News Article

Rumour: Wii U "Twice as Powerful as Xbox 360"

Posted by James Newton

Anonymous source speaks up

An anonymous developer speaking to Develop has claimed Wii U has twice the power of Microsoft's Xbox 360.

The source said Nintendo's next console boasts twice the processing and graphical output of Microsoft's 6-year old console. Of course there are no statistics to back this up, but if true, it would represent an enormous leap over the Wii's current power.

That said, some developers are apparently displeased with the console's power, and have had to scale back some of their plans, in a prime example of the industry term "can't please everyone".

[via develop-online.net]

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User Comments (94)

Expa0

#1

Expa0 said:

And apparently Xbox 720 is going to be six times as powerful as PS3. Hmm...

Cia

#3

Cia said:

Are some of the developers displeased because Wii-U lacks power, or because it's too powerful?

misswliu81

#7

misswliu81 said:

never mind how powerful this console is- that is the least of my concerns. i'm more interested in the 3rd party support and games the wii U will receive and hopefully it will be better quality than most of the shovelware on the wii.

Noire

#9

Noire said:

I have three Xbox 360's taped together so I'm gonna hold out on picking up the Wii U for a while...

accc

#12

accc said:

A system only twice as powerful as Xbox 360 couldn't have run that Zelda demo in a million years.

Squashie

#13

Squashie said:

A powerful new home console would be great, but as Nintendo have always shown it's all about the games!!!

Shworange

#16

Shworange said:

It will be interesting to see what third parties do when all new systems are out. If all systems have wildly varying power across the board, it may be hard for them not to simply release individual projects for certain systems exclusively.

Michael_Caboose

#17

Michael_Caboose said:

I'm with squashiejoshie, Ninty are about the games, the power is to bring in some of their rivals sheep and ramp up some revenue to keep Ninty in the game (no pun intendo'd)

SparkOfSpirit

#19

SparkOfSpirit said:

"That said, some developers are apparently displeased with the console's power, have had to scale back some of their plans"

No worries, now they can go bankrupt in twice the time their original plans would have lead them! If anything, this should make them happy, HD devs still don't get that the big budget game is what is killing them.

C-195

#21

C-195 said:

Well If the 720 really is only 20% more powerful than the wii u, then I call lies!

The wii u's real capabilities are probably far more than a six year old, outdated chip.

steamhare

#22

steamhare said:

That's right everyone, the wii U runs hot with its MASSIVE power supply. It needs this much power because it has so much more memory and processor speed, even with future tech, it needs twice as much power as the 360.

Nintendoftw

#25

Nintendoftw said:

I'm sorry guys but aren't you tired of being a gen behind in EACH console release? Doesn't that bug you JUST A LITTLE? I mean seriously the Wii couldn't even run the most simplistic physics engines... Do you know how pathetic that is? If Nintendo flops this gen with the Wii U and makes it barely a step up from last gen then they have completely lost me as a fan...

grimbldoo

#26

grimbldoo said:

@svenlives, true, but would appreciate smooth and high quality graphics just the same, also, games will be able to have a lot more content and smoother mechanics.

Nintendoftw

#27

Nintendoftw said:

If any of you actually had a Wii AND PS3 then you would actually see the difference between last and current gen. My Wii has been completely dusty ever since I got my PS3.

Kagamine

#28

Kagamine said:

so wait a minute. the xbox 720 is supposedly 6 times as powerful as current gen, and only 20% more powerful than wiiU, but wiiU is only twice the power? WTF?

motang

#29

motang said:

Twice as powerful isn't bad, but the 360 is pretty old tech, and in the term then twice as powerful is pretty lame.

lex0plex

#30

lex0plex said:

My guess is that although it will be powerful and pretty, it will be less powerful than xbox720 and ps4. And as usual people will focus on that instead of the positive aspects of the system.

