E3: Nintendo Pre-E3 Press Event - Details

E3: Nintendo Pre-E3 Press Event - Details E3: Nintendo Pre-E3 Press Event - Details

Nintendo's Pre-E3 media event failed to unveil the secret everyone had been waiting for but still managed to keep everyone busy with the unveiling of an inbuilt speaker on the Wiimote and the concept of WiiConnect24. In an event where Nintendo made it clear that it would not reveal the exact launch date nor would it spill the beans on pricing, attendees were told to forget the business of gaming and try and feel it.

Nintendo confirmed that Wii will be available in the fourth quarter of 2006 and refrained from announcing an exact price claiming that the new console will be priced affordably for the mass market. It will feature a very quick startup, silent operation and low power consumption. These elements make the sleepless WiiConnect24 experience possible. Users never need to turn it off.

According to MegaGames counter-intelligence a new rumor that recently surfaced has reveals some details on Wii, including that the console will have an always on function and that the controller will feature an in-built speaker. Taking into account that this information has just been confirmed by Nintendo suggests that the price tag of USD 250, also mentioned, may be valid.

Nintendo also revealed the full specs of the Wii: it boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. A bay for an SD memory card letting players expand the internal flash memory. The design was optimized with state-of-the-art processing technologies that minimize power consumption, keep the console compact and enable the sleepless WiiConnect24 mode.
The console will be driven by a PowerPC CPU (code-named Broadway). Made with a 90nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM.

Nintendo used the conference to showcase the new built-in speaker on the Wiimote. The controller will include a chip on which the console will write a few sound files (via bluetooth we assume) depending on the on screen action. This feature may sound trivial but it fits in well with Nintendo's real world 3D gaming depth concept. As demonstrated at the media event today, the player may hear the sound of his bow's tension being released from the controller while the sound of the arrow hitting the target will come from the television. In the same way loading and firing a gun may produce sounds from the controller while the impact sounds will come from the TV. This feature is expected to further enhance the immersive potential of Wii while the controller will also make some form of beeping sound when it needs to be recharged.

Games in development for the Wii console include a third chapter in the Metroid Prime series, a new Mario game and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Additionally, dozens of developers worldwide are working to bring new experiences to the Wii console. Nintendo will expand the gaming circle to as many types of people as possible, including lapsed gamers and people who have never played before.

Along with Wii Sports, which includes the tennis game, the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will launch at the same time as Wii and thrill gamers with its captivating storyline, stunning game play and gorgeous look. The game makes use of the unique Wii Remote functions for elements like fishing and special sword attacks. The game also will be playable on Nintendo GameCube, but without the widescreen format or special controller functions.

Overall it seems Nintendo has done a good job in raising gamer expectations regarding Wii, even with that name, and we now will have a chance to try out the controller ourselves on the game floor to decide if it has all been worth it.