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It says a lot for Wii Sports, which is really Nintendo's proof of concept for the Wii's unique controller capabilities, that it turned out so well that the company packed it in to all North American consoles at launch. And, given that it really is a simple collection of mini-games, it's wonderful that Wii Sports turned out to be such a crowd-pleaser - it's already hooking many more non-traditional gamers than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 put together.
But actually, the games have been very, very carefully crafted - for example, the smart rules changes on baseball to make it fun to hit further, even if the rules of the actual game aren't completely replicated. And integrating your friends' Mii's into the audience and even playable in the games is another signature, delightful Nintendo touch.
The fluidity of the controller is probably what sets the game apart from other mini-game offerings - because there are a myriad of ways that you can flex your own body, it takes much longer for the gameplay to get stale, because you're always trying out new methods. And perhaps this is a vote for the genius of the Wii as much as for the genius of Wii Sports. But hey - it's still a vote, right?
Simon Carless, Editor-In-Chief, Gamasutra
It's simple, it's fun, and everyone loves to play it. It exemplifies everything that Nintendo has done right in 2006.
An Anonymous Reader
There were plenty of great, innovative games this year, but the one that stands out in my mind as the most innovative, as well as potentially changing the face of video games forever, is Wii Sports. It really shows off the potential of a truly new and original control scheme. Not to mention there's something about this simple, little game that seems to appeal to almost everyone who gets their hands on it, young or old, male or female, gamer or gaming virgin.
An Anonymous Reader
My mother, who hung up her gaming gloves for good after beating Super Mario Bros. 3 within a month of its release (love you, Mom), swearing to never play a video game again, practically snagged the Wii remote from me last Thanksgiving, after watching me bowl in Wii Sports.
If that's not revolutionary, I don't know what is.
Other people who played (and unanimously adored) Wii Sports during my Thanksgiving vacation include:
Frank Cifaldi, Features Editor, Gamasutra