News Article

Team Ninja: Wii U Is "Definitely Next Generation"

Posted by Andy Green

"Players want new innovation"

A few months back Ukrainian developer 4A, the team behind Metro: Last Light, claimed that it was not impressed with the graphical processing power of Wii U, saying it has a "horrible, slow CPU". This comment naturally sparked off a debate within the industry with many people agreeing with the statement, while others denounced it.

Team Ninja, the developer behind Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, has now jumped to the defence of the Wii U by adding to the ranks that argue the console is "definitely next generation". In an interview with Edge, Yosuke Hayashi, head of Team Ninja and director of Ninja Gaiden 3, dismissed 4A's comments saying many developers use the perceived low power of the CPU as a smokescreen when making simple business decisions.

To be completely blunt and honest, there’s no way that the Wii U processor is ‘horrible and slow’ compared to other platforms.

However Hayashi does admit the Wii U hasn't pushed the bar of the previous generation's processor speeds, but insists that the next generation is about more than just beefing up CPUs.

If you’re basing this simply on processor speed, then it’s not next generation. If you’re basing this on Wii U being a new idea that challenges existing platforms, then it definitely is next generation. It is a console videogame platform that is now independent of the TV. Nobody has done that before.

Players want new innovation that includes the environment in which you play and services you use, rather than just raw processor spec. Nintendo is at the forefront of that innovation. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other platforms come up with in the future.

Hayashi went on to say that the Wii U actually helped Team Ninja rectify problems it had with the original Ninja Gaiden 3, which was released on other consoles; the new version has been drastically changed in places to keep blood-thirsty fans happy. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge will be available in Europe on 11th January, though North America has been slicing and dicing since the Wii U launched.

Team Ninja is looking into bringing more titles to Wii U and is currently making an action game that may or may not be in development for Nintendo's new home console.

Do you think Team Ninja is correct to denounce those immortal "horrible, slow CPU" comments, or is the lack of processor speed likely to be an issue in the new generation of gaming? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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User Comments (42)



SkywardLink98 said:

I'd hope next generation isn't just about "beefing up CPUs" but amazing power definitely marks a console as "next generation".



Kirk said:

These two quotes say it all imo...

"To be completely blunt and honest, there’s no way that the Wii U processor is ‘horrible and slow’ compared to other platforms."

"If you’re basing this simply on processor speed, then it’s not next generation. "

So, he's very clearly saying that in terms of processor speed it might not be "horrible and slow" compared to PREVIOUS-GEN consoles but it's not NEXT-GEN.

I don't think the vast majority of people ever believed or claimed it was significantly less powerful than previous-gen consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3 but I do think a lot of people think it's not significantly more powerful than those consoles and I think they are absolutely correct.

Ultimately, I think it's perfectly justified if some people are disappointed with the Wii U's "next-gen" power.



FritzFrapp said:

What is true is that each generation, more and more powerful tech means greater development cost and more conservative publishing decisions.



SuperCharlie78 said:

Yeah, we know even Wii was next gen someway, but the lack of power did what we all know and fear it could happen again.
Now, Wii had plenty of good games in its life cycle, and I would be fine if the same will happen to Wii U, just consider buying another system to be able to play titles like Red Dead Redemption.



Kage_88 said:

@Kirk - but that is exactly it. The Wii U IS a 'next-gen' console, because the definition of 'next-gen' is changing.

The old days of 'playing with power' and 'blast processing' are finished. With the Wii, Nintendo relised that the future of gaming was not pure power - but how players could INTERACT with these digital worlds. Like it or not, but the industry NEEDED the Wii; if Nintendo hadn't so radically disrupted what was 'acceptable', then gaming would have likely stagnated.

The Wii U is a continuation of this ideology; it IS next-gen - simply because of that fact. The lineage of 'conventional' gaming consoles is dying out. Everything is being streamlined and connected; and the lines between 'home console' and 'handheld' are becoming increasingly blurry.

Sony and Microsoft have now also realised this (what with Move, Kinect, PS Mobile, Smartglass, etc), and now they're playing catch-up. Apple has jumped onto the bandwagon a lot more successfully, and other companies are attempting the same - such as Ouya, Valve, Facebook, etc.

Yosuke Hayashi's comments reflect this. Now, I'm not saying that software and hardware makers should ignore the progression of 'power'; after all, without power, we'd still be playing Pong. I'm just saying that mouth-breathing 'hardcore' gamers (AKA self-entitled whiners who are anything but 'hardcore' - usualy the PC master race), need to open their minds and realise that games can be so much more than polygons, or 4K resolution, or Cybernet-esque AI.



ljinkakidd said:

Did the Wii have "Next Gen" CPUs? And how successful was that intended fiasco? Nintendo will deliver in time. Ever since DS their strategy has been to make well rounded hardware. Not make it the most powerful thing on the Earth. They make a large profit due to their 1st party titles and rely on 3rd party to bring in whatever they can. It has worked for them since, seeing that they're the most profitable video game company.

