Monday, July 7, 2008

Nintendo Still Unwilling to Add DVD Playback to Wii

Sony PlayStation 3 supports Blu-ray disc and DVD playback, Microsoft Xbox 360 supports DVD playback and HD DVD playback through add-on drive, but the most successful video game console nowadays – Nintendo Wii – supports neither standard definition video, nor high-definition video playback. Moreover, it will not shortly, according to Nintendo’s execs.

“With supply constraints [of the Wii] continuing worldwide, the priority is on the current model,” said Satoru Iwata, chief executive of Nintendo Corp., adding that Nintendo would further push back the release of the Wii with DVD support, reports Ign web-site citing Nihon Keizai Shimbun news-paper.

Back in November, 2006, Nintendo disclosed plans to release DVD-playback enabled version of Wii in the latter half of 2007. According to Sonic Solutions, a software developer, Nintendo intended to use Sonic CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator software engine, which supports such advanced functions as anamorphic widescreen video, motion menus, and multiple video angles, to power DVD playback on Wii.

“We had decided not to initiate sales of [DVD-enabled Wii] in 2007 due to the necessity to raise production efficiency for the single game console product type. Given the demand for Wii in Japan, Europe and the U.S., we had to raise manufacturing efficiency of the current versions,” Nintendo indicated late last year.

Nintendo Wii 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 have a card reader, which will allow 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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