Nintendo gives hints on Wii hardware, launch date

— 9:26 AM on May 10, 2006

Following its E3 presentation, Nintendo has unveiled a new website for the upcoming Wii console. On the site, a hardware section reveals some official information about the console's innards. Nintendo says the Wii will feature a PowerPC CPU code-named Broadway, which is "jointly developed with and manufactured by IBM" using 90 nm silicon-on-insulator process technology. The console will also feature an unnamed ATI graphics processor, as well as 512 MB of internal Flash memory, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 2.0 LAN adaptor, an SD memory card bay, four GameCube controller ports, and two GameCube memory card slots. It looks like HDTV still isn't on the menu, with only S-video, component, and composite video outputs listed. Finally, the console's optical drive will support both current 8 cm GameCube discs and "double-layered 12-centimeter optical discs," perhaps meaning dual-layer DVDs.

This information coincides with previously leaked Wii specs, which specified a 729 MHz clock speed for the IBM "Broadway" CPU, a 243 MHz clock for the ATI GPU, and 91MB of total RAM split up between 24 MB "main" and 64 MB "external" 1T-SRAM, as well as a 3 MB GPU buffer.

Despite Sony's recent announcement about the PlayStation 3's launch date and price, Nintendo has decided to keep this information under wraps for the Wii. The company did reveal the Wii would launch some time in the fourth quarter, a similar time frame to the PlayStation 3. No hints were given regarding price, but Engadget reports Nintendo's Executive VP of Sales and Marketing Reggie Fills-Aime said, "Wii will give you more fun for less money," and Joystiq has heard rumors that the console may launch at around $249.

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