In nintendo's developper website I found this quote.

Q: How much does it cost to develop on Wii U?

It’s free of charge to participate in the program and to submit games to Nintendo for technical certification. There is some cost involved for Wii U development hardware, but we run a program to help developers who are just getting started.

Now is it necessary to get those dev kits? I mean if I have my own personal console. Use Unity libraries (for example there is a ready .dll for using the WiiMote ), am I obliged to get the dev kit? I plan to develop my game using unity if that makes any changes.


Yes, you do need a Wii U Kit. You cannot build, deploy and run your game on a regular Wii U console.

As Noctrine pointed out, there's no way Nintendo will let you publish a game that hasn't been tested on a console.

Wii U dev kit specs

The Wii U dev kit specs first and foremost support everything the regular retail Wii U console supports, and has the same hardware specs — the Wii U CPU and Wii U GPU are the same, as are the other features. However, dev kits usually have more storage and more memory to aid developers in compiling and creating games. The kit includes:

  • Wii U console with added features such as extra ports, connectors, etc. The kit includes all the retail Wii U hardware.
  • Nintendo-made software tools and libraries that can be freely used by developers.
  • Royalty-free third party software and APIs licensed by Nintendo that is free for developers to use.
  • Various tools to take in-game screenshots and in-game videos for trailers etc.
  • Wii U games are usually written in C++. The Wii U dev kit includes a custom compiler.
  • Tech support from Nintendo developers and experts on software, APIs, and the Wii U operating system.

Source: http://wiiudaily.com/wii-u-dev-kit/

  • \$\begingroup\$ what about when developing for the wii? The wii U is backwards compatible isn't it? so developing using only the Wii Mote and Unity and if in Unity Settings I choose deploy for wii U (or for wii) do I really need it? I understand that I do need it if I am going to test my Wii U games but what about Wii games? (which can be freely tested within unity or in dolphin emulator) \$\endgroup\$ – John Demetriou Feb 24 '15 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JohnDemetriou If you plan to publish a game w/ Nintendo's approval you need the kit. There is no way around it. They will not allow you to deploy a game that has not been built (in the compilation sense) / tested on the platform. \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Dorsey Feb 24 '15 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Noctrine add that in the answer and I think I'm covered \$\endgroup\$ – John Demetriou Feb 24 '15 at 19:02

Nintendo has now opened up for small firms, and even individuals to get access to not only the official SDK, but also developer kits.

You can check it out at developer.nintendo.com.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am aware of that. I already had signed up for the developer license when I asked the question .What I wanted to know is if the DevKit hardware was necessary \$\endgroup\$ – John Demetriou Oct 14 '16 at 10:15

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