News Article

Fact Sheet: Wii U - 1080p HD Confirmed, No BluRay

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Nintendo embraces HD in 2012

After announcing the Wii U earlier today Nintendo has now revealed some details of the hardware behind the new system.

As expected the console will be a full HD console with 1080p/720p output via HDMI, it will also feature a multi-core PowerPC processor which may be comparable with Xbox 360. As always Nintendo has tried to stay away from processing figures, but here's what we have so far:

Launches:
2012

Size:
Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.

New Controller:
The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home
button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.

Other Controls:
Up to four Wii Remote™ (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii™ controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk™ controller, Classic Controller™, Classic Controller Pro™ and Wii Balance Board™.

Media:
A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.

Video Output:
Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.

Audio Output:
Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.

Storage:
The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.

CPU:
IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.

Other:
Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.

So there you have it, pretty much what we would expect. The processing power and graphics should have a huge improvement over Wii, the lack of Blu-ray means the system will certainly focus on games and games alone. It's clear Nintendo aren't interested in competing with Apple TV and other home-media devices. Additionally the proprietary disc format may help Nintendo battle piracy once again on the home console, and the ability to add external hard drives is a welcome plus too.

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User Comments (74)

Burn

#1

Burn said:

Ah, I was kind of hoping it would support GameCube games. Looks like I'll have to sell my Wii to pay for the Wii U, and then buy a GameCube again.

jkgatling

#2

jkgatling said:

nice nice, the backwards compatibility which I guess will feature the whole controller screen will be nice too, just as they showed.

Big_Gamer

#4

Big_Gamer said:

did they fail on the hardrive again? and im pretty dissapointed about no Bluray, not because I want to watch movies on it but because its such a superior storage device for games

SilverBaretta

#6

SilverBaretta said:

@Big_Gamer: See here:
Storage:
The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.

Sound fine to me.

BalrogtheMaster

#7

BalrogtheMaster said:

@4 Bluray is owned by Sony, so I don't think they would allow Nintendo to use their hardware. Still, the graphics look spectacular.

Kirk

#8

Kirk said:

Don't tell me it won't play my DVD movies again!

I swear to...

antdickensAdmin

#9

antdickens said:

@Big_Gamer, yes, no HD, just SD storage ontop of the Flash drive, so don't expect a huge capacity - maybe 16GB onboard though?

As for BluRay, they're talking about their own "high-density optical discs" which will probably be heading towards BR capacity... should be plenty in our eyes.

Pj1

#10

Pj1 said:

Looks like I got to buy a blu ray player, Shame I was hoping they would include one.

Burning_Spear

#11

Burning_Spear said:

Can we get the measurements of the controller? It looks like it's about 7.5 inches long and about 4 inches tall.

TrainerOrange

#12

TrainerOrange said:

BluRay is Sony's proprietary format, you're never going to see it on a Nintendo or Microsoft console.

FlaccidSnake

#13

FlaccidSnake said:

@7 Bluray is NOT, i repeat NOT owned by sony. How many times do people have to be told this!!

castor

#14

castor said:

I can't complain about it... Wii U is awesome compared to the Wii and Nintendo now has the advantage of having their own games + HD 3rd party games.

Chris720

#16

Chris720 said:

Sony don't own BluRay, it's just that they use it in their hardware. Anyone can use it.

A USB Hard Drive sounds nice along with the 1080p graphics, I'm not all in for graphics but viewing SD graphics on a HD TV set is horrible.

Hopefully we'll see some more information on this over the year and maybe get a rough price?

Also, looking at some of the Wii U game videos, the graphics look better than the 360s by far.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

I don't think they can't announce Zelda HD until AFTER Skyward Sword ships.

I don't care about blu-ray but the Xbox had a couple of games that required more than 1 disc so hopefully their proprietary format will be big enough.
Will the internal memory be in MB or gig?
No mention of wireless? It has ot have it, right? I'ld love ethernet myself. No optical? Guess I need a new sound system. 4 USB is good, (stupid Sony removes slots and then adds a camera, dumb@sses).
Can I make the first "2 Wiis duct taped together" joke? The size is almost exactly the same as 1 Wii though.

