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Wii U "definitely" more powerful than current HD systems says 5th Cell

Wii U "definitely" more powerful than current HD systems says 5th Cell

Fri 13 Jul 2012 7:12pm GMT / 3:12pm EDT / 12:12pm PDT
Hardware

Scribblenauts developer adds fuel to Wii U power speculation

The Wii U remains something of an enigma for the general gaming population in terms of technical ability. There has been much talk from around the development community on how exactly Nintendo hoped to beat out the current console generation with the Wii U, and it seems that more and more are affirming its power.

"[Wii U is] definitely more powerful than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3," said 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka. "It's kind of frustrating to see the rumors and speculation of people going back and forth saying it's weaker or more powerful. It's definitely more powerful."

Slaczka's comments ring similar to other developers such as Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli and Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel. The Wii U has shown off quite a bit of games and technical features, but many are still looking to developers for answers on how powerful the console really is.

"I think we were one of the first developers to see the Wii U," added Slaczka. "Nintendo came to our studio and demoed it to us. A couple of weeks later Warner Bros. got to see it, and we said we should do this. This game was originally a Wii title but later moved to Wii U. It's been about two years in development."

Of course, not all developers are saying the same thing; an earlier interview with a source GamesIndustry International spoke with said that the console was not living up to the expectations that many developers had hoped for. Said source believes that the graphics simply are not as powerful as current offerings.

At the end of the day, the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak. As the Wii U games are released this year and next, we'll all be able to judge for ourselves.

[via Videogamer]

22 Comments

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
I think I'll take the words of those developers that are being open and forthright rather than those staying anonymous.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

433 406 0.9
I think I'll listen to the person who has the most powerful devkit.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Joe Winkler
trained retail salesman

167 4 0.0
I'm still not sure about all that better/worse discussion. The Wii was better than the first Xbox, wasn't it? How many games could compete with titles like Oddworld: Strangers Wrath? I think the launch games won't look much better than current generation wich of course is normal. The console will show it's muscles soon enough but I doubt it will be a big step compared to games like Uncharted, Gears of War or Forza.
The biggest issue Nintendo has to compete with is the online platform and connectivity of Xbox Live and PSN. They didn't announce a headset yet, and I definetly don't want to talk to a little built-in microphone on the tablet to speak to others.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,154 937 0.8
@Joe

In some ways Wii was worse than the original Xbox like the lack of programmable shader architecture.

Anyway, I don't know what's with all the conflicting reports. It either is or it isn't. I'd hope it is just for the fact its confirmed to be running newer architecture in the AMD and IBM GPU/CPU families.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
Joe, there are several announced headsets for Wii U already. Just not an official headset from Nintendo themselves. This is certainly factor given that some games will utilize the Pro Controller which naturally will not have speakers and a mic built in.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

James Brightman
Editor in Chief

226 266 1.2
From the Wi U games I've seen, my initial impression was that it was about on par with 360. But then again, it's not fair to compare such early Wii U games to the current graphical fidelity of Xbox 360 all these years into the console's life. As developers get comfortable the games will look much better. Perhaps a more fair comparison would be to look back at something like Kameo, one of the first 360 games. Does Pikmin 3 look just as good as that? Yes, I'd say so.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
@ James did you really say "just as" as if those two games look graphically equal? Kameo is quite a bit less technically impressive. That said, Pikmin 3 isn't exactly pushing things, but I wouldn't expect it to. I imagine we'll see what Nintendo really can do with it when the first 3D Mario shows up in a year or so, or maybe even Smash Bros. next year.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Of course the Wii U is far more powerful than the 360 and PS3. It is amazing that anyone can think otherwise. Top end smartphones are now getting to have that sort of power.
Just look at Moores Law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law Then extrapolate across 7 years.

In fact it doesn't have to be bleeding edge powerful. All it has to do is run 1080p at a respectable fps whilst also running a game mechanic. 7 years ago this was very challenging, now it is easy.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Dan Howdle
Head of Content

280 810 2.9
Moore's Law does not preclude a company putting old hardware inside a shiny white piece of plastic.

