Wii U hardware
Wii U hardware consists of the main video game console, the tablet controller, a sensor bar to communicate with the controller and other devices, and various accessories for the controller and console. Here’s a rundown of all the major Wii U hardware.
Wii U console
The Wii U console is the main box containing the systems hardware and all the electronics. The console measures 45mm in height, 172mm in width, and 265mm in length. This makes it only marginally larger than the original Wii console, despite having superior technology. For the full rundown on specifications, check out Wii U system specs, including the Wii U CPU and Wii U GPU pages for further reading.
Wii U controller
The Wii U tablet controller officially called the Wii U GamePad, is the bundled controller with the console. It’s a revolutionary controller design with a built in 6.2 inch touchscreen display, dual analog sticks, D-pad, and various trigger and other buttons. The controller is the main attractions of the Wii U hardware, with its innovative features such as Wii U NFC technology. NFC is built into the device for pairing with Near Field Communication chips enabled devices, including toys and smartphones.
Wii U accessories
Nintendo has already revealed a lot of Wii U accessories through patent applications and various trailers as part of the Wii U hardware lineup. One of the unveiled accessories and attachments is the Wii U Zapper, which provides a cradle for the controller to rest on, almost acting like large viewfinder. Another attachment is a docking station for the controller, and the already revealed Wii U stylus. The old Wii controllers like the Wiimote and accessories like the Balance Board will be compatible with the new Wii U hardware. Some of the new accessories include the Wii U Pro controller, which is suited for those who wish to play games in a more classical manner.
Wii U sensor bar
The Wii U will ship with a sensor bar similar to the original Wii console. The sensor bar will be used for motion control input from the Wii U controller, since it will retain the functions of the Wiimote. Also, the sensor bar will be used to support up to 4 Wiimote controllers, in addition to the main tablet. The sensor bar is identical to the one that ships with the original Wii console and will use the same port and cable.
Other Wii U hardware
Additional Wii U hardware includes the Wii U NFC chip which is embedded within the controller. The Wii U is also bundled with all the needed cables, including HDMI and composite cables, and a USB charger for the controller. It’s also rumored that Nintendo will include the controller dock in the package as part of the main Wii U model. We’ll keep this page updated as new Wii U hardware is is revealed and announced. Third party device makers are also expected to add their offerings to the lineup.
For developers, the Wii U dev kit includes the necessary Wii U hardware and software in order to create games for the system. Nintendo offers free software tools and APIs to all developers.