|Media type||Read-only optical disc|
|Capacity||GameCube: 1.5 GB
Wii: 4.7 GB / 8.54 GB
Wii U: 25 GB
|Dimensions||GCN: 8 cm (3.1 in)
Wii/Wii U:12 cm (4.7 in)
|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 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.
The Nintendo GameCube Game Disc (DOL-006) is the game medium for the Nintendo GameCube, created by Matsushita (Panasonic), and later extended for use on the Wii through backward compatibility. The GameCube Game Disc is a 1.5 GB, 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, to reduce cost 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.
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 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 Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo consoles traditionally used cartridge-based media.
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. 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. Nintendo repaired systems with dual-layer problems, and later released a disc cleaning kit for users to purchase.
The Wii U Optical Disc (WUP-006) is the physical game medium for the Wii U, with a capacity of 25 GB per layer. The Wii U system is backward compatible with Wii Optical Discs, but not backward compatible with Nintendo GameCube game discs. The optical discs used for the Wii U differ in appearance from most other optical discs in that they have soft, rounded edges.
The format was developed and supplied by Panasonic, which is one of the major patent holders in Blu-ray technology. It is not clear whether the Wii U Optical Disc is similar in physical design to the Blu-ray physical disc specification.[clarification needed] 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.":3
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.
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.