Wii U Forum

Topic: Could a Wii U mini be made and 2 USB ports and the SD Card Slot removed to cut costs (gets technical)?

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WhereEaglesDare

1. Posted:

Nintendo keeps saying the gamepad is essential but a lot of people want them to ditch it. I'm on the fence, I think it's a good controller but I prefer looking at the HD image on the TV not a 6.2 inch 480p gamepad. We know that gamepad/tablet is quite pricey to produce but some simple cutbacks Sony made back when the PS3 was loosing them huge money at a high price was halving the USB 2.0 slots from the Wii U (and early PS3) 4 to 2.
Wii U motherboard with heat spreader on multi-chip module:

http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6465/DSC_9007sm.jpg

Wii U Motherboard higher quality with heat spreader removed:
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/video/nintendo/WiiU/DSC_9...

^Both of these are teardowns are of the 8 GB model, and do not show the bottom, which has a 4 GB flash chip not for user storage, this explains why updates don't take up any system space perhaps? However, the 8 GB and 32 GB units only differ in the capacity of the Samsung eMMC (embedded Multi Memory Card) outlined in the white square in the top-right in the first photo and the bottom-left in the second.

People who will complain about not being able to use the extra 2 USB slots if say their HDD uses 2 USB slots and 2TB isn't enough are likely to be few and far between. It's a small cost to Nintendo in bulk to buy another x2 USB 2.0 reader but an unnecessary one, no way it costs them less than the equivalent of 40 cents even in bulk on a system that they're selling at a loss and need to cut in price. Early adopters already have their more expensive systems (and more expensive to produce.)

The separate SD Card reader might be a problem, as it's the only way to transfer all your Wii content to Wii U. I bring that back as well to the early adopter argument, a lot of the people who care about backwards compatibility bought it on day one, or at least by now, and it's not like you're removing backwards compatibility (which is hardware-based on the GPU), just the Wii transfers.

On my last note, this PCB doesn't look that intense and looks quite efficient, likely because of advances in modern design. Nintendo at some point could probably make a smaller version where all components fit on the top side to reduce costs.

WhereEaglesDare

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TheLilK98

2. Posted:

I don't see why not, but if you're looking for them to make a model excluding the gamepad it isn't going to happen. I don't know why you brought up the issue of picture quality since you can still view the game on your tv, off tv is optional. Not only that, but some games wouldn't play properly without the touchscreen. So I don't really see this happening.

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skywake

3. Posted:

People need to get over this idea of getting rid of the GamePad. It's not going to happen and it shouldn't happen. Period.

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grenworthshero

4. Posted:

Without the GamePad what does the WiiU have, really? Miiverse? That's cool and all but that doesn't matter when it actually comes down to what really matters--games. Why would you get rid of it? That's like asking for a Wii without Wii Remote compatibility.

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dumedum

5. Posted:

BanjoThreeie wrote:

but I prefer looking at the HD image on the TV not a 6.2 inch 480p gamepad.

Well I don't. You make it sound as if the Game Pad screen isn't gorgeous, and it is.

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Jakurdo

6. Posted:

So you want to remove the 2 USB ports on the front of the console? What about charging the Wii U Pro controller? That feels like the main reason the Wii U even has those USB ports on the front. If I were to hook up an HDD, I'd plug it in the back.

Jakurdo

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Kodeen

7. Posted:

dumedum wrote:

BanjoThreeie wrote:

but I prefer looking at the HD image on the TV not a 6.2 inch 480p gamepad.

Well I don't. You make it sound as if the Game Pad screen isn't gorgeous, and it is.

I find the gamepad screen to have fairly desaturated colors compared to my plasma HDTV. Given the option, I choose the TV every day.

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WaLzgi

8. Posted:

Making the GamePad optional means it will never get support. No.

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Doge

9. Posted:

Gamepads boss. it shuld be essaential for wii u exclusives only. For CoD and stuff they should use wii u pro controlr

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GuSolarFlare

10. Posted:

if the gamepad was removed I'd pick a new console with more power over a WiiU(that I want badly) "WiiU - gamepad = lame"

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SuperJoon

11. Posted:

I love the gamepad. If my TV is taken up and I want to play, then I've got off TV play with it.

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CrazyOtto

12. Posted:

Only handhelds get slim redesgins really early in their lifespans.

