created on one Wii can be transferred onto the internal memory of a Wii Remote for use on another Wii with different save data. [12]

Mii digital avatar

A Mii is a customizable avatar used on several Nintendo video game consoles and mobile apps. Miis were first introduced on the Wii, and later appeared on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, and various Nintendo apps for smart devices.

Avatar (computing) graphical representation of the user or the users alter ego or character

In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. An icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, Internet forum, etc. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. Avatar images have also been referred to as "picons" in the past, though the usage of this term is uncommon now. It can also refer to a text construct found on early systems such as MUDs. The term "avatar" can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.

A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.

After a game, a player is awarded or penalized skill points based on performance relative to the computer's skill level, though some games do not calculate points during multiplayer sessions. The game keeps track of these points by charting them on a graph, as well as increasing the size of the crowd in Tennis and Boxing single-player modes. After obtaining 1000 skill points in a sport, a player is awarded "pro" level, along with a cosmetic feature for their Mii in Bowling and Boxing. A Mii newly turned pro will receive a message on the Wii Message Board notifying them. Wii Sports also features a fitness test that calculates a player's fitness age (ranging from 20 to 80 years old, 20 being the best possible). The test gauges the player's performance in three randomly chosen challenges in each test from the training mode that have been played at least once, and can only be taken once a day per Mii. Calculating the fitness age takes into account a player's balance, speed, and stamina. Fitness age results are graphed over one, two, or three months, with daily results posted on the Wii Message Board. [12] [13]


Katsuya Eguchi, who managed Software Development Group 2 at Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, produced Wii Sports. [14] With the Wii, Nintendo desired to reach people who had not played video games before. To do this they needed software that allowed both long time and first time players to interact together in a fun way. [15] Nintendo also wanted players to use the system daily and intended Wii Sports to be the console's flagship title to help accomplish this. [16] Wii Sports was designed as a simple introductory line meant to offer something for both gamers and non-gamers. [17] Sports were chosen as the theme because of the widespread familiarity with them. Rather than feature professional athletes or have realistic graphics, the game was designed to be simple so that anyone could play. Gameplay like running towards a ball in tennis was excluded to maintain simplicity. [14] At one point in development, Mario characters were used, but were removed because of feedback from players who preferred Miis. [18] The game supports a 16:9 widescreen ratio and progressive scan, runs at 60 frames per second, [10] and makes use of the Wii Remote's accelerometer to interpret the player's motion. [19] Motion-sensing actions, like pitching and hitting, were prioritized to make them as realistic as possible. [18] Because Nintendo did not expect players to purchase the Wii solely to play Wii Sports, they bundled the game with the console; Nintendo believed players would be more likely to play Wii Sports through this distribution method. They also felt players that enjoyed the game would increase its popularity by word of mouth. [20]

Satoru Iwata at Nintendo's 2006 E3 press conference Iwata-e3-2006.jpg
Satoru Iwata at Nintendo's 2006 E3 press conference

Before the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Media and Business Summit of 2006, the first sport in the game was announced as Wii Sports: Tennis. It was later announced, at Nintendo's press conference prior to E3 2006, it would be part of a sports package. [19] Satoru Iwata introduced this package as Wii Sports, and stated it would include tennis, golf, and baseball. The game was featured as both a video demonstration and an on-stage playable demo. The demo featured Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime in a doubles tennis match against Shigeru Miyamoto and Scott Dyer, a contest winner. [15] The other sports titles were on display at E3 and shared a similar naming convention to the tennis game such as, Wii Sports: Baseball, Wii Sports: Golf, and Wii Sports: Airplane. [21] At the time, baseball only featured a batting simulation. [22] The airplane title was similar to Pilotwings and required the player to maneuver an airplane through rings within a time frame. [21] It was not included in the final game, but was later incorporated into Wii Sports Resort . [23] At the Nintendo World event on September 14, 2006, Reggie Fils-Aime announced that Wii Sports would be included free with the Wii. The bowling and boxing titles were also introduced. [24]


Aggregate score
Metacritic 76/100 [25]
Review scores
1UP.com C+ [26]
AllGame Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [27]
CVG 7/10 [28]
Eurogamer 8/10 [29]
Game Informer 6.5/10 [30]
GamePro 4.25/5 [1]
IGN 7.5/10 [10]
ONM 90% [31]

