Super Mario Bros.

Wii'leased into the wild!

The newest gaming console from Nintendo, the Wii, was released with much fanfare in late 2006. Featuring backward-compatibilty with Nintendo's previous console, the GameCube, the Wii promises to be a major contender in the home gaming console wars.

The Wii plays single- or double-layered 12 cm optical discs, as well as the 8 cm GameCube discs.

There are four controller ports and two memory card slots.

The CPU was jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM. The GPU, or graphics board was jointly developed with ATI. The Wii supports component, composite and S-video output.

As with all consoles these days, the Wii supports wireless Internet play, and can also connect to Nintendo's popular handheld game, the Nintendo DS.

The most innovative piece of hardware included with the console is the Wii Remote. Its motion-sensing technology lets you use the remote as a sword, a baseball bat, a tennis racket, a fishing rod, a steering wheel, etc., depending on which game you are playing. The potential here is almost limitless. In addition to the Wii Remote, buyers of the new console receive the Nunchuk, which plugs into the Wii Remote for added functionality when playing certain games. It will be interesting to see what kind of creative uses game designers will develop for these two complementary pieces of hardware. Of course, a classic controller is also included for the many retro-style games that will also be available.

Read two differing takes on the Wii from Slate magazine:


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