This is an excerpt from from an interview with EA related to the upcoming Nintendo Wii game Harry Potter Wii
IGN: In The Order of the Phoenix, Harry, Hermione and Ron are growing up. How has that been reflected in the game?
Harvey Elliott: Well, for starters the obvious change is that they are visually older. We facial scanned each of the actors as they came off set to get up-to-the-minute data to ensure that they look exactly like the characters they portray in the movie. We also see their magic has improved and they are becoming more powerful wizards. And finally, with the vast majority of the cast reprising their roles from the movies, their characters really come out in the game — as a result, they are definitely more determined and a little less prepared to listen to ‘authority.’
IGN: Are you satisfied with the new Wii controls? How are the Wii remote and nunchuk utilized?
Harvey Elliott: At some point in the development we just wondered whether Nintendo started their prototyping around the Wii controller by asking themselves “what would be perfect for a Harry Potter game?”. I mean, seriously, it’s a wand! So as the player waves the wand around, the game recognizes the gesture and casts the spell. It really feels like you’re casting magic. If you want to set an object on fire, you simply flick the wand quickly from left to right, as if you were striking a match. If you want to levitate an object in the world using wingardium leviosa, just raise the wand and the nunchuk together and the object will lift, and then moving the wand around will move the object in the world. It’s pretty much exactly how you would imagine it. And in combat it works the same way – if you want to knock your opponent down, just give them a shove, or to take their wand away, snatch backwards – it just feels great. Because the control is a wand in Harry’s hand, we’ve even found that you don’t need the sensor bar to cast magic, and instead only use it for optional fine-targeting, which just adds to your immersion in the game.
From an article in IGN:
Nintendo‘s sensor does serve an important purpose. The bar itself is really nothing more than a shell for two infrared sources – one on each end. It’s the same technology commonly found in a variety of electronic devices such as television remotes. The infrared sources located in the sensor bar emit lights that can’t be seen by the naked eye, but are nevertheless plainly visible by the Wii remote, whose tip features a very basic camera that can read IR data. The Wii remote uses the IR sources as a calibration point, setting the left and right boundaries. It’s very simple tech, but it works. The Wii remote doesn’t see your television when you point at it – it sees the IR sources on the sensor bar and orients itself based on those points.
Nintendo Wii has its own Easter Eggs, or tricks whatever you like to call them.
The following are some interesting “Easter Eggs” that are part of the Wii, WiiSports and the Wii Channel:
- Catch an evil cat in the Fun option (by pressing A and B) in Photo Channel that runs across the screen so you can get some tips
- A 194 piece puzzle can be created by holding down the 1 button before selecting any piece amount
- You can e-mail a JPG file to your Wii Message Board (around 1MB limit)
- In Wii Bowling, you can throw your ball into other people’s lanes
- If you put mp3s in your SD card along with your photos, you can change the background music during a slide show to one of your mp3s
- When the message board records your play time, if you don’t exit to the Wii Menu before you power off the machine, it records the play time as “other”. If you properly exit to the menu and then shut off it will record it as the correct game
- You can rearrange almost anything on the Wii…like the channels and messages by just holding the A and B
- The plasma burn in reduction kicks in the second the Wiimote shuts down.
- When you get an e-mail, not only does the disc drive light up and pulsate blue, but your Wiimote sends out a little chirp
- When you’re in the Mii channel and you don’t use the Wiimote for a little bit and your Mii’s start walking around, if you then suddenly use the Wiimote, all the Mii stop and follow the ‘hand’ for about 3 seconds
- When typing messages, and you need to go back and edit the message(while still typing) instead of deleting letters, just point to where you want to edit to move the type cursor.
- In Wii Sports Bowling, when you press up on the Directional Pad, it will zoom in on the lane. The zoom in sound is the exact same sound from Super Mario 64 any time you moved the camera.
- Co Op Jigsaw puzzles in Wii photos
- You can place the sensor bar upside down and it doesn’t reverse the directions of your movement
- In Wii Bowling, you can release on the back swing and throw the ball backwards. It scares all the Mii’s behind you
- Classic controller has analogue shoulder buttons. With the GC “click” at the bottom.
Maxconsole Reported that a high quality video game peripheral market Nyko are to create a wireless Wii sensor bar.
The wireless bar will detect pointer and motion movements from up to 25ft away and have 2.4GHz Wireless technology which works for up to 30ft. It should be on sale for around $30 and is described as ideal for those home set ups with wall mounted TV’s or complicated cabling.
Maxconsole published new nintendo wii specs that where sended to them by an anonymous Wii Developer
The Wii Hardware
- Nintendo Wii’s ‘Broadway’ CPU operates at 729MHZ with a maximum bandwith of 1.9gbyte/sec.
- Nintendo Wii’s ‘HollyWood’ GPU is clocked at 243MHZ, the internal memory of it includes 3mb of embedded graphics memory and 24megabytes of high speed main memory.
- 64megabytes of GDDR3 (MEM2) as the external main memory. Just like the internal memory, it can be accessed from the CPU and GPU with a maximum bandwidth of 4gbytes/sec and can also store programs in the MEM2.
- The GPU of the Wii is identical to the GC’s but it is on average 1.5X faster.
Wii’s Optical Disc Drive
- Opitcal Disc Drive (ODD) supports single and dual layer Wii disks, discs eject with software or button and the maximum read speed is the equivalent of DVDx6.
