Wii U Teardown: A Peek Inside The New Nintendo Gaming Console

By Anu Passary | Nov 20, 2012 12:22 PM EST

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Nintendo launched its hotly-anticipated Wii U console on Sunday, Nov. 18, six years after the original Wii made its debut. The console has been available for barely a few days and the folks at iFixit have already disassembled the device and gauged its repairability.

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The good news for Nintendo Wii U fans is that the console scored 8 out of 10 for repairability.

iFixit's findings reveal that the Wii U has several "hidden Tri-wing screws" on both the console and the GamePad controller, which could well be a "pain for modders and repairers."

The iFixit  team was also impressed by the "repairability and modularity" of the two devices and discovered that the designers have opted for screws over clips or adhesives. Additionally, most of the components can be replaced "independently of their respective motherboards" and the battery of the device too is easy to get and replace.

"The GamePad controller's imposing size is a result of the large screen and buttons, with plenty of room for the internal circuitry and even room for a much larger battery in the user-accessible compartment," noted iFixit.

However, the iFixit team was "a bit disappointed that Nintendo didn't use the extra real estate in the Wii U for some crazy speakers."

The teardown also found that the optical drive and heat sink dominate the Wii U and are "considerably beefier than those found in the Nintendo Wii."

The optical drive weighs 424.2gms and accounts for nearly one third of the console's 1.5kg weight. iFixit attributed the bulky optical drive to be a "by-product of the larger motherboard underneath."

"A case expansive enough to accommodate the motherboard leaves some extra room for a bigger optical drive. Possible benefits to using a clunkier disc-reader could be reduced cost, quieter operation, or improved longevity over a slimmer drive," averred iFixit.

iFixit found  three separate wireless modules underneath the motherboard, which are as follows:

  •  Broadcom BCM43237KMLG Wireless LAN module
  •  Broadcom BCM43362KUB6 802.11n Wireless Module
  •  Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth 3.0 module

The Notable ICs on the console's motherboard are listed below:

  • IBM Power®-based multi-core processor
  • AMD RadeonTM-based High Definition GPU
  • Panasonic MN864718 HDMI Controller
  • Samsung KLM8G2FE3B eMMC 8 GB NAND Flash/Memory Controller
  • Micron 2LEI2 D9PXV(MT41K256M16HA-125) 4 Gb DDR3L SDRAM (4 x 4 Gb for a total of 16 Gb or 2 GB RAM)
  • DRH-WUP 811309G31
  • Fairchild DC4AY
  • SMC 1224EE402
  • Samsung K9K8G08U1D 4 Gb (512 MB) NAND Flash

The Notable ICs on the Wii U's GamePad motherboard are as follows:

  • STMicroelectronics UIC-WUP MCE GH226
  • STMicroelectronics MSA3D 01F
  • Texas Instruments TSC 2046I Low Voltage I/O Touch Screen Controller
  • InvenSense ITG-3280 Gyroscope
  • Micron 25Q256A 256 Mb Serial Flash
  • DRC-WUP 811309J31 1217LU603
  • Texas Instruments AIC3012 Audio Converter
  • Texas Instruments 1010007

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