So despite some initial confusion about whether the Wii U 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 Wii U 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).

5 Answers 5


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). Jun 7, 2011 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. Jun 7, 2011 at 20:04
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    From the pictures, I don't see any gamecube controller ports. Jun 7, 2011 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. Jun 8, 2011 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). Jun 8, 2011 at 17:23

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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    GameCube will be two generations old at that point. At some point they have to stop supporting the old stuff. Oct 4, 2012 at 21:31

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, 2011 at 23:05

While not official, Nintendon't is WiiU homebrew that will allow for the playing of Gamecube ISO's, so you could use your Wii to rip your own discs and play them on the WiiU. This homebrew even supports the gamecube adapter.

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    As long as your not illegaly downloading games, its perfectly fine.
    – user106385
    Apr 8, 2016 at 4:20

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, 2012 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, 2012 at 20:18
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    @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/… Oct 4, 2012 at 21:20

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