Ren

#31

Ren said:

these number comparisons are ridiculous. "twice", "6 times" computer specs don't work like that. there is processor speed, ram, video processing, control systems, storage space size, the type of media. There is not one simple universal gauge for this kind of comparison. It's silly to try to compare apples and oranges that none of us have ever seen.

svenlives

#32

svenlives said:

@grimbldoo I see your point but Mario HD should suffice. Does the mario game have to be so big that it takes you 25 minutes to walk from 1 side of the board to the other? The big issue for the WiiU for me is that parents typically buy nintendo products for their kids (I am not saying that nintendo is a kiddy console) I am saying that parents trust the content from nintendo more than the other options. I do not see parents shelling out over $250 for a console with a controller that is probably not very durable in a 9 year olds hands.

Bigdog

#35

Bigdog said:

If you think about it, this makes sense. Yes, I would love a Nintendo system that is the industry leader in power. But above all, I prefer a Nintendo system that is sustainable and won't die. And with that remote tech, it would be too expensive to even TRY to be a leader in power. So: you have an HD system that can output higher than current GEN systems. It has a selling point no one else has (remote) and at an affordable price. (at this power, somewhere between 250-399). If you are Nintendo, you just have to make sure you stay on the same ballpark so that you can get that AAA multiplatform title now and then. Make it reasonably affordable since you can't add that expensive remote AND be a power leader. Will sell like cupcakes anyways, if the 1st party is there.

Then you look at it from Microsoft's point of view: they have the high def thing now, so they need to differentiate themselves in power. Kinect, while nice, isn't going to be the next killer thing. Even a Kinect 2.0 won't be that WOW factory that Wiiu's controller will be. They CAN'T release a console of the same power range of the WiiU, that would be suicide. The trade off is cost. (Say, 350-500 range.) They are going to get the fans that buy it for Halo-type games, in "ultra-def" at whatever the cost. At that point, will sell like cupcakes.

Finally, you look at Sony. That's where I think you'll find the trouble. If you are a developer in the next few years and you want your game to be about that next HD level, you go Microsoft. Simple as that. That's what they are there for. If you have a killer concept to make use of the WiiU controller you go Nintendo. If your game doesn't NEED that next level HD or if you want to maximize exposure you are going to go multi-platform. You will have to account for the less powerful unit, the PS3. So, for the next 3 years what will differentiate Sony?

I think Sony is making a HUUUGEEE mistake if they let Microsoft get a big jump on them. Once perception changes that the Microsoft console is the power one, Sony is toast.

Linkstrikesback

#36

Linkstrikesback said:

It's always good when coming up to a new console launch, we get a bunch of numbers pulled out of someones rear end.

What does "twice as powerful" even mean?

SparkOfSpirit

#37

SparkOfSpirit said:

Either way, this gen is going to be close in power. Expect more of a PS2/Gamecube/Xbox power difference as opposed to a Wii/360/PS3 power difference.

I'm fairly certain all systems will get all games short of first party ones this time.

AVahne

#40

AVahne said:

Isn't this an old rumor from December? I've just read a new one about how the Wii U is much more powerful than was expected. Even Crytek said that they are VERY happy with the Wii U's power.

Bigdog

#41

Bigdog said:

BTW: The writer of this article further explains. That 2X is more like a floor. and based on older Dev Kits from December:

"We were aware that the "algebra" of both sources doesn't match.
A little history on this:
Develop has to cross-reference all unverified claims made to us before publishing articles, to avoid issuing inaccurate information.
We took these steps when revealing the Wii U pad uses a camera system: http://www.develop-online.net/news/37732/Develop-Source-Wii-2-pad-adds-camera-system
And we did so when explaining that Wii U can support two tablet controllers: http://www.develop-online.net/news/39077/Nintendo-working-on-Wii-U-support-for-two-tablets
And when we said Sony Studios were working on PlayStation 4 projects: http://www.develop-online.net/news/38916/Sony-studios-begin-PlayStation-4-projects
However, when we got the information about Wii U being "twice as powerful as Xbox 360" - in December last year - we were not able to verify the claim.
It was only when IGN's sources expressed that Wii U is far more powerful than the Xbox 360 that we were comfortable in publishing the story.
This was why IGN's sources are referenced in the article, because despite the "algebra" being out, both point towards the same thing.
We felt our readers in the development community would find this useful.
Hope that's cleared things up. If you have any other questions just ask.
Rob,"

kyuubikid213

#43

kyuubikid213 said:

If I get a job this year, my priority will be saving up for the Wii U, however, I know exactly what is going to happen. Fans of other systems will look at the Wii U and say the same thing they said when they saw the 3DS while thinking about the DS and the upcoming PSVita. "It's just a Wii with a new controller" or "PS4/Xbox 720 will be more powerful" and of course "Why would you want to play the same Zelda/Mario/Metroid game all over again?"

