News Article

Rumour: Wii U is 50% More Powerful Than PlayStation 3

Posted by James Newton

The chips are up

Wii U's IBM Power processor is capable of some pretty good-looking visuals, with full 1080p output, but how powerful is the console overall? We don't know for sure, but one analyst thinks the machine will knock Sony's PlayStation 3 into a cocked hat.

Arvind Bhatia, from firm Sterne Agee, told Industry Gamers:

Some of the developers we spoke to indicated to us that the console will have 50% more processing power compared to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. This is yet to be confirmed by Nintendo.

We already know the machine will at least match Xbox 360 and PS3's graphical output, but it would take some serious horsepower to outstrip them by 50%.

How powerful do you think the Wii U will be? How powerful does it need to be, and will it make any difference to your purchasing decision? Let us know.


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User Comments (66)



KrazyBean said:

Let's see how powerful the PS4 will be...then we can ring the bell to start the match.

Nintendo hasn't sold me on the Wii U yet...seriously, if its that powerful it'll explode! The PS3 has enough trouble outputting those graphics without overheating and the Wii U is supposed to be 50% stronger??

Well, Nintendo, put a good fan in it then.



Rapadash6 said:

I find it so surprising how there are people out there up in arms because this new system isn't using the most cutting edge graphics technology. Historically, this rarely had any baring on a systems success. Just look at Wii for example.
Maybe it's because Wii is my current system of choice (with PS3 close behind) this generation, but I'm thrilled that Nintendo is coming out with a new system that can compete with HD systems out right now. Even if it's only marginally better than the PS3, this really should be enough to make people happy. The thought of playing a new Mario or Zelda in 1080p with all those nifty graphical effects is enough to validate this new system for me.
Of course I can understand the naysayers in the sense that, even though Nintendo can now get comparable ports of 360 and PS3 games, what's going to make them choose the WiiU version over versions on systems they already own? Although I find the new controller neat, I kind of get that same vibe I did when the Wii Remote was a new thing in that, while offering an experience no one else has, I don't know if it'll be enough to sway the tougher critics.
It's my hope that when Nintendo has actual software to show, along with 3rd Party exclusives that are high caliber enough, maybe then, those neck deep in the Sony and Microsoft pools will take the system seriously. As it seems now though, the days of a Nintendo console that truly appeals to everyone look as though they died with the SNES all those years ago.



zeeroid said:

I'm not one to nitpick about graphical horsepower. The most important thing is that it can output 1080p, which was always the Wii's greatest handicap. Differences beyond that will be more subtle in terms of visuals and I think both Sony and Microsoft know that. That's why they aren't in any rush to bring out new consoles. Whether Ninty will be able to convince me to buy multiplatform titles on the Wii U is one question, but I most definitely want to play Nintendo games in high-def with that new controller.



Dynetheous said:

i cant wait for skyward sword, the graphics looked good on the computer so i cant imagine them in person on a1080p tv:) but i hope that nintendo makes a good online system similar to xbox or ps3



Kid_A said:

I think it would be silly on Nintendo's part to put out a system that isn't more powerful than the PS3.



Crunc said:

I think that's good news, but I'm still not sold on the new controller, mainly because it would seem to bring the focus of the Wii U full circle to single-player per console experiences. Actually more then full circle. It's back to nothing before it. Even the Atari 2600 and even pong supported and promoted more then one player. Even if the Wii U supports multiple such controllers, they are going to be so expensive that almost no one will have more then one and so developers will not bother to develop local multiplayer games, aside from the one-off game that combines a new controller with Wii Remotes.



Burny said:

You know, I enjoy reading nintendolife, but this article isn't exactly down to earth guys. Knock Sony's PlayStation 3 into a cocked hat? Come on! I'm a Nintendo fan, but not even I am so blind: That's a minor improvement at best.

First off: I have no idea what "50% more processing power" means and neither have you. Do they refer to the GPU or the CPU? To both? Is those data reliable at all? I'd qualify it as a rumor at best with the bottom line: the console is a bit more powerful than the PS360.

In order to do a generation leap, you'd have to make a system that's in theory several times as strong as the PS360, as is any mid-range gaming PC today. Don't even dream the WiiU will be able to output today's average game in 1080p and run at 60fps if it's only such a minor improvement over the PS3.

The people spurting about how this should run games at 1080p should start to do a little math, now! How many times more pixels per frame does a console have to render with a 1920x1080 resolution (1080p) compared to a 1280x720 (720p) resolution? The anwer is: more than 4 times as many! 50% increase? That's not going to cut it. If we're lucky, ports of multiplatform games will run at 720p and a solid 30fps (maybe 60fps!) framerate, at best!

Now, if Nintendo can get a 720p Zelda running on it at 60fps, that's all I need. And that's what is realistically to be expected from the WiiU.



komicturtle said:

With that power, expect to pay a good price for it.

Not that I won't be willing to pay. Cuz I'll be saving my dinero for this



Megumi said:

Despite this, Nintendo will always be the weakest in the generation, lol.



