Don’t call it Blu-ray, but Blu-ray-like will do. Sites like Blu-ray.com sure got it wrong mid-April when they reported Nintendo’s next console would include a Blu-ray optical drive, but the gist of that rumor turns out to be half-true: mass storage several times greater than DVD’s increasingly constrained gigabyte maximum, only in a proprietary format.
Try up to 25GB, which just so happens to be Blu-ray’s single-layer maximum, too.
(More on TIME.com: E3 2011 Interview: Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Talks About ‘Wii U’)
Interviewed by Kotaku, Nintendo design mucky-muck Katsuya Eguchi confirmed the storage figure, though declined to get specific about the size of the system’s internal storage (I’ve heard it’ll top out at 8GB). He also didn’t say whether the proprietary disc format would support a dual-layer 50GB mode, as Blu-ray does.
No, the Wii U won’t be able to play Blu-ray discs, or at least that’s what I’m hearing this morning. Not that the processing side’s lacking. Drive specifics and Nintendo’s stipulations aside, the system’s surely powerful enough to handle Blu-ray video playback.
What else do we know about Wii U? You’ve probably heard about the tablet-style controller with its 6.2-inch touchscreen. But have you heard the system will output up to 1080p through an HDMI connection? That you can add to the internal flash memory with USB and SD cards? That the system have sport up to four USB ports?
How about the 45-nanometer multicore IBM processor that’s the “heart” of the console? That it’s reportedly based on the same technology used in IBM’s Jeopardy-winning Watson supercomputer? The hunk of embedded DRAM that’s “capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience”? The 32-nanometer AMD video processor based on the company’s R700 series (used in AMD’s last-gen Radeon 4000 series PC video cards) with 1GB of video memory?
(More on TIME.com: E3 2011: Nintendo Used PS3 and Xbox 360 Game Footage for ‘Wii U’ Launch)
That’s all I know (or think I do, anyway) at this point. Nintendo likes to play its cards close to the chest when it comes to tech specs, probably to sidestep misguided “system wars” distractions.