Sony and Microsoft may have turned their backs on older hardware, but Nintendo's approach with Wii U is refreshingly different. While the new console is capable of running current-gen HD titles, its technical underpinnings are designed in order to fully accommodate hardware backwards compatibility with the vintage 2006 Wii. Any and all Wii titles and peripherals run with the new hardware. Sadly though it's not all good news - because in our testing we found a number of display-related issues that may might persuade die-hard purists to keep hold of their existing consoles.
First impressions suggest that we are indeed getting the full hardware back-compat experience, with the added advantage that for the first time players are able to run their Wii games via the digitally lossless precision offered by an HDMI output. But it's also fair to say that this is pretty much the only advantage offered by the new hardware - and even then the experience may be sub-optimal for some owing to the locked limited-range RGB output, which produces washed-out colours on many displays.