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Nintendo Optical Disc

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Nintendo Optical Disc

Nintendo Optical Disc
Wii Optical Disc (right).
Media type Read-only optical disc
Encoding Digital
Capacity GameCube: 1.5 GB
Wii: 4.7 GB / 8.54 GB
Wii U: 25 GB
Read mechanism Laser
Developed by Nintendo
Panasonic
Dimensions GCN: 80 mm
Wii/Wii U:120 mm
Usage Nintendo GameCube
Wii
Wii U
Extended from Nintendo Gamecube Game Disc
Extended to Wii U Optical Disc

Nintendo optical discs are the optical disc format used to distribute video games released by Nintendo. This includes the Nintendo GameCube Game Disc, Wii Optical Disc, and Wii U Optical Disc. The physical size of a Nintendo GameCube Game Disc is that of a miniDVD, and the Wii and Wii U Optical Disc is the size of a DVD. It was announced that Wii Optical Discs can be used in the Wii U, while the GameCube disc can be used with the original version of the Wii for backward compatibility. A burst cutting area is located at the inner ring of the disc surface.

Format

Nintendo GameCube Game Disc

The Nintendo GameCube Game Disc (DOL-006) is the game medium for the Nintendo GameCube, created by Matsushita (Panasonic),[1] and later extended for use on the Wii through backward compatibility.[2] The GameCube Game Disc is a 1.5 GB,[3] 8 cm miniDVD based technology which reads at a constant angular velocity (CAV). It was chosen by Nintendo to prevent copyright infringement of its games,[4] to reduce cost[5][6] by avoiding licensing fees to the DVD Forum and to reduce loading times. This also limits the consoles from being used as general DVD players.[7][8]

One downside to the GameCube Game Disc is the relatively small storage: some games with large amounts of data had to be placed across two discs. Multi-platform games that fit on PlayStation 2 and Xbox DVD discs occasionally had to have certain features removed to fit on GameCube Game Discs. Full-motion video scenes and audio had to use more compression to fit on a single disc, reducing their quality. Prior to the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo consoles traditionally used cartridge-based media.

Wii Optical Disc

The Wii Optical Disc (RVL-006) is the physical game medium for the Wii, created by Panasonic. Nintendo extended their proprietary technology to use a full size 12 cm, 4.7/8.54 GB DVD-based disc, enabling it to have the benefits of the Nintendo GameCube Game Disc, while having the standard capacity of a double-layer DVD-ROM. Although the Wii can use double-layer discs, all titles were single-layer prior to the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[9][10] With the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo has admitted that some Wii systems may have trouble reading dual-layer discs due to a dirty laser lens.[10][11] Nintendo repaired systems with dual-layer problems,[10] and later released a disc cleaning kit for users to purchase.[12]

Wii U Optical Disc

The Wii U Optical Disc (WUP-006) is the physical game medium for the Wii U, created by Panasonic. The Wii U system is backward compatible with Wii Optical Discs, however not backward compatible with Nintendo GameCube game discs.[13] Reportedly to control costs, the Wii U also uses an optical disc format developed and supplied by Panasonic, with a capacity of 25 GB per layer. The optical discs used for the Wii U differ from other optical disc formats in that they have soft, rounded edges.[14]

It is most likely that Wii U optical disc is very similar in physical design as the Blu-ray physical disc specification. Panasonic is also one of the major patent holders in Blu-ray technology. The 25GB per layer would not be possible without having the data closer to the surface of the disc.

Burst cutting area

Main article: Burst cutting area

Each Nintendo optical disc contains a burst cutting area (BCA) mark, a type of barcode that is written to the disc with a YAG laser. The data stored in this BCA mark includes an encrypted table related to the hardware-based copy-protection mechanics, in addition to 64 bytes of un-encrypted user-accessible data.[15]

A BCA mark is visible to the naked eye. It should not be confused with the IFPI mark that is on all optical discs. BCA is described in Annex K of the physical specification, and can be seen between radius 22.3±0.4 mm and 23.5±0.5 mm. There are also six additional evenly spaced small cuts just outside the BCA radius, which are related to the copy-protection used. These small cuts can clearly be seen if the disc is held in front of a strong light source.[15]

See also

References

External links

  • Description of authentication method
fi:Wii Optical Disc
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