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Wii U

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Title Screen

Wii U

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Wii U
Released in JP: December 8, 2012
Released in US: November 18, 2012
Released in EU: November 30, 2012
Released in AU: November 30, 2012
Released in BR: November 26, 2013

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

The Wii U is Nintendo's third disc-based home console. Its main gimmick over its predecessor was its reliance on the GamePad, a large tablet controller which added touch screen functionality to games and could also function as a main screen in the absence of a TV. Despite a generally solid first-party library, it suffered from a severe lack of third-party support.

Additionally, Nintendo couldn't reduce the price due to high production costs, the GamePad was considered too bulky/redundant/confusing by most third-party developers, and customers were thrown off by the all-too-similar name to its predecessor. Unsurprisingly, it got discontinued after four years of support and the Switch very quickly came in its place.

To do:
  • DUMMY graphics. Lots of DUMMY graphics.
  • Title layout lists.
  • The keyboard has two unused modes: handwritten and T9 keypad (phones). There might be some other stuff for the keyboard as well.
  • Prerelease section.
  • Nintendo 64 Virtual Console games have config files for each game. Maybe some of those are for unreleased games?

Unused Boot Screens





Found within the folder /storage_mlc/sys/title/00050010/10066000/meta are some dummy boot screen images in standard TGA format. The title it belongs to is identified as simply "ecop". The dummy icon is also used in discs' update partitions and some kiosk (CAT-I RTL) demos on kiosk unit install discs.

"drc" is the internal name for the GamePad.

Wii U-Wii U System Transfer



The system transfer file has a few graphics left in its "meta" folder, instead of some placeholders. This suggests that originally the transfer tool was going to be an app rather than a mode in the system settings. The splash boot screen for the DRC and TV are the same, just different sizes.

Early App Icons

These are all early versions of the icon graphics used for the default apps in the Wii U. They are located in a file called OfficialAppIcon.szs, which is found in a couple of directories, with one exception.

Something you'll notice with the early icons (counting out the ones with 仮's) is that they sport a darker version of the spotted background used in the final icons.

Early Icon Used Icon Software's Name Texture's Name Comments
WiiUInformation.png WiiUInfo.png Information(used for notifications) AppIconInformation Just a darker version of the info icon. Has the same name as the used one too.
WiiUBaristaSafe.png WiiUsafety.png Health and Safety Information AppIconBaristaSafe Although the color is different and the exclamation point is off point, the name is interesting.

"Barista" is a person that prepares espresso-based beverages, like coffee. References like this are very common in the Wii U, given its codename, "Project Cafe."

WiiUAppIconPcl.png WiiUparent.png Parental Controls AppIconPcl Obvious color and shading difference.
WiiUOrchestra.png Wii U orchestraFINAL.png Wii Karaoke U AppIconOrchestra Wii Karaoke U is a default app in Japanese Wii U's. Compared to the final icon, the early version is pretty lacking. (仮) is (Temporary).
WiiUAppIconPly.png WiiUply.png Daily Log AppIconPly Some shading that isn't in the used one, with a darker color.
WiiUAppIconSugar.png WiiUmiimake.png Mii Maker AppIconSugar Very drastic design change. The early icon is actually similar to the one used on the 3DS, except it would've been in glorious HD.
WiiUDoors.png WiiUChat.png Wii U Chat AppIconDoors Very early design for Wii U Chat's icon. The picture on the earlier one is actually a door, as that is what Wii U Chat's codename is: doors.
WiiUAppIconSet.png WiiUsetting.png System Settings AppIconSet Obvious color change as well as size difference.
WiiUoldIconboot.png WiiUfinalIconboot.png System Menu iconTex.tga This is the only one that is not found in OfficialAppIcon.szs. Instead, it is found in both /10010109 and /1001010a which is the Home Menu. The logos are practically identical minus a few small touch ups. The two key differences is that the early remnant is positioned differently and has a trademark symbol, while the final does not.
(Source: Super-Xnot)

Hidden Screenshots

Hidden inside 00050010/10040100/content/Us/Model/AccountTvCap_Us/gsys.bfres are two early screenshots of the Wii U.

