ifixit


We just published our review of the Wii U, but we didn't crack the console open to peer under the hood. iFixit did, though, and it has published a look at its usual stellar job of disassembling the console down to its component pieces and explaining what they do.

The most interesting part of the teardown, frankly, is the look inside the Wii U's GamePad. The controller is essentially its own console packed with components. In addition to a gyroscope and a touchscreen, the controller also houses an NFC module and antenna, though its functionality doesn't appear to be used by any of the launch titles. iFixit speculates that NFC could be used in the future to facilitate saved-game and character loading.

Enlarge / Inside the Wii U GamePad.

The Wii U itself sports a trio of wireless modules, including a Broadcom Bluetooth chip. One of the modules is used exclusively to communicate with the GamePad, enabling the smooth and lag-free screen mirroring observed by our gaming editor Kyle Orland. The teardown also exposes the system's AMD Radeon GPU and IBM Power-based multicore processor, both of which are marked improvements over the older Wii's downright anemic CPU and GPU.

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The always-fascinating iFixit has turned its gaze, not to mention its screwdrivers, to the PlayStation Move, tearing apart the game controller. The verdict? With so many parts soldered down, there is little hope of repairing a broken unit, although the battery can easily be replaced. There is also a surprising amount of tech for the price.

"The Move contains many of components found in today's smartphones: a processor, accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth transmitter, vibrating motor, and even a MEMS compass," Kyle Wiens wrote about the controller. "It's an amazing amount of tech for the money, even though we still think it's steep to pay $50 for a controller. Compared to a $40 WiiMote, though, it's quite the bang for the buck."

Other neat insights: there is a heatsink on the LEDs, meaning the lights will remain bright and functional for a very long time. They can also produce just about any color you can imagine. The entire teardown is filled with great images and text, so be sure to read it in its entirety.

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