Wii U specs: Nintendo confirms official hardware details

Thursday, 13th September 2012 14:10 GMT By Stace Harman

Get the low-down on what we know so far of the hardware specs for Nintendo’s Wii U: its power, its size and the cold, hard numbers.

Nintendo has revealed the hardware specs for the two different models of the Wii U.

So far, we know that Japan will get a Basic and Premium SKU. The Basic package will come in white with 8GB of internal flash memory, which will be used for storing game data and content downloaded from the Nintendo Network.

The Premium package will be black and feature 32GB of flash memory for storage. Wii U game discs will be 25GB capacity and, judging by the size of the internal harddrives, are unlikely to ever require game data to be installed directly on to the console.

Both bundles include a basic AC adapter and an HDMI adapter for 1080p gaming. Nintendo claim the Wii U is around 20 times more powerful than its six-year-old Wii console.

Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata said the Wii U will have 1GB of system memory and 1GB of game memory for 2GB total, that’s compared to PS3 and 360′s 512MB.

The Wii U uses 75 watts of power when operating and 45 watts in power save mode. It measures 46 mm x 172 mm x 268.5 mm in the horizontal position.

Accessory-wise, the Basic pack will include the white console and Game Pad, a stylus, HDMI adapter and AC adapter.

The Premium set includes a black console and a black Game Pad, a stylus, an AC adapter, a HDMI cable, a Game Pad dock (charging stand), a Game Pad stand and a console stand.

The Wii U launches in Japan on December 8. Check out Brenna’s post in full for more details from this morning’s announcement.

Announcements for the US and European launches are happening at 3pm BST this afternoon. More hardware details will be added to this post as and when we have them.



  1. KAP

    Is the “game pad” the touch scene?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ManuOtaku

    “Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata said the Wii U will have 1GB of system memory and 1GB of game memory for 2GB total, that’s compared to PS3 and 360′s 512MB”

    Then is a really important leap, becuase 512MB was for games and OS on ps3 and 360, so this will mean that third party games will come to wii in scalable form, once the ps4 and 720 arrives, supposing both consoles will have more than 2GB of memory, well i think in that front it will do better than the Wii, i mean in the third party front.

    I wonder how the next mario game will look, if galaxy was done the way it was, with the wii, i cannot imagine what the nintendo folks will do with this good specs, i cannot wait.

    p.s also i notice it says GPGPU, thats means a GPU that can work as a CPU? that will be interesting, i wonder the uses for this since iam not tech savy here.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Stace Harman

    @1 Yes.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    I get the two muddled as well. Game pad, pro pad … which is the one with the screen? Should have called the game pad the touch pad or something.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. monkeygourmet

    Games will look amazing, No worries there! :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Gadzooks!


    That full gig of memory is going to have a much bigger impact on games than a few more horsepowers.

    Don’t expect multiplatform games to take much advantage of it though. Ninty games and 3rd party exclusives are going to stand head and shoulders above PS360 games.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    Agree – plus 1Gb for system implies some really big ideas in there – either that or rubbish programming ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    Upside: Lots of memory.

    Downside: Ridiculously small storage space for downloads.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. mrmike2012

    So does mean Wii U is stronger than the PS3 and 360?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Christopher Jack

    How much will be dedicated to streaming for the pad?

    @6, Not entirely true. There’s absolutely no doubt that limited RAM bottlenecks performance, the same goes for slow disk drives but the max performance is dictated by the Central & Graphics Processors.

    Expect the PS4 & neXtbox to have 4GB of RAM & probably something similar to an Intel Core i5 & a common rumoured GPU for both consoles has been the Radeon 7870 which is a very capable card right now.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DrDamn

    Overall look is not just performance though. Texture quality and memory to hold it can have a big impact.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Clupula

    I suspect most of that will be dedicated to streaming on the pad, otherwise, I imagine we would’ve seen a huge improvement in the graphics in the first party titles.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Gadzooks!


    Super-fast processors are of little use if they are task-bound with streaming and decompressing.

    Memory can completely replace horsepower in some instances too. Lookup tables instead of calculations have been a staple of horsepower-limited development since day 1. I still vaguely recall my SIN/COS point tables for circle rendering back in the BBC Micro days.

    It’s never as straightforward as CPU+GPU=power.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. HeavyD-Love

    @8 agreed.