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe people will be able to have fun with their systems as opposed to bashing on everyone else's. I'm just speaking from past experience. Personally, I will be glad with whatever choice I make (Wii U) and I hope everyone else is.

Bigdog

#44

Bigdog said:

Here's the newer IGN article that references somethign closer to 5X for WiiU

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/01/24/xbox-720-will-be-six-times-as-powerful-as-current-gen

Again, like many are saying, that whole "how powerful" thing is even harder to describe. Processing speed? Graphical? But in any way, this bodes well.

But keep in mind: Even if the WiiU had the EXACT specs of the next xbox it would be "weaker" in something. Why? To account for the processing related to that remote. The remote itself only streams. The console does all the processing.

AVahne

#45

AVahne said:

Also, what's with this weird mentality that Nintendo is ALWAYS far behind in power? Up until the current gen (which will be last gen by the end of the year), graphics on the main consoles were pretty much very close (handhelds are another story). Competition was mostly centered on what games each console had. Now with this HD generation, some people start believing that what happened this gen in terms of tech has always happened.
Personally, in terms of power, I'm thinking next gen/current gen will be close, just like the good old days. Though, things will be different now. I doubt Sony will return to their pre-PS3 days where they had the weakest system, but the most third party support, nor do I think Nintendo will have low support this time around. Hopefully, we'll have something along the lines of the SNES days, with Sony finally becoming the new SEGA in terms of competing with Nintendo (except without the failing and dropping out of the race part). Microsoft, well I've always thought of them as the third wheel until the HD gen. Maybe a three way thing would actually work this time.
Makes things better for gamers all around.

Haywired

#47

Haywired said:

@Koto
Thank you, finally someone gets it. Because of the Wii, people now talk about Nintendo as if they're always far behind their rivals in terms of graphics/power (because they're not "graphics whores" like the others or something...) But the Wii is the only Nintendo home console that's been considerably less powerful than its rivals. When it comes to Nintendo home consoles and graphics/power, the Wii is the exception, not the rule.

AVahne

#48

AVahne said:

@ Haywired
I'm wondering, maybe people think this way because gaming has become so mainstream? An entertainment outlet once thought to be for only children and a tiny niche of teens and adults becoming so big in such a small amount of time would of course spawn quite a lot of misconceptions.

Haywired

#49

Haywired said:

@Koto
Well I think certain Nintendo fans very much like the idea of a Nintendo console being underpowered (because it gives Nintendo the status of plucky underdog and also suggests that they only have pure thoughts and wouldn't lower themselves to focusing on such shallow and superficial things as graphics and power) and have re-written history accordingly.

PatcherStation

#50

PatcherStation said:

The Wii U will probably be more powerful that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but as soon as the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 surface, the Wii U will fall into third place (power wise). But a report today stated that the Xbox 720 will be 6 times more powerful than the Xbox 360. There's been no reports comparing the Xbox 720 to the PlayStation 4, plus there's been very little reports on the PlayStation 4 anyway, none which included any spec talk.

BenAV

#51

BenAV said:

All Nintendo have to try to do is make the Wii U powerful enough to satisfy a majority of the third parties.
As long as they don't miss out on most of the best third party games like last time, then they will be in a pretty good position.
I'm already sold on the Wii U because Nintendo always has such a great range of quality first party games, and if they can get better third party support too then that's just a nice bonus.

ToneDeath

#52

ToneDeath said:

Nintendo's art direction in HD...to me this means the Wii U will have some of the best looking games, regardless of whether or not it's the most powerful console.

