Although 'specs don't matter' we all know that no playground argument since the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC464 squared off isn't complete without the disagreeing geeks being equipped with some numbers to lisp at each other. Nintendo's Wii spec is dwarfed by those boasted in the Microsoft and Sony camps, though its games machine is, by design, better.
Either way, we were graced with a few facts and figures by Nintendo today, so here they are in, we think you'll agree, more detail than we might have expected:
Controls: Intuitive control for anyone using the physical motion of the main Wii Remote, which resembles a television remote control. Up to four Wii Remotes can be connected at once using wireless Bluetooth technology. The wireless signal can be detected within 10 meters of the console. Both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers include a three-axis motion sensor. The Wii Remote also includes a speaker, rumble feature and expansion port, and can be used as a pointer within 5 meters of the screen. The Wii Remote has a power switch, plus pad, A, B, Minus, Home, 1 and 2 buttons. The Nunchuk controller includes an analog control stick and C and Z buttons.
The Look: Wii features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any television setup. It can be displayed either vertically or horizontally.
Media: A single self-loading media bay will play single- or double-layered 12-centimeter optical discs for Wii, as well as 8-centimeter Nintendo GameCube discs.
Communication: Wii can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off. This WiiConnect24 service delivers a new surprise or game update, even if users do not play with Wii. Users can connect wirelessly using IEEE 802.11b/g, or with a USB 2.0 LAN adaptor. Wii also can communicate wirelessly with Nintendo DS.
Virtual Console: Wii will have downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favorite titles originally released for Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The Virtual Console also will feature a "best of" selection from Sega Genesis titles and games from the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). It also will be home to new games conceived by indie developers whose creativity is larger than their budgets.
The Specs: Wii 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 will let players expand the internal flash memory. Design was optimized with state-of-the-art processing technologies that minimize power consumption, keep the console compact and enable the "sleepless" WiiConnect24 mode.
CPU: PowerPC CPU (code-named "Broadway"). Made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM.
Graphics Processing Unit: Being developed with ATI.
Other Features: Four ports for classic Nintendo GameCube controllers. Two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards. An AV Multi-output port for component, composite or S-video.
So the GPU and CPU are not detailed but there are some numbers and tech stuff, which is frankly more than anyone expected.
As soon as the first developer blabs on all things Wii, you'll be informed.