Dealing with the controllers, I took on the wii because I was excited to use something new. Video game controllers have always kept a similar design, and the wii blew that right out of the water. In the following ways and more:
-2 parts: one for each hand
-triggers on both parts
-Sensor bar (pointing at the screen)
-Speaker within the remote
-Motion registration (the ability for something to happen when you shake both the wiimote or nunchuck)
-Power button on the controller
-Ability to use an appendage with the controller, such as wii wheel or guitar
These are very basic.
How has gaming changed with the controller? More motion and interaction with a game (so when you jerk your controller to the left in hope to win a mario kart race it actually happens). Also the wii's motion-esque gaming style has greatly increased interest in video games among all ages, and are much more family-oriented.