Tearing down the Wii U

With the release of the Wii U last weekend we knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw those glorious gut shots on the Internet. The folks at iFixit have torn down a Wii U, and the insides look somewhat promising for a potential hack to take control of the Wii U Game Pad.

The components in the Wii U console aren’t terribly surprising; a few wireless controllers, HDMI adapters, Flash memory chips, and the IBM Power CPU make up most of the interesting components. The insides of the GamePad, though, look pretty interesting. It appears the Wii U GamePad is powered by an ARM Cortex microcontroller built by STMicroelectronics, but the part numbers for the major ICs on the GamePad board are impervious to Googling.

Of course there’s still the question of how video is transmitted wirelessly from the Wii U console to the GamePad. iFixit found a Broadcom BCM4319XKUBG Wireless module that operates on normal WiFi frequencies. This module has been used in a few other pieces of video gear, most notably the Boxee Box, so there is some possibility of intercepting the video signal transmitted to the GamePad and figuring out the protocol.

The long and short of iFixit’s teardown, at least from the hacker perspective, is that all the interesting parts use hardware similar to what you’d find on any other eminently hackable device. Here’s to hoping we get an open Wii U GamePad before the year is out.


  1. PCBdude says:

    Someone over at http://www.wiiuhacks.com has the Wii U running homebrew.

  2. cknopp says:

    Wouldn’t the most obvious for the video be DLNA?

  3. Gorlath says:

    If it was DLNA wouldn’t it be fairly simple to make any computing device play wii games…?

  4. k3spice says:

    Not sure if my comments are showing up on here. Roger over at wiiuhacks dot com has homebrew running on the Wii U already. Figured I would share this.

  5. Annie says:

    “Wi-Fi Direct” is well documented

  6. jeffers says:

    Thing to realise with the homebrew is that the wii u is hardware BC with the wii, its going to be sandboxed from the main wii u features, like the 3ds with the ds stuff.

  7. jordan says:

    we hackers are gonna love this!

  8. XOIIO says:

    Wow, for something that expensive the controller is really empty.

    Also is anyone else having text in thecomment box show only as white? I can’t see wtf I’m typing

  9. riderrocklee says:

    im waiting for the controller can control my pc and with touch screen and also xbox360 remote emulator for my pc games now that would be coo right

  10. riderrocklee says:


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