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Wii U

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Title Screen

Wii U

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
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 console has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This console has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This console has debugging material.
Carts.png This console has revisional differences.


NotesIcon.png This console has a notes page

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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 (and probably last) 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 issues: customers were thrown off by the all-too-similar name to its predecessor, Nintendo couldn't reduce the system's price due to high production costs, and there was a severe lack of third-party support thanks to most developers considering the GamePad too bulky, redundant, and/or confusing. The system was discontinued on January 31, 2017, with the Switch releasing a month later.

Hmmm...
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?
  • GamePad subpage. Stuff like an unused screen telling you to wait until the other GamePad has paired, and also a dev menu for configuration.

Sub-Page

Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.
Notes

Unused Boot Screens

DUMMY

Wii-U-system-splash-tv-dummy.png

Wii-U-system-splash-gamepad-dummy.png

Wii-U-system-icon-dummy.png

Found within /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, and one of them is the placeholder amiibo Settings icon.

"drc" is the internal name for the GamePad.

Wii U-Wii U System Transfer

WiiUtransfboot.png

WiiUtranf.png

The system transfer file has a few graphics left in its meta folder, instead of some placeholders. This suggests that the transfer tool was originally 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 (not counting the ones with 仮s) is that they sport a darker version of the spotted background used in the final icons.

Early Icon Final Icon Software Name Texture 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 on Japanese versions of the console. 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 A very drastic design change. The early icon is actually similar to the one used on the 3DS, except it would've been in 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 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 touchups. The two key differences are that the early remnant is positioned differently and has a trademark symbol, while the final one does not.
(Source: sunn)

System Transfer Settings Applet

Hmmm...
To do:
Move later. Check other regions, only USA was checked.

Layout Placeholder Text

In the layouts, the following placeholder strings are present in the text boxes:

灩挱
灡攱
灲琱
瑸琱
䁔〰
睮搱

Unused Graphic

WiiUSystemTransfer trans DRC test dummyIc 00.png

Possibly a placeholder graphic for an app's icon on the GamePad.

Compilation Paths

In the BEMTSTM files with WiiBgNormal in the name, there's a small bit of information from an original file on the developer end, * would be 0 or 2 according to the file.

%WAGONU_ROOT_WINPATH%\raw\effects\particle\WiiBgNormal_0*_Group29.bemtstm

WAGONU_ROOT_WINPATH is likely the below according to the files always having this string near this value.

D:\wagonU\trunk

Unused Text

In the message file, one of the strings is completely unlocalized in Japanese.

String ID Text Translation
BMS_Dummy_Body BMSで権利移行の操作をしてください。
(サーバー対応されるまでの暫定画面です。)
※BMSで操作をしない場合、
権利の移動がされません。
またSDカードを引っ越し先が認識しません。
Please operate the rights transfer with the BMS.
(provisional screen until the server is supported.)
※ If you do not operate with the BMS, the rights will not be transferred.
No longer recognizes the SD card.

Empty Messages

The following message IDs do not have text, some may have suggested more functionality or were carried from other similar software.

TestMessage
Button_ReturnWiiUMenu
Button_DownloadManage
plr_Header_04
plr_HeaderNum_04
SF_Confirm_Header
SF_Confirm_Body0
SF_Confirm_Body1
SS_Option_Header
SS_Option_Item0
SS_Option_Item1
SS_All_Header
SS_All_Body0
SS_All_Body1
SS_All_Body2
SS_All_Footer
SS_Transfer_Header
SS_User_Header
SS_Div_Body
SS_Div_header
SS_Div_Body0
SS_Div_Body1
SS_Div_Body2
SS_Div_Footer
SS_USBAsk_Body
Button_USBNo
Button_USBYes
SS_USBUse_Body
SS_MoveAsk_Header
SS_MoveAsk_Body
Button_MoveNo
Button_MoveYes
SS_Leave_Header
SS_Leave_Header0
SS_Leave_Body
SS_Leave_Header1
SS_DA_Body
SS_DALeave_Body
SS_DAReceive_Body
SS_DASelect_Body
SS_DAOK_Body
SS_DAOwn_Body
NANDSpace2_Body
EULA_Body1
SR_ClearData_Header
SR_ClearData_Body
SR_ClearUser_Header
SR_ClearUser_Body
MR_Search_Body
MS_Approve_Header
MS_Approve_Body
MR_Wait_Body
BS_Waiting_Body
IRC_Timeout_Body
AB_Wait_Body
AB_TE_Body
AB_IVSClear_Body
AB_This_Body
AB_Other_Body
ABE_ClearIVS_Body
ABE_T4_Body
AB_FormatWait_Body
AB_PowerOFF_Body
AB_Exit_Body
TS_SocketWaitPower_Body
TR_Initialize_Body_00
TR_Socket_Body
TW_CompatExit_Body
Button_Later
FR_NA_Body
FS_InitializeC_Body
FS_End_Body
E_SDLock_Body
E_SDNoexec_Body
E_SDNouse_Body
E_CustomerSupport_Body
E_RightMove_Body
E_AssertTrans_Body
E_Ver
TV_Title
TV_Start_Header
E_TitleName_JP_FCYJ
E_TitleName_EU_FCYP
E_TitleName_EU_C9PP

