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Nintendo Confirms Wii on GC Housing at E3 205

kukyfrope writes "Nintendo's PR Manager, Matt Atwood, has confirmed accusations that Wii demo stations at E3 were not running inside the Wii case and instead were running inside Gamecube housing using Wii-spec hardware. 'The Wii hardware we exhibited at E3 2006 was made specifically for the E3 show and is not the final mass-production version. Some of this hardware was cased in Nintendo GameCube housing.'" Update: 05/19 21:08 GMT by Z : Changed 'hardware' to 'housing' in title.
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Nintendo Confirms Wii on GC Housing at E3

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  • by lokiman ( 972867 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:09PM (#15368816) Homepage
    And was the controller just a mars bar wrapped in tin foil?
  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:09PM (#15368822) Journal
    I guess I'm not going to buy a Wii now, because they housed the hardware for the demo inside a GameCube.

    Come on Sony, you can poison the well better than that.
    • Honnetly, even if it DID run on GameCube hardware, I couldn't have cared less. Since Wii is supposed to be slightly more powerfull than the GameCube, who cares.

      On the other, the rumor that Sony was demoing Assassin's Creed on 360s, that's something to be offended of. Suppose the final hardware of the PS3 doesn't match the power of the 360, or some tricks can be done on it. That means that what people saw at the PS3 wasn't even representative of what they will experience when the game launches. That's dishon
    • by exley ( 221867 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:50PM (#15369153) Homepage
      While I agree with the parent's sentiment and those in other posts about this story being irrelevant, is there any evidence that Sony was behind this? If not, then the Sony bashing has officially gotten out of hand, and the parent has no business being modded 'Insightful'. You can count me in with the crowd that's not happy with Sony these days, but c'mon. There are plenty of solid things that we can shit all over Sony for, but the knee-jerk accusations aren't gonna cut it. Or at least, they shouldn't. I must be new here.
      • An excellent point. Sony is doing enough things wrong that need amplification without adding frivilous consipiracy theories to the lot. In the end it only weakens the rest of the issues with Sony and hides their real incompetence.
      • by Reapman ( 740286 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @06:05PM (#15369254)
        No doubt... not only that, but wasn't there a fair amount of PS3 bashing because the PS3 final design wasn't completed? Regardless what the Wii looks like i'll be buying it.
        • Also consider that Sony wasn't using actual PS3 hardware, IIRC. This Wii/GC thing was just more of confused hardware that put on the wrong case that morning. Plus Nintendo was pretty darned quick to admit and explain, rather than cover things up.
          • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @09:20PM (#15370136)
            They were the devices in racks between the monitors.

            They're not PCs in there. They're not "representative hardware". They're PS3s, devkits.

            No, they weren't in final plastics yet either.
            • by PhoenixOne ( 674466 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:22PM (#15370495)
              Why do I never have mod points when they are needed?

              Parent is correct. I think the real issue is Nintendo made it look like they had production Wii hardware on the floor while Sony actually went out of their way to have big glass cases showing that they were not using retail hardware (which didn't make much sense to me, but bravo Sony for showing just how far of your Spring 2006 release date was).

              Personally I don't think it's a big deal. Almost everything you see at E3 is 90% hype, or just plain lies (I'm looking at you Phantom). You should trust anything you see at E3 about as much as you would trust anything said by a used car salesman.

      • Sony was sentenced to 2 years of irrelevant and random trashing and complaining for their release of a cd rootkit in their attempt to protect their cd music business. So I'm afraid they'll just have to live with critical posts like this for another year and change.
      • While I agree with the parent's sentiment and those in other posts about this story being irrelevant, is there any evidence that Sony was behind this? If not, then the Sony bashing has officially gotten out of hand, and the parent has no business being modded 'Insightful'. You can count me in with the crowd that's not happy with Sony these days, but c'mon. There are plenty of solid things that we can shit all over Sony for, but the knee-jerk accusations aren't gonna cut it. Or at least, they shouldn't. I mu
  • uh, so? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunions ( 970377 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:10PM (#15368830)
    Do I not get it? Why would anyone care what case they were in?
    • Re:uh, so? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cosmotron ( 900510 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:12PM (#15368845) Homepage Journal
      It's just something to try to stir up the water...
    • Re:uh, so? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 )
      The Sony FUD machine does.
    • The only slightly relevant thing I can imagine would be any FUD regarding possible overheating in the real case, as if that wouldn't be solvable in the coming months. Of course, one such solution would be downclocking the machine, but that would hardly be too relevant with a machine that's anyway not going to compete by its raw performance merits.
    • Re:uh, so? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AudioEfex ( 637163 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:54PM (#15369192)
      Why is this being talked about? Because someone at MS or Sony had their panties in a wad because a) virtually all the mainstream media is talking about from E3 is the Wii, b) the enormously positive reaction to the Wii by the gaming "press", and c) both MS and Sony spokespeople have been heavily quoted as saying that in addition to their respective console, consumers will likely want a Wii as well, so they thought this would cause some minor scandal.

