Reviews of the new Wii U are intriguing and also luke-warm, depending on who you are reading. If you are reading me, you get something in between. Wii U features an HDMI output which will output 1080p, but will not support Blu-Ray discs or DVD formats because Nintendo didn't want to pay the licensing royalties. This alone could make the console less attractive for many who are trying to choose between PS3's built-in Blu-Ray drive and the Wii U. Nintendo seems to be relying heavily on their unique brand and titles to see them through the format deficiency.
Wii U Specs: the Processors
To get a little more technical, the Wii U processor borrows on IBM's POWER processor architecture, one that has been criticized by a few (see Larry Ellison's quotes all over the internet) about it's inefficient design, and how it isn't green. This could be a significant issue, considering the millions and millions of consoles that will sell. Processors are definitely the center of the work that takes place.
In terms of graphics processing AMD has been more forth-coming as to an exact model number. They have announced that the Wii U will be using the R770 Radeon processor. This is at the fore-front of AMD video processing technology, outputting beautiful 60Hz 1080p video and supporting a whole new world of possibilities for Nintendo games. Critics view them as arriving on the scene late.
Wii U Specs: Optical Drive
As stated before, the Wii U will have an optical drive but will not accept Blu-Ray or DVD discs due to licensing qualms. Instead, Nintendo has opted to blaze their own way with their own proprietary format of HD video disc. Their new format will be high-density like Blu-Ray and will only work for their own players. Do they do it just to drive you and I the consumer crazy? They definitely have meetings where they decide which route will make them more money in the long run, but what people should probably realize, is that HD streaming is right around the corner, and HD physical formats will be a non-issue. Perhaps Nintendo is making the right move. Whatever move they make, they are basically relying on the fact that everyone will be subscribing to online services like Netflix and Hulu plus. They are also relying on people having high-speed internet in general.
Wii U Controller
With the new console also comes a new controller. The new controller is quite large and has a 6.2 inch touchscreen built-in. It is not meant to replace the traditional remotes, but is meant to enhance gameplay, offering a new view into the game world. This allows new game types to be made, where players can hide and seek, or fight each other with their own unique perspectives on the game world.