In all the excitement and brouhaha over the Wii controller's motion sensing technology, another unique feature of the controller has been severely overlooked. The little speaker in each and every Wii remote is a tiny addition that goes a long way to making games more fun and engaging.
Sure, the sound quality is horribly low-fidelity and the tinny effects occasionally crackle and pop with the effort of playing, but it's hard to describe the feeling of pure joy the first time you hit a virtual tennis ball and hear a satisfying *thwack* come from right where your racquet should be. Even non-integral sounds -- like Zelda's "you found a secret" chime or Excite Truck's five-star bonus noise -- feel a little more special when they come from your hand instead of the TV speakers. What's more, Nintendo has made it ridiculously easy to adjust the speaker volume by hitting the home button in the middle of any game, showing design savvy that has been lacking in some other areas.
While it doesn't quite compare to a 7.1 Dolby surround sound setup, the extra aural dimension created by the Wii remote's speaker is a welcome addition that helps the Wii stand out against the crowd.
Xbox 360 delights
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