Nintendo Relicenses SC Texture Technology

Unwilling to let GameCube compression tech go

Nintendo recently renewed their license with S3 Graphics to continue using their S3 Texture Compression technology. They explain the tech as follows:

S3TC texture compression uses an advanced compression algorithm that achieves up to six-fold compression of complex textures and images that are used in today's hardware accelerated gaming titles. This reduces memory bandwidth and expands the amount of texture imagery that can be stored and processed through onboard graphics memory, without compromising visual clarity.

Those interested in a more in-depth explanation of the software can check out the Wikipedia article discussing how it works. S3 is a company with which Nintendo has worked with already for over ten years, first using this technology on the GameCube platform.

This renewal could mean a few things. The fun speculation is that this could be used to power the upcoming 3DS, which is rumored to have GameCube-level graphics. It's also possible that Nintendo plans for future platforms to be backwards-compatible with GameCube titles, a prospect that would surely please fans with significant collections from that generation. Whether this is relevant to a Wii successor or the 3DS, or neither, is all speculation at this point, but keep your Internet tuned to Nintendo Life for all future updates.


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