- Two main disc types supported the single sided 12cm single sided 4.7gb and the double sided 8.51 GB. Nintendo GC discs also supported. Some of the capacity of the discs are used by the system and games can not use full disc space.
- Inserting a disc will start the Wii console, even if it was already in an off state. Pressing the eject button will change the console to an on state to take out the disc also.
Wii General Overview
- An optional wired LAN adapter that connects to a USB port is in the pipeline for users who do not possess a wireless LAN set-up currently.
- Internal non-removable 512MB flash memory used to storage game save data and downloadable content thus eliminating the Need for a memory card.
- Both Wii discs and Gamecube discs can be played via an intelligent mode swap. When running in GC mode, the Wii’s CPU and GPU will lower to the respective speeds of the GC and some of the MEM2 functions as ARAM.
- Software development environment is an upgrade to the ‘Dolphin SDK’ used with the GC; the same libraries are used so developers can get up to scratch easily as well as the possibility of ports being easier.
- The following interfaces are included with the Wii; SD card slot, Wireless controller, two USB 2.0 ports, wireless LAN, 4x GC controller ports, 2x GC memory card slots and an AV multi output jack (only an analog jack).
- Supports Wii disks (one sided 12cm) and GC discs (one sided 8cm) and console auto switches depends on what disk is inserted
- More than just the Nunchaku is planned as an extension. GC peripherals such as DK bongos can be used in both Wii and GC modes.
- Three power status, on, off and unplugged. To prevent mistaken turn offs, the power button must be held for about a second.
The Wii Control System
- The Wii controller features; Direct Pointing Device, Three axis accelerometer, Wii power button (remotely turn console on/off), buttons, wireless connectivity, indicator LED’s, rumble, battery powered (two AA alkaline batteries) and ability to connect extension unit.
- The Wii controller supports three types of operations; by itself, with a nunchuk extension or with a classic controller. Classic controllers will ship to developers during August 2006.
- The SYNCHRO button on the Wii controller exchanges wireless ID numbers when pressed at the same time as SYNCRHO on the Wii console. Wireless communications are only possible with consoles which have been authenticated.
- The rumble motor can be turned on and off and the intensity can be changed.
- The Wii remote has a pointer for fine movements as well as a motion sensor +/- 3.4G suitable for larger body movements, the nunchuk attachment has a sensor of +/- 2G
- The sensor bar must be placed above or below a TV set, the pointer measures coordinates between the ends of the bar which are about 20cm apart.
- The Wii remote has four status, disconnected, communicating, establishing connection and pairing wait status.
- The pointer can measure co-ordinates within bounds of rectangle centered upon the sensor bar, thus it can also measure points beyond the screen. It also responds to strong light sources, windows, fluorescent lamps, fireplaces, mirrors etc.
- Due to players hands shaking while holding the controller, a ring buffer allows a precise direction to be created to hold and average accelerator samples.
Wii Broadway CPU
Broadway is Wii’s CPU. Broadway functionality and specifications are as follows.
- Operating speed: 729 MHz
- Bus to main memory: 243 MHz, 64 bits (maximum bandwidth: 1.9 gigabytes/sec)
- 32-kilobyte 8-way set-associative L1 instruction cache
- 32-kilobyte 8-way set-associative L1 data cache (can set up 16-kilobyte data scratch pad)
- Superscalar microprocessor with six execution units (floating-point unit, branching unit, system register unit, load/store unit, two integer units)
- DMA unit (15-entry DMA request queue) used by 16-kilobyte data scratch pad
- Write-gather buffer for writing graphics command lists to the graphics chip
- Onboard 256-kilobyte 2-way set-associative L2 integrated cache
- Two, 32-bit integer units (IU)
- One floating point unit (FPU) (supports single precision (32-bit) and double precision (64-bit))
- The FPU supports paired single floating point (FP/PS)
- The FPU supports paired single multiply add (ps_madd). Most FP/PS instructions can be issued in each cycle and completed in three cycles.
- Fixed-point to floating-point conversion can be performed at the same time as FPU register load and store, with no loss in performance.
- The branch unit supports static branch prediction and dynamic branch prediction.
- When an instruction is stalled on data, the next instruction can be issued and executed.
- All instructions maintain program logic and will complete in the correct program order.
- Supports three L2 cache fetch modes: 32-Byte, 64-Byte, and 128-Byte.
Supports these bus pipeline depth levels: level 2, level 3, and level 4.
Reference Information: Broadway is upward compatible with Nintendo GameCube’s CPU (Gekko).
Wii Hollywood GPU
Hollywood is a system LSI composed of a GPU and internal main memory (MEM1). Hollywood is clocked at 243 MHz. Its internal memory consists of 3 megabytes of embedded graphics memory and 24 megabytes of high speed main memory.
Hollywood includes the following.
- Graphics processing unit (with 3 megabytes of eDRAM)
- Audio DSP
- I/O Bridge
- 24 megabytes of internal main memory
- Internal main memory operates at 486 MHz.
- Maximum bandwidth between Hollywood and internal main memory: 3.9 gigabytes per second
- Possible to locate a program here
Reference Information: Hollywood is similar to Nintendo GameCube’s Flipper and Splash components.
Wii External Main Memory (MEM2)
Wii uses 64 megabytes of GDDR3 (MEM2) as external main memory. Like internal main memory, MEM2 can be accessed directly from Broadway and the GPU at high speed and has a peak bandwidth of 4 gigabytes/sec. Programs can also be placed in MEM2.