Just because something should be better, it does not necessarily follow that it is.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Nintendo are an entertainment company. They will put exactly the right amount of power into any device that is necessary to give their customers great entertainment.

Microsoft are a software company. Sony are a consumer electronics company. Apple is a marketing company.

This is built into their DNA and informs everything they do.

It is very difficult for Nintendo to use "old hardware" because components go out of production as they are superseded.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,154 937 0.8
@Bruce

I'm afraid that's not what happened with the original Wii. they used over-clocked Gamecube architecture from 2001/2002 and new memory.

But anyway, the Wii-U does contain new hardware. The debate really surrounds how fast it is. New architecture is usually more efficient and built for a specific purpose but of course that doesn't mean it will be especially more powerful than older architecture.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Thomas Luecking

69 13 0.2
One just have to look at the size of the WiiU console to figure that a lot of the technical advancements of the last couple of years is used to offer power comparable to the current gen while keeping the heat emission, power consumption and wholesale chip prices down... this thing will be far off from what the nextbox and PS4 will be able to pull off.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Thomas Luecking

It does not matter a single fig how powerful the Wii U is compared to the 720/PS4. What matter is the customer entertainment experience.
In the current generation Microsoft and Sony have both sold 60+ million units whilst Nintendo have sold nearly 100 million units. So it looks like Nintendo understand their customers better.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Thomas Luecking

69 13 0.2
But hardware power is the topic of this article...

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Dan Howdle
Head of Content

280 810 2.9
Really? Most gamers I know buy the most powerful console first. To be fair that's probably going to be the Wii-U this Christmas, but not for long.



"I already have a Wii... why do I need another one?"

That market is tapped. The people Nintendo need to sell to are the hardcore gamers and they do care about power. What Nintendo has shown so far simply does not cut the mustard. I worry for Nintendo, I really do.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Doug Paras

117 61 0.5
Dan your right and wrong. Consumers care about power, but they also care about Cost. The PS3's high price point on release slowed its market penetration and even then Sony was taking a hit on every system sold.

The simple fact is power in next gen consoles won't mean nearly as much as what it did in this current gen. With all consoles being HD standard the difference in graphics because of power will be negligible at best, only the truly hardcore will notice the few extra shadows that the more powerful machines can make.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Dan Howdle
Head of Content

280 810 2.9
Doug. Oh, I agree about cost. Still waiting to see how much Wii-U is going to be.

I don't agree that the differences will not be very noticeable, though. PS4/720 have to justify their existence. As Cliff Blezinski and others have said, it has to be a quantum leap. It's my gut that those consoles will be able to manage everything the UE4 demo showed. Don't think we'll be able to say the same for Wii-U.

I look forward to being proven wrong of course.

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Thomas Luecking

69 13 0.2
@ Doug: I could not disagree more. Most people lack the vision and imagination of what could be possible. Just look outside the window and compare that "graphics" with what you get from high end games of today... there is so much room for visiual improvement and it does not have anything to do with HD resolution. It is not about more shadows. It is about having real round objects instead of a "wheel" with 12 edges... and it is also about water effects that do not look like transparent gel... trees and gras behaving physically correct with every leaf... I could go on forever. In sum all these improvements will make look games like GTA 4 or Skyrim so outdated in a couple of years... the long console cycle disguised what could be possible on modern(PC) hardware, which is held back because of consoles being lead platforms in games development...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Thomas Luecking on 16th July 2012 5:05pm

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
The graphic gulf between Wii U and PS4/Next will be far smaller than the graphical gulf between Wii and PS3/X360.

Will a graphical gap exist? Yes. But it will be more like the graphical gulf between the Dreamcast and the other consoles of the 6th generation rather than what we saw last generation.

