E3 2012: Wii U Tech Specs Finalized By Nintendo

    June 5, 2012

Nintendo had given out some tech specs for the Wii U at the end of last year/beginning of this year to give retailers like Amazon have an idea of what to expect with their next home console. It’s just that those tech specs were not final which was made evident by the Wii U Gamepad’s evolution over last year’s hardware. The hardware at this year’s E3 appears to be final, however, as Nintendo has finally officially confirmed the tech specs for the Wii U.

Over at Nintendo’s E3 site, the company has posted the tech specs at the very bottom of the page. The final specs are very similar to what Nintendo gave before, but there are a few key differences. Here’s the full list:

Approximately 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long.

Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).

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 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).

Other Controllers
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.

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.

Wii Compatibility
Nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.

Audio Output
Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI® connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.

Video Output
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 tech specs also go into detail on the various functions that the console and the Wii U Gamepad can fulfill. As revealed during Sunday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, the Wii U Gamepad can also function as an infrared TV remote. This function can be used even while playing a game.

The Wii U Gamepad also has Near Field Communication functionality. This will allow players to scan objects into games. Nintendo says it “allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.” Could one of those activities be allowing people with Google Wallet or similar services scan their phones for purchases on the eShop?

Speaking of the eShop, Nintendo confirms that the Wii U will launch with the eShop. That’s a great first step to combatting one of the reasons the 3DS wasn’t so hot at launch – lack of an eShop. Nintendo will offer the usual range of downloadable titles, but they will also be offering full retail games.

As for video content options, Nintendo announced partnerships with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube. These aren’t going to be the usual video content that you see on other consoles as Nintendo is working with these companies to provide a unique experience using the Wii U Gamepad.

As you can see, Nintendo has pretty much every angle covered. It’s unfortunate, however, that the company still won’t say exactly how powerful the hardware actually is. It’s great that they’re using a hi-def Radeon GPU and an IMB multicore processor, but most of us want hard numbers. We’ll hopefully find out even more in the coming months.