Like many folks, I was hoping for a little more information about what’s inside the Wii U from today’s Nintendo conference, but was sadly disappointed when no mention was made. If we want to jump down the conspiracy trail, them not saying anything could be a very bad thing, leading us to jump to conclusions about how terrible the guts of the Wii U are. For now, lets stay on the optimistic side of things and take a look at what information they do give us.
The following specs can be found here.
Approximately 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long.
Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).
Wii U™ GamePad
The Wii U GamePad™ controller removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. It incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen, as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. Inputs include a +Control Pad, L/R sticks, L/R stick buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, Power button, HOME button, -/SELECT button, +/START button, and TV CONTROL button. The GamePad also includes motion control (powered by an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, an included stylus and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs approximately 1.1 pounds (500 g).
The Wii U console is capable of supporting two Wii U GamePad controllers, up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers or Wii U Pro Controllers, and Wii accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and Wii Balance Board.
Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.
The new console features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any home entertainment setup.
IBM PowerⓇ-based multi-core processor.
AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU.
Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.
Wii U and Wii optical discs.
Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors – two in the front and two in the rear – that support Wii LAN Adapters.
Nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.
Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI® connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.
Still no word here on what type of service we will be using to access the internet, which is a shame, but rather expected since no word was mentioned during the conference. It’s good to see there are quite a few USB ports and that they are not all in the front (Sony!). Let’s hope you can use an external hard drive with this since onboard flash storage won’t be enough to handle all of your downloads and game updates.
Further software features that we learned about Sunday and today are also listed:
Wii U Features
In addition to introducing new ways to play, Wii U also offers users a variety of non-gaming features to enhance the overall experience.
Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
TV Remote: The Wii U GamePad controller may also function as an infrared TV remote, whether users are watching TV or playing a game.
Near Field Communication (NFC): The Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it. This allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.
Nintendo eShop: The digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy. Consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores.
Video Entertainment: Nintendo is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience. Additional details will be released at a later time.
Video Chat: Using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
Internet Browser: Wii U comes with a browser that lets people with a wireless Internet connection surf the Internet from the comfort of their couches.
Update: For whatever reason, Nintendo decided to not put on their US site how long the GamePad could stay on. Instead they tried to sneak it in to their Japanese page. Sneaky sneaky. It turns out that the GamePad will last between three and five hours of play time given the brightness of the display and take 2.5 hours to recharge. The unit apparently does come with an AC charger (not a charging stand), and you can play it while plugged in. Let’s just hope the cord isn’t all Gamecube length.