Wii



Wii is Nintendo's seventh-generation video game console. Its official project code name was Revolution.

A major feature of Wii is the console's wireless controller, the Wii Remote, that may be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. The controller also contains a speaker and a rumble device to provide sensory feedback, and can be used to turn Wii on and off. The console also features a stand-by mode entitled WiiConnect24, enabling it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while consuming very little electrical power.

Nintendo unveiled the system under the code name Revolution in 2005 at its E3 press conference. Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's President, revealed a prototype of the system's game controller at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show during his keynote speech in September 2005. For E3 2006, Wii won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. Wii is set to be released on November 19, 2006 in North America, December 2, 2006 in Japan, December 7, 2006 in Australia and New Zealand, and December 8, 2006 in Europe.

On September 14, 2006 and September 15, 2006, Nintendo announced release information for Japan, North and Latin America, Australia & Europe, including dates and prices. The information can be seen in the table below.

At a June 7, 2006 policy briefing, Nintendo revealed that it intends to release 6 million console units and 17 million software units during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007 and 4 million or more console units by the end of the 2006 calendar year. On September 14, 2006, it was announced that the majority of the 2006 shipments will be allotted to the Americas.

Nintendo of Canada vice president and general manager Ron Bertram stated that the company expects a million consoles for North America at launch, information picked up by IGN on September 25, 2006. The next day, Nintendo branded the information as a "misstatement about the number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout," and reiterated earlier statements of expected sales of 4 million consoles worldwide by the end of 2006 with the largest allotment available in the Americas. The company affirmed that they "are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow."

Despite the price point of US$60 quoted for many seventh generation games, Satoru Iwata said that it is unlikely that first-party games would cost more than US$50 (GBP£34 - £39).

* Wii Sports comes packaged with the console in all regions excluding Japan.

† USD equivalent with local VAT, GST or sales tax removed for ease of comparison with territories that do not include taxes in consumer prices.

‡ Retail price as estimated by, rather than suggested by, Nintendo .

On September 15, 2006, a problem on the Amazon.com site allowed people to pre-order Wii. The pre-order came in massive amounts, forcing Amazon to close the pre-orders. A message was posted on the Wii detail page at amazon.com quoting:

For a brief period on Friday, we did offer pre-orders for the Wii, however, the rate at which pre-orders came in dramatically outpaced what we had anticipated, so we suspended pre-orders until we are able to get a firmer commitment from Nintendo regarding how many units we'll have for sale.

Because the pre-order window was so brief, the e-mail many of you signed up for notifying you that pre-orders were available was never triggered to send out. We apologize and have fixed the system to ensure pre-order e-mail notifications are sent in advance.

As of September 2006, it has been confirmed that 21 titles will be available on launch day in the Americas, with another 24+ games believed to be available during the "launch window" ending in March 2007. A number of those titles will be available, in other versions, for Nintendo's other game platforms: the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and the Nintendo DS. Wii Sports will be bundled with the console packs at launch in all regions excluding Japan.

The console was known by the codename of "Revolution" until immediately prior to E3 2006. Nintendo spells "Wii" with two "i"s to imply an image of players gathering together, as well as to represent the console's controllers. Nintendo has given many reasons for its choice of name since its announcement; however, the most well known is:
Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

According to the Nintendo Style Guide: A Guide to the Proper Usage of Some of Nintendo's Products:

It is simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii. It is pronounced "we", indicating its all-inclusive nature. The name works best at the beginning of declarative statements. For clarity, it is best to avoid passive verbs and prepositions.

Despite Nintendo's justification for the name, many members of the press, online communities and even game developers reacted negatively to the name change. Some have expressed "fear that the name would convey a continued sense of 'kidiness' to the console", "wish Nintendo had stuck with 'Revolution'", or even made fun of the name for its phonetic similarities to words in English and French. Still, Nintendo defends its choice of Wii over Revolution, and suggests to that those who dislike the name to "live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it".

Wii is Nintendo's smallest home game console yet; measuring 44 mm wide, 157 mm tall, and 215.4 mm deep in the vertical orientation without the included stand (which itself measures 55.4 mm wide, 44 mm tall, and 225.6 mm deep). It is approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together (approx. 4.5 cm x 15 cm x 20 cm). The console can be stood either horizontally or vertically. The front of the console features a slot-loading media drive illuminated by a blue light and accepts both 12-cm and 8-cm optical discs from Nintendo's prior console, the Nintendo GameCube. The ability to load differently sized discs is uncommon in slot-loading media drives, which typically only accept discs of a single size. Two USB ports (at the rear) and one SD card slot (behind a flap cover at the front of the console) are provided.

