News Article

Take A Look At The Inside Of The Wii U

Posted by Orla Madden

It's the inside that counts

Ever wondered what the inside of the Wii U looks like? As part of the Iwata Asks series, four Nintendo product developers and general managers sat down this week to discuss the engineering behind the Wii U, as well as how it differs to the Wii.

There is an incredible amount of detail on the challenges and processes that went into building the console's hardware, with its designers chatting about what kind of technology went into the system. Genyo Takeda, a Senior Managing Director for the company, went into detail about the multi-core chip and why it was used as the central processing unit:

By having multiple CPU cores in a single LSI chip, data can be processed between the CPU cores and with the high-density on-chip memory much better, and can now be done very efficiently with low power consumption.

The Wii U generates three times more heat than the Wii, as it has only one heat source. This is why Nintendo introduced a heat sink, so it could dissipate the heat; but before they came to this decision they considered solutions such as making the fan bigger and raising the number of fan revolutions.

In the gallery below, you can see exactly what powers the Wii U as we are given pictures of the multi-chip module, the fan and the heat sink shield.


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User Comments (33)



Ecto-1 said:

Interesting. Not unexpected, but interesting non the less to see Nintendo break down its new system. By the way, I wouldn't mind seeing that semi-transparent Wii U made available for purchase.



19Robb92 said:

Very interesting read. I liked it. Looking forward to the GamePad discussion.



19Robb92 said:

Iwata: Oh! It's clear! Cool!

Everyone: (laughs)

Iwata: You've got to sell this to me! (laughs)

Everyone: (laughs)

Lol, that part felt so out of place in the middle of all the seriousness.



Zyph said:

@19Robb92 IKR? lol!

Anyway It's really great that Nintendo can find the time to do these interviews. Especially all the hardware Iwata Asks interviews. Reading stuff like how they came up with these things in the first place makes you more interested. I'm tech minded myself but of course there are some terminologies I still don't know about and you can learn a thing or two from these devs/engineers.



iphys said:

They talk about low power consumption, but if this thing really produces 3 times the heat of the Wii, that's pretty much saying it draws 3 times the power. I guess we shouldn't be surprised, because the 360 and PS3 require a lot more power than the Wii as well.



Mahe said:

The technical details and components are always interesting. But if it's so cost-effective to produce, why is it priced so high?



Zyph said:

@Mahe Many factors can be considered. Take their partners for example. IBM, AMD, and Renesas needs to profit from the development, each with their own profit margins. IBM's CPU and AMD's GPU also has modern architectures hence the high manufacturing expense involved. The white $299 system is already a good deal actually. The black system comes with a game and the game alone costs about $60 and you get it with the console for about $50 plus some additional accessories. Now I'm thinking how much would the PS4/720 cost. I think it's a no-brainer that they'll go with very powerful graphics processors. Obviously resulting some very high price points.



AVahne said:

Because it ISN'T priced very high. Considering that Nintendo seeks to profit from Wii U instead of losing billions of yen like Sony and considering what's inside the Wii U is much newer and much stronger than 7th gen specs, it's priced pretty reasonably.



Whopper744 said:

I want a see through Wii U statis! I used to have a clear N64 controller, and I used to think that was really cool.



19Robb92 said:

There's a huge difference in architecture between consoles and PC's so that's really hard to compare.

As the article says the customised architecture they're using results in one heat source and to keep that cool they have the customized fan and air ventilation.



V8_Ninja said:

Nice to see Nintendo acknowledge that the Wii U hardware has been a bit of a mystery for a while. While I can't check out the interview right now, I will as soon as I have some time.



WiiLovePeace said:

I love the Iwata Asks series of interviews, it makes Nintendo feel like a place with real people to me rather than just another faceless organisation. I want a see through Wii U & a see through 3DS XL

Edit: Heck, even Iwata himself wants a clear Wii U! (laughs)



Rapadash6 said:

I've always been a fan of Nintendos efficient hardware designs. To me, it always seems neat to have a small but relatively powerful box. Heck, that was one of my favorite things about the Wii. Sure, it didn't pump out Gears of War esque shaders and effects, but playing the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and Donkey Kong Country Returns on such tiny hardware always impressed me. The fact that Wii U isn't much bigger than the Wii and manages to surpass the 360 and PS3, even if only slightly, is really quite a technological marvel in my opinion.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Your not alone, theres something to be said about a console thats no bigger than a Harry Potter sized novel. Nintendo's consoles are small enough they can comfortably sit on the corner of a desk without taking up much space.



sinalefa said:

I had no idea there were Iwata Asks interviews about Wii U, thanks for the tip!

These ones are a joy to read.



AgenTxH said:

so... on the interview page about 2 thirds of the way down someone named Takeda says the gpu has "large on-chip memory"... help me out.. is this video ram he is talking about and has nothing to do with the 2 gigs of ram that the system has?



MAB said:

Ventilation fan here... Yeah I'm a big fan of ventilation

I like how they aren't adding a internal HDD to WiiU and going for the external option as this cuts the cost even further as well as cuts out extra heat generation and any Red/Yellow Lights of Death from occurring.



StarDust4Ever said:

Needs bigger heatsink, bigger fan, beefier power supply, and maybe a tray of liquid nitrogen would also help, now just overclock that thing to kindome come and enjoy your 1080p lag-free gaming!

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