News Article

THQ Adds Clarity To The Wii U "Horrible, Slow CPU" Comments

Posted by Andy Green

But worries surrounding it refuse to go away

It emerged yesterday that 4A, the developer behind Metro: Last Light, is not very impressed with the Wii U's CPU; Oles Shishkovtsov, the studio's chief technical officer, called it "a horrible, slow CPU".

Huw Beynon of THQ, publisher for the latest Metro title, elaborated further by saying that bringing the project to Wii U was not something the company was planning at the moment due to the developers being extremely busy building the Playstation 3 version of the game.

Beynon has since spoken to Eurogamer, where he has clarified the comments further saying he was frustrated about the way the story had been handled in the press, and that should the team want to bring Metro: Last Light to Wii U then they could definitely do so.

It's a very CPU intensive game. I think it's been verified by plenty of other sources, including your own Digital Foundry guys, that the CPU on Wii U on the face of it isn't as fast as some of the other consoles out there. Lots of developers are finding ways to get around that because of other interesting parts of the platform.

Just as in the same way that between PC and current console versions there are some compromises that need to be made in certain places and we strive to get the very best performance that we can from any platform we release on.

Beynon confirmed that the team did look at bringing Metro: Last Light to Wii U, saying it was "certainly possible" and something they would like to do. However if a Wii U version was to become a reality, he believes the developer wouldn't be able to do the game justice due to the constraints it would be put under.

The reality is that would mean a dedicated team, dedicated time and effort, and it would either result in a detriment to what we're trying to focus on, already adding a PlayStation 3 SKU, or we probably wouldn't be able to do the Wii U version the justice that we'd want.

It would be a port or we wouldn't be able to get to grips with the system. That's really the essence of it. It's something we can potentially look at and return to later. Given the targets we've set for the game, it didn't make sense to proceed with it at this point.

Shishkovtsov's comments on the Wii U's CPU have generated a lot of debate on the issue, with many people worried that the system will suffer in the future when Sony and Microsoft reveal their new and inevitably more powerful consoles. Gustav Halling, lead designer on Battlefield 3: Armored Kill at DICE, has also voiced his opinion on the subject, taking to Twitter to say it will "shorten its life a lot when new gen starts".

It seems unlikely then that Metro: Last Light will see the light of day on Wii U, not because the system can't handle it but because the team is currently busy on other projects. However the arguments surrounding the console's seemingly less than stellar CPU refuse to go away.

What are your thoughts on this? Does the Wii U's CPU make you worry about the future of the console?


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User Comments (81)



Tsuchiya said:

The next gen, once Sony and Microsoft enter it will start to get insanely expensive. The tech under the hood will become irrelevant to all but the most hardcore of hardcore fanboys. Prices will prove king and this is why (imo) Wii U will dominate regardless of it's CPU. Once again people, you may want a console with enough grunt capable of time travel but it will just be too expensive. Be realistic. C'mon

I've said it before, I really do think the 8th gen will see a casualty. It's not a good sign for PS4/720 when a company is more at home with their current gen consoles 6-7 years after they launched. Wii U is a brand new console and they won't even port it over for easily less costs and an easy profit? What the hell makes you think THQ and all their money problems will spend millions upon millions supporting a console such as PS4 when development costs for that will be astronomical.

Tsuchi rant over.



Malic said:

I can care less regardless I'm getting the next box I'm sure anyway unless Microsoft does something stupid funny thing is this article tells me more about some of these developers than about how lackluster the Wii u's CPU is I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo out sells the competition again



dragon_rider said:

"The reality is that would mean a dedicated team, dedicated time and effort, and it would either result in a detriment to what we're trying to focus on, already adding a PlayStation 3 SKU, or we probably wouldn't be able to do the Wii U version the justice that we'd want."

No, Sherlock. Heaven forbid you actually make the effort, anti Nintendo people.

What are they going to say next, that the Sun rises on the east?



Gold_Ranger said:

Not for nothing, but now, it seems like we were all lied to about the WiiU being faster and more powerful (even slightly) than the current Gen competition consoles.