Wii Sports received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic. [25] GameTrailers called it a good complement to the Wii system and referred to all five games as a "nice total package". They commented that the games provided enough gameplay for long time gamers without making it inaccessible to novices. GameTrailers stated, however, that the lack of a tournament mode was a detractor, and did not recommend paying for the game if it did not come bundled with the system. [11] GamePro also commented that the free addition of Wii Sports with the Wii was a positive. [1] Matt Casamassina of IGN called it a "successful showpiece for Nintendo's new hardware" and enjoyed the ability to import Miis. [10] GameSpot editor Ryan Davis complimented the multiplayer aspect and the fitness test. [32] Reviewers praised the game's controls and ease of use. Casamassina referred to the controls as "revolutionary" and described them as intuitive. [10] GamePro echoed similar comments, praising the ease of play and realistic motion controls, while Davis commented that the motion controls were sometimes erratic. [1] [32] Common criticism focused on the graphics and lack of depth in the separate games. Casamassina stated that the game "comes up short in depth and visuals", and called the graphics "generic" and "archaic". [10] Other reviewers said the graphics were on par with Nintendo's older gaming systems, the GameCube and Nintendo 64. [1] [11] Davis criticized the oversimplified nature of the games, and GamePro stated that the separate games offered less depth than regular console sports games. [1] [32] Nintendo Power listed Wii Sports along with its sequel Wii Sports Resort as two of the greatest multi-player experiences in Nintendo's history, stating that everyone from young children to grandparents can enjoy the games. The magazine praised the grouping of sports and the game's longevity. [33]

The separate games garnered their own reception among critics. Casamassina called bowling, tennis, and baseball "fun and addictive", while Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer said baseball, golf, and boxing were lacking in gameplay depth when compared to tennis and bowling. [10] [29] PC Magazine columnist John C. Dvorak, an avid bowler, praised the realistic physics used in bowling and stated, "Nintendo did a stupendous job of coding." He complimented the addition of physical activity to video gaming, but complained that long term use caused his wrist and shoulder to become sore. [34] Casamassina ranked bowling as the best experience of the five. [10] Before its release, IGN's Craig Harris commented on an exploit allowing easy strikes in the bowling game that removed the challenge and replay value. [35] After the release, he stated that the exploit was not fixed. [24] GameTrailers called golf the most in-depth, but criticized the lack of multiple courses and unpredictable controls when trying to slice or hook a shot. [11] GamePro said golf offered the most content and was the best looking of all the games, but commented that its controls were the most difficult to use. [1] GameTrailers called tennis the most accessible and easy to play, but criticized the difficulty of putting spin on a shot. [11] Casamassina stated that tennis was one of the more enjoyable games, but the lack of movement control was a detractor. [10] GameTrailers called baseball the most "worthless" because of the luck factor associated with the computer-controlled fielding. They called boxing the best workout on Wii Sports, but criticized the difficult timing needed to punch properly. [11] Casamassina criticized boxing for being "like a chore" and ranked it as the worst experience of the five sports. [10]


By the end of 2007, Wii Sports was the best-selling Wii game. [36] In Japan, where the game was not included with the system, the game sold 176,167 copies in the first two days of release, a record for a seventh generation console game in Japan. [37] By February 2007, it had sold over a million copies. [38] [39] In early May 2007, game-industry research firm Media Create placed Wii Sports third in their list of top-20 games in Japan. [40] It was the best-selling game of 2007 in Japan with 1,911,520 copies sold. [41] [42] It was the tenth best-selling game in Japan in 2008, selling 841,736 copies in that year. [43] The game sold 45.71 million copies—including bundled copies—worldwide by March 2009. [44] By January 2011, worldwide sales were reported at 75.66 million, [45] which increased to 82.87 million by March 2019. [46]


Wii Sports's debut at 2006 E3 garnered it several awards. At the event, it won the Game Critics Award for "Best Sports Game". [47] 1UP.com listed it as the "Best Wii Game" and "Most Original Game" in their "Best of E3 2006" feature. [48] Following its release, Wii Sports received multiple awards from various organizations, websites, and magazines. IGN awarded it "Best Sports Game of 2006" and second best game of 2006. [49] [50] Time magazine listed the game as the number one game of 2006 in their list of "Top 10 Video Games of 2006". [51] Wii Sports won Famitsu 's 2006 "Innovation Award". [52] Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded it "Best Multiplayer Experience" in their 2006 "1Up Network Awards". [53] At the 2007 Interactive Achievement Awards, Wii Sports won "Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering", "Outstanding Achievement in Game Design", and "Outstanding Innovation in Gaming". [54] [55] [56] In 2007, the game won the "Innovation Award" and "Best Game Design" at the Game Developers Choice Awards, [57] and won "Grand Prize" in the entertainment division of the Japan Media Arts Festival. [58] At the 2007 British Academy Video Games Awards, Wii Sports won six out of seven award nominations: Sports, Innovation, Gameplay, Multiplayer, Casual, and Strategy and Simulation. [59] [60] The New York Times named wii sports as the Game of the year, [61] also The gaming website Gamasutra said that Wii sports was the most important game of 2006. [62] In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die . [63]