James said:

@DSman59 Both 360 and PS3 handle 1080p in select games — Virtua Tennis 3 runs in native 1080p, for example. It's rare, but it does happen. Anyway, 720p would still be a huge improvement over 480p!



Robo-goose said:

I was expecting the Wii U to be .5%-1% more powerful than the Pee-eS-Triple, so this is pretty big news. I just hope that Nintendo doesn't think that we only want good graphics in our gam-OH WAIT!!
Check out that fancy new controller! Whoa, did you see the way they used that sucker? That was cool!
Wait, they mentioned graphics in the press conference? I didn't even notice! They were completely focused on the way their new controller would change gameplay for the better!

I'm really glad to see that Nintendo is still putting gameplay on the forefront.
I thought they would just improve the graphics of the Wii and only use the classic controller pro (or something like that) for their next console.
I'm glad to be wrong!



Token_Girl said:

The article really doesn't mean much. There are also ways to use the processing power in ways other than pure graphical improvement. I'm thinking we may see 1080p or 60 fps but rarely both.

That being said, I can't tell the difference between 60 and 30 fps. I can barely see the difference between 1080p and 720p, except on the largest and highest quality sets. The idea of a Mario Galaxy or Skyward Sword or Metroid Prime type game but larger, with smarter AI, true co-op in a 3D title (maybe even online - though to be honest, that's not super important to me either, I just think Ninty needs to get with the times) is what excites me about this system.



Ristar42 said:

Wow - so how many 'bits' is that

Who has the most powerful console doesnt matter to me, its about the games. It will be interesting to see what Nintendo can do with their own games on Wii U.

It may yet be the first 'HD graphics' console I buy (not counting the Megadrive!).



NintyMan said:

While this report does sound very promising, we should wait on Nintendo's official word before celebrating. Still, having it on par with the other two consoles is good enough, but we can always dream for more. It's too bad that even if Wii U turned out to be 50% more powerful than the PS3 and had several dark games, the fanboys would still be grasping straws and hit on it for its name. But, who really cares about those types anyway when the game library will still turn out to be amazing?



melechofsin said:

this should be an awesome console. the definite one for a few years with no excuses for any third parties - it's the Nintendo Beast.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Token_Girl Generally there really isn't a difference between 60 and 30 FPS, seeing as the majority of human eyes only go up to 30FPS for pure visuals. The main distinctions occur when other things are done such as adding 3D or doing slow motion as those additions change the regular appearance of motion.



Sir_Deadly said:

@18 did u not see when adam sessler and kevin perrara were talkin with reggie about the Wii U. The specifically asked him if it was running or trying to accomplish 1080p and reggie response was "It IS running 1080p". And he actually work at nintendo not jus some online source.



default12345 said:

I will be happy if Nintendo announces that the Wii U is identical to the PS3 in terms of processing power. Anything else is a bonus.

I think I'm going to explode when I see Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pikmin and whatever else in HD for the first time.



Bassman_Q said:

@11- Aye, so true.

I also think that it would be incredibly stupid on Nintendo's part if the Wii U wasn't better than the PS360 in terms of processing capabilities. I don't know how great the PS4/XB720's processing power will be, but Nintendo will have to do much better than current next-gen consoles to even compete.



thesignpainter said:

we've reached the top of the mountain. we've dug up all the gold. we've caught all the fish in the sea. and graphics have made a tower for themselves and are about to touch the moon.



wiiuhellyeah said:

specs aint final and the source for this info was a analyst and via industry gamer a known anti nintendo site TON OF SALT REQUIRED...

right power is in whatson with EDRAM level 3 catch and looks set to be the bases of wiiu cpu


ubisoft are describing a tri core BROADWAY CPU they say its wii API coding but with added multi core code support and a massive clock speed improvement sounds like a broadway 2 3x core to me no mention of threads etc AKA power 7



MeloMan said:

It's not how comparable it is to the PS3 or Xbox360, but how well will it fare once the PS4 and Xbox720 come out. Hopefully its got some legs.



triforceofcourage said:

Awesome. As long as we don't have to deal with overheating. Power is nice, but the selling point for me is fun games/fun ways to play games.



JettiBlue said:

It sounds more than I expected, hell yea let it be true!

But then, not sure if anyone can really compare Wii U at this stage, it's still in development and studios havent had the chance to really get into the architecture of it and milk it out.

Another factor is that the streaming will take some of the power away.

We'll see how it will turn out, I do have a feeling though that Nintendo wont go down the route again like with the Wii and release a console at already outdated level (Xbox360 was out a year earlier and by far surpassed Wii's capabilities). I just want Wii U to hold it's legs longer once PS4 and Xbox720 are out, or the 3rd party support will dwindle again.




Day one for me. Not THAT interested in HOW powerful it is just as long it fulfills a minimum requirement.The next PSBOX consoles will be more powerful anyway....the software and wide variety of audience on this console ought to trounce the competition.



Burny said:

Reggie has stated that "it is" 1080p and 60fps, great! So is my five years old Laptop - heck, even my netbook - when I hook it up to my TFT - if it only runs Word in Windows XP. What he said can really mean anything and nothing.

