Small, inexpensive, and relatively easy to learn, the Wii is one of the most recognizable consoles currently on the market. While it plays for a more family-friendly audience, it has an appeal that spans all ages and genders.
Wii is designed for competitive, friendly gameplay. There are many great titles for the Wii that are all completely appropriate for young children. Many of the "party games" (such as Mario Party 8) are a fun idea for any family members as well. It's definitely the kind of console where kids and parents can get together to have a good time.
For those few gamers who bought the GameCube and kept their old games, the Wii is able to play the GameCube games and use the old GameCube controllers. For those who didn't buy a GameCube, the backwards compatibility increases the potential game library available to gamers.
While the PS3 and Xbox 360 might have some great cooperative games, they don't hold a candle to the Wii. Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart, Mario Party, and a host of other easily recognizable titles make this system great for friends of all ages to come together and have hours upon hours of fun.
The family-friendly nature of the Wii is also a fault since the console is unable to take the interest of hardcore-gamers beyond just a casual interest. For those who don't understand what I mean, the Wii doesn't advertise well to teenagers and other older gamers. So while the older gamers will be entertained by the Wii for a few hours, they won't get the long-term pleasure that younger gamers would receive.
While it may not be a huge deal for the average Wii gamer, dedicated gaming audiences have continuously griped about the fact that Wii is not HD compatible. Personally, I don't see the reason why Mario's mustache has to be so detailed that you can see the individual hairs, but since it's been an issue since the release of the console I have to include it.
The one related issue that I do have a problem with is that a lot of awesome games from other consoles are "ported" (see Definitions) over to the Wii. However, because of the Wii's inferior hardware, the games have to be seriously watered down in order to even run. It means what would have normally been an awesome game turns into a watery, low-quality piece of junk simply because the Wii is unable to handle the requirements.
As interesting as the "nunchuck" controls are on the Wii, they severely limit the types of games that can be played. Have you ever tried to play Mario Kart with the nunchuck? It's practically impossible because the controls aren't natural.
This further limits the types of games that developers release for the Wii. You won't find many shooters on the Wii.
The Wii was designed to be competitively priced compared to the other consoles. This was great when the Wii was first released, but over five years later the Wii is entirely unable to compete with the other consoles. While the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 are getting games with better graphics and more complex gameplay, the Wii is left in the dust on all fronts.
For those who didn't see the definition in our Acronyms and Definitions page, shovel-ware is a term used for a low-quality, low-budget game. While every console has its share of shovel-ware, the Wii is especially susceptible to these shallow games because of its success and its family-friendly nature.
This unfortunately results in a wide variety of games that no self-respecting gamer would go anywhere near but that unsuspecting parents are all too willing to fall into the trap of paying for these pieces of trash. It also makes it impossible to find the good games without doing some previous research.