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Nintendo Wii Games Hardware

Wii U Faster Than 360 Or PS3, No Blu-ray Or DVD Support 332

Posted by Soulskill
from the hamsters-on-steroids dept.
jdkramar was one of several readers to write with news of the Wii U hardware information that's been trickling out since E3. The new console will run a multicore IBM processor based on 45nm architecture (technology currently underpinning Watson), and will have an AMD R700 GPU chipset found in the Radeon 4000 line of video cards. Apparently it will, in fact, run Crysis. Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U will use a proprietary 25GB disc format, and won't support DVD or Blu-ray playback. A spokesman said, "The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies."
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Wii U Faster Than 360 Or PS3, No Blu-ray Or DVD Support

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  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @03:51AM (#36460130) Homepage

    Nintendo has always enjoyed being the only people who can duplicate media for their consoles. They've been doing it since the NES days.

    It lets them set prices they feel comfortable with.

  • by thebrave (1332837) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @03:54AM (#36460144)

    The point is that usually big N was cheap enough to use standard technologies, without the certifications. In this case, the WiiU would use a standard bluray drive (because they are mass produced by ton of factories and it is mature), but the data file format/layout on the drive would be proprietary. By not bundling video bluray/dvd playing capability, Nintendo doesn't have to pay the better part of patent fees.

  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Superken7 (893292) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @04:09AM (#36460222) Journal

    they were DVDs but did not adhere to the standard data frame format (more info here: http://hitmen.c02.at/files/docs/gc/Ingenieria-Inversa-Understanding_WII_Gamecube_Optical_Disks.html [c02.at] - awesome reverse engineering done by hacker xt5). However, modchips enabled standard DVD functionality back.

    I bet they went with a proprietary optical disk format in order to prevent piracy. If no one can burn the disks, then piracy will (hopefully for them) be less rampant.

    That is, of course, until someone figures out how to run disks from whatever disk or flash drives they support, which is much more convenient anyways ;)

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @04:21AM (#36460288)

    The disc format is probably almost identical to BluRay, but just different enough to not require licensing the patents. Also different enough that the discs won't get recognized by a standard BluRay drive.

    From here [one-blue.com], the royalty fee for a BluRay player is $9/unit. Each data disc has a $0.0725 royalty fee. You're looking at hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty fees over the life of the system, even if it only sells at the level the GameCube did. If the system is a Wii level success, you're in the ballpark of a billion dollars. Oh, and tack on another few dollars/unit for DVD royalty fees as well.

  • by dingen (958134) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @04:50AM (#36460458)
    Even if the Wii U was able to play movies, most people wouldn't know about it anyway. Ars Technica did a survey [arstechnica.com] back in 2007 where they found most people owning a PS3 don't know it plays Blu-Ray. I doubt that has changed much.
  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:04AM (#36461168)

    >>>Sega GDROM

    The 90s is a long time ago but if my memory recollects, it took pirates *3 years* to crack the GD-ROM and figure out how to squeeze the 1000 MB games onto a 700MB CD. I consider that a success, since it prevented Dreamcast piracy for most of its lifespan.

    Ditto for the Gamecube. Eventually it was cracked, but it protected the unit from piracy for four years. That's why Nintendo continued using the proprietary GC-ROM for its Wii (with modifications). It achieved its goal.

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