The Nintendo Wii, which was released on December 8th 2006 in the UK, “marries the strongest heritage of innovation to the future of gaming,” according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The new console boasts a smart, compact design, approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together, and will come with a stand that allows it to be displayed vertically or horizontally.
The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access. At the Wii’s technological heart is a processing chip developed with IBM code-named “Broadway,” and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named “Hollywood,” which will deliver game experiences not previously possible. A bay for an SD memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory.
Most exciting, however, is the Wii’s controller – a hand-held, wireless motion-tracking device – which lets you control what happens on screen though your body’s movements. For example, when playing a tennis game you could return a serve by using the controller in a racket-like fashion.
Wii offers superb backward compatibility — the cornerstone of Nintendo’s all-access approach. This new console plays fan-favourite games from Nintendo’s 20-year-old library. The drive is compatible with GameCube discs, and select Nintendo titles from the original NES of the 1980s all the way through the Nintendo 64 will be available through for download through the Virtual Console. As if that weren’t enough, the Virtual Console will also make available a few titles from SNES console contemporaries, Sega Mega Drive and the PC Engine.
The Wii console will revolutionise how people play games. But more importantly, it will entice new players into the world of video games by offering a variety of entertainment, information and communication Channels that add value to the console and make it a device that the entire family can enjoy. The Wii Channel Menu will be the first screen shown on the television, as it easily integrates itself as part of people’s everyday lives. The Wii Channels are: Disc Channel, Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Forecast Channel, News Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Internet Channel and the Wii Message Board.