    So the 8GB is locked to the white and the 32GB is locked to the black? Is the 32GB an SD card or is it internal do we know?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. ManuOtaku

    I forgot about the discs, what format this disc would be?, i mean a nintendo property or an external format, but which one?, is not Blue Ray, so i wonder which one it is.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    Interesting … US versions have Wii sensor in the box.

    I would try to confirm on one of the EU sites but they are a mess of not updated info and failing to load pictures.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Phoenixblight


    Misread what you had said thought you had said it comes with the wiimote and nunchuck.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. fearmonkey

    I want GPU information, but love the idea the ram is 2GB. I am hoping the final spec for the next xbox is at least double that though.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. absolutezero


    Actually that ram difference is pretty amazing. Is there any information on its actual specs?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    Ram difference is not amazing because 360 and PS3 are 6-7 year old machines.

    I had 4 GB of Ram 6 years ago, 3 years ago i had 8, now I have 16.

    Current gen games on the PC (on max settings) require 4 GB of Ram so there is nothing amazing, although WiiU is much better than 360 or PS3 in hardware.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Da Man

    Yes, let’s compare consoles with Windows machines. Next we’ll be comparing them with Android.

    What an idiot..

    #21 2 years ago
  22. ManuOtaku

    #20 Erthazus “I had 4 GB of Ram 6 years ago, 3 years ago i had 8, now I have 16.

    Current gen games on the PC (on max settings) require 4 GB of Ram so there is nothing amazing, although WiiU is much better than 360 or PS3 in hardware”

    One question if in maximun settings, PC games does require 4GB, why then you have 16GB?, you use them for other things?, is a question because iam not tech savy, but it seems, for instance, is like having a Ferrari in a third world country, theres not a decent road to ride that beast.

    And i dont think the RAM is amazing, or that people do believe is amazing, because like you said problably the ps4-720 will feature 4GB, and i hope so, the thing is because there were information regarding the WiiU being on par with the 360 and ps3, which was crearly wrong looking at this specs, people were surprise of the leap if you look at pervious info, they were expecting something on the lines of the 360 or ps3, which is not the case at all, having said that i think the difference this time will not be as bigger as with the current gen, the Wii was almost a little bit more powerfull than the Xbox, now we see that is almost 4 times more, on the RAM side of things, so this time the gap will be not as big as this gen, and thats quite a surprise for some, not for me because i expected this, some kind of a dreamcast escenario here, rather than a wii one.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    Because Manu that Ram also runs nongame type stuff, like the OS.

    When it comes to older systems you could get away with smaller amounts of Ram because the system wasn’t really doing anything ‘cept running your games. But as systems advanced that need more and more, because, to a smaller effect then PCs, they also do more then just play the games in question.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. xxJPRACERxx

    What about people that want the “pro” version but in white?

    #24 2 years ago
  25. ManuOtaku

    #23 okey dokey, i figure that much, because it will be a real waste having such power for only gaming purposses and not using it, thanks OG.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    That brings up something I have been wondering too, can you add memory? My first xb360 was an arcade unit, because the ones with HDDs were sold out. So, can we buy the standard unit and just add more storage like I did with my first xb360?

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Phoenixblight


    ANd in the WiiU case it will be used to stream all the content of the game to the pad which will use quite a large percentage of the ram. There won’t be a huge leap in graphics because of the Ram.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. absolutezero

    If its anything like the Wii expect it to be hacked to hell and back within about 6 months. That way you can add an external USB hard drive of your choice.

    Man if only all consoles had that amount of customisation, removing the Wii’s poor little disc drive from the equational made loading so much faster, and less noisy aswell.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. ManuOtaku

    #24 they had to do it like a pimp my ride style, iam afraid.