I completely disagree with this sentence - "the lack of BluRay means the system will certainly focus on games and games alone". Netflix, HuluPlus, Youtube, heck they showed somebody uploading a video from the controller. (How did it get on the controller, internal storage in the WiiU?) Maybe they'll have an NCloud to compete with iCloud. No blu-ray means no disc medium but the whole world is moving towards digital anyway. And Apple TV has never had blu-ray so bad comparison.

Capt_N

#18

Capt_N said:

I'm w/ legochesser, the (hardware) specs look good, but I have a feeling the system is going to end up being again the weakest of the hardware console arms race, although N has said they aren't in it. Still, that means there will be still some issues in regards to N still having the weakest hardware, when it comes to the possibility of multi-plat(form) games.

sc100

#19

sc100 said:

External hard drive storage is the way to go. This will preclude the need to have different versions of Wii U and allow people to add as much storage as they want.

Also, with the apparent lack of GameCube compatibility, it makes you wonder if they'll start making GameCube Virtual Console games. With USB hard drive support now, the big size of the GameCube files won't be an issue like it would be if you could only put them on SD cards. My 1TB external hard drive is ready.

mizumaru

#20

mizumaru said:

I will buy this! I am mad that now it will have 2 additional useless USB ports. I like that I can use an external drive but come on!

alexander84

#22

alexander84 said:

They make it sound as though only one Wii u controller will connect to the console with further players having to use Wii remotes. Do we know if this is the case because not only does this sound confusing, but it would mean a lot of benefit of the new controller is lost for multi player gaming?

Dorkvader

#24

Dorkvader said:

Man i can't wait for it to come out. I also can't wait for the new SUPER SMASH BROS. game to come out for both Wii U and the 3DS :D

castor

#25

castor said:

I was thinking here: Nintendo was smart at keeping the Wii Mote (I've already said when it was with Project Cafe alias, they should sell normal and motion controllers). So now we'll be able to play FPS games in HD with the Wii Motes, I guess. Anyway, I hope WiiU isn't getting full of FPS games, leave them to Sony and their squared minds gamers.

Big_Gamer

#27

Big_Gamer said:

so they will use another type possibly equal to bluray space? okay that makes me more pleased. Still on the edge about the harddrive though, but I guess its just that Ive gotten spoiled with all the downloads on my PS3

LEGEND_MARIOID

#28

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Sounds really good and very interesting indeed imho. Intelligent to keep the previous controllers. Couldn't give less of a frak about blu-ray as it hasn't taken off nearly as well as its creators would've hoped.

oldschoolplayer

#29

oldschoolplayer said:

While probably expensive, it would be interesting for Nintendo to finally realize their Gamecube/GBA multi-player experience by allowing for 4 (or more) people with a WiiU controller to see different parts of a large area or to go off and explore separate places on their own, while keeping the tv screen as a type of hub or map to track positions.
Also, not disappointed about the Blu-Ray.

Winter

#30

Winter said:

I like the controller!!!
Question:

Will i be able to play the games with the controller and watch them ON the controller? Like I put the game in the wii U and play the rest on the controller?
If I can do that, can I watch tv at the same time?

ForteAnly

#32

ForteAnly said:

I am torn between the new console. I like the fact that its powerful as the PS3/360 and innovative but will it turn out to be like another Nintendo console. Where all we get are empty promises. I won't judge the console on its initial E3 appearance but I am hoping that it brings competition to the table again and not just another gimmick that Sony and Microsoft will try to capitalize on. I know people will disagree and say the Wii was competition for the other consoles but it really wasn't. It lacked HD graphics, DVD output, and 3rd party support. All it had was the gimmick of motion controls that Sony and Microsoft ended up copying to meet that consumer market. I am just hoping this consoles brings Nintendo somewhat back to its original glory. A large library of both 1st party and 3rd party games that will differentiate the console from the other competitors and deliver an overall gaming experience.

Winter

#34

Winter said:

I have to agree with that. I have bought 3 Wii games in all the time I have had it. Being Twilight Princess, Okami and Super Mario Galaxy.

The thing that made Wii a good purchase for me is VC and game cube compability. I have bought maybe 30 games from VC. If I cannot use the controller for wii u as a "consol" (be able to look at the game on the control), I will probably end up buying a lot more games for the 3DS. But then again.. maybe Kingdom Hearts 3...?

Winter

#35

Winter said:

Thanks moosa!!!

