Nintendo optical discs Article

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Nintendo optical discs
Nintendo GameCube Game Disc and Wii Optical Disc.jpg
GameCube Game Disc (left) and Wii Optical Disc (right)
Media type Read-only optical disc
Encoding Digital
CapacityGameCube: 1.5  GB
Wii: 4.7 GB / 8.54 GB
Wii U: 25 GB
Read mechanism Laser
Developed by Nintendo
DimensionsGCN: 8 cm (3.1 in)
Wii/Wii U:12 cm (4.7 in)
Usage GameCube
Wii U

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

In 2017, Nintendo dropped the disc-based media in favor of game cards for the Wii U's successor, the Nintendo Switch.


A section of the BCA of a Nintendo Optical Disc with two of the six additional cuts visible.

GameCube Game Disc

The GameCube Game Disc (DOL-006) is the game medium for the GameCube, created by 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] [1] and by avoiding licensing fees to the DVD Forum. This also prevents the consoles from being used as general DVD players. [6] [7]

One downside to the GameCube Game Disc is the relatively small amount of storage they provide. As a result, some games with large amounts of data needed to be placed across two discs, such as Resident Evil 4 and Enter the Matrix. Multi-platform games that fit on PlayStation 2 and Xbox DVD discs occasionally saw the removal of certain features in order to fit on GameCube Game Discs. Full-motion video scenes and audio are more compressed to fit on a single disc, reducing their quality. Prior to the 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 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. [8] [9] With the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo admitted that some Wii systems may have trouble reading dual-layer discs due to a dirty laser lens. [9] [10] Nintendo repaired systems with dual-layer problems, [9] and later released a disc cleaning kit for users to purchase. [11]

Wii U Optical Disc

The Wii U Optical Disc (WUP-006) is the physical game medium for the Wii U, with a capacity of 25 GB. The Wii U system is backward compatible with Wii Optical Discs, but not backward compatible with GameCube game discs. [12] The optical discs used for the Wii U differ in appearance from most other optical discs in that they have soft, rounded edges. [13]

The format was developed and supplied by Panasonic, which is one of the major patent holders in Blu-ray technology.[ citation needed] It is not clear whether the Wii U Optical Disc is similar in physical design to the Blu-ray physical disc specification.[ clarification needed] Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated, "Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities. The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies", as, like with the GameCube and Wii optical discs, was chosen by Nintendo to prevent copyright infringement of its games, to reduce cost by avoiding licensing fees to the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) and to reduce loading times. This also prevents the console from being used as general Blu-ray players. [14]:3

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


  1. ^ a b "Dvd - Faq". Nintendo World Report. 2001-03-07. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  2. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2006-09-12). "IGNcube's Nintendo "Revolution" FAQ". IGN. Retrieved 2006-09-07.
  3. ^ "Nintendo GameCube Special Edition". 2003-06-01. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  4. ^ "Beginner's Guide: GameCube". GameSpy. 2003-07-30. Retrieved 2006-09-07.
  5. ^ Pian, Sharon (2001-11-11). "Business & Technology | Let the games begin: The 3-way race is on | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  6. ^ "Play it again". 2003-09-13. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  7. ^ "Wii U will not feature DVD playback - Everybody Plays - Nintendo Wii". Everybody Plays. Everybody Plays. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  8. ^ "Review – Super Smash Bros. Brawl". SlashGear. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  9. ^ a b c "Tobacco smoke makes Super Smash Bros Brawl unplayable on Wii". TG Daily. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  10. ^ Scott Colbourne (2008-03-20). "Not just a smash, a Super Smash". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  11. ^ Nintendo of America. "Repair Form for U.S. Residents". Nintendo of America. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  12. ^ Klepek, Patrick (2011-06-08). "Wii U Does Not Play GameCube Games". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Ben (2012-11-12). "Take a very, very close look at the round-edged Wii U proprietary discs". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  14. ^ "2011 E3 Expo Analyst Q & A Session". Nintendo. June 8, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "» Anatomy of an Optical Medium Authentication (Part 1)". debugmode. Retrieved 2013-05-21.

External links