What's The Wii That We Can Use Now?
June 18, 2018 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I am looking to replace a Wii that had been in use in my skilled nursing facility. We used a Wii on occasion for resident activity and exercise. We'd like to start the same kinds of programs, but Wiis are old and graphics are bad. I would love to get a similar system that is controlled by motion, is accessible to people who have never played video games, and can be used by people with dementia. Things that are challenging include finger or hand dexterity, complicated controllers, and hand-eye coordination. What would you use, savvy gamers and helpers of Metafilter?
posted by skookumsaurus rex to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why not get a Wii U? It can use the same motion-controlled Wii controllers (depending on the game) but it's a more modern console with HD graphics.
posted by mr. manager at 9:51 AM on June 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

Wii U is the only post-Wii motion system I have experience with. Lots of HD versions of the Wii games you were probably using—Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit U—using some of the same equipment.

Recently discontinued, but you can probably pick up a used one without issue.
posted by Polycarp at 9:57 AM on June 18, 2018

I'd love to recommend a Switch, because I think it's going to be the best console for this type of game, but unfortunately there's no good "Wii Sports"/"Wii Fit" equivalent just yet. Mario Tennis Aces is coming out eventually, but that may or may not turn out to be too technical for some of your patients (and even if it isn't, I'm sure everyone will get bored with tennis after a while).

It might be worth investigating Playstation 4 and its "Move" games. I think many of them are in the same spirit as the Wii's titles, but with modern graphics and such. Haven't used it myself to tell you for sure, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2018

Rather than the Switch, which does not support multiplayer (unless you purchase multiple, expensive devices) I'd suggest tracking down a Wii U.

The Wii U is backwards compatible with Wii accessories, although you may have to track down some controllers and adaptors.

That said, you'll be stuck with the same resolution. There may be some newer Wii U games that do what you want to do.

But the Switch is really, really expensive.
posted by JamesBay at 10:10 AM on June 18, 2018

Have the residents complained about the graphics? My friends and I are not big gamers but the Wii is still plenty fun for people who are casual players.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 10:14 AM on June 18, 2018 [21 favorites]

What kind of video cables are you using? If you are using the standard composite cables, the picture can be pretty muddy. Component cables for the Wii can be found pretty cheaply. If your TV doesn't have component input, you could always pick up a component to HDMI converter. The amount of exercise/fitness/activity releases for the Wii is pretty staggering. Might be worth just looking into how you can improve the existing setup.
posted by Otis at 10:44 AM on June 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

A few thoughts - but my number 1 recommendation is the "Wii sports club" for wii U, which is a HD remake of wii sports with a few add-ons. Wildly unknown.

So, there is a "new hotness" motion gaming system out there that is popular. It's called the oculus rift. It unfortunately costs $400, plus a $1000 PC to run it on. It's only one player, and is extremely complicated to run and use.

However, I have heard of VR companies making visits (paid, but not a ton) to senior living communities to play VR and show them some experiences. There can be very cool things, like walking through your old neighborhood, scuba diving, and it's incredibly immersive. It would take a lot of time to curate a system and set of games to appeal to the older crowd though.

The second thing I can think of is pokemon GO. It's a HUGE, HUGE hit with 60 year olds, retirees, and others. It requires people to move around and do something, which is awesome! But, they might not have this ability. On the same token, creating, maintaining, and finding other geocaches nearby is an interesting hobby that they could partake in, but again requires some amount of mobility.

I don't think anything will ever replace wii sports - but there were a few sequels made. They weren't as good as wii sports, but if you are looking for "more of the same, but slightly different" they might scratch the itch. Wii Sports Resort uses more accurate controller movements with the wii motion + and is a sequel, but the games aren't nearly as great as wii bowling. The Wii Sports Club I mentioned above is literally just an HD version of the original with very few changes. The better graphics might help you though in that department.

Last, the hobby that has been taking most groups I know by storm is board games. Have you tried giving them a copy of "outburst", "Sushi Go, Party", or "Jamaica"? There is a board game revolution happening and it's perfect for all ages.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:55 AM on June 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

As confusing as it is, the Wii U is a separate system and the successor to the Wii. Think of it as the Super Wii or something. (The Wii U bombed precisely because people thought it was an accessory to the Wii and not a new console.) I think a Wii U is probably a good upgrade because all Wii games work for Wii U. Having never owned neither, I can't tell you how much of an improvement the Wii U is over the Wii in terms of graphics, but it is a more powerful system that should be better in every way.

The Nintendo Switch has the capabilities you're talking about, but I am not aware of any games that are similar to Wii Fit. There is Just Dance, which forces you to get up and move, but that might be a bit too much for a nursing facility. Besides, you can buy Just Dance for the Wii U too.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:35 AM on June 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had a Wii and then got a Wii U a couple of years ago. The graphics are much better for the Wii U and you can use all of your old controllers with it. You can play Wii games on it but most Wii games have remakes or sequels that are native to the Wii U and you should just go with those instead. My kids and I still play the Wii U a lot and it has some great games.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:18 PM on June 18, 2018

« Older Online resources on early American theatre?...   |   When was the Munich printing company Baurengarten... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.