The arrival of the Nintendo Switch means that thousands of Wii U’s are slowly being boxed up and placed on the top shelves of wardrobes across the land. Before they go though I wanted to share one of the greatest examples of technological symbiotic relationship; popping a Wii U on top of an Xbox One.
The Nintendo Wii sold over 100 million consoles making it a colossal success. Part of this was that the Wii was a perfect 2nd-console. The average age of a gamer was 31 and most had families. And the Wii was a perfect family console. And so millions bought them to keep their grubby kids hands of the big boys toy. Microsoft noticed this trend; the two-console generation was here and they intended to work it to their favour.
When I bought a Wii U I carried out an expedition into the dark recess behind my television to connect it up. I don’t go there very often as it’s not my place to interrupt the never-ending gang-bang of cables rolling in cocaine-piles of dust. When throwing my Wii U’s keys into the swingers bowl I noticed something fascinating; the Wii U fits perfectly on the top of an Xbox One.
The dimensions of a Wii U are 26.7 x 17.3 cm. The dimensions of the flat side of an Xbox One are 26.9 x 17.5 cm. The Wii U console rests so snuggly that it’s almost uncanny. This symbiotic relationship was enhanced further when considering the Xbox One introduced a HDMI-In port. Yes much like your mother the Xbox One is happy to let more people stream through her than the Blackwall tunnel. And she isn’t fussy either. The Xbox One would happily let a Wii U slip into this back-door HDMI port.
So for the last three years my Wii U has ridden the shoulders of my Xbox One mirroring a father-child relationship that I wish I had with my father. I assumed most gamers also did this with their consoles. But researching for this article I found out this was not the case. I only found one NeoGaf thread on the topic and it’s contents revealed the opposite; gamers are terrified of stacking consoles.
Gamers gave reasons that the weight will bend the Xbox Console. But have you seen an Xbox One? Pop a few wheels on it and you could mistake it for a Toyota Yaris. It can easily hold the weight of a 1.5kg Wii U. Gamers stated that the vents are being blocked. Again not true. The Wii U sucks in from either side and the Xbox one from the huge grill on it’s right side. None of these are blocked when stacking a console.
Other gamers complained about the magnetic pulls of the DVD drives would mess with each other. I can’t even tell you if that is true or not but if you need to run an extensive long-term test case then I’m the best subject because after three years I’ve never had a problem. The most common concern though was heat. Consoles get hot when running and watching Frozen on Netflix doesn’t make a difference as I thought it would. Luckily the Predator roams the NeoGaf forums and provided this image of an XBox One running.
As you can see the main source of heat is on the right side of the console. Conveniently right where the heat vents are! How lucky.
The Xbox One was released almost two years after the Wii U was first shown by Nintendo. Is there a chance that Microsoft’s design team considered the size of a Wii U and the connectivity possibilities to try gain ground on the two-console reality? We’ll never know. What do know though is that much like those heart-warming stories you read of an orphaned cheetah befriending the worlds last Galapagos turtle, the Wii U and Xbox One snuggle together like best buds. It really is adorable and I for one will miss the neatness of this perfectly synchronised dance of technology.
Post a picture in the comments of your biggest console stack, bonus points for anyone who uses the Game Boy Micro as a foundation.