News Article

Rumour: Cell Chip Could Power Wii Successor

Posted by James Newton

IBM still in the console game

The Wii is powered by IBM's custom "Broadway" CPU along with ATI's "Hollywood" GPU, but what of the inevitable Wii successor – what silicon army might power its architecture? MCV has suggested it could be IBM's mighty Cell processor.

Chief technical officer of IBM's systems and technology group Jai Menon has said:

I think you'll see [Cell] integrated into our future Power road map. That's the way to think about it as opposed to a separate line – it'll just get integrated into the next line of things that we do. We’re working with all of the game folks to provide our capabilities into those next-generation machines.

There's no firm link between the Wii successor and the Cell so this most definitely falls under the "rumour and speculation" part of the gaming news spectrum, IBM has committed to the Cell processor and its involvement in the development of future consoles. We know that Nintendo wants the Wii 2 to be surprising – the inclusion of a chip capable of powering a PlayStation 3 would certainly fit the bill.

Remember, though: rumour.


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User Comments (36)



Slapshot said:

I think this is very likely. Im sure Nintendo is looking at 2 more years until the next home console releases. By then the Cell will be even more affordable and the extreme difficulty to learn how to produce games on the Cell has already been broken with PS3.

Very possible in my opinion, but also in my opinion I think the Wii is done after this generation, I dont expect a Wii2.



King_Boo said:

so much news to expect from Nintendo, but probably a long wait for anything solid. I've got to go buy next year's calender so I can mark down E3.



JakobG said:

Seeing what major graphical improvements the 3DS gets, it would be likely.
Nintendo always sets gameplay over graphics, and it wouldn't be different here.
The Wii revolutionized the control over a game, and it's successor will stick closely to the original control scheme, with a few tweaks. After they've established satisfying gameplay to the control and found out how much and how little motion controls should be involved, they can focus on the visual experience of a game.
It's like in Zelda: Whereas Wind Waker was graphically not very challenging for the GC, but Twilight Princess picked up Wind Waker's engine and made it look amazing and complex.
I think you can even see a similar pattern in Nintendo's console.



Golgo said:

Nintendo thrift - ie. stinginess - when it comes to their tech is amazing. I wouldn't be surprised if they bought up a load of old PS3s in a few years' time and cracked them open for the chips - lol.



erv said:

I would love the next nintendo console to be of a level that doesn't set it apart negatively in the visuals and technicality department.

This wouldn't just mean huge graphics improvements, but also huge gameplay improvements - think monster hunter tri times 4, with huge areas you could travel across.

I hope nintendo doesn't pull a "just enough to bear 5 years" this time.



armoredghor said:

The thing of it is, they don't need to just reach the power of this generation but go all the way and be strong even for 7 years from now(considering a release in 2 years). I think the wii still has potential as a concept; most people don't like to go back to regular gaming after they've used motion control.



LuWiiGi said:

Will there even be a "Wii 2" or will Nintendo go down a different route (holograms, headsets, mind control)?



JebbyDeringer said:

I want to see Mario but with Gears of Wars graphics. Lot's of shadows and really brown textures! =p



Epic said:

The wii succesor with this chip could have the same size as 2DSXL.



ArmoredGoomba said:

I think they should at least do something better a little better than the PS3. The PS3 is a 4 year old system. Will probably be 6+ years old when the Wii's successor comes out.



Capt_N said:

I think N should not look @ their next gen system as necessarily needing to have hardware that can be a competitor, or @ the other extreme end of the spectrum, following to the beat of it's own drum. Imo, N should make it's next gen hardware very powerful, but not make it powerful only for the purpose of being a competitor. I believe that if, N does such a thing, their next system will become a competitor anyway.

No gimmicks should be used either. It divides gamers into factions, & self-titled groups. & next gen, if N has an expansion/extension port, &/or something similar on it's next system, hopefully unlike the Nes/SNes/N64 hardware, it will be put to good use.



DrCruse said:

I hope the Wii 2 harnesses the awesome power of floppy disks.

No I'm not kidding.

Floppy disks are the only thing the Wii 2 can have that can convince me to buy it.



Capt_N said:

^ Actually, that idea has merit. Akin to a floppy disk, or flash drive holding info/file(s) that can help your pc boot, should the boot info be damaged/lost/destroyed by malware/virus/etc., a disk could help restore the system firmware, or @ least copy the boot loader into ram enough to start the system, & repair it.

Edit: But of course, it'd be more profitable for N to have us send our consoles into them for servicing.



ToastyYogurt said:

@JesusSaves: Do you REALLY want to have games span over 1,000 floppy disks that you would have to change every 5 minutes of game play? Floppy disks might have been great at one time, but the fact that they can only store a crumb of information compared to flash drives makes them obsolete.



King_Boo said:

I wouldn't mind them going to a card format, like the DS. A blue ray gets up to 50 gigs or so, an SD gets up to 64. In two years, they should be cheap. at least they'd be lighter and less incline to damage



mjc0961 said:

I read "Cell Chip Could Power Wii Successor". Do I win the cupie doll?

Anyway I hope they can make Wii 2 beefy in terms of hardware but still keep it from just being another entry in the "my penis is bigger than your penis" competition of powerful hardware. Let's face it, people want HD graphics these days, and even if they didn't, more power means more ability to do things in a game.

Example, look at Dead Rising on the 360. Then look at it on the Wii. Then back at the 360. The Wii version had so few zombies that you can probably go through the whole game without ever being bitten or grabbed. Why? Not powerful enough to show as many zombies at once.



Skotski said:

"Example, look at Dead Rising on the 360. Then look at it on the Wii. Then back at the 360. The Wii version had so few zombies that you can probably go through the whole game without ever being bitten or grabbed. Why? Not powerful enough to show as many zombies at once."

