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The Wii (pronounced as the pronoun "we," IPA: [wiː]) is a video game console released by Nintendo. The console was previously known by its project code name of Revolution, and is the successor to the Nintendo GameCube. Although Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, as part of the seventh generation of gaming consoles it competes with the other two on some levels.
A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. Notable among the console's internal features is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while consuming very little electrical power.
Nintendo first mentioned the console in the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled the system at the 2005 E3. Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. In the 2006 E3, it won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, the console completed its launch in three key markets.
WII IS SHIT
The Wii console is Nintendo's smallest home unit yet; measuring 44 mm (1.73 in.) wide, 157 mm (6.18 in.) tall, and 215.4 mm (8.48 in.) deep in the vertical orientation without the included stand (which itself measures 55.4 mm (2.18 in.) wide, 44 mm (1.73 in.) tall, and 225.6 mm (8.88 in.) deep. It is approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together (approx. 4.5 cm x 15 cm x 20 cm) (1.75 in. x 6 in. x 8 in.). It weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 lbs), which makes it the lightest of the three current-gen consoles. The console can be placed either horizontally or vertically. The prefix for the numbering scheme of the system and its parts and accessories is "RVL-" after its project code name of "Revolution".
The front of the console features an illuminated slot-loading optical media drive that accepts both 12cm Wii game discs and 8cm Nintendo GameCube discs. The blue light in the disc slot illuminates briefly when the console is turned on, and pulsates when new data such as messages have been received from WiiConnect24. When there is no WiiConnect24 information, the light is off. The disc slot light does not stay illuminated during game play or when using other features. Two USB ports are located at its rear, and an SD card slot hides behind the cover on the front of the console. The SD card can be used for editing photos and it can be used to back up saved game data and downloaded Virtual Console games. Virtual Console data cannot be restored to any system except the unit of origin, a presently impenetrable system of digital rights management for the VC games. To utilize the SD slot, a software update must be downloaded, so game saves cannot be transferred to or from a system which has not been connected to the Internet.
Nintendo has shown the console and the Wii Remote in various colors, including white, black, silver, lime green, and red, but initially it is only available in white. At E3 2006, the Wii Remote was shown in light blue. Numerous minor changes were made to the design between its original unveiling and launch, mostly in the Nintendo branding used and button placements.
The launch Wii package includes the console, a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a removable stand for the sensor bar, one external main power adapter, two AA batteries, one composite AV cable with RCA connectors (component video and other types of cables are available separately), and (in all regions excluding Japan) a copy of Wii Sports.
A Nintendo spokesperson has confirmed that Nintendo plans to release a version of the console with DVD-Video playback capabilities in Japan, but that release in other territories is not currently planned. This corroborates an earlier press release by digital media company Sonic Solutions, stating that Nintendo had chosen their CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator software engine to provide this functionality. Even though software will be used to enable DVD-Video functionality, it apparently "requires more than a firmware upgrade" and cannot therefore be implemented through the WiiConnect24 network.
The Wii Remote is a one-handed controller that uses a combination of accelerometers and infrared detection (from an array of LEDs inside the Sensor Bar) to sense its position in 3D space. This design allows users to control the game using physical gestures as well as traditional button presses. The controller connects to the console using Bluetooth, and features force feedback, 4KB non-volatile memory and an internal speaker. The controller can connect to other devices through a proprietary port at the base of the controller. Perhaps the most important of these devices is the Nunchuk unit, which features an accelerometer and a traditional analog stick with two trigger buttons. In addition, an attachable wrist strap can be used to prevent the player from unintentionally dropping or throwing the device. In response to incidences of strap failures, Nintendo is now offering a stronger replacement of all Wii Remote straps.
Nintendo itself has released few technical specifics regarding the Wii system, but some key facts have leaked to the press.
* None of the clock rates have been confirmed by Nintendo, IBM, or ATI.
Interlink Electronics, a California-based company, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nintendo over the pointing functionalities of the Wii Remote, claiming "loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities" of Nintendo. Anascape Ltd, a Texas-based firm, also filed a lawsuit against Nintendo for patent infringements. Green Welling LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo for their "defective wrist straps".
The operating system interface for the console is designed around the concept of television channels, with a Wii menu used to access them. Separate channels are graphically displayed in a grid, and are navigated using the pointer capability of the Wii Remote. There are six primary channels: the Disc Channel, Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Forecast Channel, and News Channel. The Forecast Channel was released on December 19, 2006. The News Channel is announced to be released on January 27, 2007.
Two additional channels can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel: the Internet Channel and Virtual Console Channel(s). A beta version of the Internet Channel was released on December 22, 2006 and is available for download on the Wii Shop Channel. The full version is to be released in March which will be free until June. After June a fee of 500 Wii Points will be required for purchase.