Bigdog

#54

Bigdog said:

@Buob,

Actually, no. The GameCube was not under powered. By a lot of measures, it was the most powerful. Specially in the way it could handle multiple threads without having to make multiple passes. (Again, it's why it's so difficult to measure "power": how do we define it? For example: A 1ghz processor able to handle 12 multiple thread is better than a 2ghz that handles 3. You'd have to make one pass with the former, and two with the latter to accomplish the same thing)

Haywired

#55

Haywired said:

@Buob
I don't see how the GameCube was underpowered. I believe it was more powerful than the PS2 wasn't it? In any case, all three consoles of that gen had more or less parity.

Buob

#57

Buob said:

@Bigdog and @Haywired Most developers overlooked the GameCube. This actually may have been the disc capacity, and I could be wrong. However, the graphical power of the GameCube is nowhere near that of the PS2. Don't get me wrong, I really like Nintendo and will fight to the death for them, but I can also understand that Nintendo hasn't had the best history of sales (GameCube sold only 21 million worldwide)

Buob

#58

Buob said:

I just realized that the above post is all over the place. I'm sorry if none of that really flows together.

Nilkad_Naquada

#59

Nilkad_Naquada said:

Ok, i'm just gonna lay all these rumors to rest. while its not technically confirmed, this info is from a trusted source who has never lied To me before.

If you add together the processing power of the Wii, Xbox 360, and ps3, you get around the processing power of the version of the wii u shown at ces, 6 months prior to release. the next xbox will be 6 times as powerful as the xbox 360, 20% More powerful than th wii u. sony has said they wont be making another system but it looks like they'll be going back on that.

Artist

#60

Artist said:

Had to make an account to say this, this is from last year and there are also more recent reports that the Xbox 720 is x2 as powerful as the Wii U meaning that the Wii U would be about x5 as powerful. Even with all these reports though it's best to wait til we get properly informed, like at E3.

Zork2

#61

Zork2 said:

The Wii U looks underpowered. The Xbox 360 was quite a beast in 2005, but Moore's law says processing power doubles every 18 months. 6 years later a comparable machine would be 16x faster than the Xbox 360. The Wii U is one eighth of that.

I expect the next Xbox and Playstation will be at least 15x faster than their current systems and come in 2013, because that type of gain is needed to significantly improve graphics. It's not clear yet whether that will sell, but Nintendo could be a generation behind again.

That being said, the Wii was profitable and had some good games. I like the controllers. The system is small and easy to accommodate. I use it for Netflix a lot. I hope for Nintendo's sake that the Wii wasn't just a one shot and there is a market for an improved version. I guess it will all hinge on software, as usual.

NINTENBOY

#62

NINTENBOY said:

As usual I'm not giving my hopes we'll just see at lunch who's telling the truth and who's full of complete and uter S#IT!!

Kirk

#63

Kirk said:

I expect both the Xbox 720, or whatever it will be called, and PS4 to be more powerful than the WiiU.

The only thing I need to know however is by how much, because if it's another huge gap, like it was from Wii to Xbox 360/PS3, then the WiiU is probably going to have problems getting third party developers to support it with their AAA titles once again.

That would not be good.

SparkOfSpirit

#64

SparkOfSpirit said:

The PS2 was the weakest system last gen. Yet it got the most games. The Wii's situation was much different than the PS2 for many reasons which prevented a similar situation.

I wouldn't expect the Wii-U to get left behind this time. Things are different.

zixs90

#66

zixs90 said:

I guess they could bring back their old motto
"Now you're playing with power"

SomeBitTripFan

#67

SomeBitTripFan said:

The Wii U has killer power. Those panoramic view demos require A LOT of power. it is creating a full world and is keeping up with each direction. I want to see a PS4 and Xbox 780 do that.

kdognumba1

#68

kdognumba1 said:

These "power" rumors are face palming bad. They don't add up at all.

edit

To add to this, who really cares how much power the new systems have? If power is that big of a deal, wouldn't we all be gaming on PC only?

Nintenderp

#69

Nintenderp said:

Ugh all this processing stuff between the new systems is confusing. Oh well, the only reason I'm getting a WiiU is for the amazing first party games.

AVahne

#70

AVahne said:

@Buob
Gamecube was the same as N64, overlooked because of the memory available for games and because of having to compete with Nintendo's own IPs. Remember, Sony barely had any games of their own that third parties would consider competition back then (and probably even now). Gamecube IS stronger than the PS2, just look at Resident Evil 4, the differences are pretty noticeable. Plus games that were ported over like Tales of Symphonia could barely be run, with framerate issues not found on the GCN versions.

