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Gearbox: "Wii U is a Powerful, Powerful Machine"

Posted by James Newton

Top gear

Gearbox Software, the team behind Aliens: Colonial Marines on Wii U, has been a vocal supporter of the machine so far. Comments from chief creative officer Brian Martell sit at the top of our Wii U power thermometer and Randy Pitchford said the Wii U's A:CM will be the best-looking version. Now we can add senior producer Brian Burleson's voice to that chorus, too.

Burleson told it was "pretty easy" to get the game up and running on the new machine, saying:

The Wii U is a powerful, powerful machine and it can do a lot of cool new things. And so the game itself, moving it over to work on the Wii U was not much of a chore.

Like every developer, Burleson is under a strict non-disclosure agreement with Nintendo prohibiting him from discussing technical specifications, but he did say A:CM on Wii U will be "better" because of "more modern tech". Burleson wouldn't elaborate, but it's worth remembering that for all their power, Xbox 360 and PS3 are based on technology that's at least five years old. With more contemporary components at its heart, Wii U could feature a host of under-the-hood improvements, allowing developers to tweak multiplatform games to Wii U's advantage.

We're 11 days out from E3, and while Aliens: Colonial Marines won't be available to play on Wii U, we have a sneaking suspicion we'll have some news to share. Make sure you come back on 5th June for our full E3 coverage.


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User Comments (35)



MAB said:

COOL! so there still hasn't been any other words of wisdom from those anonymous devs.



erv said:

Bring me my huuuuge tv soon, and my wiiU next please.



BenAV said:

E3 keeps getting more and more exciting.
Why is it still so far away? D:



Hokori said:

Games matter more then power, I'd be happy even if it looked like the wii, I mean SMG is beautiful same with DKCR, heck even some normal DS games look great



Wheels2050 said:

It's always hard to gauge what people mean about power without quantification. Is it powerful compared to the 360 and PS3? If so, that's not saying much.

If it's more on par with current gaming PCs, then that's something to sit up and take notice of. I guess we'll find out more at E3!



motang said:

Well I sure hope it's a powerful machine it is 2012 not 2006 after all.



ChosenOne25 said:

Man, why are people so obsessed with hardware power? The Wii U will be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3, and will play HD 1080p, so what else do people want???? Games on PS3 and Xbox 360 already look great, how much more of a difference will the visuals make??? Most people probably haven't played PC games, but they are not a giant leap like they were with PS2-PS3 graphics anymore. Jeez...



aaronsullivan said:

I'm excited to see what I will be buying this Holiday season. I'm thinking Pikmin 3 of all titles is going to be the jaw dropping first party title that is available right away. It's not my favorite Nintendo franchise, but it will look VERY different from anything else out there AND be impressive with it's absurd little creatures in a photo real macro world.

While the third party games ARE important as they can entice many more people to the console, the first party titles are where it's at for me. I've been trained over the years — shortage of game playing time and playing games mostly with my kids watching intently — to be completely satisfied with Nintendo's first party games almost exclusively. I'm also one of those people that wants the best audiovisual experience to go along with the best games.

So, frankly, the Wii U is going to have a VERY hard time disappointing me, and games like this that are impressive and actually tie right to one of my favorite movies of all time, interest me far less than simply seeing a few snippets of the promise that comes with bringing Mario/Zelda/Metroid to a new level of fidelity and bringing a new approach to gameplay.

Can't wait and I will admit that these guys are building some good will from me for standing up for the Wii U and really embracing it as an opportunity to show off a type of game that isn't traditionally popular on Nintendo platforms. Even though I can't imagine when I'd get a chance to play it with all that excessively bloody imagery (WAY more than the movie, btw) I'm thinking about buying it anyway.



Wheels2050 said:

@ChosenOne25: Because power isn't just about graphics.

More power means more processing time can be given over to physics, artificial intelligence, even things like procedural animation etc.

The more devs have to work with, the less they have to compromise in order to get their game running smoothly. Granted, more power doesn't NECESSARILY equal better games, but making it available to developers allows amazing things to happen.



Joco84 said:

WiiU launch game and a timed exclusive me thinks, with the PS3/360 versions out in 2013.



SteveW said:

5 is being generous... the Xbox 360 and PS3 were based on hardware at least 8 years old, the Xbox was introduced 7 years ago.



PeterW77 said:

At some point in the future don't people think that hardware will tend to plateau and perhaps be more small refinements in what they can achieve? What will happen to the next gen of consoles every x amount of years?



nfzeta007 said:

@PeterW77 i'm waiting for that time to come, nothing wrong with good graphics and power but these are basically only used to make games look pretty and run smoothly no one messes around with in-game mechanics and stuff like that much anymore, even the changes to the physics are more for visual purposes.