YES!!!!! :D Somehow my handhelds always get the most love for me, now I AM exited!!! :-D If I can watch tv at the same time, then amazing! The controller will look much better than my old TV anyway :P It fits SNES.....

Molotov

#36

Molotov said:

As Expected No BluRay! I Mean Why Would They? Have They Ever Bothered Bringing Out Anything That Wasn't Proprietary?

dizzy_boy

#38

dizzy_boy said:

i jist see mega fail for nintendo once the next gen sony and microsoft consoles role out.
i know nintendo want to keep the costs down, but i think it`ll hsve damaging effect again on 3rd parties if they can`t release AAA games on a nintendo console.
i just hope that it`s not a going to be a continuation of this gen`s mistakes.
but i am pleased with backwards compatability with the wii.
lets hope for wiiware and VC games to make the move over. i`ll be damned to let go of my current collection of downloads.
and too add. i hope nintendo release a patch for the wii so we can move our online game saves to an sd card for use on the wii u.

HolyMackerel

#39

HolyMackerel said:

I just wonder about the controller's ergonomics and battery life. The start, select and home buttons really shouldn't be way down there - and in even harder-to-reach places than the power button of all things.

Still, looks great so far. Built-in mic and speakers, massive 6.2" touchscreen... this really is quite exciting.

TheItalianBaptist

#40

TheItalianBaptist said:

Any word on the Gamecube ports? Quite a few Nintendo first-party Wii games (Brawl, Mario Kart) still used the GC controller and I'd hate to see it left behind :(

SpicyDuck

#41

SpicyDuck said:

I'm going to assume that the extra USB ports that they have added are for recharging the controllers, which will probably drain through normal AA batteries... I wonder how much they'll be? AND I wonder if this new console will be able to get ports like "mass effect 3" Or... Skyrim? Only time can tell..

PSICOffee

#42

PSICOffee said:

I'm not sold on this thing at all. Nintendo is obviously trying to keep up with the changing market, seeing as the controller is an advanced ipad in disguise. The Wii was okay, but obviously something is wrong if I have more down-loadable VC and Wiiware games than actual disc-based ones for a system. It's a shame the Wii isn't seeing a lot more grand slam games. I guess Skyward Sword will be its swan song.

Nintendo has always been a step behind on the newest technology on purpose since the Gameboy and Yokoi's philosophy. I'm not surprised there is no blue ray, and I'm happy because I hate it and feel it's unnecessary.
If this thing is filled with a bunch of EA generic fps games (as assumed by that guy on stage at the end) then I'm definitely going to avoid it. At least the 3DS games look promising.

Lolza64

#43

Lolza64 said:

The controller certainly looks interesting but i can't imagine it being comfortable until i try it.

Nintendoftw

#44

Nintendoftw said:

Really really disappointed in terms of hardware. Comparable to the 360? Does Nintendo NOT understand that this is next gen?

JamieOStaff

#45

JamieO said:

Regarding the graphical capabilities, I think that the way in which Nintendo were able to extract the very best visuals from the Wii in games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 bodes well for some stunning looking first party Wii U games.

My only slight concern is if Microsoft or Sony announce a powerful next gen successor to Xbox 360/ PS3 at next year's E3, then Wii U's capabilities could look old before their time. In that situation, third parties may move their development to the more technically advanced competition.

That is just speculation though and I am feeling far more optimistic about Wii U, the controller enables a plethora of fresh gameplay opportunities and the visuals in the conference's tech demo proves that Wii U's graphics will still be lush. I think that the screen on the controller will lead to lots of third party exclusive games, too.

I am disappointed if Wii U is not backwards compatible with GameCube, but at least we can play our Wii games on it.

Ha, ha, could someone check if Wii U has a hidden flap hiding ports for GameCube controllers? ...You never know!

Burning_Spear

#46

Burning_Spear said:

"Nintendo has always been a step behind on the newest technology ..."

By "technology" you mean graphics. One can argue that its past four systems have all introduced groundbreaking technology. Being a Nintendo fan these days means accepting a trade-off: You sacrifice aesthetics for unique game play. Personally, I consider Nintendo's products to be more progressive than those of their competitors, even though I'm on record as being intrigued but not necessarily wowed by this console. If we're going to get new consoles every five years, I'd rather see experimentation — even failed experimentation — than the same old thing simply made faster and more powerful.

