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Nintendo Considers Holographic Storage

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The Next Generation than video games, but Nintendo is apparently looking into the growing field of holographic storage to solve the Wii storage issue.

Holographic storage is a new way of storing data in which that data is contained in a 3-D space, as opposed to on the surface of a disk, as is the case in the PS3 or Xbox 360's HDDs. The technique is pretty cutting edge, but once it becomes mainstream it could be capable of mutli-terabyte storage. That's a lot of copies of Wii Ware beer pong.

Where Nintendo comes into this story is that its name has appeared alongside holographic storage company InPhase Technologies on a joint patent filing. The filing is for a scanner to read holographic discs.

It's an interesting fix to a growing problem for Wii owners, but we have to ask if Nintendo is using an atom bomb to address this issue, if what they really need is a hammer.

An application to patent “Miniature flexure based scanners for angle multiplexing” has been filed by the company, and it makes numerous references to holographic storage.

Holographic storage records data throughout the entire volume of a storage medium, whereas magnetic and optical storage records data onto the surface of the medium.The futuristic format has several advantages, including the ability to store data at a much faster rate than existing technologies.

Nintendo’s patent application background information mentions “a device comprising a spatial flexure for a scanner used in angle multiplexing of holographic data,” in addition to “a spatial flexure scanner for use in angle multiplexing of holographic data”.

It’s worth noting that Inphase Technologies, a manufacturer specializing in holographic storage, is also named as an application assigned alongside Nintendo.

Although the application makes no reference to the Wii, or to a games console, Nintendo’s inclusion has been enough to spark speculation that holographic storage is being considered as a way to bring greater storage capacity to the console.

However, it’s also worth noting that holographic storage is still extremely expensive, in its current forms, and building it into the Wii will definitely push the console’s cost well beyond £180 (€230/$355).


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