Wii Broke It

Our first Wii didn't survive being cracked open for a photo shoot, so we went ahead and finished the job. See our full disassembly photos

It is with a heavy heart that we bring you this special weekend report. When PopSci's Wii arrived last week, it didn't spend too much time in the box. Ripped open without any hesitation, our little Wii gave us a long Friday's worth of furious Wii Sports and Excite Truck action at PopSci HQ. But then, it was time for it to go off to a photo shoot, where its fate would be sealed.

The plan was simple: carefully disassemble the little white box and controllers for a detailed inside look, then re-assemble it with ease and get back to where we left off, working up a sweat bludgeoning our little cartoon selves in Wii Sports Boxing. But the Wii proved to be one tough nut to crack. Due to Nintendo's special proprietary screws, we had to resort to brute force. And in the process of doing so, our precious white beacon of joy was rendered unplayable, forever.

But in the interest of making the best of a decidedly horrific situation, we figured it best to finish the job with a full, heart-wrenching disassembly. Here we bring you a visual record of our Wii's autopsy— put on your recording of bagpipes playing "Taps," get out your hankies, and click here to launch the gallery. Sniff. —John Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The broken optical drive was what caused this whole mess in the first place. It's connected to the main board with a single ribbonJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The main board is seperated from the optical drive by a metal plateJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

Rear view of the cooling fan and A/V, power and USB portsJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

Heartbreaking, isn't it? The external shell and front piece come offJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

Closer look at the Wii drive.John Mahoney

by John Mahoney

A closer look at the Wi-Fi module with antenna leads connectedJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

All done. An overview of the damageJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

A closer look at the main chipset (after removing the thermal grease). The codenames are stamped on the surfaceJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

Wi-Fi antennas come offJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The heatsink is removed, revealing the main IBM "Broadway" processor and the ATI "Hollywood" graphics chipJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The Wi-Fi module with thermal grease. The SD card slot is also visible.John Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The fins of the metal heatsink. It may not be the most powerful chipset, but it still needs to stay coolJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The other Wi-Fi antenna is on the other sideJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

The metal plate comes off, revealing the main logic boardJohn Mahoney

by John Mahoney

One of two Wi-Fi antennas at the back of the console, mounted verticallyJohn Mahoney