Why The Wii U Literally Can't Stand Up

Unlike a Wii, an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3, the Wii U console can't stand up. You can't prop the system up vertically without it turning over. Horizontal is the only option. The new Nintendo console must lie on its belly like a Nintendo Entertainment System or a really lazy house cat. Why?

"I guess we could make a stand," Nintendo's senior game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto told me yesterday, laughing, "I think maybe it was because we didn't want people to think it was a Wii."

Just paint it another colour then, I said, needling him.

His follow-up answer was more of a revelation: "It kind of goes back to our idea of the Wii U itself which is: ‘What is the role of the physical hardware?' And in this particular case we felt that the physical hardware is something that's becoming something that is less and less important from an identity perspective for a game machine.

"So, for example, with even something like Kinect you can have your hardware put away and out of sight and you can wave at the TV and maybe the game will come on or something.

"Similarly with Wii U, when we [considered the question] ‘What is the face of Wii U going to be?', for us the face of Wii U really isn't the console box itself. It's the controller; it's the Wii U GamePad. So just like a set dop box is non-descript and tucked away, our feeling was that the Wii U hardware was something that could be tucked away and out of sight.

"The Wii U GamePad is really the face of the system, whereas with the Wii system, we had really designed it so that that system itself really stood out when you looked at it."


    Wow, Miyamoto can't speak properly... "set dop box"? What a fail. :P

    Also I'm a little disapointed they're caring less about how consoles look. When you fork for a few hundred or more for one you expect a little eye candy. Not a cheap looking box with rounded sides.

      Well... At least it comes in black...

        Because the black (and all the other coloured) Wii shown at E3's were available at launch.

      I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but the error was probably with the authors transposition.

      Woah woah woah, hold the phone a second!
      Rounded corners?
      Didn't someone patent boxes with rounded corners?

      um... clearly that's a typo. He obviously didn't say "dop".

      He ment, im assuming, 'set Top box'

    So because the PS2 could stand on its side all consoles must now stand on their side?
    What other home entertainment or electrical appliance stands in its side? The toaster? Yeah, thats an idea, have it stand on its back and drop discs into it like a slices of bread.

    This notion of consoles must be able to stand on its side is silly.

      I want this sideways toaster you speak of.

        Tip: If you put your toaster sideways you can make grilled cheese sandwiches in it.*

        *Foggy is not responsible for the horrible fire deaths of you or your family.

          What about the toast that gets shot out onto the floor because the springs are op and made to fight gravity. Trust me they can shoot pretty far.

            Toaster Cannon.

            Buy five of 'em at a discount store and wage toast war on your significant other.

          toaster on the side is great for crumpets. Put crumpets in upside down, resulting in crisp top, AND unburnt bottom.

      The option to have it is nice though.

      I consider it more of a space saving option in some instances, that's all, depends on your entertainment unit, you might already have other devices filling the main spots. So standing it up even behind the TV could be a great option for some.

      I don't think it would influence my purchasing decisions, but having the option is nice. I couldn't fit my wii in my entertainment cabinet if it didn't stand up.

      And on the toaster point - I think more devices should be flexible about how they are set up. A lot apartments have sweet FA bench space, and a toaster that can be adjusted to fit the space would actually influence my purchase.

    ^ I do, ease of access.

    I don't mind the vertical option if you have limited space and need to arrange your consoles Tetris style.

    I used to have my 360 on its side until someone (not me) clumsily knocked it over and I had to take it into a shop for repairs because it stopped working. I don't think I'll ever stand a console vertically again after that.

      Note that since I've gotten used to my consoles being horizontal I consider the "sides" to be what others might consider the top and bottom. For clarification, my 360 was standing vertical when it was knocked over.

    “I think maybe it was because we didn’t want people to think it was a Wii.”
    Sooooo why use the word "Wii" in the title?
    A mate of mine has no other option but to put it verticle, he's screwed!

    *snip* And in this particular case we felt that the physical hardware is something that’s becoming something that is less and less important *snip

    you got that right nintendo.... you've made it clear you don't care about your hardware being that you're still technically a generation behind in terms of specs... the wii was unpowered and the wii u will be smashed by the next xbox and playstation with ease (even the current ones might be better?)

      And which one sold more, the 360, the PS3 or the Wii?

      I found that graphics don't matter if you've got good gameplay. Yes, Metal Gear Solid 4 was amazing in both gameplay AND graphics, but Paper Mario for the Wii was the most fun. I can't recall how many hours I wasted sitting on the couch playing that game!

      I know right? Skyward Sword is an awesome game but I never played it because the graphics were not 1080p

    You don't have to swap discs in a set top box...

      That was the first thing I thought of when he mentioned to "tuck it away".

      This is true - but isn't Nintendo now promising that all retail games will have downloadable counterparts?

    I just want a console with a friggin disc stacker in it. Play some games, watch a movie, play a different game....

    I'm guessing they'll go the PS2 route and sell a $40 stand? God I remember that thing.

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