I don't much care as long as I can get a Deluxe WiiU soon. Everyone is still sold out.



dragon_rider said:

@Red_Kinetic And yet, there are no official numbers on what the CPU is. They're still douchebags.

Trying to discredit the Wii U every step of the way. What a bunch of sods.



AVahne said:

Exactly what I was thinking when that team made that statement yesterday. They're just too overworked and have very little time and man-power to make a Wii U version. The tech in the Wii U is just too different for them to try to learn while in such dire development conditions.
Sadly, very few people will understand THQ's words, or even 4A's original intended message;that the Wii U CPU just isn't easy enough for to use for them to just dump the game on and do minor tweaking and have it running great like on a PC. They know 360 architecture. They sort of know PS3 architecture. Wii U on the other hand is a complete mystery to them, so of course their stressed out minds would immediately scream out "HORRIBLE CPU" .



citizenerased said:


Couldn't agree more. I'm arguing this point over at IGN (haha, good luck with that one -_-) but Sony and Microsoft are in an incredibly tricky position. Their main demographic ("hardcore" gamers) want them to release a console that blows PC specs out of the water... and some of them might be willing to shell out $600 on that. Some aren't. At this point, these hardcore gamers are likely less than 100 million for them to divide. Also, good luck having a decent launch line-up. And those rising game costs... more and more developers will move to the iOS platforms, and hopefully Wii U platform. Of course, Nintendo has their first party IP's, so they'll be fine either way.



JavierYHL said:

hmm when the ps4 or 720 comes the grapics surely will be better...if u want a better version of the same game just buy the other 2 versions...we buy wii u to play nintendo games thats all...



Ernest_The_Crab said:

Well I'm not too surprised if the game originally was heavily CPU based. I suppose if you made the game more heavily CPU based there would be a higher likelihood of people being able to play it but at the same time you could probably do more if you focused it on the GPU (though sales may end up smaller).

Though I'd think with a console you'd focus on the GPU anyways seeing as how each and every one of those consoles would be identical (one of the main advantages of owning a console).

I suspect this will really only be an issue if porting from the PC.



Pokefanmum82 said:

i think it's more about their financial problems, then the Wii U CPU being horribly slow. THQ is having a lot of problems, so obviously they are going to go with the tech they already know so they can get the game out and make some money. it has nothing to do with the Wii U and its CPU



shingi_70 said:


Again THQ's problems were due in part to mangement as well as an over inflated marketing budget, and making an xbox/playstation version of the Udraw. If you look at the majority of their games they are mostly AA budget wise. Problem is no one buys their products.

Its funny how you say price is king when Microsoft is rumored to working on a low priced ($99-$200) xbox set top product alongside the big expensive 720. This would allow nintendo to be outgunned on both ends of the spectrum. Not only but microsoft has been working with retailer on a subsized version of its console and have been testing it out with the xbox 360 since the summer. This would allow them to still out class the Wii U but also be able to compete or even undercut on price.

Also dev costs won't inflate as much as people think for a few reasons. The biggest is that until probably late 2014 the majority of games will be cross generational. Games like watchdogs and Star Wars 1313 are going to have a Durango/Orbis varient which will be very highend and close to the trailers for both games, there will also be last gen varients giving them a bigger marketshare not having to worry about a potential flop. Another big factor of why costs will stay the same are because during the middle and end of this gen most pubs started development of engines that could be used in many different types of games (Anvil, frostbite, lumionous) that sharing of resources will keep costs down as will middleware like Unreal and cryengine.



Kirk said:

There's a few things that make me worry about the future of Wii U, beyond just the slow CPU.



citizenerased said:

@ Sony_70

Dividing your demographics as company between 2 consoles sounds like a bad call to me, but we'll see. Rising costs of games (when people want them to be cheaper!) and a drop in creativity in blockbuster titles seems almost unavoidable.

Price is totally king, so yes if Microsoft was releasing a $100 console that would be interesting. I don't see it happen, and I don't know where that would fit in the spectrum (I assume it'll have less power than the current 360...). Will it be in the race with Ouya? Feels like the console market will become oversaturated like this.



