Reverse Engineering refers to the act of studying or analyzing (a device, as a microchip for computers) in order to learn details of design, construction, and operation, perhaps to produce a copy or an improved version.1
The Wii (pronounced as wee) was a highly anticipated, interactive console that conquered many limitations of previous generation consoles as it incorporated the active use of motion in its game play. This enabled new dimensions previously unreachable in games notably, sports and adventure genres. A simple game of tennis now involves your entire body rather then the smashing or tapping of buttons as a gamer sat on the couch. Some hailed the advent of the Wii as opportunity to game while exercising. Others were less optimistic. One example of integrating fitness into gaming is the Wii Fit.
To truly understand how Wii revolutionizes gaming, you have to try it for yourself. Quite simply, Wii is for everyone. The ease of use and interactivity of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk allows for a unique social gaming experience for the whole family. You don't just play Wii, you experience it.
The success of the Wii was obvious in the shortages faced when millions of the set literally flew of the shelves, revealing the appeal in consumers of all ages that were attractive to it's highly innovative design. Numbers are estimates taken from NPD, Media Create, ChartTrack and although are not exact figures, they are a representation of the sale figures all over the world. The result was the slashing of more high-tech consoles like the Sony Playstation 3 just to keep up competitively with the smaller and cheaper Wii.
Wii Is Cool, but expensive. Now, the Chinese build Vii to save your money!
This success of the Wii has triggered a hot bed of imitations and look a likes, but the issue of reverse engineering being ingenuity or a lack of creativity is often controversial.
The Vii, from KenSingTon
"In addition, the Vii comes with "Vii Sports" as well as Vii channels similar to the ones offered on the Wii. It also comes with a knock-off of Cooking Mama, and another bowling game.
The Chinese rip-off first showed up earlier this year but has gained more attention as the holiday season approaches, and Nintendo still faces production problems with the Wii.
The Vii is currently being sold at an online Chinese retailer for 986 yuan ($125)."
The term "Chintendo Vii" has even been dubbed, but it seems that the "Vii" 's resemblance is only in the white stylish, and sleek box-like design. It is simply a compilation of games preset by the developers, instead of operating like normal consoles where the user has the choice of inserting a medium to access the game of his/her choice. The Vii's controller is similar in design to the Wii Remote but is smaller in size. It features motion detection but not the pointing capability of the Wii Remote. This could very well be one of the reasons why the Vii has not picked up as well as the Nintendo Wii, despite the stark contrast in price - a hint in itself regarding what each console is capable of.
Since its release, the console has also been reviewed on numerous gaming sites including Engadget.com, Joystiq.com and Gizmodo.com, all of which labelled it a low-quality imitation of the Nintendo product, which was then not yet available in China. One reviewer even posted a video of a Vii console being disassembled, revealing a small circuit board inside the console's white casing. There is also a weight attached to the base of the console to make the device appear heavier, and to allow it to stand vertically.
Newest developments though seem to suggest that the Vii has done well enough for a second version to be released in the near future, though it does not bear such a striking resemblance to the original console.
- A sneak peek on the Vii 2
The "Vii" had made its way into Singapore and most of the general public only knew about it when a local newspaper a write-up after the "Vii" was reported to be endorsed by a local athelete, James Wong, Vice Chairman of the Singapore National Olympic Council's Athletes' Commission. A video posted showing the television advertisement of the Vice Chairman James Wong was posted on Youtube and scored a large number of hits, but was taken down soon after due to violations of the regulations on the website. It had received many negative comments after viewers had seen the video.
Netizens here complain:
He's making S'pore look bad
Former national athlete endorses Wii lookalike from China
By Liew Hanqing, 06 December 2007
HE has been touted as the Yao Ming of Singapore. Never mind that he's more famous for throwing something else other than a basketball.
And it's just so he can help sell a China-made game console.
That's the unlikely role that has thrust multiple South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold medallist James Wong into the spotlight with Netizens.
They are wondering why a well-known and decorated sportsman like Mr Wong would endorse a product that is a lookalike of a well-known game console.
Some Netizens felt that this was bad for Singapore's image.
The former national discus thrower endorses the China-made Vii, which closely resembles Japan's Nintendo Wii, a console with a wireless remote controller that allow users to play sports simulation games.
The Electric New Paper
The Vii has also been reported to be "reskinned" for exports to other countries including France and Japan.
China and Skype
A recent rumor hitting the blogosphere has the world buzzing with the possibility that a Chinese company backed with large sums of money has cracked the Skype encryption codes and is poised to offer a competing product that can send and receive Skype calls.
Art Reisman, PCMAG.
Recent times have seen programs that are classified as P2P (peer to peer) platforms on the rise as Internet users allow others to access approved data from their own computers such as songs, pictures and videos etc. This requires participation from each user in the network which is the basis for P2P platforms, as they are not stored on central servers but rather go back and forth using the bandwidth of participants. Pure P2P applications erase the need for servers or clients where each participant acts like a node where they function as both clients and servers as required.
P2P networking has generated tremendous interest worldwide among both Internet surfers and computer networking professionals, with numerous businesses and Web sites have promoted "peer to peer" technology as the future of Internet networking. Yet P2P file sharing software has also created much controversy over legality and "fair use." In general, experts disagree on various details of P2P and precisely how it will evolve, though they promise that it would change the future of networking radically.
Examples of partial P2P structured programs
- Napster was an extremely popular program that was most well known for its ease in transfering MP3 format audio, and uses a central client-server structure for some tasks and P2P for others.
- MIRC is a form of instant messaging program where files can be effectively shared by users as "servers" while downloaders are known as "leeches".
We are not interested in cracking or reverse engineering Skype's software and merely creating a Skype compatible network is not our end purpose. We have obtained a great deal of enlightenment from Skype's design framework, it is our goal to create an improved P2P platform and allow all kinds of groups in the community to share in the free (of cost), advanced and secure platform we create.
We are standing on the shoulders of giants, Skype being one of those giants. We have been in contact with Skype for quite some time. Last year one of our key engineers talked with one of Skypes senior engineers. Skype posses a P2P technology team that we admire.
The domain of P2P innovation is limitless. We are very honored to work side by side Skype to promote P2P technologies in the VOIP industry. Our team is composed of the most talented P2P engineers in the world. We are working day and night to build a superior quality P2P network.
Just as you see more and more rumors, amongst which some are saying whether we are right or wrong. But our endeavors are attracting the attention and support of more investors. We hope to gain the support of some powerful strategic investors, but we don't want too many external interference to interfere with our engineering research. We are just a research team, not Big Brother superstars. (Attention translator: an American reality television show which shoots film of all life affairs including a trip to the bathroom.)
We sincerely thank Skype! They allow over 100 million users to use their network, including our team members, but this is only the present situation. The best is yet to come.
From CEO to Charlie Paglee, Voice over IP (VoIP)
As software that allows users to make voice calls using the internet, Skype's popularity quickly grew despite formally entering the Chinese market only two years ago when a joint venture with Chinese internet service provider TOM.com was created. The enterprise must comply with China's tight censorship policies and right now is unable to provide its "call to landline" service, because of China's monopoly on Telecom service providers. VoIPWiki blogger Charlie Paglee wrote about receiving a Skype call from a friend in China, who works for the company that managed the reverse engineering of Skype. The caller wanted to verify the client would work when connecting to a distant IP address. It did, and the company has plans to do more with the client:
At present they only support placing Skype peer-to-peer phone calls and they have not yet implemented presence. They have plans to add presence, instant messaging, and a host of other features. Their end goal is to create a client 100% compatible with Skype. 2