Ars Technica explores lower-than-expected GameCube sales in the wake of Wii's birth as Nintendo's fifth generation home console. The piece discusses runaway costs of video game development, Wii's admittedly risky business, the engineering of the game box, and Nintendo's overall "less is more" approach to console design this go around. From the article:

"'More glitz' is always welcome in any new generation, but at some point one runs into laws of diminishing returns. [One Nintendo engineer] wondered if advances in technology could be used in a different way. The Wii was designed to take processor technology improvements and use them to make the unit run with less heat, by making the chips smaller. This enabled features that other consoles couldn't duplicate, such as the ability to leave the console powered on all the time [read: WiiConnect24]."

The article suggests that "always on" technology and internet connectivity via WiiConnect24 were just as important in the Wii planning process as motion-controls. An idea is one thing (and don't get us wrong, WiiConnect24 sounds intriguing), but execution is another.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.