THE WII MACHINE

It’s pronounced “whee,” and that’s also the feeling of the many people who have made it the most popular video game machine of the year. (Six million have been sold this year, 15 million in the past four years.) The Wii has inertial¬†Wiisensors that recognize the users’ body movements as they play a game. You dance and shift as you play, matching movements on the screen, which has made it into not just a game machine but a piece of exercise equipment. (Joy has become pretty adept at boxing.)

Nintendo, maker of the Wii machine, is working to expand uses even further. Currently, you can download several full games to the Wii through its wireless connection. Playing the company’s Pokemon Snap allows users to take pictures of their best plays and post them to the Wii message board. This will probably be extended to other games and follows the increasingly popular practice of game players capturing their best efforts and posting the videos to¬†YouTube.com.

You can also get news and weather reports on your Wii game machine. That’s how we learned about crocodiles disappearing from northern India. (Heady stuff.)

We tried out Tony Hawk’s new skateboarding game on the Wii, which has lots of movement and many falls. (You don’t have to actually fall down when the game character does.) The Wii costs around $380 from discounters.

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