For instance: Digital Foundry has had a look at the real time graphics demos Nintendo showed at E3 and had concerns about framerate and suspected that they were running in 720p:

Yeah, it's early unoptimized code and all and it certainly looks great - but it isn't exactly miraculous or way beyond anything that has been seen. And these 50% more powerful rumors certainly reinforce that impression, because it's just not a big leap, as great as it is for a Nintendo machine.



Molotov said:

Meh, Thats Nothing
The Wii Is (Only) 50% More Powerful Than The PS2/XBOX And Is One Generation After Them



Marvelousmoo said:

It'd take a lot of power to send HD video to the controller, so this doesn't surprise me. Now we shall see about the price...



Skotski said:

Let's put it this way: Crysis is considered the most graphical-powerhouse in gaming in recent years.
Current console hardware cannot run it.
But PC CAN run it, and the newest PCs can run it without a problem.
The Wii U is said to be able to run it just fine.

Meaning: Even though games can be EVEN PRETTIER than Crysis (graphically speaking) on the PC, no game has surpassed it.

Think about that: If the Wii U pushed it's graphical capabilities to CURRENT PC hardware, IT WOULDN'T MATTER - because no game developer would produce games beyond Crysis as of yet. If anything: This is ensuring the Wii U is affordable, and not taking anything away from the software capabilities.



Burny said:

"The Wii U is said to be able to run it just fine."

Where did you get this nugget from? Crytek is porting their middleware to the WiiU - meaning: Cryengine 3, which is also running on the PS360.

Nobody ever claimed the WiiU would run Crysis 1.

You better stop daydreaming about how the WiiU is anywhere near a modern gaming PC right now. It will only prevent you from having outlandish expectations which will inevitably lead to disappointment.

If you want to see what kind of power a modern PC GPU consumes under load (=gaming), have a look:

That is probably more than three times as much as the complete WiiU will consume (going by the tiny case) and that's for the PC GPU alone.



Capt_N said:

1 thing N has on their side, if they do it right: Most pcs have to have in memory os, & other running code. Consoles generally don't have to have that overhead. So, if the WiiU is programmed correctly, none of it's resources will be wastefully used.



Edwrd said:

You don't even need a TV to play this thing! Can the other 2 do this?? Noooo ... But is it "powerful enough" to remove region locking? ... no ...



Ryon said:

I feel if the Wii U can match up to the PS3, then its golden, if it can surpass the PS3 its a must have no question asked.

give or take the xbox has better anti alias (i love my ps3's jaggies) i hope the Wii can outshow both.



phoenix1818 said:

That's definitely good to know. It would be nice to see a side-by-side comparison of some games next year at E3.



JimLad said:

Power is good, but not at the expense of affordability.
If they don't find a good balance Wii U will crash and burn.



RogueBologna said:

The thing is, in 2013-2014 ps4/xbox 720 will come out, and will be much, much more powerful. So Nintendo will be completely out of the loop again with 3rd-party games. So I don't know about the WiiU. It's if i value Nintendo gamex or 3rd-party more. I might end up getting a ps4 instead.



Henmii said:

50% more sounds like a lot. But might it be enough? I fear not, because in a few years there will be a PS4 and xbox720 and those will show the wii u all the corners of the room (graphics wise)!



rjejr said:

Power doesn't really matter, it's the programing. The PS3 is supposed to be more powerful than the Xbox360 but several games have come out that looked and played better on the 360. If the WiiU is more powerful but only gets ports of games from the other 2 systems those games will not be as good on the WiiU. By the time the game developers start making games for the WiiU from the ground up rather than just ports SONY and Microsoft will have their new systems out.

I'm still glad the WiiU is coming out and is "more powerful" in some regard but I'm not expecting games to look or play any better. Differently yes, but not better.



lex0plex said:

@ Rapadash6

Good points, but I think it will be easier to make ports for WiiU than the Wii because one of the the main problems with the Wiimote is that it didn't have enough buttons. The WiiU controller has all the necessary buttons plus a touch screen that can be used for countless gameplay improving features. That, with the HD graphics, is what will make 3rd party developers WANT to release games on the WiiU.



JustanotherGamer said:

If Nintendo could at least aspire to make the Wii U at least as 2X as powerful as Playstation 3/Xbox 360. Not just by 50% more. Sony and Microsoft will eventually release their successor consoles. When they do Nintendo Wii U will look and be outdated. Thus 3rd party support will die off and suffer. So Nintendo has about 1year to 18months head start in the 8th Generation. But it may not be enough to keep 3rd party developers around for long.



Beastinvader said:

First off nintendo is behind time, releasing an 1080p HD Console with 2 other consoles out there which released more than 5 years ago. And with rumours about the PS4 and Xbox 720. Secondly about the 3DS, I mean come on? Sony could get 3D games out on the Vita even if it needs glasses, at least you get better graphics and a more wide angle view.
Thirdly, Sony said themselves that they are going to experiment with the PS Vita/Ps3 to use it in the same way as the Wii U. Really, even if they are copying Nintendo they still have a beter console.
P.S. Nintendo has some neat ideas and I'm not against them, just be a little more realistic about what the other consoles can do or will do with just a few updates.

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