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So despite some initial confusion about whether the WiiU was an accessory or a console successor to the Wii, I now understand that it is, in fact, a new console.

During its initial presentation, Nintendo lavished about the fact that the WiiU would be fully backwards compatible, at least with the Wii.

I have also heard that it will use similar disc-based technology as its predecessor, and I was wondering if that applied to the Gamecube mini-discs as well (which the Wii was able to play).

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

According to the specifications found on Nintendo's E3 website, the drive doesn't accept GameCube's small 8cm discs, only the new high-density discs for Wii U and the normal 12cm Wii discs - so no, it won't be compatible.

This also fits with the likely strategy they use for backwards compatibility; they shut all the new stuff off so the console behaves just like the Wii - that's how they do it on the Wii for GC stuff, on the 3DS for DS stuff, and on the DS for GBA stuff. AFAIK, that technique doesn't work very well if you're trying to chain it like this, since the Wii part would have to turn all of its stuff off to switch to GameCube mode, and that ends up getting way too messy.

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I'm not certain (as the site linked is originally in Japanese) but my impression from it via google translate was that gamecube minidiscs were simply not mentioned (either yea or nay). –  Raven Dreamer Jun 7 '11 at 19:52
    
@Raven: There hasn't been an explicit statement about it, but the fact that they didn't mention it is a pretty good indication that it won't support it. They also mention support for Wii controllers on that specification page, but no mention of GameCube controllers - and there's really no reason they'd keep that particular point from us. It's incredibly unlikely that Wii U will suddenly turn out to be backwards compatible with the GameCube. –  Michael Madsen Jun 7 '11 at 20:04
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From the pictures, I don't see any gamecube controller ports. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 7 '11 at 22:35
    
@BlueRaja - that would actually be my 2nd question, though there did appear to be a covered hatch a-la the Wii's GCN tab. It could just be the USB ports' cover, however. –  Raven Dreamer Jun 8 '11 at 1:04
    
@Raven: I've only seen the one image Nintendo have posted themselves - are you talking about the covered hatch on the front, below the disc slot? That's not big enough to hide both GameCube controller and memory card ports; it's more likely to be hiding the SD card (the Wii has its SD slot in the same basic place). –  Michael Madsen Jun 8 '11 at 17:23
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Here's a short article with confirmation from a Nintendo source that the Wii U will not be able to play Gamecube games.

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+1 for official confirmation –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 9 '11 at 16:18
    
Wow, this is stupid. –  GnomeSlice Oct 4 '12 at 17:36
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Not really - GameCube will be two generations old at that point. At some point they have to stop supporting the old stuff. –  Allen Gould Oct 4 '12 at 21:31
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From what information has been released so far, the system does not accept the 8cm GameCube discs, nor does it have ports for the controllers/memory cards.

However, this doesn't rule out alternate means of playing GameCube games on the WiiU, such as with direct downloads (a la Wii's Virtual Console).

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But then you have to buy the games again. I would say if you have a Wii, keep it; the Wii-U will be an HD console (finally) and as such you'll want to use HDMI for it anyway, so you can keep your Component-in for the "classic" Wii. –  KeithS Aug 29 '11 at 23:05
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They've said that the Gamecube games will be released as DLC on the eShop.

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Can you provide a link to that? Sounds new to me –  JohnoBoy Oct 4 '12 at 17:37
    
@JohnoBoy - I don't have a link handy but I also remember reading an article that said GCN would be on the eShop. Probably announced at TGS. –  Shinrai Oct 4 '12 at 20:18
    
@JohnoBoy well I don't know if my memory is betraying me, but at the time is just a tease of the possibility by Reggie: kotaku.com/5944545/… –  nomeacuerdo Oct 4 '12 at 21:20
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If you have a Wii that can play Gamecube games watch this video:

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Please summarize the information in the video in your answer. That way, if the video ever goes down, your answer is still valid. –  Frank Jan 7 at 20:03
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