WiiU screenshotUser.png

Added new user to this unit.

An early screenshot of the account creator, named acsCreate_sys1_001A0. It is copied with different language tags at the end for each supported language, as if it were "translated".

WiiU ver0.png

A screenshot of a very early build of the System Settings app. It even uses the prototype Gamepad design! The name of the graphic is update.

The text translates as...

Text Translation
ここにボタンの名前を入る Insert the button's name here
トップ メニュー Top Menu
全項目 All Items
(日)付と時刻 Date and Time
テレビ画面 TV Screens
テレビサウンド TV Sound
Wii Uコントローラ Wii U Controller
Wiiリモコンセンサー(バー) Wii Remote Sensor Bar
やめる Quit
(Source: Super-Xnot)

eShop Icon Mistake

Wii U-eShop-Captain Toad 3DS icon.jpg

This placeholder icon is used in the USA Wii U eShop metadata for the Nintendo 3DS version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (and its demo, but only the former can be seem through the eShop interface as non-Wii U demos' icons don't appear in the Wii U eShop interface). The icon has the last modified date of Tue, 29 Nov 2016 01:11:29 GMT.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

DS Virtual Console Development Text

Welcome to Hachihachi !
Choose your ROM with the Wii U GamePad:
Unable to delete FS client for the SD card!
Unable to add FS client for the SD card!
Unable to mount the SD card!
  - B to exit to parent directory
  - A to enter a directory or launch a ROM

It seems the developers behind the Nintendo DS Virtual Console had the ability to switch ROMs on the fly. "Hachihachi" seems to be the internal name of the emulator itself. "Hanafuda" are a type of Japanese playing cards, and were Nintendo's flagship product in the pre-video game era.

Media Player Test File

The file mvplayer.rpl in the directory for WebKit files contains URLs for videos that were likely tested with the Wii U during development. The domain doesn't resolve to an IP address, so it's possible that the server is down or these URLs could have only been accessed through Nintendo's internal network. This file can also be found in several games that utilize the Nintendo Web Framework.

Nintendo 64 Virtual Console Internal Project Name

The internal project name of the Nintendo 64 Virtual Console emulator is "VESSEL", according to multiple strings in the rpx.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Build Dates and Other Text

Home Menu

There's the revision number present in Common/System/revision.txt. It's the same for every region.

v0 v24 v35 v72
v84 v153 v169 v180

There's a timestamp present in Common/System/timeStampV.txt or Common/System/timeStamp.txt. Again, it's the same for each region.

v0 v24 v35 v72
v84 v153 v169 v180

System Settings

There's the revision number present in Common/System/revision.txt. It's the same for every region.

v0 v24 v35 v72 v84
v137 v153 v164 v178 v257 EUR

There's a timestamp present in Common/System/timeStampV.txt or Common/System/timeStamp.txt. Again, it's the same for each region.

v0 v24 v35 v72 v84
v137 v153 v164 v178 v257 EUR

Gamepad Factory Mode

A factory diagnostics utility is present in the Gamepad firmware. There is a flag in the EEPROM that controls whether diagnostics is enabled. It's usually disabled before the Gamepad leaves the factory, but at least one Gamepad was known to have left the factory with diagnostics enabled.

(Source: Nites)

Revisional Differences

To do:
There are more drastic changes. This video, for example, shows a very different menu at 0:24.

The Nintendo TVii option was removed on August 11, 2015 following the discontinuation of the service. The application itself wasn't actually removed however, and can still be opened through the quick start menu, although it gives a network error message after loading.

(Source: Nintendo TVii End of Service FAQ)

In an earlier version of the menu (although in which version it was changed is currently unknown), the menu design was completely different from the current one, with icons in different positions and an overall different menu design.

An incomplete (missing button at bottom) picture of the Wii U's older Home Menu design.