Wii U

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Wii U Logo.png
ウィー・ユー Wii U
Wii U White.png
The original white Wii U
Release dates
Japan December 8, 2012
North America November 18, 2012
Europe November 30, 2012
Technical information
Media Wii U optical disc
downloadable software
Other information
Console generation Eighth generation
Console type Home console
Successor Nintendo Switch
NintendoWiki icon.png NintendoWiki article on Wii U.

The Wii U (Japanese: ウィー・ユー Wii U) is Nintendo's home game console for the eighth generation of video games. Released in 2012, it succeeds the Wii as a home console and is backwards compatible with all Wii games, including Wii Shop Channel exclusives. This console is succeeded by the Nintendo Switch.

The Wii U was announced at Nintendo's E3 in 2011 where it was codenamed "Project Cafe". The system's primary controller is a 6.2-inch touch screen-capable controller which connects to the system to play games with or without the TV, and can also interact with games in different ways in which other controllers cannot. The Wii U is notably the first system to contain a re-release of EarthBound on the Virtual Console, and marks the debut of the series in PAL regions, such as Europe and Australia.


The Wii U is capable of displaying graphics in in high-definition, unlike its predecessors. Each console comes bundled with the Wii U Gamepad, a controller with a built-in 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio screen, which displays 1080p graphics. The gamepad's screen is touch-sensitive, and is also equipped with a camera. The gamepad features motion-controls which some games utilize. A special TV button is present on the gamepad which can let it function as a remote control. As with most controllers, the Wii U Gamepad uses the traditional A, B, X, Y, Start, Select, and HOME menu buttons, and L, R, ZL, and ZR shoulder buttons. It also features a Power button, a d-pad, control sticks on the left and right, a mic, and a Near Field Communication reader.

Furthermore the Wii U is compatible with all the controllers that the Wii supports. The only exception is the GameCube controller, however an accessory was later made to add GameCube controller ports, the only game to use it is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Games are read played using Wii U optical discs, and Wii optical discs. All games are stored in an internal memory drive, however external hardrives can also connect to allow more memory. The SD Card is also supported for certain features.

A black model known as the Wii U Deluxe was also released, which has a larger memory drive to allow more save data to be stored.

Wii mode

Wii mode is used exclusively for Wii games, it includes the Wii Menu and all the features the Wii had, excluding a few channels. The Wii Shop Channel was fully supported prior to its shutdown and allows for downloading channels and Virtual Console games. The Wii U Gamepad is disabled in Wii mode, however a later update allowed the screen to display what us currently being played to allow players to use only the gamepad.


Like the original Wii, the Wii U is able to connect to the internet to open up new features. Nintendo Network is a service which allows players to connect to other Wii U consoles and play with each other, succeeding Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. A social network known as Miiverse was a feature exclusive to the Wii U before being ported to the Nintendo 3DS.

Other online features include video entertainment such as Netflix and YouTube, and an internet browser.

Nintendo eShop

Main article: Nintendo eShop

The Nintendo eShop is where users can purchase games and software, as well as downloadable content (DLC) to existing games, it is the successor to the Wii Shop Channel. The Nintendo eShop serves as an alternative way to purchase Wii U games, where instead of being played using discs the games can be downloaded onto the Wii U menu.

Virtual Console is also supported and allows for downloading games from older consoles, including Game Boy Advance games which were previously unavailable on the Wii.

EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. games


Super Smash Bros.


  • Every game in the EarthBound series is able to be played on the Wii U, although Mother 3 is exclusive to Japan.
    • The Wii U marks the first time EarthBound Beginnings can be played outside Japan, and any EarthBound game can be played in PAL regions.

Systems with EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. games.
Home consoles
NESSNESN64GCNWiiWii UNintendo Switch
Handheld consoles
GBADS3DSNintendo Switch