The Wii console is backward compatible with all Nintendo GameCube software and most GameCube peripherals. This backwards compatibility is achieved with the help of the slot-loading drive being able to accept GameCube discs, and a set of four GameCube controller ports and two Memory Card slots, concealed by flip-open panels. A GameCube controller is required to play GameCube games, as neither the Wii Remote nor the Classic Controller functions in this capacity. A GameCube memory card is also necessary if you want to save, as the Wii internal flash memory will not save GameCube games. Nintendo has stated that the console is not compatible with the GameCube modem adapter, broadband adapter, Game Boy Player, AV cable, or AC adaptor.
Nintendo DS connectivity
The Wii system supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS. Shigeru Miyamoto said Nintendo was still working out when features using this connectivity would be available, but that it would be soon after the launch of the system, due to the popularity of the Nintendo DS. At Nintendo's corporate policy meeting in June 2006, Satoru Iwata explained that the DS uses its wireless connectivity to communicate with the console and that no further accessories are needed.
The connectivity allows the player to use functions like the Nintendo DS microphone and touchscreen as inputs for Wii games. The first example Nintendo has given of a game using Nintendo DS-Wii connectivity is that of Pokémon Battle Revolution. Players with either Pokémon Diamond or Pearl are able to play battles using their Diamond or Pearl Pokémon on Wii with the Nintendo DS as a controller. It has also been announced that the Nintendo DS is able to play game demos downloaded from the console which they would receive from Nintendo, similar to a DS Download Station. The console is also able to expand Nintendo DS games.
The console features parental controls (with an update), prohibiting younger users from playing games with content considered unsuitable for their age level. When a Wii or Virtual Console game is attempted to be played, it reads the content rating encoded in the game data; if this rating is greater than the system's set age level the game will not load without a correct override password. However, the parental controls setting does not affect GameCube games.
European units mainly utilize the PEGI rating system, whereas North American units use the ESRB rating system. The Wii unit supports the native rating systems of many countries, including CERO in Japan, the USK in Germany, both the PEGI and BBFC in the United Kingdom and the OFLC in Australia and New Zealand.
The Wii unit is able to connect to the Internet through its built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and through a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor, with both methods allowing players to access the established Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Nintendo has stated that the console implements standard Wi-Fi protocols. Wireless encryption by WEP, WPA (TKIP), WPA (AES), and WPA2 (AES) are supported. Just as for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo does not charge fees for playing via the service and the Friend Code system controls how players connect to one another. It is reported that only one Wii system code is required. This system also implements console-based software such as the Wii Message Board, for which a feature is being considered for alerting registered friends for the Wii Message Board about new games that have been purchased.
The service has several features for the console including the Virtual Console, WiiConnect24 and Internet Channel. The console can also communicate and connect with other Wii systems through a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multiplayer on different television sets. Battalion Wars 2 first demonstrated this feature for non-split screen multiplayer between two or more televisions.
The Wii firmware requires updates from time to time. The latest firmware version for the Wii system is 2.0. In order to use Channels requiring internet access, a firmware update is required. Units are shipped with the latest version of the firmware. The first firmware update via the WiiConnect24 feature caused a small portion of units to become unusable, forcing users to either send their units to Nintendo for repairs where saved data was retained, or exchange it for a free replacement. The latter option had a faster turn around time but led to a loss of saved data.
Games representing all of Nintendo's flagship franchises, such as the The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mario, WarioWare, Animal Crossing, Pokémon, Super Smash Bros., and Fire Emblem series have been announced for the console, with only The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess being released to date in all territories. Wario Ware has seen release in some territories. Likewise, there are many original titles for it as well as many expected third party games. Ubisoft will release eight titles over the launch period, and have stated that they have a further six currently in development while Midway Games have announced six titles and EA has declared their '100%' support for the console. EA has since gone on to purchase long-time partner Headgate Studios, which now develops exclusively for Nintendo's console.
Though Perrin Kaplan had originally stated that the system would be region-free, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe eventually agreed on the console being region-locked.
References and notes
- ^ a b c d Wii: The Total Story. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-11-20.
- ^ a b Anoop Gantayat (2006-12-07). One Million Wiis Worldwide. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
- ^ Brendan Sinclair (2006-12-07). NPD: November game sales up 15 percent. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2006-12-07.
- ^ MCreate software rankings. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- ^ Ingham,Tim (2006-12-13). Wii sells 325,000 during Euro launch. mcvuk.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-13.
- ^ http://au.wii.ign.com/articles/750/750918p1.html
- ^ a b Nintendo hopes Wii spells wiinner. USATODAY.com. USA Today (2006-08-15). Retrieved on 2006-08-16.
- ^ Sinclair, Brendan; Torres, Ricardo. TGS 2005: Iwata speaks. Retrieved on 2006-09-24.