      In this case, it's too little, and too late, for character assasination.

      This is why this will blow away into the nothingness; it's not a big deal to begin with, and it's even less of a deal because of the qualified success the Wii showing at E3 was. Just shows how scared they are because their "hardcore I want 32 buttons to mash in a game that takes 10 hours to learn" crowd is getting smaller by the generation, yet Wii is set to appeal to non-gamers, former-gamers, and existing-gamers is a virtually unlimited potential audience.

    • Re:uh, so? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @06:55PM (#15369520) Journal

      I don't get it either. How is this even a news story? (Note I'm not blaimg Zonk for posting it, rather whoever wrote it and thought this mattered even slightly.) Hell, I don't care if they use a GameCube housing for the final product, let alone the demo. I wouldn't even care if the Wii housing was as butt-ugly as my 9th grade English teacher, what I care about is how well the system works and what games will run on it.

      It makes me wonder if the author didn't write this up in the hope that it would be misinterpreted and make Nintendo look bad, while retaining some journalistic integrity. Hmmm, maybe I do get it after all.

      • I don't get it either. How is this even a news story?

        It's probably a good thing it's on Slashdot, as we seem to have the actual truth. Rumors that start true don't stay true, as a rule.
      • The rumour that was circulating during E3 was that the Wii demos were actually run _on_ Game Cubes with the Shiny New Controllers being the only authentic parts. No matter how crazy that sounds it still got around enough to prompt this reponse, that there was a good reason why they looked like Game Cubes but they really weren't.

        It's not so much news as it is rumour control.

      • Question is, will you blame Zonk when he reposts it tomorrow?
    • What kind of American are you, anyway?

      Packaging and the exterior are like wicked important, man. Look at the cool computer case you have. Doesn't its custom paint job add like 30% to the speed?

      An American Consumer

    • The only reason I could think of is people may be concerned if Wii's shell can actually house all that hardware. The Wii case is substantially smaller than the GC case. Though I don't particularily mind a bigger Wii casing, some people may.
    • There were reports that all the Wii demos at E3 were run on Game Cubes. This story clarifys that A.) People who thought they saw game cubes were right and B.) There's nothing sketchy going on with that.
    • Change "Wii" to "PS3" and "GC" to "PS2" and suddenly it becomes "really" important.

  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:10PM (#15368834) Homepage
    ...but not unexpected for a 5-to-6-months-before release demo.

    It showcased what they wanted it to do - they could have cased in hardened dog shit for all I personally would have cared :)
  • by Dryth ( 544014 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:11PM (#15368839)

    They weren't running ON Gamecube hardware. They were running IN Gamecube shells. The summary is more true to fact than the subject.

    From TFA:

    Nintendo confirmed that they did indeed use GameCube housing, but that the "guts" or internal architecture was certainly from the Wii. "The Wii hardware we exhibited at E3 2006 was made specifically for the E3 show and is not the final mass-production version. Some of this hardware was cased in Nintendo GameCube housing," the company explained.

    • Even after the update, this is an extremely confusing headline. How about not abbreviating Game Cube to GC? And I believe the corrent preposition would be "in" or "inside" not "on". "Housing?" Are we talking about Habitat for Humanity? Just because the article uses it doesn't mean we have to. How about "Case?" "Shell" would be better, too.

      Normally I don't care about this stuff, but this one annoyed the hell out of me for some reason.