...honestly, that seemed like BS. Everyone knows that the Wii version wasn't just ported down, it was thrashed down.
It honestly felt like Dead Rising's team thought the Wii was weaker than the PS2 (it's slightly more powerful than the GC, and the GC was actually more powerful than the PS2... even getting close to being as powerful as the Xbox)... their attempt on Dead Rising Wii was abhorrent!
The Wii could have easily added tons more zombies, maybe not as much as the 360's but enough so that wouldn't be a joke!

Hell, all they had to do was lessen the graphics a bit, add polish to make it okay-to-look-at, dumb down a few AIs (which shouldn't be too noticeable, considering they are zombies...), add minimal motion support, reduce the number of items but add special ones, and voila! Now they've got enough space to keep the number of zombies interesting! And the game would still be great!

But no... they cut down the graphics, barely tried to polish it, added wonky motion controls with ugly "swing" images, and just removed a bunch of zombies! Capcom's Dead Rising team did a piss-poor job on the Wii port! They should honestly be ashamed.



Link-Hero said:


You know, the largest Floppy Disk you can get it as far as I know is 240MB. The average Wii game is about 1-2GB. 1GB is 1024MB, which means you need about 5 Floppy Disks to hold just one game, or 9 Floppy Disks for a 2GB game. One of the largest games for the Wii is Super Smash Bros Brawl, which is about 6GB. If you add that up, you’ll need 26 Floppy Disks just to hold the game!

They also have other problems with them like they are also very vulnerable to high and low temperatures, even dust can affect them. The disks inside also will eventually stop working thanks to age and the disks being scratched.

They are just out of date and next to no one use them anymore unless you have old programs and games that use them. I’m glad they are disappearing. Not even close to being as reliable as CD/DVDs.



Maggots said:

I think the next console should be 4 nvidia gtx 295's duct taped to a disc drive... That would have 880 GB/sec bandwidth ... !!



DrCruse said:

Optical disks are much less reliable. For one, they are much, much easier to scratch. I have had more CDs fail on me than floppies. In fact, I have NEVER had a floppy fail on me.

And yes, I would love to see the Wii2 use floppy disks. I just like floppy disks more. I really hate optical disks because they break so easily

And I wouldn't be surprised if it was possible to reformat flash drives to work within the same case as floppies. Sure, you couldn't use a floppy drive to read them, but it would still be nice.



RonF said:

The title is somewhat misleading. It is obvious that, after spending so much money developing Cell that IBM will integrate its technology in their products. As such, the commentary has some punch power but is trivial, at best.



Link-Hero said:


I personally never had any problems with Optical Disks. I always take care of everything I own the best I possibly can. I never really used Floppy Disks, but I hear from other people that said stuff like they can break easily and stop working.

Anyways, Floppy Disks being better or worse than Optical in reliability doesn't exactly matter, it's the storage size differences between each one that’s the main issue. Floppies are no bigger than 240MB and there is nothing on the horizon that shows that the size will increase. You can't find any newer programs or games that use it on any platform. No company will ever use Floppy Disks as the main storage unit again because of all that. They are dying out and have been for a long time. You need to stop being delusional and understand that.

Also, you shouldn’t buy a platform because of what it uses for a storage unit; you should buy it for the games. If you don't see anything you are interested in, then don't buy it, but if you do, then go buy it.



Maggots said:

the PS4 will have a 32 core processor called the mega cell... but only 15 of the 32 cores will be usable... and it will be backwards compatible with 2 PS3 games... sports champions, and no that's it... retail price will be $1299... but it will cost $3600 to make...



DrCruse said:

Seeing that you never used floppy disks, you don't really have a place to judge whether or not they are reliable. Sure, dust and magnetism will destroy floppy disks over time, but if don't intentionally open a floppy up or use a magnet on it, it will last a long time. Optical disks are VERY thin and half of one is exposed to the lightest of scratches.

And it's really not your choice to decide whether or not I would buy the Wii 2 based on it's format. You don't get to say "Well you can't do that! I hate floppy disks!" Because it's my money and my preferences.



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

Floppy disks vs. CDs. Really? T_T

Why would Nintendo use technology that has been obsolete for at least 10-12 years already for a future successor of the Wii? That would be like saying the PS3's successor would have a LP player to play records with video games ingrained in its grooves.



Link-Hero said:


You seem to be ignoring the fact on what I've said about Floppy Disk's storage space being way too small for today’s use. That alone makes it obsolete and you should not expect Nintendo or anyone else with a brain to include it into their current products.

Simple scratches won’t really affect the laser from reading the Optical Disk unless it’s around the area where it starts reading the disk and/or the scratches are deep. From what you said, you don’t seem to take care of your CD/DVDs very well. You also make it sound like they are made out of cheap and fragile glass. Optical Disks are nowhere even close to that, though, if not careful, then you can get into some problems. Some of the stuff you can do is keep the side where the Disk Drive reads the disk away from any hard and rough surfaces, don’t put your fingers on it, and keep it in a safe environment. It’s not that hard to do, well, at least for me.

Not buying a video game console because it doesn't use Floppy Disks is just the most stupid and idiotic thing I've ever heard.

Also, I don't hate Floppy Disks, I just don't see the reason why anything made nowadays should still support them BECAUSE IT'S OBSOLETE like I've been saying this whole time.



moosa said:

I can't believe you guys took the floppy disc thing seriously.

We know that Nintendo wants the Wii 2 to be surprising – the inclusion of a chip capable of powering a PlayStation 3 would certainly fit the bill.

I think it would be pretty unfortunate if the successor to the Wii couldn't top a system that launched at the same time as the Wii in horsepower.

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