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The Wii U Console FAQ

Have a Question About the Wii U? We Answer It Here.

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Wii U Console + Gamepad

The most distinctive feature of the Wii U console is it's touch-screen gamepad.

Nintendo

What is the Wii U?

The Wii U is Nintendo’s sequel to the Wii. It is considerably more powerful than the Wii and supports HD graphics. Its main controller is the Wii U gamepad, which is motion sensitive and contains a touch screen.

Is the Wii U an Add-On Controller for the Wii?

Because it's controller is so distinctive, many people assume that the Wii U is the controller, and that it simply connects with a Wii. This is not the case. The Wii U is to the Wii what the Xbox 360 is to the Xbox, an entirely new, more powerful console with a similar name.

How Much Does It Cost?

Nintendo was introduced with two Wii U bundles, a Basic Set, and a Deluxe Set, but the Deluxe Set, which currently retails at $299.99, was more popular and the Basic Set has quietly disappeared.

The original Deluxe Set includes a console with 32 GB or storage, the gamepad controller, a stylus, a sensor bar, an HDMI cable, AC adapters for both the console and gamepad, a gamepad cradle, a gamepad stand, a console stand, the game Nintendo Land, and enrollment in Deluxe Digital Promotion. However, Nintendo is always releasing new bundles, tying the console to particular games and sometimes changing what comes with them, so the actual price and what you get varies.

How Can I Add Additional Storage?

The Wii U supports external drives plugged into one of the console’s four USB ports, so you can have as much storage as you care to purchase. It can also read SD cards, but they cannot be used for downloaded games.

What Do Wii U Games Cost?

Game prices will generally be $10 more than the equivalent Wii titles, catching up with 360/PS3 game prices. AAA titles like Pikmin 3 will generally go for $59.99.

What Are the Wii U’s Technical Specifications?

IBM Power-based multi-core processor, AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU, 2GB memory (half for the system, half for the games), video output from 480i to 1080p. Read the full specs here.

Are Wii Games Playable on the Wii U?

Yes.

Are Gamecube Games Playable on the Wii U?

No.

Can Wii Settings/Save Data and Downloaded Games Be Transferred to the Wii U?

Yes they can. You'll need an SD card and an Internet connection to do it.

Is the Wii U More or Less Powerful than the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360?

This is the subject of endless debate. The Wii U’s graphics processor is said to be more powerful than that of its competitors, but its CPU is considered less powerful. The Wii U also has far more memory than the other consoles and a faster disk drive. Ultimately, how it compares with the other consoles may depend on the needs of individual games.

Is the Wii U More or Less Powerful than the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One?

Less.

What Features Does the Wii U Have?

Besides playing games, the Wii U supports a social network called Miiverse, contains a system called Nintendo TVii that integrates and controls your television and any video services you subscribe to, an eShop, an Internet browser, and video chat. There are no subscription fees for any of these services.

What Controllers Are Used with the Wii U?

The Wii U supports a dizzying array of controllers. Besides the primary controller, called the Wii U Gamepad, the console is compatible with an Xbox-style Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Remote and the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, and the Balance Board. A more detailed explanation is here.

What is the Balance Board?

The Balance Board is a weight-sensing pad that players stand or sit on. It is most popular known for its use in Wii Fit.

How Many Controllers are Supported for Multiplayer Games?

Multiplayer games can support one gamepad plus four Wii remotes and/or Wii U Pro controllers, allowing five people to play together. The Wii U also supports two gamepads, although no games have been announced that take advantage of this. It is unknown whether two gamepads could be used alongside four wii remotes.

How Much Are Additional Wii U Gamepads?

Nintendo will not be selling gamepads separately at launch, as currently no games have been announced that use more than one gamepad. If you break your controller you will be able to purchase a replacement, but Nintendo hasn’t give a price so far.

How Close Does the Gamepad Have to Be to the Wii U?

The Gamepad, which connects wirelessly with the console, needs to be within 24 feet of the console to operate. In many homes people find they can use it in the bathroom or bedroom, depending on where they are relative to the Wii U, and perhaps on what the walls are constructed of.

Can I Play Games on the Gamepad if the Wii U is Turned Off?

No, the gamepad is essentially a dumb terminal, with all processing done by the console itself. The only thing it can do with the console off is work as a television remote.

Does the Wii U Require a MotionPlus-enabled remotes?

No, it supports both the basic Wii Remote as well as the Wii Remote Plus and the MotionPlus add-on. Some games require MotionPlus support, others won't.

How do I know which controllers are supported by a game?

A dark band on the jewel case back displays icons indicating supported controllers.

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