  • Accusations? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xxanmorph ( 654953 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:15PM (#15368872)
    That makes it sound like they were doing something wrong. Who cares what case it was in if the hardware was the real deal?
    • To me it just seems like they're begging for attention. I've seen alot more about the xbox360 and ps3 than I have the wii. Maybe I'm just ignoring them. Who knows. But back to the point. I really don't care what shell this thing was sitting in, but it prompted me to think about the wii, thus it produced consumer interest, which will probably lead to a sale. My next gen console purchase will be whatever is cheapest when I feel like buying, sounds like that will be wii. :)
    • A few people noticed the GameCube cases and suggested that the Wiis at the show might just be GameCubes with Wii controllers attached.
    • It's mildly relevant in that it may mean they are further from production than they have claimed, if they don't even have the housing finalized.
      • Re:Accusations? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kabuthunk ( 972557 )
        As far as I'm understanding, all of the internals... you know, the hardest part by an insurmountable amount... appears to have been complete. They just need to drop it into a new case. Given they have 5+ months to do that, they're probably not too worried.

        They have a half-year to make a plastic box to put around the internals. Not exactly brain surgery compared to designing the... y'know... internals. If it were 100% complete for E3, they could be releasing it extraordinarily shortly afterwards.

        Hell, th
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:15PM (#15368876) Homepage Journal

    If the GBA SP and DS lite are any indication, I predict that 18 months after Wii hits the market, Nintendo will announce the WiiCube, a Wii console shaped like a GameCube with a larger disc well and more built-in memory for more Virtual Console products.

    • I predict that 18 months after Wii hits the market, Nintendo will announce the WiiCube

      God, I hope not. The GameCube was Nintendo's ugliest console. The NES, SNES, and N64 all had styling that survived the test of time. But the GameCube? Just plain hideous. Not to mention the fact that it's not even a cube.

      Then again, the Wii styling isn't exactly the most amazing ever, either. It's better, but nowhere near in the same class as the N64. I remember when the Ultra64 was first shown. The magazines were referri
      • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:48PM (#15369138)
        The cube was designed for Asia. Japan is very space conscience, apartments are small and space is a premium. The cube could fit just abotu anywhere and be moved easily, two big pluses in the Asian market.
        • You know what, after seeing the PS3, I think this is one myth that will be debunked. The PS3 is bigger than the original Xbox and weights more []!! It's a pity I can't find the original link where I read this, because this is an xbox fan site, so some might argue it's biased, but I've seen this on other websites which are more neutral like Gamespot or 1up.

          I bet japanese will buy it nonetheless.
          • How does the PS3 being bigger debunk anything about the Cube?

            As for Asians being size conscience- I don't need a myth, I worked on products sold in the ASian market. I've seen the focus group reports and the translated reviews. All mentioned size.
      • That is just an opinion. I think that the original NES and the Gamecube have been the more stylish consoles Nintendo has done, and that the SNES (grey and purple! Argh! OMG, please look at the stylish Genesis that was the competition!) and the N64 had horrible design.

        But that point is ocmpletely moot. The NES, SNES, N64 and Gamecube, all had great games, and that is all that really matters.
      • The NES, SNES, and N64 all had styling that survived the test of time.

        Well, the Super Famicom did. The North American version was an ugly angular creature with bland purple accents.

        And its top and bottom halves were apparently made of different kinds of plastic, as 15 years later the top of my SNES is as yellow as a smoker's teeth, while the bottom is still relatively ecru.
      • You have to be kidding. The N64 is pretty much the epitome of late-90s fugly with all sorts of pointless bulbous blisters.

        (Best looking console ever==Atari 5200)
    • Mmmm, Nintendo doesnt redesign their home consoles a lot. The NES saw a redesign years after the SNES was out. I don't think there was a significant SNES or N64 or Gamecube redesign, other than changing a bit the internal hardware for cheaper production. The external design was always the same.

      Yeah, they redo their handhelds all the time. They have done so since the Gameboy.
  • So what... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by frosty_tsm ( 933163 )
    Had this not been the case, then either the GCN is forward compatible or that there'd be Wii controller kits for the GCN.