AVahne

#71

AVahne said:

@Agent75
Nothing much on PS4, but Sony has said that they are not willing to go all out like they did with the PS3. Most likely, the PS4 will just be smaller leap than what people expect the 720 to be, and will cost Sony less in research and development (even if Sony decides to sell it at a higher price than the Wii U). I'm not going to say the PS4 will be weaker than the Wii U just as the PS1 was weaker than the N64 and the PS2 was weaker than the Gamecube, but I highly doubt that it'll be the graphical powerhouse that so many people wish it to be simply because they were so amazed by the PS3. If anything, it'll be about the same as the Wii U in power, or maybe just a tad more powerful. Just making my statements based on Sony's history and Sony's own words.

Chrono_Cross

#72

Chrono_Cross said:

Wii U is 6x more powerful as the 360. The 720 is 20% more powerful than the Wii U. If any of this is even true.

Get it now?

Wolfenstein83

#74

Wolfenstein83 said:

Well I think it is always a given that the next console will have more power under the hood than the previous one, but really, I want to see some games first.
Sony and Microsoft, I am sure their next consoles will be even more powerful, and will boast about that too, but why is that always the focus?
Not that I have anything against those companies, cause I like to play on all consoles, but you can have the greatest graphics in the universe, and the game could still end up being terrible.
I am not going to lie though, I can't wait to finally see a Nintedo console that has HD capability, but I am more concerned about the games, especially with regards to the new control scheme, and how the interaction turns out.

CaPPa

#75

CaPPa said:

@63
That doesn't apply to consoles because they don't use new tech. They have to use a balance of power and affordability; so it is down to reduction in prices of components rather than just getting cutting edge tech. The next Xbox is reported to be 6x more powerful than the 360, which is realistic because your 15x more powerful console would probably cost about $1000 and nobody wants to release a console at that price. $300 - $400 is the sweet spot and I think that is where the Wii U and 720 will hit.

@65
It has been said that the 720 is about 20% more powerful than the Wii U. That is a marginal difference really, like with the PS2/NGC/Xbox, which was hardly noticible most of the time. Because they are close in power it should mean that they get the same multiplatform games.

@74
The 720 is said to be 6x the 360, so so at 20% less the Wii U would actually be about 5x the 360. Not that those estimates mean much as we have no idea what it is they are comparing, there is more to a system than just the graphics card.

It is a bit difficult to compare consoles that don't have definite specs yet, plus it is generally PC components that we have been shown for comparisson, which can be misleading (as the PC version of the rumoured Wii U graphics card can be faster than the PC version of the rumored 720 one even though it is an older model). I'd expect more concrete info at E3 though.

Dodger

#76

Dodger said:

Does this mean anything until we know how powerful the next gen Xbox is compared to the 360? Wake me up at E3.

gyyrro

#77

gyyrro said:

I'm personally just hoping for a system with up to par graphics, good 3rd party support, and doesn't crash after 3-4 hours of gameplay. If nintendo does that, and trust me, that IS what their doing, I'm sold.

paulcmnt

#79

paulcmnt said:

Good job Nintendo! Too bad by the time the next generation comes, Wii U be considered a slow console.

Monkeh

#80

Monkeh said:

Exactly Paul, so not really a good job by Nintendo, since now they'll have the weakest console in the next generation as well.

3dbrains

#82

3dbrains said:

I am looking forward to WiiU. I never owned a 360 or a PS3 although I have borrowed friends' on occasion, so I am looking forward to a high def console that actually is REALLY high def.

I already have x4 wii remotes and x3 motion plus, a balance board and a guitar so I look forward to re-using them on WiiU. This was for me the clincher in either waiting for wiiu or selling the wii and getting a 360.