Nintendo has shown Wii and the Wii Remote in various colors, including silver, lime green, white, black, and red. The console will initially be available only in white.

The systems shown at E3 2006 and in various trailers have several small changes from the original design. Not only has the Nintendo branding on the case been replaced with a 'Wii' logo, but the disc-loading slot has been enlarged slightly, the reset button has been moved from next to the eject button to beside the power button, and the power indicator light has been moved from next to the power button to inside that button. Originally Nintendo suggested that DVD playback would be an option with an additional purchase but this functionality has since been dropped.

The primary controller for Wii uses a one-handed, Bluetooth, remote control-based design with force-feedback capabilities. It features an integrated accelerometer, which allows it to sense linear motion along three axes, as well as tilt. The controller also contains a tracking image sensor, which, in tandem with a sensor bar, gives the controller light gun-like pointer capabilities within 5 meters (approx. 16.5 ft) of the screen. Up to four controllers can be connected at once and operated as far as ten meters from the console. It can be utilized like an NES gamepad when rotated. An internal audio speaker can be used to play sound effects and provides an enhanced depth of sound field. The Wii Remote features 4KB of non-volatile memory. It can run up to 60 hours using only the accelerometer function with two alkaline AA batteries and up to 30 hours when using the precision aim. The buttons on the controller are digital and include a D-pad, A, B, 1, 2, -, +, Home and Power buttons as well as a SYNC button located underneath the battery cover.

The Wii Remote can be augmented by various add-ons. Announced expansions include: the included Nunchuk controller (which also has accelerometer capabilities, but no pointer ability) featuring an analog stick and two additional digital buttons (C and Z), a Classic Controller for playing Virtual Console games and a "Zapper Style" shell for first-person shooter gameplay which also includes a control stick on the top. The first third-party add-on is a steering wheel peripheral that will be packaged with Ubisoft's GT Pro Series and Monster 4x4 World Circuit.

Shigeru Miyamoto has expressed an interest in releasing re-makes of existing GameCube titles, stating that some titles would benefit from the functionality of the Wii Remote. In an interview, Miyamoto revealed that Nintendo hopes to allow Wii controllers to be personalized for each gamer. Applications would include different game settings determined by the preferences of the controller that turned on the console.

The sensor bar is an attachment placed either directly above or below the display screen (Wii will come with a sensor bar stand). It is required for games and applications that use the remote as an on-screen pointer. With the sensor bar, it is possible to accurately pinpoint where on screen a remote is pointing, regardless of the size or type of display used; however, it has been advised to play approximately six feet from the screen for optimal results. Nintendo is currently working on reducing this distance to allow players to get closer to the screen while maintaining accuracy. The sensor bar is around 20 centimeters (approximately 8 inches) long.

The sensor bar contains two sensors, one in each end. However, it is not yet known if it is used for the on-screen pointer or for other uses, such as triangulating the controller's position in 3D space.

Nintendo has released most technical specifics regarding the Wii console. The known details include:

Processors:

* CPU: PowerPC based processor codenamed "Broadway" made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process.

* GPU: ATI "Hollywood" GPU made with a 90 nm CMOS process.

Memory:

* 1T-SRAM

Ports and peripheral capabilities:

* Up to four Wii Remote controllers (connected wirelessly via Bluetooth)
* One SD memory card slot
* Two USB 2.0 ports
* One Sensor Bar port
* Four Nintendo GameCube controller ports
* Two Nintendo GameCube memory card ports
* Compatible with optional USB 2.0 to Ethernet LAN adaptor

Storage:

* 512 MB built-in flash memory
* Expansion available via SD card memory
* Slot-loading disc drive compatible with:
o 8 cm GameCube optical disc
o 12 cm Wii optical disc
* Mask ROM by Macronix

Built-in content ratings systems:

* CERO, PEGI, ESRB

Video:

* Up to 480p, will work with any TV or projector, and VGA output (Unconfirmed)
* Component (including Progressive scan), S-Video, or composite output
* 16:9 widescreen support

Audio:

* Main: Stereo - Dolby Pro Logic II-capable
* Controller: Built-in speaker

The operating system interface for Wii 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. The grid is completely customizable apart from the disc channel which will always be in the top left slot and users can place links to different channels or virtual console games in the menu's 48 slots. Some of the major channels include:

With a Wii or Nintendo Gamecube game disc, the Disc Channel will boot up the game. This channel shows an image (usually the game's logo).

Similar to its use as the Nintendo DS Browser, the Opera web browser will be available for download, according to Nintendo, and it will be purchased using Wii Points. It will be available as a free download until June 2007 in all regions.

