Via a translation from the Nintendo Direct held today, Wii and Wii VC games will not, and are never planned to, work off screen on the gamepad. Pretty much assumed since Wii U goes into Virtual Wii mode essentially when plaing Wii content, but it's officially confirmed.
They are planning on making WiiU's VC playable on the gamepad apparently.
- Wii games, Virtual Console, Wii Ware stuff cannot be played using the GamePad screen, but only on the TV in Wii Mode
- Iwata: "We understand that there are people who were looking forward to playing Wii games, Virtual Console games, and so forth on the GamePad, but unfortunately we cannot accommodate those users' expectations."
- There are plans for a Wii U Virtual Console that WILL be compatible with the Wii U GamePad. Please look forward to it in the future.
And for anyone buying the premium WiiU, details on the 10% digital discount
Nintendo Network Premium
- For Premium Set buyers only
- Point service
- Make Nintendo Network ID, then login to find and user the service
- After logging in, you can see the points you have earned
- Buy with download card or download number
- Earn 10% back on purchases
- Earn back purchase points in ¥500 increments
- Points earned can be used with Wii U/3DS e-Shop, Wii Shopping Channel, DSi Shop
Other info regarding the USB storage capabilities:
SB Data Storage
- 8GB = 7.2GB, 32GB = 29GB in terms of actual save data. Wii U uses around 4.2GB when using the system for the first time.
- NSMBU is ~2GB, Nintendo Land is ~3.2GB. So, both won't fit into the Basic set at the same time.
- Wii U lets you put data onto a connected USB media drive.
- One USB drive at a time only.
- Cannot disconnect the external drive while plugged into the Wii U and receiving power.
- You can use general drives.
- In terms of powering the HDD while connecting to the Wii U, if you do not use a Y Cable Type drive (2 USB cables), then Nintendo cannot guarantee it will work properly.
- Nintendo can guarantee functionality if the HDD plugs into a power outlet.
- No games on USB Flash Memory due to games not running properly all the time (whatever this means...)
- Wii U will read up to 2TB only for external hard drives
- In Data Management, you must format the connected media drive. Note that this means you cannot use the drive with a PC.
- You can move data from internal Wii U storage to external USB media in Data Management and vice versa. Data on both internal and external media will appear in the menu.
- At launch, only 1 USB hard drive can be connected, but through a future update, more than 1 will be possible and you will be able to move data between them freely.
- SD Cards can hold PC data, Wii Virtual Console, Wii Ware, and Wii save data, but cannot be used to save Wii U game save data.