    I will pick the black one, just for the colour, it will combine with my ps3, 360, and probably the future consoles, the 32 GB will be an extra added thing that i dont mind, a white device, whichever it is, is such a dirty magnet, and no is not because is the wii colour and the wii has not games or it doesnt get playing times, just in case some funny guy comes with that remark ;)

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Phoenixblight


    I had taken out the PS3 HD and replaced it with a laptop hard drive with 500GB. I call that pretty customizable especially since I only dropped 50$ for it.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Dragon246

    Hardware on par with present gen. Ram also on par considering it also has to run the gamepad like #27 said. Effectively means 2 gamepad games will be rarity.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Keivz

    The RAM is nice but we still know next to nothing about the CPU/GPU. Or the speed of RAM for that matter. Digital foundry did a piece on the comparison of the Wii U and PS360 but it was mostly speculative. So far what we have seen from games in development has been a step BACKWARD. Truth is we won’t know for sure how powerful the Wii U is until the real hardware specs are released, or when the thing is in our hands.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. absolutezero

    I did the same with mine.

    Then they removed that option with the slim. Which I ended up with after my launch model died then got replaced with a refurbished model, which died within 2 months and was replaced by another refurb which died and I just decided to stuff it and hopefully get something thats not broken.

    Aside from having little tinkering potential the slim has been fine either way. Installing full games and not requiring the disc anymore was great, much like it is with the 360 installs but even better. Then add on everything Homebrew brings with it like the potential to patch un-localised games with English language translations.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. OlderGamer

    Keivz, your barking up the wrong tree man. The WiiU isn’t about power. It is about gameplay experience and exclusive (mostly 1st party) games. It isn’t going to try to out PS4/XBNXT Sony and MS. And I wouldn’t want it to try. I can get those systems if I want.

    I want Nintendo. I want WiiU to do high quality Nintendo games. Everything else is just gravy.

    I am looking for a fun toy, not a “cool” one. I am not looking to impress anyone. Just bring on the fun, Nintendo.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Dragon246

    Ok, wiiu is not about power, but if its so why ninty only bothered to release info on ram which looked more than ps3-360 but chose not to disclose details on gpu-cpu. Looks suspicious.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. monkeygourmet


    Because it drives people like you nuts

    #36 2 years ago
  37. ManuOtaku

    #36 Monkey LOL :)
    p.s hey talking about monkeys today i have not seen a post from orbit, hope he is good.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. monkeygourmet

    I think these specs all point to some pretty fantastic looking games.

    Nintendo has never really been obsessed with photo realism, so these specs make it PERFECT for art style to flourish.

    I expect some fantastic stylised games and maybe a few 1080p surprises down the line. Easily enough to tide anyone over till 720 / PS 4 unless they are graphics whores, in which case they should have a PC already.

    Spec to price point including pad is bang on IMO.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. monkeygourmet


    Not seen him either, although I think he was on yesterday?

    Prob watching all the Wii U trailers! ;)

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Phoenixblight


    What does it matter just look at all the game play videos like ZOmbieU for example. The game looks comparable to current gem games like L4D for example. Its irrelevant whats under the hood.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Dragon246

    Then why dislose ram? So that you can gloat about it?
    Pure marketing gimmick. Of course, ninty is not the only one to do it.
    Shitty corporate ways.
    I never said the contrary.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Phoenixblight

    If people are tech enthusiasts they wouldn’t be bother looking at Nintendo’s hardware. Nintendo is not trying to throwdown against the tech of MS and Sony. Never has been since the gamecube.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. monkeygourmet


    Digital Foundry said memory was good, CPU wasn’t as strong if that matters.

    RAM is disclosed because its the only thing better power wise, than 360 / PS3.

    But, since Nintendo games like Skyward Sword looked better than most games this gen, they shouldn’t have any problems! :)

    I think Nintendo know that they can get by on stylised games for the next 4 years at least…

    Look at Ni No Kuni on PS3, I’d rather play that than COD on 720 any day, and the Wii U’s memory should push things over the edge

    #43 2 years ago
  44. ManuOtaku

    #40 “If people are tech enthusiasts they wouldn’t be bother looking at Nintendo’s hardware”

    I did thought we are gaming enthusiasts here, but whatever, i dont think games=graphics, i think games=graphics, gameplay,AI,interaction,fun; and the WiiU, with certanty, will have all of that equation, as any other console for that matter.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Phoenixblight


    “But, since Nintendo games like Skyward Sword looked better than most games this gen, they shouldn’t have any problems!”