Hidden Screenshots

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

WiiU screenshotUser.png

Text
本体に新しいユーザーを追加します。
Translation
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: sunn)

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

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Nintendo 64 Virtual Console Internal Project Name

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

(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
C:\Dev\Mercurial\hanafuda\hachihachi-packaging\hachihachi\source\host\rom_selector.cpp

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 prior to about the mid-1960s.

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.

http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/youtube-sh-720p.mp4 
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/stream/bipbop/bipbopall.m3u8 
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/apple-sh-1080p.mov
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/Motocross_720p_30fps_noaudio.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/audio/audio-tron-legacy-the-grid.m4a
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/audio/audio-girl-talk-play-your-part.m4a
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/stream/key1_iv1_20s/crypt_index.m3u8
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/mobiclip-batman-1080p-m.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/school.f4v
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/BigBuckBunny_1080p.f4v
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/sony-nex5N-1080p.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/qtredirect1/thumb.mov
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/home_1080p-muxed.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/PS3_BIOHAZARD_720_9000kbps.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/PeakPrecision_V2.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/skyloft.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/stream/10309/tnMmRuNDpPZGSugjcn3u6Rms4QSiS63S.m3u8
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/nikon-d7000-1080p.mov
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/PS3_FFXIII_1080_9000kbps.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/PS3_PULSE_1080_10000kbps.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/vimeo.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/Come_Follow_Me.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/rocketstart_wobbly.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/stream/relative-url/hit.m3u8?arg=foo/bar
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/Unboxing_MediaPlayer_SDK_720p.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/sony-psn-god-of-war-III-720p.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/imdb1.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/imad07.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/ustream.ts
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/video/Small_Potatoes_Episode_2_b010pyk0.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/audio/AAC-LC_Mono_48000Hz_WonderfulTonight.mp4
http://keyframe.ntd.nintendo.com/original/stream/byterange_apple/index.m3u8

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
19194
23164
23271
25520
v84 v153 v169 v180
25520
34999
37525
38945

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
2012/08/23
18:55
2012/11/05
20:58
2012/11/21
14:05
2013/04/11
14:58
v84 v153 v169 v180
2013/04/11
14:58
2014/05/08
09:07
2014/09/05
15:35
2015/04/27
16:05

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
19210
23159
23271
25519
26478
v137 v153 v164 v178 v257 EUR
34999
37525
37897
38928
39222

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
2012/08/23
18:55
2012/11/05
15:43
2012/11/21
14:05
2013/04/10
21:04
2013/06/21
14:42
v137 v153 v164 v178 v257 EUR
2014/05/08
09:07
2014/09/05
15:35
2014/10/22
15:05
2015/04/17
13:56
2019/05/21 
09:57

Hidden Features

HDD Sleep Workaround

The Wii U operating system supports the generation of dummy USB drive read requests to work around certain drives'/enclosures' aggressive auto-standby. This feature is documented but only online, not in the included manuals.

To enable or disable it, the user must navigate the System Settings so that the GamePad displays the "Data Management" and "Format USB Storage Device" options, then hold ↓+Start+Select until a confirmation popup is displayed. (It's also available in the developer utility SystemConfigTool.)

NNID Password Bypass

The Wii U, unlike any previous or following Nintendo system, becomes de facto inoperable if all registered users are associated with a NNID without a saved password and said passwords are unknown. For this reason, comparably to parental controls, a hidden feature allowing (with the cooperation of Nintendo support) the use of an override code exists.

It is accessed by holding Y+Start+Select while on a NNID password field.

GamePad Factory Mode

Acactussayswhat?
Please elaborate.
Having more detail is always a good thing.
Specifically: What byte(s) in the EEPROM needs to be changed to active the 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 was disabled before GamePads left the factory, but at least one GamePad was known to have left the factory with diagnostics enabled. It can also be activated by inserting an unknown debugging device (probably used with GamePad repairs) into the accessory port.

(Source: Nites, libdrc)

Revisional Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
There are more drastic changes.

The Nintendo TVii button 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)

From version 1.0.0 to 5.2.0, the menu design was completely different from the current one, with icons in different positions and an overall different menu design.

(Source: Nintendo Support - Wii U System Menu Update History)
Old New
Wii-U-Home-Menu-With-TVii.png New Wii U Home Menu.png