    I mean, it's not like someone was playing it for a while, then looked down and saw a GCN and said "Eeewww, I've been playing on a previous-gen console."
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:19PM (#15368904) Homepage Journal
    I mean, to think that they used plastic housing cases that weren't exactly the same as the final production models, even if all the important metal and fiber bits inside were!

    I am just appalled.

    Oh, wait. No, it's Friday.

    Never mind: I forgot I actually have a life.

    As you were.

    They can put them in brown paper sacks for all I care.
  • by Hannah E. Davis ( 870669 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:25PM (#15368954) Journal
    I'm not sure why this is a big deal, or even a surprise -- at last year's E3, the 360 was emulated on heavily modded PowerPCs. When I saw a stack of them at EA, I couldn't help but giggle at the huge Apple logos emblazoned on the side and the small, unassuming "Property of Microsoft" labels affixed to the top of each machine.
    • While that's an amusing anecdote, it's not what is happening here. In this case, they were using a Wii... it just happened to be in a Gamecube case. Now, any one on Slashdot should know that cases are a wholly superficial part of a system and so this is nothing but more FUD over a non-issue.
  • There seems to be accusations of "faking it" at every E3. I guess the industry has brought it on itself, showing stuff like the supposed Madden for Xbox 360 screen shots [] that were much better than the actual game when it shipped. This stuff has been going on for years and it's no wonder that audiences are wary of being duped by faked demos.

    But 6 months before the console hits the shelves, the only hardware that exists is in prototype versions. It is not suprising that the floor models were put together with duct tape, GameCube cases and whatever else they had on-hand. I would be suprised if the actual Wii games don't look better than what Nintendo had on display at this years E3, as developers have more time to work on games and get them polished.
  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I don't care if the hardware was housed inside a shoebox. It came, it saw, it kicked some ass. Whatever case it came in doesn't mean shit.

    On a related note, a shoebox Wii would be pretty cool.
  • odd.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:56PM (#15369204) Homepage
    That's a really odd choice for nintendo, given the fact that the gamecube is a fairly 'customized' piece of hardware (3 boards, funky controller ports, etc) crammed into a REALLY tight space.

    I would have found it much more likely for them to have been put in some generic grey box or something like that for E3........
    • Good Thing (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mr.Ziggy ( 536666 )
      Not having the production plastic case ready is not a bad thing.

      But, being able to stuff the prototype electronics in the gamecube case is a Good Thing:

      The Wii will most likely not be Hot, Loud (fans), or obnoxiously large and obtrusive like other consoles.

    • Re:odd.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LackThereof ( 916566 )
      Well, the Wii will be significantly smaller than the Gamecube - I believe they said it would be about the size of two DVD cases stacked together.

      If they couldn't fit something which is supposed to be that small in a GCN case at this stage of development, they would seriously have something to worry about.
      • to be honest, every picture i have seen looks like they perfectly fit the form factor for any 5 1/4" Optical drive the "3 dvd cases" confirms this even more

        I suspect that The big N will drop something crazy at the last minute relating to PC's perhapse some sort of parasitic mounting mode where you can run it inside a computer and use your computer monitor if you don't have a TV.
    • Considering the Wii uses the same CPU (just higher clock speed), same Video adapter (again...higher clock speed) and more memory (but we all know we can cram more on the same number of chips). It really isn't that suprising. In fact...all this in general probably has lead to them having "real" working hardware to play with faster and cheaper.
  • Missing the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cookd ( 72933 ) <douglascook.juno@com> on Friday May 19, 2006 @06:23PM (#15369360) Journal
    It looks like everybody is missing the point.

    Accusation: Nintendo doesn't have their Wii hardware ready and is just running the demos on GameCube hardware with a new controller plugged in.

    Fact: Nintendo doesn't have their Wii hardware ready and is just running the demos on GameCube hardware that has been upgraded to Wii specs with a new controller plugged in.

    Difference: Accusation is correct: Nintendo doesn't have final hardware ready yet (no biggie). Accusation is incorrect: Nintendo is just using GameCube hardware for demos and dev kits and hasn't gotten the updated hardware story figured out yet (this would be scary).
  • The cube has got to be the coolest shape ever. The G4 cube is one of the best looking production PCs out there. The GameCube is the best looking 4th generation console out there. (I hope I'm getting the generation right.. NES -> Super NES -> N64 -> GameCube (4th gen right?) )..