Nintendoftw

#48

Nintendoftw said:

Guys no one is talking about graphics here. let's compare the PS2 to the PS3. The only difference is definitely not graphics, but gameplay! Physics in PS3 games are all beautiful and very realistic, not possible on the PS2. Okay just imagine this: The Wii U will be running great games like GTA 5 and COD, while the 720 and PS4 will be running the same thing except in GTA 5 and etc ALL objects and the environment is fully destructible with the most advanced physics engines to date a long with graphics as a small add on to that.

JebbyDeringer

#49

JebbyDeringer said:

Very interesting but I really hope 1080p includes Wii games. I'd love to keep playing Wii games but in 1080p (or at least 720p) where they will look much much cleaner.

Henmii

#50

Henmii said:

So no blue-ray, wich is strange. Not backwards compatable with gamecube-games. But it will support hard-drives! Hopefully this means the end of size limits for downloadable games! As for the rumble feature: I suppose it won't be used when you use a stylus, otherwise it would scratch the screen (or so I imagine).

I am worried about it's power though. If it's only just as strong as a PS3 and Xbox360, we have again a outdated Nintendo console in a few years. The new Xbox and PS4 are coming! Everyone knows that! Wich automatically means: Bye bye third-party support!!

pntjr

#51

pntjr said:

@22
i hope not, or i will become a sony fanboy!

But guys, mabye gamecube will be in VC!

Wolfenstein83

#52

Wolfenstein83 said:

Come on, the thing has to be able to play DVD's at least.
The skimped out on that feature with the GC and the Wii. (Not counting the Panasonic-Q)
I wanted so badly to play F-Zero GX or Mario Sunshine in HD, but we should wait and see, the system isn't out in stores yet so who knows what will happen until then?
If it can play Wii games, then I would assume it could play GC games, since it uses similar hardware, so maybe it's emulation like on the 360 and PS3?
Ah well, the past games are awesome, but lets look forward to the future for a bit.

Pj1

#53

Pj1 said:

Imagine G.C games becoming VC titles, Wow! Nintendo will or can expand the hoizons with Wii-u. I'd like to think some thing will be done to contiune the VC format in general and I actually hope they will do some thing with G.C. If people are playing game cube games they are not playing the new Wii-u, So would it not make sense for Nintendo to allow backward play for Game Cube through Wii-u? Afterall Nintendo have about 10 months from now to decide what they are going to do with Wii-u.

Deviant_Mugen

#55

Deviant_Mugen said:

That picture looks fantastic...

Personally, I'm way more intrigued by how Nintendo's going to change the way I play games with their new controller (as I was with the Wii), than by its HD output. Nintendo already made fantastic-looking games on the Wii, so all this really does is take away third-party developers' excuses for leaving Nintendo out when it comes to ports. Of course—as all you cynics are already speculating—they'll probably change their tune and abandon ship once the competition announces their new, more powerful consoles...

From what I gleaned from the press release, I am concerned by the fact that it sounds like the Wii U will only support one of its new controllers at a time, though. Hopefully this will be further elaborated upon once a bit more time passes. Literal split-screen multi-player would really make some genres—the FPS genre in particular—shine on the Wii U, so it'd be a shame if this was hampered by the fact that you could only use one touch-screen controller at a time...

WaveyChristmas

#57

WaveyChristmas said:

These better be 1080p games, considering the majority of HDTVS ARE 1080p. And what does 6.1 PCM Linear with HDMI for sound mean? Is that DTS Master HD Audio/Dolby True HD or is it just Dolby Digital?

PSICOffee

#59

PSICOffee said:

@46 yeah, graphics, I agree completely. Nintendo has always been the most innovative vidya game company. By technology I guess I was referring more to the example of what they did for the original Game boy when everyone else were using color screens. Also they couldn't let go of cartridges for the N64 when everyone else were using CD's. But hell, it works for them. I'm not sure how long this cycle will keep up nowadays until even all the "casual" gamers will catch on.

