This Is The Wii U Console In My Ink-Stained Hands

This is the Wii U console, the part of Nintendo's big new gaming machine that's been getting a lot less attention than its stunning screen-based controller. I got my hands on the console today. Take a video tour with me.

A few important notes:

1) There is an error in the video... I thought that the Wii U could be stood vertically, but the pieces of plastic I describe in the video as feet are not feet. The Wii U will not stand, not on its own. It needs to lie down.

2) You can see four USB ports for this system and an SD Card slot. You won't see an Ethernet jack, suggesting that, like the Wii, this Nintendo console is made to go online strictly via Wi-Fi. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime cautioned me not to conclude that. Sounds like that this design, while apparently final, is still open to some tweaks.

3) You won't see GameCube memory card slots, which the Wii had. That's because Wii U can play Wii games, but isn't backwards compatible to GameCube.

4) You won't see a way to plug the rechargable screen controller into the Wii U. Maybe that's what the back yellow port is for? Perhaps that port connects to a charge station? Hard to say. We've not been shown whatever charging station will be used to recharge the controller.

5) The unit didn't feel much heavier than a Wii, though it's not clear if this unit is a finished device with all the required guts. The machine seems to be about as wide as a Wii, and similarly thick, but it does appear to be longer. To use a metaphor rather than an actual size comparison, think of the relative relationship between letter size paper and legal size paper.

6) I hadn't realised until I was done handling the unit that I had some ink on my left hand - whoops! I got a little ink on the system's front hatch. It wiped off with a tissue. I apologised profusely.

I like the hardware. It looks good. What do you think?


    ebgames has it listed on their site for $598. bit pricey :\

      Ebgames is taking a total punt at pricing something that won't be out for a year, I can't see them getting the price right somehow,

      Well not really, if it can be considered next gen and more powerful than the PS3/360. They both cost around the same when it came out.

      But with that said - It won't cost $598, it will be $499 at the VERY most in my opinion and even that is a long shot. The price on Eb games au is just a estimate, they have it high so that if the price is announced to say be $399 or something like that then they can simply give you your cash back, where as if they listed it at $399 then it came out at $599, they would have to honor what you pre ordered it for and would lose a LOT of money.


      With their pricing policies they always make the estimate higher...

    I think it looks sexier than the Wii, but could be a littler more mature looking. I think its just the white, release it in black and were sold :)

    The cost of this thing will not be in the console, it will be the controller. If the Vita sells at $250 with Sony making a loss on each unit, then we really can't expect the controller to be much cheaper than this.

    Chuck in Nintendo's mantra of always making money on a console/handheld at laucnh and I reckon EB may be on the money, maybe a tad low.

    Ps3 60gb actually cost $999 when it was released. If the wii U comes out for $600 I'd say thats a fairly reasonable price

    Despite claiming that vertical-standing consoles were dumb many years ago, I've since began to appreciate the space-saving idea.

    Disappointed that this is essentially the same shape but won't go vertical.

      Looks like it will need a stand, but from the look of it, they want to make sure you don't cover the vents.

    Given that there are 2 USB ports in the front - I'm thinking that the controller charging cables will plug into there like they do on the PS3.

    I like it. Small, sleek, and will fit amongst your other electronic devices well.

    I've never really liked the idea of vertical standing consoles. I much rather everything to sit nicely in their place in a TV cabinet. Glad they changed it.

    Once again... weren't we getting a "new design inspired by the NES/SNES console design era"

    Disappointed to get another Smartcar when I would like an Aston Martin

    Are you sure you have the rear plugs correct? I would have thought the yellow would be power and the black one for component/av. It would be out of character for nintendo to just abandon older connections and make this exclusively HDMI.

    In stained hands?

    Oh, because you're a writer. I get it.

    Except you use a keyboard...

    no optical out for sound? for shame.

    i believe the black port is av, the yellow is power

    optical out sound might be on the component cable like the xbox, otherwise HDMI supports audio as well

      Indeed it is, ten points to you good sir. Anyone who has plugged a Wii in more than once would recognise the black AV connector.

      But I want to see what's insiiiide it!!!

    "4) You won’t see a way to plug the rechargable screen controller into the Wii U. Maybe that’s what the back yellow port is for?"

    It'll probably go the PS3 route with a USB/mini-USB for controller charging.

    There's no ethernet port on the Wii either. But you can still do a wired ethernet connection to the Wii using a USB to ethernet adapter. Hoping the same can be done with this new console as Wi-Fi is terrible at my house.

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