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tovare

13. Posted:

I would think a lot of the size has to do with aftermarket costs vs. production cost (Even if the manual says you need good ventilation, nobody actually reads that stuff and would have claimed warranty replacement even if it's totally their fault). Size is probably reduced if low power version of the chips are released :-)

I too think that the gamepad is awesome, however I see how someone would have liked a regular wii with HDMI, I think old games do look better on the wii u. I played some wii sports resport last weekend :-)

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WhereEaglesDare

14. Posted:

Jakurdo wrote:

So you want to remove the 2 USB ports on the front of the console? What about charging the Wii U Pro controller? That feels like the main reason the Wii U even has those USB ports on the front. If I were to hook up an HDD, I'd plug it in the back.

Most PS3's and all 360's did fine with 2 ports. If you need more buy a USB hub, and how many external HDD's require both ports anyway?

PS4 and Xbox One will do fine with 2 and 3 USB 3.0 ports respectively, and they also take music and some other files.

Edited on by WhereEaglesDare

WhereEaglesDare

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WhereEaglesDare

15. Posted:

I like the gamepad and don't want it removed, it sets it apart from other systems, but I don't like it being used for much more than a map so I have to look down constantly.
I'm saying the system could (possibly) relaunch as a smaller and slightly cheaper to produce system so Nintendo can better undercut its competitors in price, a 50-100 dollar difference isn't enough.

WhereEaglesDare

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skywake

16. Posted:

Well the Wii got a huge redesign just before the Wii U launched. A stripped down version that lacked online functionality and was made of much cheaper plastic. Same thing with the latest 360 revision to a similar degree. Other console revisions have been more about making the consoles smaller which was never a problem with the Wii. Guess what? The Wii U is just as small as the Wii was.

The only way they could make a console smaller would be to remove the optical drive. So unless there's a cheapo plastic version or a digital only version needed in the next five years I don't think we'll see a revision. GamePad revision? OLED screen? Massive battery life? Maybe. Console revision? I highly doubt it.

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WhereEaglesDare

17. Posted:

skywake wrote:

Well the Wii got a huge redesign just before the Wii U launched. A stripped down version that lacked online functionality and was made of much cheaper plastic. Same thing with the latest 360 revision to a similar degree. Other console revisions have been more about making the consoles smaller which was never a problem with the Wii. Guess what? The Wii U is just as small as the Wii was.

The only way they could make a console smaller would be to remove the optical drive. So unless there's a cheapo plastic version or a digital only version needed in the next five years I don't think we'll see a revision. GamePad revision? OLED screen? Massive battery life? Maybe. Console revision? I highly doubt it.

False, the Wii U is bigger than the Wii was...

...and that's not an extremely dense motherboard and might be consolidated later, 2 or 1 chip for RAM instead of 4 when that becomes cheaper, CPU and GPU manufactured at smaller processes, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH5KSkvbr7A

http://wiiudaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/wii-u-vs-wii.jpg

Also, LOL at OLED, noth appening when Nintendo is trying to cut costs...

Edited on by WhereEaglesDare

WhereEaglesDare

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skywake

18. Posted:

@BanjoThreeie
The Wii U is deeper but it doesn't take up much more space than the optical drive itself. If they shrunk it they wouldn't be able to reduce the size dramatically. Compare that to the size reductions possible with the launch 360, PS3 and PS2. The PS3 in particular is about a third of the size of the original one. So no, they're not going to be able to reduce the size of the Wii U enough to warrant an entire redesign. Internal efficiency improvements and cost reductions? Always. Redesigns? What's to improve? Isn't it small enough already? They'd go back to the drawing board for an extra USB port?

About OLED you're ignoring the fact that screen tech is advancing rapidly and has been for quite a while. Their portable console revisions have been largely defined by improvements in size and screen tech. OLED is one such advance. High end phones already use OLED screens and as time goes on OLED screens will become cheaper to produce than LCD screens. You also missed the bit where I said some kind of revision to the GamePad which may or may not include an OLED screen is a "maybe" in the medium term compared to the console revision which I put as "highly doubtful". ;)

Edited on by skywake

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SCAR392

19. Posted:

Every USB powered USB 3.0 ext. HDD requires 2 USB 2.0 ports, because it needs more power than what a single USB 2.0 port can put out. I haven't seen anything besides USB 3.0 being sold for a while, and they don't include a y-cable.

Like @skywake said, the machine is already as small as it needs to be, really, and the optical drive is the only thing taking up the most space.
I don't see Nintendo pulling a PSP Go anytime soon, especially without the SD card slot or less USB ports.
It's already smaller than the Xbox One or PS4 by over 2×.

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Lan

20. Posted:

In my opinion, the Wii U has a good number of USB ports. I use one for LAN, one for my keyboard when playing MH3U, that leaves two for a Wii U Pro controller and a USB HDD.

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