With just over a month before the Wii U arrives in the West, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took the lid off the console, literally.
In the latest roundtable session with Iwata, the hardware team discuss the Wii U development process and how efficiency, size and power consumption were key in developing the processing guts of the beast.
Although the Gamepad controller is the star of the show, it wouldn't be half as effective without the console itself. With an advancement in spec, Nintendo didn't want to have to enlarge the Wii U's size too much, and by combining components into a single board, it's lowered power use and production costs.
The Wii U's motherboard is unlike the Wii and GameCube's - instead of a separate unit for the CPU and GPU, the two sit nicely on a multi chip module (MCM) - with these components sourced from multiple companies - IBM, ATI and Renesas.
A more powerful console does equal more heat produced and so both the heat sink and fan have increased in size. The team spent over 2000 hours ensuring that the Wii U keeps cool, quiet and well ventilated.
The structure and need to differentiate the Wii from the Wii U has lead the new console to sit horizontally by default, however Nintendo has devised a stand to get it working vertically as well.
In terms of case design, the Wii U has all its useful bits at the front - the sync button, USB ports and game cards are housed at the front, with a lid that opens inwards instead of popping out.
From the point of view of design, we didn't just simply apply the latest technology to improve performance. We decreased power consumption and made the casing smaller, so I think this console achieves a good balance between performance, power and chip size.
And, expecting that this would be a device that would allow people to experience much more than playing games, from the very beginning of development of Wii U, we adopted a policy of increasing the main memory capacity.
And another thing I would like to point out is how it comes with an HDMI cable as a standard accessory, included with purchase of every Wii U console. We want as many people as possible to enjoy HD images.