Do I need the dev kit in order to release for Wii U?

Do I need the dev kit in order to release for Wii U?

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.


Answer 1:

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.


Answer 2:

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