Wii Sports, a major factor in the Wii's worldwide success, [64] was the first release among a number of core Wii games being developed at the same time, with the same philosophy; others were released as Wii Play , Wii Fit , and Wii Music . [65] A direct sequel to Wii Sports, titled Wii Sports Resort , was released in 2009. [66] The game, along with Wii Fit, has been credited with attracting more casual, female, and elderly gamers. [67] It has also been cited as a game that can provide a bonding experience among family members, and as a means of exercising and losing weight when played regularly. [68] [69] A study involving 13- to 15‑year-old teenagers was conducted by the Liverpool John Moores University and concluded that players used 2% more energy than by playing on other consoles. They stated that it was no substitute for playing a real sport, but could contribute to weight management. [70] Wii Sports has been used to aid in the physical therapy of a boxer at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Canada, stroke victims in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Raleigh, North Carolina, and injured soldiers in Prescott, Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and Landstuhl, Germany. [71] [72] [73] [74] Wired included the game in its list of "The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade" at #8, for its role in popularizing motion controls and having a major impact on the "videogame landscape." [75] In 2019, GameSpot named it one of the most influential games of the 21st century, citing its accessibility, broad appeal, and longterm impact on console development at Nintendo and other game hardware designers. [76]

The new Wii Remote strap (left) compared to the original strap (right) Wii Remote Straps.jpg
The new Wii Remote strap (left) compared to the original strap (right)

After the Wii's release, players began incurring injuries while playing Wii Sports, among other games, when they accidentally hit other players or objects while swinging the Wii Remote. [5] This string of accidents, and others related to players throwing the Wii Remote while playing Wii Sports, prompted Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to develop a campaign to reduce such incidents. [77] In regard to the issue, Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa commented, "People tended to get a bit excited, especially while playing Wii Sports, and in some cases the remote would come loose from their hands." Nintendo responded by offering replacement Wii Remote wrist straps that were almost twice as thick. [78] Other injuries include muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries from excess playing of simulated sports on the Wii—dubbed "Wii-itis". [79] [80]

Wii Sports has become a popular means for social gatherings and competitions. Residents at senior centers and retirement homes have formed leagues using Wii Sports bowling. [8] [81] After its Australian release, Nintendo and Myer, an Australian department store chain, held a Wii Sports tennis tournament in January 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. [9] The winners competed against professional tennis players Pat Cash and Mark Woodforde, and were awarded new Wiis. [82] An unofficial Wii Sports tennis tournament titled "Wiimbledon" was held in the Brooklyn, New York bar Barcade on June 23, 2007. [83] It featured 128 competitors, many of whom were dressed in costumes. [5] [84]

Wii Sports has been featured on television multiple times. The game was featured in commercials for the Wii system, [4] [85] and in news features on ABC and NBC. [5] [86] [87] The game has appeared on various comedy shows. An episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien featured host Conan O'Brien competing against his guest, tennis star Serena Williams, in a match of Wii Sports tennis. [6] On an episode of the Rick Mercer Report , former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien beat Rick Mercer in a game of Wii Sports boxing. [7] The boxing game also appeared on an episode of The Colbert Report where a clip featured Mii versions of Stephen Colbert and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boxing. [88] At the 80th Academy Awards Show, host Jon Stewart and Jamia Simone Nash were caught playing Wii Sports tennis on one of the event's gigantic projection screens after a commercial break as part of a joke. [89] Wii Sports has also been featured in mainstream movies such as Tropic Thunder and in commercials for products such as Kellogg's Smart Start. [90]

Series continuation

Wii Sports Resort

A sequel, Wii Sports Resort, was first revealed at Nintendo's E3 2008 presentation. [91] Development moved forward after the extent of the Wii MotionPlus was realized, though the idea for a sequel existed sooner. [92] The game features 13 sports, (2 from the original) including Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Air Sports (Parachuting and Piloting). [93] The game was first released in South Korea on June 24, 2009 [94] and in Japan on June 25, 2009 [95] before releasing in other markets in July 2009. [96] [97] [98]

Wii Sports Club

On September 18, 2013, Nintendo announced Wii Sports Club for the Wii U Nintendo eShop. The game features the five games of Wii Sports remade in high-definition graphics, with support for the Wii MotionPlus (similar to Wii Sports Resort) and online multiplayer. The game uses a 'Club' system, in which players are registered to regional or national clubs, communicating with each other via Miiverse, and compete against other clubs for rankings. After a 24-hour free trial period, players can purchase a day pass to access all of the games, or purchase full access to the individual games. Tennis and Bowling were first released on October 30, 2013, [99] Golf was first released on December 18, 2013 [100] and Baseball and Boxing were first released on December 18, 2013. [101] [102] A retail version of Wii Sports Club was released in July 2014. [103] [104]


  1. Wiiスポーツ(Wī Supōtsu) in Japanese

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<i>Wii Party</i> video game

Wii Party is a party video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game heavily borrows game play elements from the Mario Party series, another Nintendo franchise. It is also the first game in the Wii series that Shigeru Miyamoto did not produce. The game was released in Japan on July 8, 2010, in North America on October 3, 2010, in Australia on October 7, 2010, and in Europe on October 8, 2010. Wii Party was revealed by Satoru Iwata in a Financial Results Briefing on May 7, 2010. It received mixed reviews from critics and sold 9.33 million copies worldwide as of March 2019. A sequel, Wii Party U, was released for the Wii U on October 25, 2013.


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