In fact the games in the 2D era had the most interesting game mechanics to them IMO, especially in RPGs, in some the story was better too.



Ren said:

I agree that we'll hit a wall at some point, at least for little home consoles. Theres only so real an image can look. It's really becoming more about style and content now. It's like all the movie re-makes; we're well overdue for a fresh take on story structure, character development, and some kinds of interactivity.
We're still living in the 90's in terms of game storys and social ideas in gaming and even movies. It's time to move past the chauvanistic, murder-centric, fetch quests, that games still are. We need some people that have actually seen the world to start making good interactive games.



hendie001 said:

great news. im getting sick of hearing how crappy the wii u is going to be by people who don t even know the real spec s. i guess i should not let these little things get to me but its hard to be a nintendo fan and not try to defend them. can t wait till e3.



ajcismo said:

But but what about those 2 unnamed developers a few months ago, the day after Sony posted their 2011 losses, saying the Wii U is underwhelming unpowered?
In all seriousness though, I can't wait for it to get here.



JettiBlue said:

I tend to disagree that more horse power wont matter in the near future. Graphics will keep getting better until there is no more distinction between reality. Just look at Avatar, the movie. I assume this is where we're headed in games. And even further. For games with particular artstyles like Super Mario or Zelda this may be different and the ceiling reached sooner.



Alienfish said:

We may reach a hardware limit with the tech we currently use, but there are things like quantum computers and holographic storage in the works that will absolutely blow away even the most powerful super computers that we have today. I'm halfway expecting to hear that Nintendo is putting holographic storage units in WiiU at E3 this year since they are partial owners of a company that already has a working prototype (albeit a very expensive one). Another thing on the horizon is a replacement for polygonal models. Particles will be used to make up objects instead of the usual polygon which is exactly how the real world works. In game objects would be so realistic that you wouldn't be able to distinguish them from an actual real world item. Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little by saying that holographic storage will be in WiiU, but I'm not talking out of my a**, I'll put in some links below:



rjejr said:

@ChosenOne25 I wouldn't use the word "obsessed" but the fact is there are two very distinct ways to look at the WiiU's power - how it compares to the Xbox360 and PS3 which are out now and it will be competing with this holiday season, and how the WiiU will compare to the PS4 and Xbox720 which it will be competing with next holiday season and then for FIVE YEARS AFTER THAT. So I think how "powerful" the WiiU is becomes very relevant after it's competition releases new systems and it's not all about graphics, it's about selling your console to people AND the games that play on it.

I'm not really worried about the WiiU being better than the Wii, or even equal to or better than the other 2, it will be, but how it stacks up against future competition will matter for what games can be released on the system in the future.

As for graphics, they can get a bit better, I'l like to see God of War and Castlevania with free look enabled, I'm not a big static camera fan. Though to be honest I prefer Nintendo colorful fun graphics for my video games, not reality, though Skyward Sword was too weak even for me.



Henmii said:

"The Wii U is a powerful, powerful machine"

Sounds good! But if it will be as powerful as xbox720 or PS3 (assuming that they will be VERY powerful) has yet to be seen!



thanos316 said:

ok im sure that the wii u is powerful, but im curious on what they can do with the hardware. the next xbox or ps wont come out for another 2 yrs maybe so i hope devs do something good with the wii u hardware. i feel that there is no reason for people to come out and say if its powerful than this or that other system, just talk about your game and the creative things your doing and that we will be seeing soon enough. i want good creative games, not the same old lets hope this new game does a lot more than just being pretty..



luminalace said:


It won't be a match to powerful new PC's and it doesn't need to be! It should however be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 because as the article states those two are running 5-6 year old tech! The controller can't be that cheap to make and getting the system at a mass market price will be Nintendo's biggest goal!



Wheels2050 said:

@luminalace: No, it doesn't need to match current top-end PCs (and they absolutely couldn't sell a console that did - cutting edge graphics cards can cost as much as $1000 alone) but it could be comparable to a mid range PC. I can build myself a computer (including monitor and peripherals) for about $800 that would run almost any game out there, and run it well. That's with running a full OS and many other programs at the same time. Account for the fact that I'm paying retail prices for all the components, and a console can run games more efficiently than a PC, and I think Nintendo (or any of the console manufacturers) could make a pretty decent console for around $400.



PatcherStation said:

I'm looking forward to the Wii U, but I won't be buying at launch. But I wonder how it'll hold up against the PS4 and Xbox 720?



Henmii said:


Yeah, It may be more powerfull then current consoles but I don't think it will be as powerful as PS4 or Xbox720. But we wait and see!

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