    Now we know you are on something. SKyward sword may have had good AESTHETICS it didn’t look good at all. I could tell where the polygon began and ended and I am not an experienced 3d modeler. Blocky, jagged mess.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. ManuOtaku

    #45 Well for me the top of the crop on wii were mario galaxy, muramasa, metroid prime 3, punch out and little king story, those were the most good looking games that didnt have anything to envy to the other games on the other consoles, mario galaxy was a marvel thing, if you consider was done on the wii, it looked almost as good as banjo nuts and bolts on the 360, i dont know how they did it, i think they will make wonders on the WiiU, now they have 4 or 6 times more that power.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Dragon246

    Fanboyism makes people shut their eyes and ears.
    Meanwhile, everyone saying wiiu is priced correctly should read the gamasutra exclusive article.
    COSTLIEST ninty system ever.
    Nino kuni is in HD unlike SS.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Phoenixblight


    I am all for over stylized games but SKyward sword went in this weird direction of cel shaded+pseudo realism which made the failings of the hardware look worse. I would have enjoyed the game if it had gone further cel-shaded like Windwaker.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. ManuOtaku

    #47 it might be the costliest ninty systems ever, but it is not the most costliest console ever, therefore looking at the overall picture, i think is a fair price, heck i did paid 600$ for the ps3, and think it was worth it, moreso this time.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. monkeygourmet


    So your not impressed they got Skyward Sword looking like it did along with almost complete 1 – 1 sword and item controls on a GameCube?!

    The amount of resources the control must have taken up, I’m surprised it didn’t look like Zelda on the NES…

    #50 2 years ago
  51. monkeygourmet


    As an 3d modeller and artist, your kind of out on a limb with this one, but each to his own…

    #51 2 years ago
  52. Phoenixblight


    Its pretty apparent you don’t know what “graphics” are. You are using it as a general term but that’s not what it is. The game had great controls which has nothing to do with graphics.

    Yeah I am sure you are as much of a 3d modeler as Peter Molyneux is a game designer.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. monkeygourmet


    Okay graphics: considering the power at their disposal, it looked pretty awesome… Clever techniques used to hide draw distance etc…

    Art style: again, consistency and beautiful style throughout…

    I don’t know where you work, but I’d hate having such a snob on my graphics team…

    Credit where credits due? Or can’t you even be happy when someone creates something good?

    #53 2 years ago
  54. Phoenixblight


    1) You don’t know what the hell you are talking about

    2) You fabricate things in order to explain why you are “right”

    You aren’t a 3d modeler because you wouldn’t be using terms like “graphics” especially in the sense you were using it.

    Skyward sword was the most costly game for Nintendo. You would be surprised by what you can do with enough money thrown at it.

    Try,try again.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. monkeygourmet


    If you couldn’t get beyond, dur blurred textures and it really hampered your enjoyment over the overall vision of a game just because you’ve done a bit of 3d modelling, then, yes, you are a snob.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Phoenixblight


    You said it was the best looking game this gen. I just called you out to prove you wrong. If you want to say things like that you best have evidence.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. absolutezero

    Best looking goes far far beyond simple technical details. Within the confines of its host platform Skyward Sword looks superb, the artistic direction and purity along with ideas like the impressionist filter to disguise the draw distance is above most other console games of this generation.

    Console specific what in your informed opinion are the best looking games of this generation?

    #57 2 years ago
  58. monkeygourmet


    I said ONE of the best looking games this generation(check the post) chip on your shoulder much?! Keep having fantasies about getting employed by Naughty Dog…

    For the record, Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 have been my fav graphics/ art style combos this gen…

    You come across like an immature artist trying to make his mark…

    #58 2 years ago
  59. Phoenixblight

    I have said nothing to give you an idea I was an artist or anything of the sort. Putting words in my mouth is a sign of failure.

    Went to school for programming and taken a few classes related to developing games and that’s where my experience in 3d modeling comes from. I am employed as a programmer for a local studio fyi.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. monkeygourmet


    I appreciate your technological eyes, but, it still stands, your kind of against the grain surrounding Zelda.

    Entirely your prerogative, still glad I don’t have your way of viewing things though.

    It was a feast for the senses for me! :)

    Zelda has only slipped up once or twice for me, namely being twilight princess, where it was obvs Nintendo was trying to cater for the ‘realistic’ crowd without the hardware to back it up…

    Please name another series that mixes its art style and graphics tech and control up so much with a continuing quality…

    Can’t see Naughty Dog doing uncharted 4 cell shaded, can you?

    #60 2 years ago

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