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Wii U's specs explained

What they tell us about Nintendo's new console

Many of you have probably come across the Wii U specs sheet after it was released at E3. If you have, you'll have noticed that it contains lots of jargon which techy types will lap up. However, if you don't know your CPU from your GPU, we've explained it all for you here. More importantly, for those who do know about the things that power consoles, we tell you what this all means for Wii U.

Yes, we're looking at each of the specs to see if we're any closer to knowing about what the Wii U is packing under its hood and how this impacts gaming on the new Nintendo console.

Nintendo revealed a little more at the Wii U preview events on 13 September and we've updated you with all the latest info, which we'll continue to do as we learn more facts in the build up to the Wii U release date.

Size & Weight

Click to view larger image
What is this?

Duh! Exactly what it says on the tin. The most important thing to consider, however, is the amount of space you'll need below your TV to fit the Wii U in with your current set-up - and also how sturdy that shelf will need to be!

What the spec sheet says:

Size: Approximately 1.8 inches [4.58 cm] high, 10.5 inches [26.67 cm] deep and 6.8 inches [17.27 cm] long.

Weight: Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).

What this means:

And already there's a lot of numbers! The easiest way to look at this is to compare it to the Wii's measurements, which were: 4.4cm high, 21.54 cm deep and 15.7 cm long. As you can see, the Wii U is slightly bigger in all directions, but especially in the depth department. Hopefully you'll have a bit of empty space at the back of that shelf to prevent it from sticking out!

The Wii weighs 1.2 kg, so the Wii U is slightly heavier as well, which makes sense given the increased volume. That shouldn't affect too many people, though - it's not often that you see home consoles being carried around!

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Comments

44 comments so far...
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  1. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:38

    Have nintendo not suggested that they will be throwing a HDMi cable in with the console? And whether the tablet will be available without buying a new consle, for example if it breaks?

  2. ledreppe Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:47

    "with a bit of luck - 32GB or even 64GB of on-board storage.", there is no chance in hell of the Wii U having this much internal flash storage, it's already been confirmed that it will only have 8GB. Also, consoles never have as much RAM as the average modern day computer, you're right computers have a standard now of 4GB but the WiiU or the PS4 or XBox 720 wont have this much.

  3. Deathmore Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:48

    Firstly, if the GPU isn't at least a 6770 is terms of raw power, then this system is under powered for the next gen if what we've seen of the next generation is going to turn out to be true for consoles.

    Secondly I have 2 rants, firstly, why isn't there a gigabit ethernet port built in? If Nintendo are seriously about online gaming then they should know that wired is best, less interferance and better pings. Thirdly no dedicated audio out, I would have to some how get the 5.1 sound from the HDMI cable for my surround sound and surround headsets.

    Other than that, this spec guide was more of an "What does the Wii U spec sheet mean for dummies".

  4. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:49

    "with a bit of luck - 32GB or even 64GB of on-board storage.", there is no chance in hell of the Wii U having this much internal flash storage, it's already been confirmed that it will only have 8GB. Also, consoles never have as much RAM as the average modern day computer, you're right computers have a standard now of 4GB but the WiiU or the PS4 or XBox 720 wont have this much.

    Where has it been confirmed? No offence but I think this guy knows a bit more than you considering he has written an article on the specs so he probably knows what has been confirmed and not confirmed.

  5. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:52

    Firstly, if the GPU isn't at least a 6770 is terms of raw power, then this system is under powered for the next gen if what we've seen of the next generation is going to turn out to be true for consoles.

    Secondly I have 2 rants, firstly, why isn't there a gigabit ethernet port built in? If Nintendo are seriously about online gaming then they should know that wired is best, less interferance and better pings. Thirdly no dedicated audio out, I would have to some how get the 5.1 sound from the HDMI cable for my surround sound and surround headsets.

    Other than that, this spec guide was more of an "What does the Wii U spec sheet mean for dummies".

    Did you not read this bit 'Many of you have probably come across the latest edition of the Wii U specs sheet after it was released at E3. If you have, you'll have noticed that it contains lots of jargon which techy types will lap up. However, if you don't know your CPU from your GPU, we've explained it all for you here. More importantly, for those who do know about the things that power consoles, we tell you what this all means for Wii U'

  6. TheRexFactor Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:57

    Secondly I have 2 rants, firstly, why isn't there a gigabit ethernet port built in? If Nintendo are seriously about online gaming then they should know that wired is best, less interferance and better pings. Thirdly no dedicated audio out, I would have to some how get the 5.1 sound from the HDMI cable for my surround sound and surround headsets.

