In a move that I’m sure many will find useful, IGN has put together a six-page article that takes most of the information known about the Wii as of now and produces an easy-to-read shower of information. Decorated with fancy pictures of the Wii(mote) and various other nonsense, I can see it being a good resource for people to share with friends when explaining the Wii and whatnot.
There’re also a few facts buried in there that while I’m sure have been public knowledge for weeks, I simply didn’t pick up. After all, even the best of them can’t be aware of everything, so I certainly can’t. An example of something I missed includes the fact that even if you lack a wireless network in your home, you can still plug in an old-fashioned USB adapter to connect a normal broadband modem or whatever.
Another interesting tidbit is that the inbuilt speaker is very low quality, which while I was kind of expecting I didn’t know for a fact. I’m hoping that Nintendo will provide a way to completely disable the speaker and route the sound through your normal speakers instead, since not only would the Wii speaker sound pretty out of place when alongside an extremely expensive sound system, but it might be annoying for those who want to play at night using headphones as I sometimes do.
Also of note is that the classic controller (basically a SNES pad, but with a few more buttons that bring it to at least the same number as the GameCube) also connects wirelessly, but it plugs into the bottom of the Wiimote as a replacement for the Nunchuck. I’d have preferred it if it were a completely standalone wireless controller, but I guess it’s still better than having the wire going across the room for people to trip over as they frequently do in this household.
One thing I’m not absolutely sure of is the implication that the channels (see my post on those) the Wii ships with might only be the beginning. The article quite plainly states that the Wii can hold up to 48 channels, but whether or not they can be filled up with customisable versions of existing channels (ie: one for each user of the console) I’m not sure. Perhaps Nintendo is planning to introduce other channels over time? It’d certainly tie in well with their “frequently wake up to a new surprise” statements anyway. I mean, the damned thing only ships with about seven channels. That’s a lot less than 48.
And finally, there’s confirmation that the Wii is roughly twice as powerful as the GameCube. While anyone who’s actually played on a GameCube can establish this fact immediately after looking at Wii videos, and even though rumours going back well over a year put the performance increase at around 250%, it hasn’t stopped people describing the Wii as a repackaged GameCube with a fancy new controller. Erk.
So yes, it’s a good article. Give it a read.