Friday, November 2, 2007

No Hard Disk Drive for Wii – Nintendo

Despite of the fact that a hard disk drive (HDD) designed for Nintendo Wii might ease life of certain customers and boost sales of outdated video games, Nintendo currently has no plans for such an add-on item. Moreover, the company believes that it is simply not needed by customers.

Nintendo Wii has become the world’s most popular game console presently not only because of the unique motion-sensitive game controller, but also because of compatibility with “old-school” games that can be acquired via a special online store. But one of the issues with games bought from Nintendo’s store is that they need storage space, which is limited in case of Wii with the capacity of SD memory cards.

“The way that we look at it is, we really don’t want people storing every single game they buy on their drive. When you buy a game, it’s yours forever, so you can delete it, and go back and get it at any time you want. In a way, we liken it to putting music on your iPod: you listen to it for a while, and then you get tired of it, and you pull it off, and you put some new stuff on,” said Nintendo public relations manager Eric Walter in an interview with Gamasutra web-site.

Even though even 2GB Secure Digital memory cards are hardly expensive nowadays, the necessity to buy a number of them to keep games playable even when Wii is offline may not seem as a comfortable option for many consumers.

Nintendo Wii, the most successful new-generation game console, features IBM’s custom PowerPC architecture-based microprocessor named Broadway clocked at 729MHz and code-named Hollywood chip with built-in graphics core, DSP and I/O features from ATI that operates at 243MHz, earlier reports suggested. Nintendo Wii uses 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU.

Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory, but the console will also has a card reader, which allows installing more memory.

Nintendo set the recommended retail price of ¥25 000 (about $204) in Japan, $249 in the U.S. and €249 ($342) in Europe.

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