The Nintendo Wii and its motion-based Wiimote controller. By selling more than 70 million units, it brought a fresh, new perspective of gaming to hundreds of millions of people worldwide and helped Nintendo regain its leadership position in the industry.
The Wii is a home games console from the Japanese manufacturer Nintendo, released in 2006. A seventh generation console, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with which it is in competition, the Wii is the best selling home console of its generation with 101.63 million copies sold in 2016. It has the particularity of using an accelerometer capable of detecting the position, orientation and movements in the space of the joystick. The Wii is the first Nintendo console to have high definition.
The Wii is a home games console. The games are distributed on proprietary format optical discs (with the exception of those offered for download). Interaction with the player is via different controllers – including the Wii Remote, which is usually the main console controller.
- Technical specifications
The processor that powers the Wii is a variant of the Gekko from the GameCube, derived from the IBM PowerPC and codenamed Broadway. The main difference with the Gekko is a finer production process (90 nm against 180 nm for the Gekko) which made it possible to increase the frequency (729 MHz against 485 MHz for the Gekko) while further reducing the already low consumption of this processor (4 Watts for the latter against 5 for the Gekko) as well as its size and therefore its production cost (it is possible to produce around 2,500 Broadways with a single wafer).
Code name Hollywood, developed by ATI.
The Hollywood graphics processor (GPU) incorporates the main characteristics of that of the GameCube but clocked at 243 MHz. it contains an internal memory of 3 MB for the texture cache and the framebuffer. It also integrates the I / O controller and the Audio processor.
MEM1: 24 MiB of 1TSRAM identical to that of the GameCube to ensure backward compatibility perfectly. But unlike the GameCube, this memory is integrated here directly into the GPU package for the sake of reducing the number of chips and therefore the production cost.
MEM2: a single external chip of 64 MiB of GDDR3 on a 32 bit bus
The two RAMs are independently addressable, and can both store any type of data.
There is an auxiliary memory of 16 MiB. The latter cannot be used for graphics because it is less efficient, typically used for sound and interface. This memory space already existed on the GameCube.
- Media and connectivity
The Wii includes 512 MB of flash memory for backups or storage of games from the Virtual Console and WiiWare. The console has two USB 2.0 ports (480 Mbit / s), as well as a built-in Wi-Fi B and G module (up to 54 Mbit / s). The Ethernet connection is possible via a specific adapter connecting to a USB port on the console. Through its multi audio / video port, you can connect the Wii to your TV or monitor via a YUV, S-Video, composite or RGB cable. 1 port for connection of the infrared transmitter (Sensor Bar) and 1 SD card port are included.
Cables: D Terminal (optional in Japan), RGB (optional in Europe), YUV (optional).
The Wii is equipped with a disc eater which allows to receive a Wii double layer disc of twelve centimeters in diameter (classic DVD format) as well as the mini DVD GameCube of eight centimeters.
The Wii can be connected to the Internet, even when in standby mode, via the WiiConnect24. This allows updates and files to be downloaded, especially for acquired games.
A web browser produced by the company Opera, available for free.
Four gamepad ports and two GameCube memory card ports, for RVL-001 models
- online services
Connected mode is completely free and uses the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The network program is directly included in the console, which lightens the work of developers. The Wii is, from the start, marketed with everything you need to play online, and no subscription is necessary for Nintendo games. Nintendo thinks that connected mode will be the turning point of the new generation of consoles and wishes to be present. Indeed, after having long sulked with the GameCube (only three games playable online) while the PS2 and Xbox especially applied en masse, Nintendo seems determined to integrate online gaming into its policy.
For some games, the “Wi-Fi Connection” function is chargeable. For these games, the logo is dark orange and the mention Pay and Play is present there. The first paid online Wii video game in Europe is the WiiWare Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles My Life as a King game. This paid part is mainly used for additional content. The new Wii online service is WiiConnect24. Even in standby, the console remains connected to the Internet, which allows Nintendo or third-party publishers to deliver information, messages and content for their games to players. Updates are also available. The first Wii online game in Europe is Mario Strikers Charged Football, released on May 25, 2007 in Europe.