No game has been more influential in recent history than Wii Sports. But Nintendo gave it away for free. That's how it got consumers to pony up $249 for its Wii console with the newfangled remote-like Wii controller. It was perhaps one of the smartest ways to launch a new product, ever.
Nintendo sold more than 50 million consoles since the fall of 2006, dethroning Sony from the No. 1 console spot in the process. More than that, Nintendo broadened the market to include people who were once intimidated by video games. In my own house, I saw a three-year-old go up against a 73-year-old grandmother in Wii Sports.