PS_Trooper said:

No HDD, slow CPU, game pad battery up to 4 hours of gameplay, no blu ray or DVD support, massive power brick, lack of 3rd party interest.... Those are some of many reasons why I'm not rushing to get it (if ever). Glad I grabbed 500 GB PS3 super slim for only £250 instead. Nothing to worry about And it's from SONY.



citizenerased said:

Did you just list "no DVD support" and "massive power brick" as reasons not to buy a Wii U? Your other points are valid, but writing nonsense does kinda undermine your opinion.



Tsuchiya said:


Most of that is complete fanboy nonsense. Don't you see the problem? It's because PS3 is still supported 6 years after launch and doesn't seem set to change anytime soon that PS4 will struggle. Nowadays, Sony isn't a name attached to success. Maybe in '94 but not now. But what do I know? It's just my opinion

Time will tell!



DrSlump said:

I'm curious to know more about this wii u cpu... is it really so slow? Accordimg to me wii u hardware is more like a modernulticore arm soc than a pc, with low frequencies to keep low the power needings.



Corbs said:

The Super Nintendo had an extremely poky processor and it did alright. LOL



dmg361 said:

It's just a Metro game. I've never heard of it until the Wii U games were revealed during the E3. I don't see it as much of a big loss. Plenty of good titles are already on the horizon,



sinalefa said:

Until more developers start complaining about this so called "Slow CPU" then I would start to worry. Those words indeed sound like being uttered out of frustration.

Anyway, with some people already calling Wii U "too expensive", then I just don't want to see what will happen with Sony's and Microsoft's new systems, if they want to overpower the Wii U.

@Tsuchiya says that price will prove king. I agree but I would say that price and appealing content will both prove kings in the end.



darkgamer001 said:

Erm....wasn't the original Metro extremely resource heavy even on gaming PCs? Comparing it to other games, it smacked of bad programming at times, as in, the inability to use resources in an efficient manner...not saying anything about the quality of the game elsewhere, because from what I've seen, it is a quality game.



ballistic90 said:

Bear in mind that the processor was made using tech from 1 to 2 years ago used in a super computer (Watson, the super computer that was on Jeopardy). There's also a lot of cache as well. This is significantly different hardware than either the Xbox 360 and the ps3 are using, and that alone is probably why the CPU seems "slow". The GPU is several generations newer than the Xbox 360 as well. Combined with 4 times the amount of ram on the other consoles, and the Wii U has some significant advantages over the other consoles. Its likely it would take time to fully take advantage of it. Will the next consoles be more powerful? I'd sure hope so. They'll also cost a lot more, and will be behind the Wii U when they come out.



yobucky said:

Lol... I honestly think all the fanboys that think the next gen sony and MS consoles are going to be God's gift to gamers are going to be sorely disappointed. If it's everything they want it to be the price will be astronomical and with all the competing technology they are going to struggle to sell. Or else they'll appeal more to a mass market and have the same accusations levelled at them as people do against nintendo. Fact is the other companies will be foolish to make a new console that won't appeal to all mass market plebs, as the wii demonstrated, non-hardcore gamers have a lot of money to spend, while the hardcore PS3 took years to turn a profit. And in this current economy they are not going to be able to sustain something similar with their next gen. So yeah who cares about power, as long as nintendo is able to keep doing what it does for longer then I say let the eye-candy kids have their very expensive toys. I'm still reasonably sure that the next gen for the other 2 is going to see a shift one way or another, price themselves out of the market, or appeal more to mass market.



Discostew said:

I seriously hope they attempted to do some process tests on it (and I mean on a newer devkit and not an earlier one that was underpowered) and not just look at the CPU frequency and compare it to the CPU frequencies of current gen systems, because the latter would truly show how stupid these people are. Frequency is irrelevant, as CPUs of lower frequencies from today beat the crap out of higher frequency CPUs from years ago.

And they made no mention about GPGPU, which is meant to relieve some stress from the CPU.



