Broadcom powering Revolution's Wi-Fi

Nintendo strikes deal with wireless chipmaker to power its next-generation console's wireless capabilities.


Last month at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata talked about his company's next-generation console, code-named the "Revolution." Foremost among these revelations was that the console would have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, "which will allow users around the world to connect with one another wirelessly," according to Iwata.

Since then, Nintendo has deliberately (and some would say sensibly) kept details of the machine's Wi-Fi vague. However, today the picture became somewhat clearer, when Nintendo announced it had signed a deal with Broadcom Corporation "to provide wireless technology for Nintendo's next generation gaming system."

While most of the joint statement between the two companies was vague, there were a few hints buried among the hype. First was the description that the Revolution will feature "an advanced wireless platform that integrates multiple technologies to enable a new and exciting gaming experience." (Emphasis added.) While not concrete, the statement implies that the Revolution will use more than one of Broadcom's wireless technologies.

As it so happens, Broadcom was more than happy to list many of these technologies in its press release. Among those mentioned specifically were its SecureEasySetup software, "which dramatically simplifies Wi-Fi setup and security," according to the company. This description echoes Iwata's oft-spoken mantra that networking has to be simple enough so even the non-tech-savvy can go online.

Broadcom also singled out its BroadRange technology, "which extends the range of Wi-Fi devices by up to 50 percent." This dovetails with speculation that the Revolution will be a wireless hub and have connectivity with the 802.11-enabled DS. Although at the very bottom, the mention of "high performance Blutonium chips and the industry's most widely deployed Bluetooth software" might--just might--mean that the technology will be used by Revolution peripherals or its controller.

However, it must be emphasized that Nintendo has not officially revealed any specific details about the Revolution's Wi-Fi functionality, and it won't do so until the earliest.

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