Whispers of the Wii U Around the Industry: Pre-E3 2012 Edition

Last time we ran a Whispers of the Wii U, some of our information was confirmed a month later, such as our report of trademark issues for the letter \”U\”. We hope this time some of the new info we\’ve heard will also be officially confirmed so you won\’t have to take our word for it. Of course, just because we heard it, doesn\’t mean it’s set in stone. So, just look at what is written here as the conversations taking place in the \”back alleys\” of the gaming industry, not as Iwata’s personal confirmation. Even developers don\’t know all of Nintendo’s agendas.

– An insider who is trusted on Neogaf has said that the E3 2011 models of the Wii U were not actually housing optical drives and that all the demos at the show were being possibly run off SD cards. There is the possibility that the real dev kits were hidden behind and plugged into the TV. Whatever the case, the Wii U models sitting in clear view were not the real deal. The hypothesis is that the design was still in flux and that there may be an entire redesign of the Wii U’s appearance.

I looked into this rumor and here’s what I heard. The Wii U models at E3 2011 and CES 2011 were both not housing optical drives. Rather, the demos shown were running off of encrypted SD cards. And guess what? This same method will be continued to some degree at E3 2012. Instead of seeing the games running from an optical drive, expect to see some new titles shown running from a USB Hard Drive.

Weird, huh? (I\’m guessing a few of the smaller titles will still run from the SD cards and won\’t require the Hard Drive.) I\’m not sure how to take this info. Does it mean the storage structure for the Wii U is still being tweaked? Does it mean Nintendo doesn\’t want to show off the final version of the system? Or maybe it means there will be no Optical Drive at all in the final version of the Wii U and everything will run off of the Hard Drive? I don\’t know.

What about the rumor of the redesign of the Wii U system? After inquiring about this I found out that the weight and volume of the system has now changed. Is it bigger? Smaller? Dunno. The change in size was pretty much confirmed to me. What I heard in less definite measure were unconfirmed reports that black Wii U casings are being shipped to Nintendo of America. So, there may have been a color scheme change to the system.

Other things I\’ve heard:

A redesigned Zapper and Classic Controller are being prepared but are not necessarily confirmed to make an appearance at E3.

A Nintendo-branded HDMI cable is also being prepared by Nintendo but it may never make it to retail.

– From the way things are being discussed it is almost certain we will be seeing Retro’s new project show up during Nintendo’s E3 2012 Press Conference. Get with the program at 9 am PST June 5 to get your first glimpse of it. The adjective I heard to describe it was the word \”massive.\”

– That rumor swirling around about \”Clicky\” Circle Pads for the Wii U controller? It swirled my way too.

– It’s hard to confirm this without any negligible doubt because games using the camera haven\’t been shown yet, but it seems that Nintendo has slightly upgraded the Wii U camera, from that of the 3DS, to .7MP.

– The voice chat is up and running perfectly.

– A lot of third-party software will be shown at E3 for both the Wii U and 3DS. Expect to see the differences and similarities between the two revealed as well.

– If there have been any other last-minute modifications to the Wii U, only Nintendo, Ubisoft, and EA know about it and they will all remain perfectly quiet until E3.


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