More details of Nintendo's revolutionary Wii controller have come to light after developer notes were leaked recently. Nintendo has always been secretive about the technology behind the Wii-mote and has promised more revelations before the console's fall release, but this latest info has made the picture a little clearer.
The Wii-mote will be powered by two AA batteries, which will allow for 30-60 hours of game time, depending on which functions are used. Bluetooth wireless technology is used to communicate with the console, and the sensor bar that picks up the Wii-mote's movement is almost eight inches long, has a sensor at each end and must be placed above or below the TV. Also, players will need to calibrate the Wii-mote before play, marking these two sensors as coordinates in order to prevent interference from light sources and mirrors.
The controller will also feature a small amount of "non-volatile" memory, meaning that it'll retain information even when powered off, like a memory card. It seems that gamers could well be able to store a gamer-specific button configuration, although other possible uses haven't been specified.
The Wii-mote and the console must also be synchronized - using specific "synchro" buttons found on each device - which assigns an ID number to each controller. And while we're talking about buttons, it's worth noting that none of them will feature analog functionality.
The four lights at the base of the Wii-mote will have two functions, firstly to indicate which player the controller is assigned to, and secondly to illustrate how much battery life the controller has when the console is being booted up.
July 17, 2006