Nintendo Wii equipment and suggestions

Below is a list of suggested pieces of kit and accessories that may be of interest and use to those already using or just setting up using the Nintendo Wii within therapy or rehabilitation.

Nintendo Wii Console

The console is the computer part of the Nintendo Wii.  It is the central piece of kit that all other elements connect to or communicate with as well as being the disc drive for running the games.  They can still be purchased new, despite the newer version being released (Wii U) in 2012.  The newer, higher spec Wii U has meant that second hand Nintendo Wii’s are relatively easy to get hold of at a reasonable price.

Wii Remotes

The Wii Remotes are known as Wiimote and Nunchuks.  Their are designed to be held in each hand, normally with a wire between them, although wireless controllers are available from other companies.  The WiiMote is always required for game play and can be held in left or right hand.  The nunchuk is used during games requiring bilateral activity or complex games requiring numerous button control.

Balance Board

To work on balance, sitting or upper limb weight bearing a Wii balance board is needed.  The bard pairs with the Wii console via bluetooth and detects changes in weight distribution and position through its 4 pressure pads in each corner.

For more information about using the balance board within rehab and for calibration techniques please visit the following link:  Balance Board

TV / Projector / Stand

It is essential that the game activity is displayed on a large screen or projector.  This makes it easier for the patients to see the activity and therefore be less distracting.  Smaller screens, from experience, cause patients to focus more on whats happening on the screen and therefore less on their physical control.

Space requirements

The space required largely depends upon how energetic the user is. Its is advised that patients are suitably far enough from the TV screen so that they can see their actions clearly without having to move their heads but not be too fair away that they are unable to see details and instructions.

If more users are involved in the session then more space will be required – enough so that they do not touch with out stretched arms, to avoid collision during play.

Nintendo offer their own safety advice regarding distance from the screen and playing area.  The information can be found at the following website

Selection of Games

Game choice is key when using the Nintendo Wii within rehabilitation.  Most active games with have elements that can be utilised successfully but often the whole game itself has many parts that are not appropriate.   Because of this it is important to be familiar with the games that are available and the elements of the games which work best within rehab.

Previous reviews of games can be found on the wiihab blog, found at the following link:

Adapted Remote

The adapted WiiMote can offer those without the dexterity or control to access elements of the games either independently or with support. More information can be found by clicking on the picture below:


Wii Accessories


A ‘Floor board’ is also available, allowing wheelchair users to sit their wheelchair onto the balance board and access balance control games.  Further information can be found by clicking the image of the Floor Board below.

Spare/Rechargeable Batteries

The WiiMotes and Balance Board both take AA batteries. It is advisable to have spare batteries available and charged for when the ones in the controllers have run out. Below are a couple of examples of options in battery management.

Know How

Knowing how to use the equipment and software is easily overlooked with unfamiliarity causing longer than necessary set up times and potential frustration if things don’t go as planned.

For information on support and training available for setting up or for ongoing use of gaming technology within rehab please click the following button.