This is the Wii U Console in my Ink-Stained Hands

This is the Wii U console, the part of Nintendo's big new gaming machine that's been getting a lot less attention than its stunning screen-based controller. I got my hands on the console today. Take a video tour with me.

A few important notes:

1) There is an error in the video... I thought that the Wii U could be stood vertically, but the pieces of plastic I describe in the video as feet are not feet. The Wii U will not stand, not on its own. It needs to lie down.


2) You can see four USB ports for this system and an SD Card slot. You won't see an Ethernet jack, suggesting that, like the Wii, this Nintendo console is made to go online strictly via Wi-Fi. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime cautioned me not to conclude that. Sounds like this design, while apparently final, is still open to some tweaks.

3) You won't see GameCube memory card slots, which the Wii had. That's because Wii U can play Wii games, but isn't backwards compatible to GameCube.

Illustration for article titled This is the Wii U Console in my Ink-Stained Hands

4) You won't see a way to plug the rechargeable screen controller into the Wii U. The yellow port I point out in the video is power, the black port an AV port. Perhaps the controller plugs into USB, or there'll be a USB power dock? Hard to say. We've not been shown whatever charging station will be used to recharge the controller.

5) The unit didn't feel much heavier than a Wii, though it's not clear if this unit is a finished device with all the required guts. The machine seems to be about as wide as a Wii, and similarly thick, but it does appear to be longer. To use a metaphor rather than an actual size comparison, think of the relative relationship between letter size paper and legal size paper.


6) I hadn't realized until I was done handling the unit that I had some ink on my left hand—whoops! I got a little ink on the system's front hatch. It wiped off with a tissue. I apologized profusely.

I like the hardware. It looks good. What do you think?

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I'm not liking the fact it doesn't have a hard drive.

Sure, you might be able to attach a harddrive to one of the USB ports, but it seems amiss to not include one.

Also, can anyone tell me if the device reads DVDs?