According to a posting on forum NeoGAF — which tends to post lots and lots of rumors, some true, most not — Nintendo has shipped the final version of the Wii U dev kit to developers. This Wii U dev kit, known as “V5″, is said to be the final production version of the Wii U hardware, i.e. the hardware has been finalized and what the developers have now will more or less ship to consumers. According to the post, the newest kits offer a slight increase in performance, and that the Wii U system specs are “closer to “2X the performance of the Xbox 360 than 5X”. Developers now have about 1 month to finalize and optimize their games before the E3 showcase in early June.
We don’t have much to say about this rumor other than it sounds plausible. Console makers usually have to ship the final production hardware to developers several months before release, in order to give developers enough time to optimize their software. The Wii U is rumored to launch in November, which is about 6 months away. Another note is that this supposed V5 Wii U dev kit is a mass produced one, meaning that Nintendo will be shipping out a lot more of these to a lot more developers around the world.