Epicnessofme99 said:

They're going out of business as is, I think they're just trying to give a reason to not make a port on a different system because of the team it would require, and the additional features they would have to add which = $



SuperMinusWorld said:

This generation is as expensive as is. Once the next gen takes full effect and Microsoft and Sony enter it, costs to design and produce a game will be astronomical. Indie devs will be far too overwhelmed by production costs, and most smart studios will flock to Wii U in droves due to the ease of development and the relative cheapness to develop in contrast to these so-called nnext-gen technical powerhouses from Micro and Sony.

Wii U is going to be just fine.



player310 said:

You know whats funny... I've been playing games since a little before the NES, and starting with the NES, THQ has been a historically bad game producing company... I don't even know how they've stayed in business...



Nintenjoe64 said:

The wii u's CPU won't be that big a deal. The wii u needs a killer app pretty badly though!

My guess is next year's Aliens game will give it a nice boost of fans if the game lives up to the hype. I know it's cross platform but the motion tracker will be awesome on wii u.



blinder2 said:

as many developers say not so good things about the CPU there are also many saying differnt TRINE 2 was asked why was it that the new dungon levell was not avalible on other formats he said it would take a huge amound of tweaking ect but look it up for yourself,the new alien game coming out the developer says he has no problems with wii u power also the game nano assault again has nothing but praise for the WII U POWER there is another developer i cant remember the developer name who said the WII U has plenty of power for every one saying its bad there one telling differnt,but at the end of the day its what you play and how you play thats counts not just whats under the hood,i just dont care my advice just play



blinder2 said:

@Discostew if you go onto read the iwata ask site on about the wii u the console he say just that its a low power CPU and GPU have a look mate



blinder2 said:

@Reala yes but that was about the wii u gamepad he said he didnt get it,he did not say anything about the CPU ect read it again i may be wrong



FlaccidSnake said:


I'm glad you said that as I was going to post the same thing. I remember back in the snes/megadrive (genesis) era, anything with THQ on the box was to be avoided like the plague. Anything they came out with was truly awful!



kkslider5552000 said:

the Metro developer looks like a jerk now. Dude, where ever you are, THQ has enough to deal with now, they didn't have to waste their time on explaining this.



Break61 said:

Sony and Microsoft's next consoles will without a doubt be more powerful than the Wii U but the problem is how many devs are gonna shell out the cash to create AAA games for them, and how many gamer's are gonna shell out $600+ for a new system. Also Sony doesn't seem to be in a very good position with the Ps vita I would focus on fixing that problem before releasing anything.



blinder2 said:

@Discostew i just looked he just said the cpu used low power lsi and a mcm but i suggest you readit all also the small print sorry but this is not my field



Scollurio said:

Ah well for all of you that automatically assume the 360 and PS3 successor will be more expensive, there is a rumor that the new xbox will offer a variant similar to phone-contracts. You get the console, full spec with all bells and whistles for under 100$ if you buy contract for xbox live gold subscription with it. This is the simplies way to cut cost and since most people will subscribe for the online service anyways I think it is a valid tactic. That said Im no fanboy/hater of any console. But realisticly seen the Wii U has a whole bunch of troubles and some ill-minded decisions that baffle me. Low battery life, no real game-changing use for the gamepad, mandatory use of "play only on gamepad screen", restriction to your account, the in-system-SD-card-dilemma, etc... are all things that taint the usually oh so shiny and innovative Nintendo systems. Xbox on the other hand might turn out as some facebook-twitter-download-only-games-always-on-in-your-face monster-machine that will restrict lots of your freedom even more. We just have to wait and see. But all the people that think "next next gen" is just about graphics and there won't be a huge step forward in it, well think again and don't be naive. More power also means bigger levels, better KI, more features like destructive environments, further farsight , more cars on track at once, etc. So after taking everything into consideration, My advice would be, get the system that has the games you like in the possible best quality. If you love nintendo games, get the Wii U, all third party titles, even if they might have issues, are just a bonus then. If you can't live without Halo or Forza, get the 360/or successor and if you can't live without Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo and Uncharted then please go for Sony. If you just PURELY want power and good graphics, then go for a PC. Only sad thing is, this is 2012 and most games STILL don't sure 64bit technology or multiple cores of a PC. The technology in hardware we have is YEARS ahead of what software is optimized for. Sad.



