Last time in Games That Changed The Industry, we revisited the seminal, shooty fun of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But this time, Sam features the game that even got your dear old Gran off of the sofa, it can only be Nintendo‘s Wii Sports:
I have never been to a golf course before. It is not something that has really ever appealed to me. That said I happen to be very good at it, particularly given that I’ve played it inside without taking a single step.
Of course I was able to do this because of Wii Sports. The best selling console game of all time and one of the first to bring motion controlled gaming to the masses: Wii Sports had the potential to dramatically change the way that we game. For the first time, the gaming audience expanded and was no longer restricted to thumb-numbing controllers.
If somehow Wii Sports passed you by, I’ll give you a quick run down of the game itself. Released in 2006, it came with every Wii console sold and was essentially five sports games in one. You could choose from boxing, tennis, golf, bowling and baseball. Each of the games were based on unique motion-based controls and could be played as full games or in training sessions on your own or with up to four people.
Wii Sports was the party game to top them all. Not only was it immensely easy to play, it’s wide distribution meant that everyone had played it at one stage or another. It was also the game that hinted at what motion controlled gaming was capable of and opened the door for countless more games of a similar ilk.
It is not all rosy however. Wii Sports is different to every other game I have written about because we are still not sure about how far it’s effects will go. Despite the Wii’s strong reception, Nintendo’s follow up console, the Wii U, has been a flop and will soon be replaced by a new Nintendo console way ahead of schedule. Xbox’s ‘Kinect’ and Playstation’s ‘Move’ have also had mixed receptions since release.
At the moment it is impossible to say if the influence of Wii Sports will be as far reaching as earlier Nintendo innovations from the 1970s and 80s. At least there can be no doubt that Wii Sports and the games that it inspired were enjoyed by more people than ever before and, in a way, that is enough to change to the industry in and of itself.
Sam Brewer, Games and Tech Columnist
Were you a headbands-on, Wii Sports enthusiast or a lazy wrist waggler? What titles would you recommend Sam put in his list of the world’s most transformative titles? Let us know by dropping us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on everything else games and tech, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.