    Have to echo this sentiment. I use 5.1 headphones for all my gaming, the lack of a dedicated audio output is disappointing and a hassle. Optical audio ports are standard on a lot of things (PS3 and Xbox360 included) these days

  7. barrybarryk Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 12:59

    Being an IBM PowerR-based processor, there is a possibility that this could be a PowerPC processor

    PowerPC is not a processor, it's an architecture :cry:
    Apart from that, that was a nice round up of what's been confirmed so far

    also:

    Thirdly no dedicated audio out, I would have to some how get the 5.1 sound from the HDMI cable for my surround sound and surround headsets.

    lol that's primarily why HDMI exists, you just feed it right through your amp, and don't even get me started on "surround headsets"

  8. LavaTwilight Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 13:02

    Nintendo released the specs at E3, seek and ye shall find! Secondly he clearly states that is for 'dummies' as someone so eloquently put it so I'm sorry if we can't all be technical nerds living in our parents basements or attics but it helped me understand a few things myself. Also he said there was a lot that Nintendo haven't released so it's not exhaustive. Before you get your knickers in a twist and bitch upon forums read it properly.

    Besides when Microsoft and Sony originally planned on releasing their consoles in 2016 or so and now suddenly they're bringing it forward all the way to 2013, does that not strike you as odd? Are they panicking? Are they going to rush it and just make a console that is essentially their predecessors just with a different name? Or if they have the power PCs have will that make it more expensive than the average person can afford? Before people go praising XBOX720 and Playstation4 and slagging off the WiiU make sure you know what you're talking about!

    My god the ignorance of people are outstanding. I may not know a lot about technical terms and jargon and computing but I know what I like so chill out grab a coke and shut the #*$% up!

  9. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 13:04

    Nintendo released the specs at E3, seek and ye shall find! Secondly he clearly states that is for 'dummies' as someone so eloquently put it so I'm sorry if we can't all be technical nerds living in our parents basements or attics but it helped me understand a few things myself. Also he said there was a lot that Nintendo haven't released so it's not exhaustive. Before you get your knickers in a twist and bitch upon forums read it properly.

    Besides when Microsoft and Sony originally planned on releasing their consoles in 2016 or so and now suddenly they're bringing it forward all the way to 2013, does that not strike you as odd? Are they panicking? Are they going to rush it and just make a console that is essentially their predecessors just with a different name? Or if they have the power PCs have will that make it more expensive than the average person can afford? Before people go praising XBOX720 and Playstation4 and slagging off the WiiU make sure you know what you're talking about!

    My god the ignorance of people are outstanding. I may not know a lot about technical terms and jargon and computing but I know what I like so chill out grab a coke and shut the #*$% up!

    I second this, it does my head in how moany everyone gets about the wii u, it is like ahhh it is a new console. Be glad they are making one. If you don't like it, don't buy it and go play something else.

  10. Kyranosaurus Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 15:51

    You said something about Wii Remotes, Wii U Gamepads and Wii U Classic Controllers all being compatible.
    Although unlikely, does this mean a potential of 10 players at home on future games?

    4 Wii Remotes, 4 Classic Controllers and 2 Gamepads. I doubt it but that would be awesome despite how unlikely 10 players is anyway. :lol:

  11. mushroomchow Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 16:10

    Im not sure if ONM were being ironic on the GPU page by talking about the "gorgeous HD graphics as seen above" - the image itself being blurrier than Ed Miliband's economic vision.

  12. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 16:12

    Im not sure if ONM were being ironic on the GPU page by talking about the "gorgeous HD graphics as seen above" - the image itself being blurrier than Ed Miliband's economic vision.

    Don't bring lispy Ed into this!

  13. jellyjal Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 16:35

    who dosent have wifi... my grandad.....

  14. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 16:48

    Secondly I have 2 rants, firstly, why isn't there a gigabit ethernet port built in? If Nintendo are seriously about online gaming then they should know that wired is best, less interferance and better pings. Thirdly no dedicated audio out, I would have to some how get the 5.1 sound from the HDMI cable for my surround sound and surround headsets.

    Have to echo this sentiment. I use 5.1 headphones for all my gaming, the lack of a dedicated audio output is disappointing and a hassle. Optical audio ports are standard on a lot of things (PS3 and Xbox360 included) these days

    There is a headphone jack on the controller would that not work?

  15. CyberGW Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 17:35

    Thanks for that! I know all the basics about hardware, but I didn't know what the CPU, GPU and Audio Output figures meant. Looks like the Wii U will have a great sound!

  16. Icytroid1993 Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 18:14

    Why are so many people panicking? The Wii U will be great! Remember that we don't know everything about the console yet anyway, just look forward to it for crying out loud! :)

  17. GloverMist Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 19:07

    Im not sure if ONM were being ironic on the GPU page by talking about the "gorgeous HD graphics as seen above" - the image itself being blurrier than Ed Miliband's economic vision.


