The first thing we noticed about Nintendo's next console when we last got our hands on it was the length -- the Wii U is Nintendo's longest console yet. Sure, sure, there's a tablet controller and HD graphics and yadda yadda yadda. That's immaterial. What matters here, folks, is how the new hardware -- the console itself -- physically stacks up against the first Wii. As you'll see in our gallery, length is the least of the Wii U's changes: in the Wii U, Nintendo added two more USB 2.0 ports up front and rounded out its hard right angles, for starters. Around back, the port layout of the Wii is nigh-on identical with that of the Wii U, albeit with the fan moved an inch (or so) to the right, making space for HDMI output. This is an HD console, after all. Wonderfully, unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Wii U includes an HDMI cable right out of the box. Not a huge deal, but it sure was a baffling move when Sony and Microsoft both skimped on such an important detail.
The only other change we spotted (outside of the power port being flipped from horizontal to vertical) is the lack of GameCube controller ports up top. Say sayonara to those old Wavebirds, as Nintendo's moving on to its new tablet controller and its updated Pro Controller. Take some super close-up looks at all the minute differences with us below.
Nintendo Wii U vs. Nintendo Wii ... fight!See all photos