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How Do I Hook Up... my Nintendo Wii? Newsletter Signup
February 9th, 2008 by Joe Chianese Page 1Page 2Page 3

How to Hook up the Wii

You got yourself a Wii, and either you don't know how to hook it up, or you want to know how to properly hook it up. Let's get started!

Note that all the images on this How-To can be clicked on for a zoomed-in view!

Inputs and Outputs on the back of the Wii

The back of your Wii doesn't have all that much going on. If you click on the image to the left, you'll be able to zoom in and see what each connector is for. When you buy a Wii, it comes with the power cable, composite video/audio cable, and the sensor bar.

You'll notice that the Wii composite cable uses basic RCA connectors for the end going to your TV but something different for going into the Wii. That's because Nintendo used a proprietary connector for the Wii side of it. This allows them to create different kinds of cables that all connect to the Wii with the same connector. You can purchase a Wii component video cable to replace the default composite video. This will enhance video quality considerably and soften up some of the sharp edges you see in games.

You'll notice there are two USB ports on the Wii, just like on a computer. You can use them for a USB-to-Ethernet wireless adapter, which would allow you to tap into your home's wireless network and play games online or use web-based features of the Wii like Weather and News. It has two USB ports so that you could also use a USB flash drive as additional storage, kind of like an external hard drive. There may also be products in the future designed to take advantage of the USB ports, but for now, Nintendo has updated the system to be compatible with USB keyboards. So if you'd like, you could plug a keyboard in for when you're typing to a friend or entering a lot of information into the Wii.

The Front and Top of the Wii

The top of a Wii has two doors you can flip open. The larger door covers four GameCube controller inputs. You do know the Wii supports GameCube games, right?

So that's where you'd plug a controller for GameCube in if you were playing a GameCube game on your Wii. Next to those inputs, under the second door, we have memory card slots for GameCube. This way, you could store your saved GameCube games on memory cards specifically for GameCube. The Wii has its own internal memory for storing Wii saves, and you can expand that with a USB flash drive.

The front of the Wii is pretty basic. There's a slot to load Wii and GameCube discs, Power button, Reset Button, and Memory Card slots.

You can load SD memory cards in there in pretty much whatever variety you'd like; 256mb, 512mb, 1gb, 2gb, and so on. This will let you save more data than the Wii's built-in memory allows for (which, FYI, is 512mb).

This is one option for adding some storage to the Wii. Don't forget about the USB ports on the back for flash drives and other storage media. My recommendation? Use the SD card. You might already be using one USB port for wireless internet, and who knows what you might need the second one for in the future, so don't sell yourself short by putting a flash drive in there.

GameCube Controllers

If you plan on using GameCube games, you're going to need controllers, too. The Wiimote and Nunchuck won't work with GC games. I'd recommend buying wireless GC controllers. The controller on the left is an example of a wireless GameCube controller.

>>Next: Plugging in the Nintendo Wii

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