Nintendo may have fired the first shots in the next console generation yesterday with the November 18, 2012 launch of the Wii U, but the new console's Wii predecessor arguably made the bigger splash. In an effort to widen its audience, Nintendo introduced motion controls and a less hardcore gamer-minded approach to release calendars. The result was a massive success.
There's a more involved story, however, one that many of us don't know. Its principal star is an underdog American inventor whose pitch for gyroscopic motion controls was turned down by Microsoft and Sony before being embraced by Nintendo. It's a fascinating tale and a great read over at CVG, with plenty of firsthand insight from people who were closely involved throughout the Wii's development.
It's also especially interesting in the context of the current conversation around the Wii U. CVG's feature closes with a rundown of the technical innovations that Nintendo pioneered and mass-produced: motion control, shoulder buttons, even the D-pad. It's impossible to say right now if the Wii U will bring another notch to this list, but a track record like that cannot be ignored.