Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Nintendo prepping Displayport Wii for 2010?

File this one under the rumors that would be nice column. Recently site Kotaku reported that Nintendo was bringing the black Wii-mote, Nun-Chuck, and Wii-Motion Plus to the US in a new bundle. Strangely though, Nintendo did not announce that the Black Wii console was on it's way. Granted, the North American and European territories are used to getting the short end of the stick on Nintendo's colorful console releases. Just drop by someplace like Play-Asia, and you'll find a wealth of colorful DS units the US and Europe have never seen... and Gamecube systems... and Gameboy systems...

So it's of no big surprise that Nintendo wouldn't be bringing the black Wii to the US...

Or is something else going on? As most gamers know, Sony and Microsoft are gearing up their own motion control systems for 2010 releases, each hoping to claw back territory that Nintendo just gobbled up. As such, many gamers are looking to Nintendo to swing back with a High Resolution Wii... neverminding the development issues that would cause in trying to optimize for each platform.

Still, perhaps a hardware revision is in the works. Physically speaking, the Wii can't get much smaller and still retain compatibility with the Gamecube ports. ... That said... an updated Wii could contain an 802.11n wireless chipset, a gigabit ethernet adapter, and possibly... support for Displayport.

The Displayport is the interesting bit. For starters, it's pretty much backwards compatible. A displayport connector should be able to pass along the ypbpr encoding scheme currently carried by component cables.

Second, for Nintendo's purposes, it's royalty free. One of the many reasons cited by Nintendo for not including DVD playback in the Wii, despite having a DVD capable drive, is that they would have to pay a fee since DVD playback isn't free. HDMI, a competing technology to Displayport, also carries a royalty charge.

Third, Nintendo is quite close to AMD, who is invested in Displayport. Getting Displayport onto the Wii would be considered quite a feather in the cap for the standard and it's backers.

At this point though, it's just a rumor. It would be nice if Nintendo did surprise the US market with an updated Wii model and more display output options. Sadly, that's all it would be... a nice thought.
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