After speaking with an official source who as asked to remain anonymous, we have learned about new details regarding some of the “mysteries” behind the Wii U demo stations popping up at Best Buy and GameStop locations.
Best Buy will have the “better” demo kiosks interestingly dubbed the Wii U “social stations”. The social stations will sport a larger, custom-made 42″ HDTV to better suit the new Wii U console and its new abilities. Here is a picture of a social station:
The Wii U social stations are the most elaborate demo units Nintendo has ever made, and it really shows! What’s interesting is that Nintendo is embracing current technology by making Wii U updates easier for stores. There is no game or demo disc in the social stations and updates are done during the night. Everything runs off the custom Wii U’s internal flash storage which makes things VERY snappy. Updates are going to be done at random and while Rayman Legends is the only playable demo, Nintendo will quietly update the social station kiosks to add new playable demos which you can expect before launch. Best Buys are still the only stores to offer a similar set up with newer 3DS XL kiosks by removing game paks and doing automatic updates to the system memory over night. Any other station not classified as a social station will be getting a custom-built 32″ HDTV that will require a game or demo disc to be manually added/changed (this is relevant to all GameStop locations). So if you are looking for the most current, up-to-date kiosk, look no further than the Best Buy social stations. We also snapped a picture of the back of the Wii U:
While this is picture is nothing new, we can confirm that all Wii remotes and GamePads will be powered by the USB ports from the back of the special Wii U demo unit. This is interesting because retail GamePads will not be able to charge via Wii U USB ports. While this is understandable, it’s the OTHER custom addition Nintendo added to kiosk Wii U units that make me want Nintendo to implement into retail units; built-in ethernet. That’s right folks, that coaxial-looking cable is a direct internet source, as none of the Wii U demo units will use WiFi. Our source tells us that the main reason why GameStops won’t be getting automatic updates to their Wii U units is because they don’t provide wired internet, unlike Best Buy who will accommodate such a resource.
So there you have it! It appears that Nintendo is really taking the Wii U serious about in-store presence. If you haven’t had a chance to check out a Wii U, you should do so. If you have been lucky enough to spot one, check back again soon to see if new playable demos are available! The 3 week wait is all that’s left for us to endure!