Justin Lee On November 23, 2007 at 9:57 am

One year sure goes by fast, Nintendo of Canada sent us a birthday reminder of sorts for the Nintendo Wii. Happy First Birthday Wii!

In one year Wii and Nintendo have successfully reached and broadened the video game audience. From brain exercises on the Nintendo DS™ to Wii bowling tournaments in senior centres, the traditional definition of “gamer” is shifting dramatically.

Wii has attracted younger, older and female players – audiences that the gaming industry had traditionally ignored. It could be the easy, pick-up-an-play design of the sleek looking Wii console or the variety of games that are accessible to new gamers or those who grew up with Pong. Either way, it never takes long for mom or grandpa to quickly grasp how Wii’s motion-sensing remote is supposed to work.

Since Wii hit the shelves in November 2006, Canadians of all ages and genders have embraced the intuitive technology and brought it home for the whole family to enjoy. Wii™ Sports has encouraged everyone to get up off the couch and get active. Big Brain Academy™ Wii Degree has brought fun competition back into the family while also giving everyone an educational work out.

Wii is even making its way into unexpected locations, from hospitals and gyms to seniors’ centres and schools.

What has happened over the last year?

· Wii has been consistently sold out since it launched on Nov. 19th 2006

· More than 69% of Big Brain Academy™ Wii Degree games have been registered online by Canadians aged 44 years and older

· According to Amazon.com, Wii is the number one gift item for wedding registries

· Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Alberta is using Wii to help it’s patients with movement and balance issues

· Studeo 55, a fitness facility in Vancouver, has incorporated a Wii workout station into circuit training

· Home Instead seniors homes across Canada have brought Wii in for special games nights and tournaments

· Coast-to-coast malls, conference centres and event facilities are hosting Wii parties for birthdays, reunions, corporate functions and other celebrations

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