Ristar42 said:

I remember the whole 'my console has a faster CPU than yours' debate when the SNES came out against the Megadrive... this sounds familiar!



Scollurio said:

Oh and another thing, even if Sony's and Microsoft's next big thing will be 600$+, so what? You can assume that the next console cycle will be somewhere around 6-10 years and I think 600$ spent for that kind of time is not too far fetched. If you want a decent PC for gaming and don't have the experience/skill/patience to assemble one yourself (which can be easily done for that price) you'll usually dish out around the 1000$+ mark for it. So there will definitely be a market for all of it, dedicated PC, selfbuilt PC, Ouya/iPad/iPhone/Android touch and casual games, Nintendo, Sony High End and Microsoft High End, the only question is, since the market will be divided between so many players, is there enough food in the pond for every fish?



Malic said:

@Scollurio $600+ would be a big big mistake for a console I don't think either Microsoft or Sony is that stupid at least I hope not but who knows. And if that is the case I will be going back to PC instead of Xbox because let's face it that's all the Xbox is a watered down PC



Windy said:

Who cares! Its about which games are the most fun and Nintendo has been winning that war since Atari fell a horrible death. The only reason to own other systems is for a little variety and to play system exclusives. There is also the issue of which system has a better online multiplayer service and that would be microsoft but you need to pay to join that club. Which is fine its a nice service and doesnt cost all that much.

At this point in videogaming who cares whats under the hood unless your a mines bigger than yours type. The games are pretty amazing on all platforms. All platforms are capable of producing great stuff. So what it comes down to at least for myself, what is fun for me. Pretty simple reasoning really



Windy said:

** The killer of Topics**

Ive noticed lately a couple times ive posted in Topics I end up being the last post killing a topic. Maybe its I jump in late or I'm in fact "The killer of Topics" lol



SirSmugleaf said:

Well I'll just give the response that people give at school: "SICK! I DONT GIVE A SO-AND-SO!"



Malic said:

@Metal_Slugger supposedly the Wii u's CPU is about on par with the N64 let's all just put our Wii Us in the microwave and just get it over with its doomed



Tsuchiya said:

You can show Sony or Microsoft the door if they enter the 8th gen with a $600+ console. They may well have the better tech but what'd be the point if no one is willing or cannot afford to buy it? They'll need to be pretty much on par with Wii U (whether you like it or not fanboys) both in terms of pricing and tech if either are to be successful. Sony especially. They really, really need to rein it in. Microsoft have embraced innovation (thank god) and implemented it well with Kinect and now SmartGlass so I really hope they stick to that with the 720.



Vehemont said:

I guess developers won't be happy until the Wii U has Blast Processing........



AugustusOxy said:

In other words, I was right, you're a developer who can't make a game that doesn't tax the hell out of the system and you should feel terrible that other developers do it better. So glad THQ is struggling.



Tsuchiya said:

Ugh I hate people wishing ill will on developers and publishers
Like THQ or not, these are people working hard under what appears to be a very stressful situation and they've snapped. These people are most probably facing unemployment if this situation continues. They'll have families to support you should really be more understanding and not be happy that they are in trouble just because they are insulting a plastic box (which I'm buying)



Devil_Surivior said:

@PS_Trooper Oh look its a Sonydrone fanboy come to troll a Nintendo site, isn't he cute lol? First, we don't even know the specs are on the CPU of the Wii U and just because a low rent developer who was probably stressed out and shot his mouth off without thinking doesn't make it a bad CPU. You can plug just about an external hard drive into the Wii u,so space is never a problem. I new PS3 is a cheaply made money grab for Sony because they are so incompetent when it comes to running their business. Oh and the Gamepad can plug into the console as well so you can keep playing.
You left out one reason for you not getting the Wii U: "I'm a Sony fanboy".



dmg361 said:

I don't see the big deal if they don't like the Wii U's cpu. It's their opinion and other developers aren't saying the same thing and if they noticed it's slower they sure seem to find ways around that and make it work just fine.

Due to THQ's financial problems, they're probably doing the right thing and sticking to what they know. Wii U is new to them so I can agree with them on it's easier to develop on a system that you're familiar with than one you're new to.



triforcepower73 said:

Sony is probably the closest to dropping out of the gaming industry. I think nintendo is going to be safe for this gen. I don't really know about microsoft. They'll probably go downhill slowly.