    I :lol: at that! I can't believe you beat me to it, I was going to say that about the "gorgeous" graphics!

  18. Loopydoodle Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 20:09

    Do we know which internet browser the Wii U will use? The one on the 3DS can be a bit funy sometimes so I'm hoping for safari or firefox. :) unlikely though

  19. linkvswario Wednesday 20th Jun 2012 at 20:32

    Do we know which internet browser the Wii U will use? The one on the 3DS can be a bit funy sometimes so I'm hoping for safari or firefox. :) unlikely though

    If anything I would've thought it'd be nintendos own browser but to be honest I don't really know. Also, I got a screen on my wii once where it went to a windows xp screen telling me I had a virus which i thought was strange. Was alright in the end though

  20. pokemanD Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 00:37

    Do we know which internet browser the Wii U will use? The one on the 3DS can be a bit funy sometimes so I'm hoping for safari or firefox. :) unlikely though

    Not going to be safari anyway, and I can't really see nintendo putting any effort into the browser at all. :(

  21. dizzy boy Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 03:50

    Do we know which internet browser the Wii U will use? The one on the 3DS can be a bit funy sometimes so I'm hoping for safari or firefox. :) unlikely though


    as long as it isn`t Opera. the wii browser was abysmal from day 1.

  22. chocfang Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 07:33

    What? I wouldn't even say that the Wii U is a 3rd generation console. Its late to the 2nd generation console. Its barely more powerful than a 360 and thats about 5 years old!

  23. stealth Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 10:53

    power and specs dont matter


    not for exclusive, not for sales

  24. KairiZero Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 11:25

    why is everybody panicking so much over the hardware....Its going to be fine! the tech demos they've shown are impressive, and the games coming out are very good. It was never going to blow the opposition out of the water with its specs, simply because technology isn't really moving as fast as it was. I doubt even the new xbox and playstation will be far improved graphically over their current gen counterparts - not that it really matters anyways....its the gameplay and the fun you have whilst playing, and with the new controller - Nintendo as per generation are innovating - so deep breaths! and just embrace it :)

  25. Redfish20 Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 11:43

    You said something about Wii Remotes, Wii U Gamepads and Wii U Classic Controllers all being compatible.
    Although unlikely, does this mean a potential of 10 players at home on future games?

    4 Wii Remotes, 4 Classic Controllers and 2 Gamepads. I doubt it but that would be awesome despite how unlikely 10 players is anyway. :lol:

    10 player Bomberman, it's been done before and was awesome, I see no reason for it not to be done again.

  26. Redfish20 Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 11:47

    What? I wouldn't even say that the Wii U is a 3rd generation console. Its late to the 2nd generation console. Its barely more powerful than a 360 and thats about 5 years old!

    I wouldn't call it a third generation console either, it's specs are a little higher than those of the NES.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of ... generation)

  27. Redfish20 Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 11:50

    Have nintendo not suggested that they will be throwing a HDMi cable in with the console? And whether the tablet will be available without buying a new consle, for example if it breaks?

    As support for 2 gamepads at a time is confirmed I'd take that as strong enough evidence to assume that gamepads will be sold separately and as it's a Nintendo product it shouldn't be in any real danger of breaking as long as you don't launch it out of a mortar off the top of the Empire State building after soaking it in petrol for 3 days.

  28. mikechan123 Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 17:39

    So nothing new from what Eurogamer has written

  29. linkvswario Thursday 21st Jun 2012 at 17:46

    Have nintendo not suggested that they will be throwing a HDMi cable in with the console? And whether the tablet will be available without buying a new consle, for example if it breaks?

    As support for 2 gamepads at a time is confirmed I'd take that as strong enough evidence to assume that gamepads will be sold separately and as it's a Nintendo product it shouldn't be in any real danger of breaking as long as you don't launch it out of a mortar off the top of the Empire State building after soaking it in petrol for 3 days.

    I hope they release a case for it, the screen would be prone to damage seeing as it is unprotected.

  30. BattleGooseUK Tuesday 17th Jul 2012 at 16:21

    Does no one at The Official Nintendo Magazine use spell checker? Both the online features and the magazine are packed full of spelling errors, that would show up with a little red squiggly line on even the most primitive computers. Small niggle, I know. But I am noticing so many.

  31. explosive wii Sunday 12th Aug 2012 at 16:44

    i cant wait for the release date of the console :mrgreen: + i know that you can plays ordinary wii games on it but does anyone know if black ops 2 will be coming out on the wii u :?:

  32. 1steagle Monday 13th Aug 2012 at 16:02

    as long as its still revolutionary then ill buy :mrgreen:

  33. NSMB23DS Monday 13th Aug 2012 at 20:31


    My god the ignorance of people are outstanding.


