Nintendo Wii Details, Specs, New Photos

Nintendo’s pre-E3 conference unveiled many details on Wii, the company’s next-gen console -games, specification, direction and other aspects of the console were discussed and revealed.

It’s not a secret anymore that Wii’s controller is a motion sensor, letting users interact directly with the games instead of going through a lifeless gamepad.

Continuing Nintendo’s long tradition of developing highly innovative products that redefine the standards for the industry, Wii (pronounced “we”) will allow players to “feel” games in a way never known before: the adrenaline of a tennis match, the thrill of making an airplane bank or the rush of gripping the wheel of a speeding truck. The control scheme is simple enough that everyone, no matter what their prior gaming experience, can use it with ease and will want to try it.

The company has stated it again and again: they want to hit the mass market, and to do that they introduced the new controller system, so that new players can pick up a game easily and play through it without feeling uncomfortable.

Players manipulate their games through the motion of the remote control-like Wii Remote, which also includes a built-in speaker. In a four-player tennis game shown during Nintendo’s media briefing, the Wii Remote became a virtual tennis racket, from the vibration of the hit to the sound of the ball. The Wii Remote’s sensors are delicate enough to enable players to hit straight, add slice or put top spin on the ball.

Depending on the game, the Wii Remote could be a weapon, a baseball bat or an airplane. The applications are limited only by imagination. The Nunchuk controller attachment also includes a motion sensor, a development that suggests additional creative possibilities for this dual control system: Games could involve the use of a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Or a clamp and a scalpel. Or a pair of boxing gloves.

No exact release date or price was specified, but Nintendo did assert that the Wii will be available during Q4 2006 and will be priced affordably for the mass market. To make it even more enticing, the Wii will have a very quick startup, silent operation and low power consumption. Users will never need to turn the Wii off, making the “sleepless” WiiConnect24 possible – the console may download bonus content for games while you sleep. And there’s no need to even mention the Virtual Console service which will allow users to download games from past consoles; the Wii will feature a huge catalogue of Sega MegaDrive games.

The company also unveiled a fact sheet for the console, offering some technical details of the box.

Controls: Intuitive control for anyone using the physical motion of the main Wii Remote, which resembles a television remote control. Up to four Wii Remotes can be connected at once using wireless Bluetooth technology. The wireless signal can be detected within 10 meters of the console. Both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers include a three-axis motion sensor. 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.

The Look: Wii features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any television setup. It can be displayed either vertically or horizontally.

Color: TBA

Media: A single self-loading media bay will play single- or doublelayered 12-centimeter optical discs for Wii, as well as 8-
centimeter Nintendo GameCube™ discs.

Communication: Wii can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off. This “WiiConnect24” service delivers a new surprise or game update, even if users do not play with Wii. Users can connect wirelessly using IEEE802.11b/g, or with a USB 2.0 LAN adaptor. Wii also can communicate wirelessly with Nintendo DS™.

Virtual Console: Wii will have downloadable access to 20 years of fanfavorite titles originally released for Nintendo® 64, the
Super Nintendo Entertainment System® (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System® (NES). The Virtual Console also will feature a “best of” selection from Sega Genesis titles and games from the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). It also will be home to new games conceived by indie developers whose creativity is larger than their budgets.

The Specs: Wii has 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. A bay for an SD
memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory. Design was optimized with state-of-the-art processing technologies that minimize power consumption, keep the console compact and enable the “sleepless” WiiConnect24 mode.

CPU: PowerPC CPU (code-named “Broadway”) Made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM.

Graphics Processing Unit: Being developed with ATI

Other Features: Four ports for classic Nintendo GameCube controllers. Two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards. An AV Multi-output port for component, composite or S-video.

As well as some photos of the Wii.

A controller for retro games was shown also.

As well as a series of photos showing the way the Wiimote will work; it also highlights the built-in speaker.

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