A June 2006 interview between Wired News and Katsuya Eguchi (producer of Animal Crossing and Wii Sports) confirmed that the custom player avatar feature shown at Nintendo's E3 Media Briefing would be included in the hardware. The feature was described as part of a "Profile" system that contains the caricature and other persistent player information. This application was officially unveiled by Nintendo in September 2006. It is incorporated into Wii Channel's operating system interface as the "Mii Channel". Users can select from pre-made caricatures or create their own by choosing custom body part shapes, colors, and positioning. For games such as Wii Sports, each player's caricature will be shown as their in-game character appearance. Mii creations can be downloaded to Wii's Controller, and be taken to another Wii.

When a Virtual Console game is bought through the Wii Shop Channel it will be placed in the Virtual Console channel. However, the user can give the game its own channel in the main menu if they wish to. The Virtual Console is an online service, similar to Xbox Live Arcade, that allows users to download games not only for the NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64, but also Sega's Genesis/Mega Drive, NEC's PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, the MSX home computer, and the Commodore 64 home computer. NES games will cost 500 Wii Points / JP¥500 (US$5), Super NES games 800 Wii Points / JP¥800 (US$8), and Nintendo 64 games 1,000 Wii Points / JP¥1,000 (US$10). (approx. €4 to €8 including VAT, c.2006).

In a financial report issued by the publisher Tecmo, it was stated that the company promised to support the Virtual Console "aggressively", however, no further specifics were mentioned. Approximately 30 games will be released though the Virtual Console between the console's launch and the end of the calendar year, with 10 additional games being released every month after that for at least the next year.

"...will be home to new games conceived by indie developers whose creativity is larger than their budgets.

Nintendo has stated that Wii will be backward compatible with all GameCube software and most 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. Nintendo has stated that the Wii console will not be compatible with the GameCube modem adapter, broadband adapter, Game Boy Player, AV cable, or AC adaptor.

Wii will support 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 Wii and that no further accessories will be needed.

The connectivity will allow the player to use functions like the Nintendo DS's 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 will be able to play battles using their Diamond or Pearl Pokémon on Wii with the Nintendo DS as a controller.

It has also been confirmed that the Nintendo DS will be able to play game demos downloaded from Wii which they would receive from Nintendo, similar to a DS Download Station. Wii will also be able to update and expand Nintendo DS games.

Wii will feature parental controls, prohibiting younger users from playing games with content unsuitable for their age level. When a disc is inserted, it will read the content rating encoded on the game discs; if this rating is greater than the system's set age level, the game will not load without a correct override password.

It is confirmed that the European units will use the PEGI rating system, whereas North American units will use the ESRB rating system. While Nintendo has stated that parental control will be included in all Wii consoles worldwide, it has not yet clarified whether that means Wii will support the native rating systems of other territories, such as that of CERO in Japan, the USK in Germany, the BBFC in the United Kingdom (although most video games in the United Kingdom do carry a PEGI rating), or the OFLC in Australia.

Wii will be 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 Wii will implement standard Wi-Fi protocols. Just as for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo originally stated that they will not charge fees for playing via the service and the Friend Code system will control how players connect to one another. This system will also be implemented for 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 will have several unique features for Wii, such as the Virtual Console, WiiConnect24 and the Wii Browser. Wii also can communicate and connect with other Wii systems by 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. Nintendo has announced two Wi-Fi enabled games at LGC 2006 in Leipzig: Mario Strikers Charged, and Battalion Wars 2. Although Wii features an online mode, Nintendo hasn't provided the programming tools for 3rd party developers yet, meaning that only first party Wii games will be online, at least in 2006.

At E3 2006, Nintendo announced WiiConnect24, a feature that will allow Wii to remain connected to the Internet in standby mode. Some possible uses of WiiConnect24 that were mentioned at E3 2006 include allowing friends to visit a player's village in Animal Crossing and downloading updates for games without having to be actively using the system. It has also been said that it would be possible to download Nintendo DS promotional demos using WiiConnect24 and later transfer it to one's Nintendo DS, similar to a DS Download Station.

Games representing all of Nintendo's flagship franchises, such as the Zelda series and the Mario series, have been announced for Wii. Likewise, there are many announced titles that are original for Wii, as well as many expected third party games. A comprehensive list may be found at List of Wii games.

* Ubisoft has upped their number of titles in development for Wii to 9 (8 of which are to be launch games and only 3 of which were previously known about), while Midway Games has announced they have 6 titles in development, and EA has recently increased their development efforts for Wii.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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