Wii U: Hardware details slowly emerging

More details regarding the Wii U have began to emerge, giving us a better understanding of the console rather than simply thinking of it as "like the bastard offspring of a Wii and a Dreamcast pumped full of Xbox 360 flavoured steroids".

First up, there's a bunch of new close-up pics doing the rounds that not only give us a good look at Nintendo's new baby - but also confirm what sorts of ports we're going to have available to us when it launches.

Not surprisingly there's a HDMI port on board, round the back, along with two USB ports (there could be more USB options under the flap at the front as well). There's no Ethernet by the looks of it though, so it could be a case of Wi-Fi only for online gaming.

Next, we move on to the Wii U's innards and there's plenty of juicy gossip flying around online. Most notably that the Wii U could pack "50 per cent more processing power compared to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360". This quote is from Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia who has apparently spoken to people working on the console.

Finally, we already know thanks to IBM that there's a 45nm custom chip with a lot of embedded DRAM inside, but we're now hearing that the GPU is hardly cutting edge, with it being a custom Radeon GPU similar to the R770 found in AMD's last-gen cards such as the 4890.

However, despite the age of the architecture, there's also talk from developers Crytek that it has its advanced CryEngine "pretty much" firing on Nintendo's upcoming console. The chip also supports Direct X 10.1 and packs Eyefinity tech too - so it's not all bad news.

Nothing is confirmed yet and, of course, chances are that Nintendo may tweak the console design before it hits the market (it was hardly keen to show it off at E3 remember, with the emphasis being on the controller).

Update: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has confirmed that Wii U won’t have support for Blu-ray or DVD playback.

"We feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies," he said.

 

In the meantime, why not check out our Nintendo Wii U hands-on and exclusive photos

And also take a look at Wii U explained in 140 characters, can you do it?