Kiyoshi Saruwatari's Wii Blog

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wii - a computer?

When I said Wii will have a Linux platform for the interface many of course think of Wii as can be a computer. But I can say that Nintendo will still put all focus on games. The very reason we chose Linux was so we dont have to put as much effort in developing new applications aside from games. Because we always focus on nothing else but game. I did say that 3rd party developers will can make add ons in the Linux platform on Wii, but this is not something we think will be a large part of the Wii, but if 3rd parties seem its good to make GNOME available we dont stop it. A console has always been a computer. Why havent they made lots of application things before? Would the availabilty of a Linux platform change that. Perhaps. What Wii has is simply a very fancy menu system with video playback ability and lots of things like that, and its also very expandable. So that somewhat sets it apart from other console by out of the box having a highly compatible operating system thats wide using.

But Nintendo will not release software that not has to do with games. The video player is for trailers, the portal is for game news and game downloads, file manager for games file and things like that. So we're realy just using a easy implementable platform to make a very solid inferface wich dont distrub gameplay or take away from the experince with bugs and things that not work.

If 3rd party want to make it a more computer like system, theyre free to. But from Nintendo acxpect only things that has to do with games.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The software in Wii

Nintendo Wii will be the first Nintendo console ever with extensive built in software. It will have emulators, download manager to download news etc and possibilty to seamless extend the system with like for example the Opera browser to allow to browse regulare web pages. And it will also have the option to download and view videos from Nintendo with new video player, and file manager because the memory card now can take many things, including videos, VC games, saved data, game contant and much else.

Obviously, you can hear that all this is very expensive to make and put in the console. How could Nintendo cut the cost? It's very simple. Simply Wii will have software based on a industry standard platform that's open source. Linux. You read that right. Wii will have Linux as operating system with proprietary GUI and applications based on commonly open source for Linux programs. This probably make you all think of homebew and hacking and things like that, but the final system in closed and will allow only signed code etc and will be very secure, even though it's technically compatible with a world of already existing software. You can count on a lot of 3rd party add ons, much like Opera. By default, Wii will not have a window manager, but a easy to understand and simple interface, similar to what other consoles have. Underneath is a powerful and stabel Linux kernel which keeps it all solid.

The system itself will put on the 512 mb memory stick integrated in the system and its hidden and cant be removed from the console. So there is no risk for removing the system software. The memory card make the system start up very quick, and if you hold A on the Wiimote while starting Wii, it will automaticaly start the game in the DVD without booting Linux, and you can also set up this in Settings so it always starts automatically. But by default, it brings you to a menu, similar to the Nintendo DS menu.

Remember that the games will not run on Linux, but on a similar propritary platfrom like other consoles also use.

A little bit with Mario Party

Miyamoto told some more about an unspecified upcoming game in an interview. At you can see what he said as a whole. He mentioned that a game will work with passing around a single Wiimote and it can tells everyone information without anyone else hear it. He also said it will speak out the name of the player - actually recorded in the microphone it has in the controller.

But now, lets talk a more about this game. First I can say it will be a part of the upcoming Mario Party game for Wii. Actually it will be a selectable mode which you can play in separate from the main mode of the game. This way of playing will have several different modes in it. For example, you will be guessing a word, and each person which gets the Wiimote will hear a different clue. So all will hear different things. To then to guess, you speak in the microphone which recongnize what you said and says if it's right or wrong. This way it gets very interesting when the other players can hear what you guess but not the clue, and you have to be clever to crack the word. It occasionally also uses the TV to show a picture as a clue, or a video clip.

In another game in the mode will be a charade style of game. It works by saying to you the thing you should imitate. Then you paint on the screen by using the Wiimote as the pencil and the others will guess to what it is. When they know it they use their own Wiimote to press A and say the word to the microphone. Each player has only one guess every 10 seconds.

Included will also be version with different quite complicates bord games which I dont know exactly how they play, but there will be very interesting uses of this game mode and it will be very fun as in a party game, or just to play with the family.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Virtual Console games

I bet youve wondered how VC games will cost and be available. At first, many thought the games would be free. That's little silly considering Nintendo holds on tight to the old software titles. We believe they dont age as much as most people think. But when they sit down and play they still see the old games are fun.

The VC games will mainly be sold through the online portal. The price will differ but Nintendo titles will be priced at $3,99 for NES games, $4,99 for SNES games and $7,99 for N64. These prices are similar to what you might find old PC games for - but this is quality console titles. The very best. So it's very, very attractive. We dont think that people are want to buy much famicom games and those will be offered as prices in many different single player games, for example Animal Crossing. Metroid Prime 3 will also also allow free downloading of old Metroid titles as reward for certain goals. But the VC games will also be offered as prizes in online turnaments and on special occasions, like Nintendo's birthday.

Some of the old games will feature special features for the Wiimote, but that is only for the controls and not graphics. For example Duck Hunt now works with the Wiimote. But dont expect all games to control new. Only few of them do.

The Wiimote will allow to play NES game sideways (and also the first Super Mario on famicom is included with every Wii, I think I mentioned that earlier), but most likely no other console. To play other consoles, you can use the special VC controller or a GC controller as well. They're both fully compatible, but the new special controller is better suited, for one it doesnt have the analog sholder buttons and it has a more traditonal button layot.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The microphone is true

I think I have to take this one before moving on. I saw in the comment that a lot of people think Im fake becuase I said it has a mic. Both Iwata and Miyamoto have told in interviews that the Wiimote will have no mike. But this is just a way to cover up. If they wont answer you know it's suspicious. And if they suspect it will have a microphone that means they'll ask about different implementations like chat and so on. If they say no it has no mic, then noone will ask about it again and they will just forget it. Instead of maybe answering more and maybe they will slip. So it's easier to do this, and they can always say oh we added that later, so we didnt lye anyway.

Because a mic can do very much with a game. There are many interesting ways to use it. For example Nintendo copyrighted WiiKaraoke as a trademark. So that's just further evidence.

A mic is NOT expensive. A mic is one of the most basic, cheapest key components a controller can possibly have. It's easy to put there, it consts practically nothing and unless it's activated it draws absolutely no power from the battary. So personally, I think you should can see that it would actually be stupid of Nintendo to NOT put a mic in the controller. At least I think so. It's an extra element that costs not lower battery life, almost no money, and can give so much back. Even activated, it draws very little power. It takes some extra to send the data to the Wii, but that's very little.

So basicaly, I think it's easy to see both that the Wiimote will have a mic and why Nintendo claims they have no mic in it.

Im sorry

Im sorry for all you who have been here for the past weeks and found nothing news. But I can say that this blog is not dead.

When I first started this blog I had some thing I really wanted to tell the Nintendo fans and those who wanted to know. I told you the things I had intended and also some things I didnt really want to say... But you got a deal of imformation of Wii. Then I felt the important news I wanted to be known at the time was told. So I left the blog for a while because I didnt feel there was anything more relevant I wanted to say at the moment.

Most blogs tell things every day, like I did before. But this is different. This is no ordinary blog. Because I tell you different things in a rather fast tempo about Wii. When I've told what I wanted I let the blog rest. There's no really saying for me what to say on every day and what to post. So I simply felt it would be best to let the blog rest for a moment. But I will now see if I can post some interesting things over the next few days.

Monday, July 03, 2006