Slapshot said:

@triforcepower73 Really?! First of all - can you prove what you're claiming? Also, do you realize that if Sony and Microsoft both leave the gaming market that Nintendo would very likely be right behind them?

I'm sorry, but I can't stand to hear these type of ridiculous claims against any company. It's sad to see that your loyalty to a particular company blinds you so much that you would be glad to see thousands of people lose their jobs.



Malic said:

Why do we have to hate against any company we should all be thank full we have so many to choose from



Discostew said:

I can't speak for Microsoft, but Sony has been losing money with their video game department for most of the PS3's existence. The PS3 was selling for $600 when it released, and even at that price, they were taking in a pretty bad loss for each unit. An article from May 2008 says Sony was losing $260 for each PS3 sold. That number was even greater at launch. They may be making a profit on units now, but they may never recover from the losses accumulated prior to that. Their video game department is relying on their other non-gaming departments to keep it afloat.

They definitely won't go that route again, which basically means they won't throw in expensive hardware this time around. That gives Nintendo and the WiiU more of an advantage for being released early.



triforcepower73 said:

@Slapshot I don't have any loyalty to one company. Sometimes I hate nintendo when they mess up something simple or make a bad choice. Sometimes I love microsoft for some of their decisions or games. The only company I don't like or at least have no interest in is sony, I admit it. As for my "proof for what I was claiming", part of it was my opinion. And for solid proof, Discostew pretty much summed it up. And sony isn't the best at learning from their mistakes.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Development costs are already a problem as it is, and the more advanced things get the worse it'll become. Better A.I, more interactive environments, and everything else means more time to develop. Time=money and its at the point games need to sell 10's of millions just to break even, the focus needs to be on making things cheaper and easier to develop not more power.

$600 may seem reasonable for some for 6-7 years of enjoyment which is only $100/year, but a single down payment of $600 is a lot for just a video game console for all but the most hardcore. The PS3 doubled as the world's cheapest blue-ray player and still had trouble.



NMH-TRI said:

@Koto. You are absolutely right. Does no one remember how "slow" the PS3 cell architecture was...... Honestly, the PS3 has tech, but was heavily criticized when it first came out. Wii U has tech, it juggles its OS, game, and Miiverse all at once. Coming to you on streaming screaming screens!



Tsuchiya said:

Of course you shouldn't have loyalty to them. We can be (rational) fans of a gaming company yes, but they're not family members. As for people saying they hate this and hate that...ugh good Lord why?
They are plastic boxes with chips and wires thrown inside. People that get so riled up over electronics, really, really need to experience life more.

Saying you'd be happy to see Sony drop out of the industry, causing thousands upon thousands of people losing their jobs is a ridiculous statement. I know I've said I think they will struggle unless they enter the 8th gen with a decent price and chained down tech yes, but I wish them luck as I do with Nintendo and Microsoft.

Fanboys just baffle me..



Slapshot said:

@Discostew The PlayStation brand is now the most profitable thing that Sony has. Yes, they did lose money from the beginning, which is something that they knew was going to happen, but they've already reclaimed all of their loses and are now making profit on the PlayStation brand. Sony's major loses have been primarily in the television sector and other high-end products, not their PlayStation brand.



Malic said:

@Slapshot the problem with Sony I feel is that they don't have the money to throw around like they use too they need to make better decisions this time around I think they will be ok I just feel its gonna be Nintendo as usual and Microsoft as the forerunners this gen but that's my opinion I could be wrong and I usually am lol. I personally don't wanna see any company go under thats not good for anyone I want to see the gaming industry strong and strive for a long time



Malic said:

@bronzebeard yeah darksiders 2 is great I agree one of the only good games from them but they published this game not developed it



SpaceApe said:

Agreed. Darksiders 2 is the only thing worth playing from THQ. Who really cares about the Metro series besides THQ ?



AddDavey said:

well THQ is in a difficult financial state at the moment, once they become more financially stable then maybe a Wii U version will come

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