    Anyways.. onlything more cool than a cube is a better looking cube or a sphere. But unless they can make it hover and stuff, I doubt a sphere could be as cool as a cube. It'll just roll around and stuff. Not very practi
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:29PM (#15369937)
    Sony BluRay laptop demo was using a DVD-ROM!

    Karl Rove has been indicted!

    Everything you read on the intrawebs is the absolute truth!
  • hah! i couldnt care less! so it was in gamecube cases...who cares??
    if it gets me my Wii sooner, ship it in gamecube cases!!
    sony and microsoft don't have bupkis to play on here...
  • by LockeOnLogic ( 723968 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @09:15PM (#15370115)
    My dual opteron system sucks becuase it's in a cheap Antec case without a fancy smansy platic window with colored florescent neon green lighting! Damn... without the case my system is nothing!
  • Isn't the Wii's processor just a faster version of the GC processor? That's why the wii is able to play GC games. The Wii slows down it's clock speed for a GC game and voilla!
  • Honestly... (Score:3, Funny)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:44PM (#15370549) Homepage Journal
    ...if this is the best dirt to be dug up on Nintendo's new console, if the worst we can say of Nintendo is "Their console is named funny and was in strange boxes!", then we should retire from the business. You might as well complain that Mother Theresa hurt the image of Theresas everywhere by looking old.
  • by PhotoBoy ( 684898 ) on Saturday May 20, 2006 @05:05AM (#15371296)
    All the games companies show games on unfinished hardware, why is this even news? Remember last year the X360 demos were on dual CPU Macs with Radeon X800s until the hardware was finished. And at this year's E3 Sony demoed Gran Turismo HD on a PC! That's not even vaguely similar architecturally to the PS3!

    I saw an auction on eBay a while back for an early GameCube dev kit. The CPU clockspeed was listed as only half that of the final GameCube and the graphics hardware was missing a few pipelines. It was also bigger than the final hardware so it couldn't fit in the GC's case. Was demoing GameCube games on that at E3 also misleading?

    And what have we got this year? Wii hardware that's too big to fit in Wii cases, so they stuck it in a GC case. Even if Nintendo were just using GCs and there wasn't any Wii hardware in them, I don't think it's particularly important because a) the Wii isn't about graphical power and b) the GC is essentially a subset of the Wii's final spec. So it's the equivalent of working on a cut down Wii anyway, like the early GC dev kit I mentioned above was a cut down version of the final GC hardware.
  • by cdneng2 ( 695646 ) on Saturday May 20, 2006 @08:03AM (#15371617)

    Back in 2004, there were many rumours [] that Nintendo was going to announce a new peripheral add-on [] for the Gamecube that would add new functionality and possibly extend the life of the Gamecube []. Let's assume that this peripheral was the "Wii-mote".

    So let's put all this logic together about 6 months after this announcement:

    1) The Gamecube never really got it's established fanbase.

    2) Around the same time, Nintendo launches the DS. The "Wii-mote" would have distracted Nintendo from the DS launch.

    3) Let's say that had trouble making the "Wii-mote" work... say... the Gamecube lacked the CPU horsepower, or they needed to "refine" the controller more.

    4) Sony and MSFT both announces their next-gen consoles at this same time.

    So, you have this potentially revolutionary controller. Why try and compete against Sony and MSFT with the dying Gamecube? Add some horsepower to the Gamecube. Add a new GPU, and voila... you have a new console.

    Therefore, it doesn't surpise me that they COULD have a "pushed" Gamecube at E3 to demonstrate Wii's capabilities.

    1) It explains the un-exceptional graphics... or at least graphics the Gamecube could do.

    2) It explains the huge amount of games demoed at E3.

    3) It explains the "Gamecube" housings.

    4) It explains how "polished" the demos were, and how refined the Wii-mote works.

    5) It explains why the Wii development kits are so cheap... they are probably very much similar to the Gamecube.

    So it doesn't surprise me that the Wii was disguised in the Gamecube housing. In the end, does it really matter? I'm still buying one at launch.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham