Cafe SDK CAT-DEV QuickStart Overview


The Cafe Tool for Development (CAT-DEV) hardware system is the basic Cafe development kit. It connects to a host PC over a network to facilitate application development. The host PC provides file system emulation for the CAT-DEV. This means that the application that is being developed and its associated files can be generated and maintained on the PC. The CAT-DEV has a bridge which transparently routes all file I/O requests to the PC, making it unnecessary to burn an optical disc or install content on the internal storage of the CAT-DEV.

This guide describes the Cafe development environment and the setup procedure for the CAT-DEV development kit (devkit). With the Cafe development environment, developers may:

If you are using a CAT-R only, see the Cafe SDK CAT-R QuickStart Guide for instructions.

Common Terms

Term Definition
SDK The Software Development Kit contains a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and other software development tools that are used to develop, build, run, debug, and master applications for the Wii U.
CAT-R Cafe Tool for disc Reader (CAT-R) is a Cafe development system that has an optical disc drive. It is similar to the Wii U retain system and should be used for final application testing.
API Application Programming Interface (API) is a library of source code used as an interface by the Wii U system and software components to communication with each other.
System Config Tool Software utility that runs on a CAT-DEV or CAT-R, and helps users set up system configurations, manage titles, and save data necessary for game development. The System Config Tool replaces an older utility known as DevMenu.
Wii U GamePad The Wii U GamePad (GamePad) is a controller for the Cafe system that has a built-in touch-panel LCD screen. The GamePad outputs video and audio processed by the Wii U, and inputs control information from the touch screen and buttons, audio from the onboard microphone, and video from the onboard camera to the Wii U. It is also referred to as the Display Remote Control (DRC).
HOME Menu The HOME Menu (HBM) is a system application that is activated when the user presses the HOME Button on the controller. This application provides a uniform interface for exiting an application; launching the browser, e-manual reader, or other overlay application; or adjusting various system preferences. The HBM is a system software component that is not linked to a game.
NAND boot mode NAND boot mode (NAND mode) is a CAT-DEV mode of operation that is determined by the bootloader. In NAND mode, the majority of the files referenced by the system, on boot and as it runs applications, come from the CAT-DEV's internal, NAND-based, file system. Boot firmware, the OS, System Config Tool, and other system applications are installed on the internal NAND storage. NAND boot mode more closely resembles the final retail system and enables you to use the CAT-DEV without a host PC. It is useful for large-scale program testing and validation before burning the program to optical disc.
PCFS boot mode PCFS boot mode (PCFS mode) is a CAT-DEV mode of operation that is determined by the bootloader. In PCFS mode, only the low-level boot firmware is stored on the internal NAND storage. The operating system, System Config Tool, system applications, and developer programs reside on the host PC. PCFS boot mode, regardless of the transport choice, is not compatible with headless, or standalone mode, because PCFS requires file system service from the host PC, connected via Ethernet.

Revision History

2014/04/11 Added link to 'overlay apps'.
2014/02/26 Terminology update for NAND and PCFS.
2014/01/21 Terminology change to HOME Menu.
2013/05/10 Added common terms and CAT-DEV picture
2013/05/08 Automated cleanup pass.
2013/03/01 Merge QSGs into SDK Basics -> Systems.
2013/02/15 Edit pass
2012/04/12 Reordered information in File System Emulation Settings.
2011/02/21 Initial version.