Play Hard

With the Wii U, Nintendo aims to recapture the living room

Six years ago this month, Japanese video-game giant Nintendo released the Wii, a console with a motion-sensing controller that got players off the sofa and onto their feet. It became an instant phenomenon. Even 2 years after its release, Nintendo struggled to keep up with worldwide demand.

But back then, the Wii had far less competition. Nobody had flung even one Angry Bird at a villainous pig or tended to a single FarmVille crop. The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad didn't exist. Facebook, which had been open to nonstudents for only a few weeks, didn't do games. And no one assumed...

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