- ^ A Closer Look at the Nintendo Wii.
- ^ "Wii controller world tour", Ngamer, July 13, 2006, pp. 8. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
- ^ Nintendo Forums: SD CARD ISSUE (from one system to another) (December 10, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
- ^ Wii Colors. Revolution Report. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
- ^ Wii Remote Colors. news.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
- ^ GameDaily BIZ: Confirmed: Nintendo to Release DVD-Enabled Wii in 2007 (November 13, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
- ^ a b Casamassina, Matt. IGN's Nintendo Wii FAQ. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-11-11.
- ^ Nintendo offers to replace Wii straps.
- ^ a b IGN: Revolution's Horsepower. IGN (2006-3-29). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
- ^ (Japanese)Wiiの概要 (Wii本体). Nintendo. Retrieved on 2006-05-22.
- ^ PS3 VS Wii, Comparisons of Core LSI Chip Areas. TechOn! (2006-11-27). Retrieved on 2006-12-15.
- ^ Casamassina, Matt (July 17, 2006). Macronix Supplies Wii. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-07-18.
- ^ consolewatcher.com Wii Component Cable Supports 480p Output
- ^ Images reveal RGB SCART compatibility
- ^ Dolby Laboratories (2006-09-21). Dolby Technology to Power the Sound of the Wii Console. Press release. Retrieved on 2006-09-23.
- ^ Micah Seff (2006-12-08). Nintendo Sued for Patent Infringement. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
- ^ INQUIRER staff (2006-8-03). Microsoft, Nintendo sued over games controller. The Inquirer. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
- ^ Jeremy Reimer (2006-8-04). Microsoft, Nintendo sued over game controller patents. arctechnica. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
- ^ Nintendo Recalls Defective Wii Wrist Straps After Class Action Filed by Green Welling LLP. Yahoo (2006-12-15). Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
- ^ Nintendo's Wii Forecast Channel now live in Oz. Aussie-Nintendo.com (2006-12-19). Retrieved on 2006-12-19.
- ^ Wii Menu. Nintendo. Retrieved on 2006-12-19.
- ^ Wii Opera Browser Beta Available December 22. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- ^ Gamasutra - E3: Miyamoto Discusses Wii/DS Connectivity, Wii Pricing. Retrieved on December 28, 2006.
- ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop (June 7, 2006). Connectivity Returns. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
- ^ Naoki Asami; ITpro Publisher; Hiroki Yomogita, Silicon Valley (2006-05-25). Regaining what we have lost: Nintendo CEO Iwata's Ambitions for the "Wii". Tech-On! 3. Nikkei Business Publications. Retrieved on 2006-06-09.
- ^ "Revolution To Feature Parental Controls", Planet GameCube, 2005-11-16.
- ^ Nintendo of America (2005-11-16). Nintendo Announces Play Control System For Next Hardware. Press release.
- ^ Choosing a Wireless Router. Nintendo.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-13.
- ^ a b sjohnson (2006-07-18). Secret Wii Details Revealed. The Feed. G4 Media, Inc.. Retrieved on 2006-07-20.
- ^ Casamassina, Matt (2006-05-11). Wii Wi-Fi Just Like DS. IGN.com.
- ^ Iwata Asks. Nintendo.
- ^ IGN: Wii Channels to Require Upgrade (2006-10-10). Retrieved on 2006-10-12.
- ^ Wii Connect 24 Kills Wiis.
- ^ Matt Casamassina (2006-05-09). E3 2006: Wii Game List. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-09-04.
- ^ Matt Wales (2006-08-02). Ubisoft and Midway suck up Wii. computerandvideogames. Retrieved on 2006-08-07.
- ^ Simon Carless (2006-08-01). EA Sees Larger Loss, Ramps Up Wii Production. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2006-08-07.
- ^ iTZKooPA (2006-12-01). EA Snaps Up Headgate Studios. Totalgaming.net. Retrieved on 2006-12-05.
- ^ First-party Wii games would be region-free [update 2]. joystiq (2006-09-14). Retrieved on 2006-11-03.
- ^ Wii not even remotely region-free. Joystiq (2006-09-14). Retrieved on 2006-12-06.
- List of video games published by Nintendo
- Comparison of seventh-generation game consoles
- Wii Linux Project
- List of Wii games
- Official sites
- Official Wii site
- Official Wii site at nintendo.com
- Official Wii page at nintendo.com
- Nintendo Corporation - Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, media briefing speech at E3 2006
- Wii at E3 - Nintendo E3 2006 coverage
- Unofficial coverage
- Wii page at GameSpot.com
- Wii coverage at IGN.com
- HwB - Details about hardware specs & pinouts
Categories: Articles with unsourced statements | Wii | Backward compatible video game consoles | Wi-Fi | 2006 introductions | Power Architecture