Next gen depends on how useful the system is. The Wii U does have its flaws but what console doesn't? How come nobody criticized the 360 and PS3 when they didn't have motion control. Why weren't they "next gen"? JK I just want Nintendo to do well since all people seem to want to do is bash their every move until they are baffled themselves.



cornishlee said:

CPU seems to me to be something that Sony and Microsoft might beef up (probably at the expense of reliability) in their next consoles, particularly since graphical display can't really increase now that it's caught up with TV's. We can only hope the discrepancy isn't so huge that the Wii U gets treated the same as the Wii by developers.



filterclay said:

It is some lazy developers that are "horrible, slow"!
Explore the strongest points and be creativy about theweakest points of a console!
Be smart, clever and understand the platafiorm you are working with, instead of babbling about "horrible, slow CPU"!



shinokami said:

@Kirk Let's be honest here. If next generation consoles just run around power then we will have to wait even more time for games to be ready for market, and not to mention most companies will lose track of what a game is. It already happen with Konami and Square where they put so much emphasis on graphics and videos that they kinda went stray. Though I love both MGS4 and FFXIII I think they could have done better.

I think if both SONY and Microsoft just boost their CPUs then we can officially say that its gonna be the beginning of the end for the video game industry



filterclay said:

Wasn't the Wii a new generation when it was released? Wasn't it much less powerful than the 360 and PS3? Yes and yes!
I think the same answer can be used to say the Wii U is definitely a new generation. But Sony and Microsoft with their consumer base and lazy developers won't admit.
I believe this is a strategy to diminish Wii U impact making Nintendo selling less units while the gamer wait for Sony and Microsoft next console as the "oficial" next-gen, even they are not so innovative but full of power.
CPU and GPU power beefed-up is the idea of Sony and Microsoft for the next-gen. While Nintendo may have a different approach with the Wii U just like the company had a diferent idea fo the original Wii. And both Nintendo realeases were new generation consles, period!



shinokami said:

@ljinkakidd Funny enough the PS3 does have motion control (not the move) but its so lame that developers forgot about it. I have only seen it in MGS4 when you use the psycho mantis dolls



GreenDream said:

The juicy little tidbit of inconvenient information that doesn't always get a spotlight during these conversations: organic LED 1080p displays give a richer and higher fidelity display than the various LCD (and possibly plasma) 4K displays- at a lower resource cost.

This is not only due to the improved efficiency and color/lighting management of well-made LED displays, especially those of well-made organic LED displays, but also because the human eye has trouble differentiating between the fine details of the visible light spectrum when viewing an LCD screen at such a high resolution. So ultimately, the graphical difference between a true 1080p and the upcoming 4K content on commonly available LCD screens won't be significantly noticeable for people who are not technophiles.

So basically... the Wii U technology is actually walking side by side with the widespread availability of relevant display devices, rather than prematurely jumping the gun, as their competitors always have.



Jr-Joe said:

It doesn't matter if the wii u is "next gen" or not, its all about what you do whith what you have and Nintendo is a great example of that. Nintendo needs to focus on their online service first and foremost.



GreenDream said:

Also, if the PS3's processor is enough to assist running folding@home or Final Fantasy 13, with no slowdown, then there's no room to complain about the Wii U's processor. It's the Xbox 360 processor that needs complaining... it can't even handle true 1080p, forcing multi-platform titles to look like junk compared to PS3/PC titles... even in 720p, they don't look drastically better than boundary-pushing Wii titles...



gavn64 said:

this old debate is sooooo booorrring.... im going to play my wiiu now.



GreenDream said:

The Ukrainian developer 4A is probably comparing the Wii U processor to the latest and greatest $1000 Intel CPU, (which is something Crytek might also have done with the first Crysis), based on the absurd PC system requirements of Metro 2033. That was a shallow game which was designed to be a benchmarker for (practically) supercomputer hardware, just like Crysis before it. (Though Crysis, to Crytek's credits, incorporated some very interesting mechanics into their game, of which became increasingly lovingly detailed on higher end hardware.)

So yeah, 4A is just stroking their collective electronic manhoods on this one.



element187 said:

The comment about the CPU is just silly from a video game standpoint. The CPU is rarely used when rendering a video game. Developers push 95%-99% of the workload to the GPU... The CPU in a console just runs the operating system in the background.

For instance take two systems. One has a very fast CPU, but a really slow GPU. The other system has a really slow CPU, but a very fast GPU.

What would the results be??? System 1 would run the Operating System very well, but would choke when rendering games.... System 2 wouldn't run the Operating System as fast, so web browsing, or moving through menu's selections might be a bit slower, but the game would run flawlessly.

4A is complaining about something that doesn't even effect video game processing.. Anyone who says the CPU in the Wii U will effect how a game is played is being completely disingenuous. And as far as the system being underpowered is absurd. The system has a Radeon 6770 chip with FAR more video memory than both the PS3 and Xbox 360 combined.... So not only can it put polygons on the screen faster than any other console, but it can hold ALOT more textures in its memory, meaning higher resolution textures.