TheGreenSpiny

#60

TheGreenSpiny said:

@42 &46: Let's get something clear: the only time Nintendo was behind graphically was with the Wii. The Xbox was slightly better than the Gamecube, both the 'Cube and the N64, crushed the PS1 &2. The SNES was far superior than the Sega Genesis. The NES blew the Atari 2600/7800 out of the water. When the gameboy was released it was the only handheld on the market, thus couldn't be behind technology wise. Graphics comparisons aside Nintendo has made every major leap for game controllers, D-Pad, analog stick, dual analogs, shoulder buttons, trigger buttons, touch screens, to today's motions controls. Everybody copies Nintendo's tech in one form or another. And that's not even mentioning their games.

phoenix1818

#61

phoenix1818 said:

Does this mean it can't play GameCube games? I was hoping I could get rid of my Wii when this was announced, but maybe not.
As far as stats go, I really want to know the exact CPU and GPU specs but it seems like Nintendo is dodging the questions.

Token_Girl

#62

Token_Girl said:

It's quite possible they are using blu-ray, they just aren't going to pay for the codecs to play movies - like the Wii uses DVDs. It'd be a shame if my GCN games didn't play on it, but I'd get over it pretty quickly with them added to the VC and a 3DS player for OoT+MQ to replace that disc.

default12345

#63

default12345 said:

Zelda HD looks amazing.

Why would the Wii U need to perform any better graphically than that?

You should all let Micro$oft and $ony have their next-gen war, as far as I'm concerned Nintendo are in a league of thee own.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#64

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Its an "advanced single screen ds with wiimote gyrosensor tech in it" ..... not just an "ipad like" device. Remember who created the tech in the first place.

Edwrd

#65

Edwrd said:

What about networking, WiFi 802.11n no doubt, and can you backup to a WiFi Network Storage Drive instead or just USB HDD?

JimLad

#66

JimLad said:

So long as it can keep up with the 360, that's all I care about.
I don't see the games industry accepting a new graphics standard any time soon. So if Wii U can get the same multiplatform games as the other two consoles then it's set.

V8_Ninja

#67

V8_Ninja said:

Eh, looks like everything that people complained about with the Wii is fixed in this new console. You can say I'm officially happy.

RyuZebian

#69

RyuZebian said:

External hard drive= awesome. As long as the file support is good this could function as a media player, with a greeeeaaat controller! Seriously, if they do this right the Wii U could function as an HTPC! One thing is for sure... I'll be getting myself a flat screen tv with full HD resolution next year.

StarDust4Ever

#70

StarDust4Ever said:

Please tell me there's some type of separate non-HDMI output for mutichannel audio. My television set uses a coax digital output to forward digital audio to the sound system, but only in formats the TV supports, which is PCM stereo and dolby digital only. Any unsupported digital audio format that gets passed to the HDTV via HDMI, we get no sound through either the TV or the Audio receiver. The AV system works flawlessly with the DTS 5.1 optical output from my PS3 - No problems. The sound system also includes six analog RCA inputs for 5.1 sources. For years, we have enjoyed 5.1 surround on DVD movies, long before we bought the HDTV. I do not want to have to buy a new sound system to enjoy 5.1 Surround on my Wii-U! :'(

EDIT: a quick Google search led me to one potential solution to my discrete audio dilemma:
http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html

MeloMan

#71

MeloMan said:

Pro: USB external HD. I'll be picking up the 1TB HD after all and not a moment too soon by next year.
Con:
1. No mention of Gamecube support whether games or controllers??? What if it's a 8 player game that did the ol' 4 Wiimotes and 4 GC controllers? I guess more to come.

2. Transfer WiiWare and VC games???

I can't sell my Wii to a Gamestop because the cheap door broke off that covers the GC mem card slots and GC controller ports, so until I can confirm this other info, looks like I'll have a Wii and WiiU in my house. (I'm sure the pawn shops will buy the Wii as a side note...)

StarDust4Ever

#72

StarDust4Ever said:

LOL MeloMan. I seriously doubt that anyone would accept my Wii either as it has a clear blue acrylic case mod with tons of blue LED lights on it. I still kept the old case laying around just in case I ever need to get it serviced.

Infernapeking

#73

Infernapeking said:

Reggie said they are not gonna use someone else stuff. Nintendo is blue-ray will get sony more money. so they dont want that.

triforceofcourage

#74

triforceofcourage said:

Graphics =/= fun games. Nintendo can get as high tech as they want, and thats awesome. But I'm more concerned about creative, fun, and awesome games. What I REALLY want is better online features in games and fancy ways to use this new controler. I buy from Nintendo because I want games I feel I can't get from Sony or Microsoft. (but they do need to catch up online lol) & I typed all this on my 3DS! :D

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