The Wii ( /ˈwiː/) is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competes 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 2012, the Wii leads the generation over PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.
The Wii has many advanced features compared to previous Nintendo consoles. For example, the primary wireless controller (the Wii Remote) can be used as a handheld pointing device and detects movement in three dimensions. Another notable feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.
It succeeds the Nintendo GameCube, with early models being fully backward-compatible with all GameCube games and most accessories. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled it at the 2005 E3. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets.
In late 2011 Nintendo released a reconfigured model, the "Wii Family Edition", which removed Nintendo GameCube compatibility; this model was not released in Japan. Its successor, the Wii U, was released during the fourth quarter of 2012. The Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the compact SNES, will succeed the standard Wii model on December 7, 2012 in Canada. The Wii Mini can only play Wii optical discs, as it omits GameCube and online game capabilities.