So far all we have seen is 360 and Ps3 games ported to the Wii U, thats why they look identical... Wait for a game to start pushing it.... Although probably not the type of games I like to play, the screenshots from Pikmin 3 is easily the best looking game I have ever seen. Which says alot as a I have a fairly fast gaming rig (Coincidence I have a Radeon HD 6770 as well? )



hYdeks said:

For the power difference, it doesn't really matter, but the games do and so far Wii U is just re-releasing old games from "older" systems for stupid high prices. Batman AC on PS3/360 is $39, Wii U's poopy version is $59.99, Ninja Gaiden 3 you can get for like $29, on Wii U it's freakin $59.99! Most insulting is Scribblenauts Unlimited, on Wii U it's $59.99, on PC it's $29.99! WTF!!! Nintendo, stop ripping people off!!! ><
watch the profanity, please — TBD



earthwormjimx3 said:

I think the CPU power is higher than the other system's. It's just that Nintendo doesn't rely on having powerful things, but make them powerful inside their limitations, just like Nintendo relying on low comsumption and high performance



Bankai said:

Team Ninja is a short walk away from being acquired by Nintendo. Is anyone actually surprised the developer saw a business imperative to defend the console?



ljinkakidd said:


Yeah, I noticed that too. It's like they introduced it but then abandoned it real quick. The Kinect worked because it was different than the Wii.



ljinkakidd said:

I guess the extra cost comes in at being able to carry the game 25 feet away from the TV. But $30 extra is an insane price indeed! I'll pay $60 for Nintendo's first parties any day tho.



Emaan said:

I'll take unique ways to play over "brand new" hardware specs any day. Many people doubt the Wii U right now simply because of it lacking an extreme graphical power leap over the previous gen. Yet who honestly thinks Sony and Microsoft aren't trying to come up with something unique and different of their own (or maybe just copy Nintendo) versus upgrading power capabilities only? I for one, would rather see advances in how we play, than what the games look like. I think over the course of this past generation, video games have really grown with their art direction and visual flare, and that includes the Wii.



FarukoSH said:

I LOL when someone cries about WiiU power not being next-get, but they just play on 360/PS3.... seriously, if you want to cry about graphics GET A PC not a console, thats not what they are for



hYdeks said:

@ljinkakidd I was waiting for a response like that...Nintendo loves you, keep buying stuff $30 more, playstation fans and xbox fans are LAUGHING at you



FarukoSH said:

@hydeks and i laugh at PSfans and Xboxfans that are getting the way inferior versions at 60 dollars, when i pay 50 for a MUCH BETTER one on PC, lol



FarukoSH said:

And one more thing... CPUs doesnt really do much on games, GPU its far more important, while games could need a good CPU, the benefits from having a better GPU are much higher, like someone said, if you have a 100% PC --> 70-80% on GPU and 30-20% on CPU its much MUCH better than 50-50, and thats what the WiiU its all about, sure the new PS/XB SHOULD be better (but im pretty sure the difference will be a lot less than last generation one, to the point im pretty sure we will see the same games on WiiU and next PS/XB, economy isnt on the bright side nowadays)

and please never again quote 4A talking about power, they just sucks at optimizing games, Metro 2033 was a great game, but you need a NASA PC just to make it "barely playable", let alone the 360 version... oh god those textures, >_> and metro wasnt the only game they have problems with, Stalker (awesome game) was a awful optimized game too



Slapshot said:

Hayashi states: "Wii U is definitely next generation," but then states that "it's not next generation."

Wow! Not only has Hayashi destroyed the Ninja Gaiden franchise with Ninja Gaiden 3 and babied down the Dead or Alive franchise, but now he speaks the obvious like he's some sort of gaming genius. Good night Team Ninja - when are you going to wake up and realize that he's destroying what was a once highly revered hardcore company!



AVahne said:

4A can barely get their games running well on PC, so they really aren't a credible source for CPU comments.



WhiteTrashGuy said:

Nintendo knows how to push their hardware. I know that whatever Retro and EAD put out will look amazing and will play equally beautifully. Look at the GCN, when developers actually took the time to develop for it the games looked amazing; see ROGUE SQUADRON, F-ZERO GX, METROID PRIME, & RE4.



MasterGraveheart said:

You wanna know why the Wii U is next generation? IT'S THE SUCCESSOR TO NINTENDO'S PREVIOUS HOME CONSOLE! It's the next generation Nintendo console, which is the only real generational ticker that should matter.



Ichiban said:

Have you seen Red Dead on 360 compared to PS3? 360 smashes it.
Ditto Cod, GTA 4, Skyrim, Assassins Creed, Mass Effect, Bayonetta, etc...
PS3 is a great media player, but as far as 3rd party games go PS3 isnt in the same ballpark as the 360.



Araknie said:

Finally a big dev that is not blind to dictionary defition of next-gen. Good.

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