A few Wii U specs

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed a few new Wii U specs during a Japanese presentation today. Much of the information relates to memory and the game discs.

Iwata shared the following information:

- Supports full 1080p
- “GPGPU” used
- Main memory: 1GB
- System memory: 1GB
- Total memory is 2GB
- Games only use 1GB of main memory
- System memory is for the OS
- Can use the browser while playing
- Game discs are 25GB
- Discs run at 22.5 MB/s
- Uses up to 75 watts of electricity
- Typical power usage is 45 watts
- Reconfirmed: import Wii VC and WiiWare games

The Wii U will reserve 1 GB of RAM memory to handle all of the main running and rendering of the game, and 1 GB of RAM memory to handle all the Wii U’s operating system stuff underneath.

This is important considering that the Wii U will allow you to do things such as browse online while playing games and using video chat while playing games, all without interrupting the game. The operating system includes making sure all the hardware interacts together as well as run all of the Wii U game features that run independently of the games (like Miiverse, which can be included even in third-party games).

Having memory dedicated to just the operating system spares the memory used for rendering the game and running the game’s logic. It keeps the Wii U able to do all of its neat features, such as being able to transfer the game on the GamePad and always being able to access the Wii U’s Home menu at any time, without affecting the performance of the games themselves.

As a note, I would imagine that this dedicated memory is capable of being tapped when needed and if allowed by Nintendo, in a similar manner of how the Nintendo 3DS had more of its system memory to be usable to developers, if the game developers so desire.

Though, 1GB RAM for game-dedicated memory is plenty enough for a rich console gaming experience, especially when you add the “GPGPU” features into the mix (which allows a developer to use the GPU’s memory to be used for tasks normally devoted to the CPU). Fast processing power can help reduce some strain on a system memory–faster processing can sometimes lead to some data having less time in storage, waiting to be processed.