Untill then I am looking forward to play resident evil and metal gear on my shiny new white 3DS (will match my future wiiU)

JimLad

#83

JimLad said:

That's more than enough power.
MS and Sony might exceed it, but for what? A couple more generic first person shooters and racing sims.
The retail market has already become stagnant in the persuit of higher graphics and higher development budgets. If it gets any worse there'll just be three or four big time publishers left, cramming the same tripe down our throats.
Downloadables are the future, independent developers creating fresh new ideas because they can. WiiU should be more focused on winning them over than the multi billion dollar behemoths.

NintyMan

#84

NintyMan said:

Twice as powerful might not sound much when considering the 360's six year old technology, but it'll still be a huge improvement over the current Wii. The only question would be if 3rd parties are faithful to put their games on the Wii U, but I think they should be smart enough to realize how the controller can really make for interesting gaming.

Randomname19

#85

Randomname19 said:

I don't care wich one is more powerful,just give me good games,that's the major factor that made me stuck with Nintendo.

eviLaTtenDant

#86

eviLaTtenDant said:

I'll stick to stubbornly assuming:
Xbox 720 = Xbox 360 * 2
PS4 = PS3 * 4/3
WiiU = Wii + Unlimited ;)

@JimLad(86.): I also hope we'll get a lot of games that feel unique and original.

PinkSpider

#88

PinkSpider said:

@JimLad I completely agree I am sick of the same recycled fps garbage time and time again. Nintendo is the way forward and who gives a f**k if there console will be less powerful than the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It's gonna be HD so it's going to look lush and honestly how much better can graphics get I want games to look like games when they start looking like real life I am not gonna be interested.

Edit. Just read an article that says Xbox 720 will not play used games which if I'm reading correctly means that you will not be able to buy second hand games. Well I definitely know where my future console prioritys lie

Yanchamaru

#89

Yanchamaru said:

The cost of making these next gen games is going to skyrocket, forcing a few companies into extinction. I used to care about pretty graphics but many of my favorite developers/publishers faded into dust because of the financial demands of new technology.

brandonbwii

#90

brandonbwii said:

Has anyone made the "it's just two 360s duct taped together" line yet. Classic troll bate. :D

DanteSolablood

#91

DanteSolablood said:

The main reason may developers would have been annoyed to find out that the Wii U is much more powerful than they originally expected is because the more powerful the console, the more detailed the graphics are... the more man-power and expense it takes to make the games. If you imagine that it can take a huge team of people almost 2 years to make something like God of War 3 on the PS2, imagine something that will need 6 times the work?!

Plus I've had a PS3 & a 360... I've never had as much fun with them as I had with my Nintendo DS. Graphics power is nothing without the fundamentals of gameplay behind them, which is something Nintendo is yet to forget.

SteveW

#92

SteveW said:

Everyone assumes that Nintendo has to be less powerful but the NES was more powerful than the Master system, the SNES was more powerful than the Genesis, the N64 was more powerful than the Playstation, the Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2 but yet because of the Wii everyone assumes they will never be back on top when it comes to power. At least the Wii didn't overheat...

DanteSolablood

#93

DanteSolablood said:

@SteveW You have a good point, a lot of people forget that the Gamecube could out-muscle the Playstation 2 when it came to graphics due to it's much larger assigned memory and built in visual shortcuts. All in all it was more comparable to the original Xbox. The problem is that a lot of people are lazy and will jump onto the latest stereotypes. For example, the Gamecube and Wii have been home to a lot of games aimed for older players such as Mad World, Resi 4 (which started off as a GC exclusive), Manhunt, Phantasy Star Online, yet it gets the moniker "for kids" purely out of ignorance.

Given that, it IS very hard to launch first & stay the most powerful console... what we're really going to see is whether Sony & Microsoft DARE to make their consoles much more powerful. If MS really do make their next Xbox 6 times as powerful as the 360, how much will they have to charge for games? £70 ($1,000,000)?

Samholy

#94

Samholy said:

i dont want nintendo going into the power war going on with sony and microsoft :-(

nintendo brings masterpiece games, with or without power.
BUT i just hope they wont go TOO low like they did with the Wii. Anyway, nintendo mostly always end up getting their new ocnsoles before everyone, making them look like they lag behind in term of power. the VITA came almost a year after (dont know the exact time), so of course it has more power. but nintendo now has the sucurity of excellent tiles (kid icarus is my new love)

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