The Wii U is powered by an IBM Power multi-core processor, but Nintendo has not told us either the number of cores or the speed of the processor. The graphics will be powered by AMD’s Radeon graphics technology, which is said to be based on the 5000/6000 series chip; but again, Nintendo provides no specifics as far as the graphics core speed or memory. It will support full 1080p HD graphics.
The Wii U will use solid state storage using flash memory; however, Nintendo does not say exactly how much flash storage is available. The Wii U can accept storage expansion by adding either SD Flash Memory Cards or USB storage devices, which can be plugged into the unit externally. The Wii U offers an optical disc drive that accepts Wii U and Wii optical discs, but we suspect that this means it will not play DVDs or that it will not play DVDs right out of the box. There is no word on the capacity of the Wii U optical discs.
The Wii U has built-in Wireless 802.11b/g/n and can accept a Wii LAN Adapter for wired LAN connections by connecting it to one of the four USB 2.0 connectors. The Wii U offers six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI or analog output via the Wii U via the AV multi-out connector. It will be available in both a black and a white version to start with.
Nintendo says that nearly all Wii accessories and software can be played on the Wii U, but it apparently does not support GameCube backward compatibility; this is no surprise, as Nintendo had already confirmed that this would be the case.
As you can see, we were able to get most of it right. We are still seeking to put numbers around those speeds, cores, and memory sizes and we expect to be able to do this soon. Based on what we are seeing, however, the Wii U can certainly compete with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but it will not be very competitive with the next generation consoles beyond these.