Was Wii Ahead of Its Time?


Recently, my brother and I brought back our old Wii Console to life. As the system booted up, I couldn’t believe that the last time we’d used it had been in 2009! But why did we reboot our childhood memory? Because we were looking to do a fun at-home workout through digital means in the midst of this Pandemic, joining the ranks of countless Americans who are doing the same.


As we played tennis, fencing and more, I fun thought popped into my head: Wii basically invented the at-home virtual workout station before Peloton even came into the picture. What’s more, when Wii launched over a decade ago, it cost just a fraction of the amount of today’s over-hyped, glorified tech-bike.


But unlike my brother and I using Wii for a fun workout, at first, the console was never meant to serve that purpose (until Wii Fit came into the picture). According to the history, The Wii was designed to take processor technology improvements and use them to make the unit run with less heat, by making the chips smaller. This enabled features that other consoles couldn't duplicate, such as the ability to leave the console powered on all the time.


Interestingly enough, the 10-year-old Wii system experienced a resurgence during the early days of the Covid Pandemic, as gyms closed down and people needed easy access to at-home workout alternatives. This caused a sizable amount of American consumers to dust-off their Wiis and bring them back to life, not only to get a good exercise in but to also help them maintain sanity.


It’s always been interesting to me how legacy technologies suddenly make a big comeback due to unexpected circumstances. In this case, it was Covid that re-incarnated the Wii Console. Now, excuse me while I go play another round of tennis!



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