What the new Wii U specs tell us about Nintendo

Four of Nintendo’s engineers sat down with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and discussed a few of the Wii U’s technical features, giving us a few hints at what to expect of the Wii U, and offers us a few glimpses at Nintendo’s philosophy.

Even though the Wii U is scheduled for release in roughly five weeks, we still know next to nothing about what Nintendo has put under the hood. Sure, we can make a few educated guesses based on what we’ve seen (and we can flood the world with plenty of uneducated guess as well), but we haven’t heard much in terms of technical specs. And by much, I mean anything at all. For all we know, the console could be so high-tech that it becomes self-aware. Then, not content to simply play Mario games with you, it will hack into NORAD and then ask if you want to play a game. When it then displays “Global Thermonuclear War,” feel free to sweat.

Then the other day Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata gathered four of the Wii U’s engineers together for a session of his semi-regular “Iwata Asks” series, which originally began back in 2006 as a way to talk about the Wii. Since then, Iwata has occasionally chosen several employees, many of which were likely terrified by the notion of suddenly being called in for an “informal chat” with the President of the global gaming company they work for, to discuss both hardware and games. This time around, the four lucky employees chatted about the development and construction of the Wii U, and gave us our first brief glimpse at what the Wii U is packing under the hood.

The details that emerged aren’t what you might consider “sexy,” and some of the most important specs that hungry gaming geeks like us would want to hear — details like the architecture that is being used and the clock speeds, which will give us a better understanding of how fast and powerful the system is — are notably absent. Of course, even when all the specs are revealed, there will still be a great deal of debate on it. If you need proof of that, just ask a knowledgeable PS3 fan and another 360 fan which system is graphically superior, then run for your life.

There is a very good chance that we won’t hear the exact specs until after launch when consumers get their hands on the system and tear it down on their own, but the news does give us a few hints.

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