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Currently unused component found in Wiimote

wiifanboy - June 1, 2007

Submitted by brymstone (1203) at 8:49AM PST on June 1, 2007

A recent CNN technology feature details some of the various chips and components found within the forty-dollar Wiimote. Among the Bluetooth converters and accelerometers is a component listed as an "audio translator," which "converts analog data such as human speech into a digital data stream. This feature is unused now but will probably be employed in future games." The approximate cost is listed at $2.00. So, what's the deal? First, there is no actual microphone (a device capable of converting vibrational energy into electrical signals) found within the Wiimote. Though basic electrical engineering principals allow a standard speaker to act in such a fashion, the signal quality and frequency response would be unacceptably low. This chip actually requires an expansion device for it to be used at all. So why add it? It's only two dollars, but this rather unnecessary addition has cost the company several dozen million dollars. We can only assume that Nintendo or significant third parties are planning a title utilizing an expansion microphone, which will be presumably cheap enough to bundle with a title and incur no markup in price. God knows the masses need a mainstream karaoke game (we know about Karaoke Revolution for the PS2, but it never really took off), and the Wii is just the system to do it. Like a Virginnnnn ... hey!

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