Nintendo Details Wii Game Console Hardware.
Nintendo Removes Covers from Wii Specs
by Anton Shilov
[ 05/09/2006 | 11:58 PM ]
During the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) exhibition in Los Angeles, California, Nintendo unveiled some of the specifications of its Wii game console, which is due to be released in the fourth quarter of the year. Apparently, the company decided to use 120mm disc format and also add a capability that allows the console to be always connected to the Internet.
As is known, Nintendo Wii will come in relatively small form-factor and will be powered by the Broadway processor co-developed with IBM. It is unclear which micro-architecture the chip uses: it is rumoured to be clocked at 729MHz, a peculiarity of IBM’s Power 750 FX chip introduced in 2001, but is produced using 90nm process technology, which is a prerogative of chips named Power 970 FX, a more recent development of IBM.
Unlike consoles from Microsoft or Sony, Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory, but the console will also have a card reader, which will allow installing more memory. According to earlier reports, Nintendo revolution will use 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU.
Nintendo’s Wii will feature two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. Wii can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off. WiiConnect24 service can deliver “a new surprise or game update”, even if users do not play with Wii. Users can connect to the Internet wirelessly using built-in IEEE 802.11b/g wireless network controller, or with a USB 2.0 LAN adaptor. Wii also can communicate wirelessly with Nintendo DS.
The new gaming machine will connect to TV-sets using an AV multi-output port for component, composite or S-video cables.
Nintendo said that its self-loading optical media bay will “play single- or double-layered 12cm optical discs for Wii”, as well as 8cm Nintendo GameCube discs. It is unclear whether Nintendo plans to use a proprietary format for the Wii, or will stick to traditional single-layer or dual-layer DVDs.
Wii game console will be able to work with three-axis motion-sensitive Wii Remote controllers as well as Nunchuk controllers. The Wii Remote also includes a speaker, rumble feature and expansion port, and can be used as a pointer within 5 meters of the screen. The Wii Remote has a power switch, plus pad, A, B, Minus, Home, 1 and 2 buttons. The Nunchuk controller includes an analog control stick and C and Z buttons.
Nintendo officially states that the Wii console will play all of Nintendo GameCube games, and deliver downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favorite titles originally released for Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The company also says that the Wii game console will be very affordable and will be available in large quantities when it is released.