10 Reasons the Nintendo Wii Sucked

A look at all the things that were wrong with the Nintendo Wii

Woman doing step aerobics and watching TV
Fabrice LEROUGE / Getty Images

The Wii was a massive success, but that success was fueled in a large part by non-gamers who bought it for party and fitness games. For core gamers, the Wii evoked considerable disappointment. Here are ten reasons it was never that good of a console.


Cursed Mountain game
Deep Silver

Graphics aren't everything, but still, the graphical difference between the Wii and the PS3/360 could be disheartening. It wasn’t simply that Wii games didn’t look as good as Xbox 360 games; they rarely looked as good as most Xbox games! In scale, environments were smaller and more scarcely populated. This didn’t matter for most first-party titles since Nintendo likes a cartoony style that works well at low resolutions, but games meant to look more realistic left a lot to be desired.

A Dearth of Multiplatform Titles

Screenshot of Elder Scrolls V on Walmart

Walmart / Bethesda

Because of the technical differences between the Wii and its competitors, developers tended to put out their major games for both the 360 and PS3, as well as the PC, but rarely for the Wii. So Wii owners had to do without things like Grand Theft Auto IV and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This often felt like sitting at the kid’s table on Thanksgiving.

Ignoring the Core

ordering pizza in a video game
Zoo Games

So many of the things that made the Wii suck are tied to its casual-gamer reputation. A particular sore point was the lack of games for core gamers desiring more than mini-game titles and cooking games. The problem was at its worst in America, which was deprived of many terrific titles Nintendo released in Japan and Europe.


Wii Game Party 2

The Wii’s large non-gamer base struck many publishers as a golden opportunity to release cheaply-made mini-game collections designed to appeal to people with no expertise in recognizing crappy video games. And because these non-gamers tended to ignore game reviews in favor of just buying things that looked like they might be fun, there was no way to even warn them of what was to come.

Inaccurate Motion Control

Samba De Amigo video game

Sure, it was great being able to wave the Wii remote and make stuff happen; the problem is the way in which you waved the controller and the stuff that happened onscreen were often at odds. While Nintendo eventually came up with a fix — MotionPlus technology — this was used by only a handful of games. To this day, using the Wii remote in most games is like performing surgery with a machete.

Nunchuk Cords

Wii remote attached to nunchuk

When waving around a remote and a nunchuck, the last thing one wants is a long cord that can whip you in the face. The Wii gave us exactly that.

Non-Rechargeable Remotes

Wii Remote Plus

The Xbox 360 has a rechargeable remote. The PS3 has a rechargeable remote. Any time you’re going to have a wireless remote you are going to want to make it rechargeable, because those things eat batteries; anyone who is not an idiot would know that. In this respect, Nintendo proved to be an idiot, and it was up to third parties to fix the mistake.


Wii Sports Resort game

The Wii lets you play tennis by swinging your remote like a tennis racquet, making it the first console that can give players tennis elbow. Of course, video games have been giving us carpal tunnel issues for years, but the Wii was the first console that offered full-body damage, known by doctors as Wiiitis.

Broken TVs

Wii remote destroys TV

Some new Wii owners soon discovered that when you swing your arm around and lose your grip on a Wii remote it can fly off and break things, including your TV. Of course, Nintendo knew that was a possibility, so they included a wrist strap. But the first wrist straps were reportedly flimsy, resulting in some unfortunate accidents. No console before ever needed so many safety tips.

Third-Rate Online Capabilities

Wii Shop Channel screenshot

You certainly can’t accuse Nintendo of jumping on any bandwagons. Even after it was clear that online multiplayer was a huge part of the gaming world, the Wii put little effort into supporting it The situation is so bad that often if you try a game’s multiplayer component you won’t find anyone to play with. And while Microsoft and Playstation built up their library of small, downloadable titles, Nintendo treated their online store as an inconsequential afterthought. Nintendo did better with the Wii U, but then, how could they have done worse?