    I agree!

  34. NSMB23DS Monday 13th Aug 2012 at 21:37

    You said something about Wii Remotes, Wii U Gamepads and Wii U Classic Controllers all being compatible.


    I hope you didn't mean "Wii Classic Controller", but jut in case you didn't, I want them to look like N64 controllers.

  35. Kirby8 Friday 24th Aug 2012 at 14:14

    I know this is a late post, I thought I posted earlier. I'm very techy myself, so I understood all of the tech sheet anyway. But it's great ONM are explaining it to people who don't know what it all means.

  36. HyrulianToad Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 07:12

    Does anyone know if Nintendo land will come in a proper case or just a cardboard slip like wii sports ?

  37. BattleGooseUK Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 11:54

    "with a bit of luck - 32GB or even 64GB of on-board storage.", there is no chance in hell of the Wii U having this much internal flash storage, it's already been confirmed that it will only have 8GB. Also, consoles never have as much RAM as the average modern day computer, you're right computers have a standard now of 4GB but the WiiU or the PS4 or XBox 720 wont have this much.


    Want some ketchup to help you eat those words?

  38. igsey Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 11:56

    Does anyone know if Nintendo land will come in a proper case or just a cardboard slip like wii sports ?

    Nintendo Land's not bundled with the console - it's being sold separately, meaning it'll be in a proper case.

  39. timtote Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 12:24

    "with a bit of luck - 32GB or even 64GB of on-board storage.", there is no chance in hell of the Wii U having this much internal flash storage, it's already been confirmed that it will only have 8GB. Also, consoles never have as much RAM as the average modern day computer, you're right computers have a standard now of 4GB but the WiiU or the PS4 or XBox 720 wont have this much.

    The Wii U premium pack will be available at launch, and that has 32GB of storage.

  40. 3dsgamer Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 13:37

    Does no one at The Official Nintendo Magazine use spell checker? Both the online features and the magazine are packed full of spelling errors, that would show up with a little red squiggly line on even the most primitive computers. Small niggle, I know. But I am noticing so many.


    I was thinking the exact same thing! I am constantly seeing errors, that shouldn't have even been made in the first place, let alone not corrected with spell check. sort it out onm, it's annoying me

  41. Kirby8 Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 16:23

    I was wondering when this might be updated. I'm surprised how many people said on the other page, the one that listed the new specs announced in the Direct conference, that they weren't sure what the things meant and so were waiting for this to be updated. I would have thought that all these gamers would be quite techy and understand what it all meant anyway. So I guess this guide helps people like that out. But I don't need a lesson in hardware geekery, because I'm a geek myself and understand it all XD. Simply come here to discuss the specs.

    I think this set up would be unusual if it was something else, but not for the Wii U. They obviously want to save RAM for background processes. This could include Miiverse and all the social features that that entails. It could also be for multitasking to allow people to quickly switch between things like the internet or shop. It could also allow downloads to happen while you play. So, all in all, it could be used to keep everything running smoothly while things are running in the background. So I think it makes perfect sense. Whether 1GB dedicated to it is a bit too much, not sure. But I'm sure they tested variations out and figured 1GB for the system and OS would be best. Like you said, most standard computers and laptops these days are fitted with 4GB of RAM, like mine. Although a few years back, 2GB was probably more common. So 2GB is great in my books. I'm sure it'll be enough to carry out all the processes quickly and efficiently.

    Also, you might want to spell check and proof read before you post these articles. A lot of mistakes.

  42. Wiison Saturday 15th Sep 2012 at 19:54

    Does anyone know if Nintendo land will come in a proper case or just a cardboard slip like wii sports ?

    Nintendo Land's not bundled with the console - it's being sold separately, meaning it'll be in a proper case.

    It's not bundled with the basic pack, but it is bundled with the premium pack.

  43. 3DSRulesO.K Saturday 3rd Nov 2012 at 16:22

    "with a bit of luck - 32GB or even 64GB of on-board storage.", there is no chance in hell of the Wii U having this much internal flash storage, it's already been confirmed that it will only have 8GB. Also, consoles never have as much RAM as the average modern day computer, you're right computers have a standard now of 4GB but the WiiU or the PS4 or XBox 720 wont have this much.

    HA! How ironic :twisted:

  44. KairiZero Monday 5th Nov 2012 at 07:26

    Cool article, gives me a rough idea of how much space I need to make for it on my shelves :P The power aspects of it etc are all irrelevant, I would rather just judge it on merit, and from what I've seen from tech demo's and whats currently on the horizon for the console, I'm more than happy!! 3 weeks, 4 days until launch ;]

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