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
You know... Its only now that i moved in with my girlfriend and her kids, that I understand what the Wii intended to do. There were things I could expirience with the Wii that i simply could not do with the other consoles. and it was play with people in my house. I purchased Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Play and an additional controller, reluctantly... just to play with my girlfriend, who never even played games. We played together in the living room for hours, then her interest in games expanded to mario bros, super smash bros, donkey kong, mario kart... At this point, graphics werent as important and realized what I was missing out on, in my single player life. And playing online is not the same as playing with people in your living room. playing online is more like a single player expirience except the characters on screen have added human intelligence. But when i got my girlfriend to play and found myself playing with 3 to 4 people in the living room at the same time, I understood what the Wii had achieved, that niether SONY or Microsft consoles could do. It got people who dont play games, who lack coordination and interest in them, to play them. This only happened a few Months ago. But I really never had so much fun playing a game as I have with my Wii in this manner.

Sure I love my uncharted, Mass effect 3 and HALO... im a hardcore gamer... but I was also a very lonely gamer. i would play, my girlfriend would be in the kitchen or in her room, her kid would be on a seperate TV playing a different game on his playststaion.

You know, current gen graphics are good enough for me. If anything Im just looking for better physics, AI and facial expressions. But right now Im enjoying Xenoblade. It has lower resolution graphics, but draw distances are huge and many enemies show up on screen,not only that, but they are also huge. The combat system is great and the overall design of the game is exceptional. No it doesnt have the graphics of other games. But so far Im 92 hours into the game, and its been able to keep me interested the entire time and I still havent finished it, I havent maxed out the characters, i havent finished all the side quests, I havent even been able to explore the entire map, because the world is so huge.

You know... If WiiU is at least twice as powerful then current gen consoles, Im happy. I bet a console twice as powerful can push graphics similar to Square Enixes Luminouse engine.. Maybe you have to sacrifice, particle effects, for facial expressions, but what impressed me about the demo, was the more realistic facial expressions and animations of the characters. Im ok without certain graphical bells and whistles, like particle effects or self shadowing.

I admire developers who seek to find a interesting and compelling visual style, much like in games like, xenoblade, Journey, minecraft, fortnite, Limbo, Legend of Zelda Wind Waker, Donkey Kong Returns, etc... You know graphics are important, but they arent everything and I think if a console is at least twice as powerful as current gen consoles, thats good enough to push graphics a step up.

I feel console gaming has achieved one thing. And its to further isolate people from each other. And my money is on the WiiU, when it comes out. Cause Nintendo has one thing going for them you will never see on another console... Its great IP... I can play Mario Kart alone or with my entire family. However I cant play gran turismo or forza motersport with my girlfriend. Im ok with that. Im ok with gran turismo. I have high expectations for little big planet kart racing. But even a game like little big planet doesnt need cutting edge graphics. the concept of create, play, share is great.

And another thing the Wii did right was the motion control system. Its more intuitive for people who dont play games. cause I handed the PS3 controller to my girlfriend and she had no idea what to do, but the Wii mote, she got it easily. However I dont think motion control input works for harcore games. But thats ok now cause the WiiU gamepad has a standard set of buttons+the pro controller... + all wii controllers work with the system. The WiiU does not get rid of what made the Wii so succesful.

And Im not done with my Wii yet... I already reserved my copy of The Last Story in North America... so yeah, Im gonna be busy playing that too, because Xenoblade has been the best RPG I have played since Mass Effect, Zelda or any final fantasy.

So Im not worried of the WiiU graphical potential, at all... just worried about the price. I usually buy all consoles, even the hand held ones... but i skipped on the VITA and have no intention of buying it and it will need a huge price drop for me to even consider it. SONY really failed miserably with that one. They make the same mistake over and over again. What is the point of selling hardware at a loss? Im hoping they can dumb down the specs of there new consoles, and offset that with features and good software... cause Nintendo has the software.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 18th July 2012 2:23pm

Posted:2 years ago

#20

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
^And that's our top post.

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

440 146 0.3
This is a great post. It really does touch on some awesome points that I wholeheartedly agree on. I always called Wii an Xmas console, but thats mainly because thats the only time I got enough people around that didn't play games to have a bash on it. It seems to me that WiiU may be a side runner to the 720/PS4.. sort of the replacement to the board game system whereas the other consoles are more a solo thing.

On the same point though. Kinect could have really stole the show, but It simply doesn't have the games for it. Nintendo's first party games really have to be commended for this.

Posted:2 years ago

#22

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