Today perhaps brings a little closure, for those inclined to allow such a thing, with details and analysis emerging of the Wii U's GPU. Since before its release Wii U has been scrutinised by some in terms of its graphical capabilities, and there are plenty of people who focus on that area when debating whether it's "next gen", a term with no solid definition in the gaming industry — it means different things depending on who you talk to. The CPU speeds of the system were reportedly reverse engineered and clocked last year, so an understanding of Wii U's graphical grunt both now and in the future rested on the setup of the GPU, which Nintendo itself has said is the focus of the system's infrastructure.
Rather unlike its rivals, Nintendo withholds detailed specifications even from developers, leaving them to benchmark on their own and avoiding the leaks and details that we've seen for Sony and Microsoft's next offerings. Gamers and enthusiasts can't be denied, however, and today's revelations of highly magnified images of the system's GPU chip-set, accompanied with a knowledgeable assessment from Digital Foundry, mean that the specifications of the system are now largely known. There are still unknowns, of course, but what is clear is that the system is generally fairly strong, but that upcoming rivals (codenamed Orbis and Durango) are "in a completely different league".
We'd argue that this is no real surprise, as anyone with eyeballs can see that — while a major leap over Wii — Nintendo's new system is capable without revolutionising visual fidelity in gaming. Titles later in the console's lifespan will look better, and we can expect some stunning results in the future, but it's been obvious to those who've played it, and from various developer comments on different sides of the fence, that the graphical technology in Wii U is no major enhancement for the industry.
Wii U, for the very reason that it's criticised — its technical specifications — can potentially attract projects and developers interested in more diverse experiences put together with non-triple A budgets.
But then, Nintendo gamers should already know that. GameCube was the last time that Nintendo actively participated in the graphical arms race, and both that and N64 struggled (comparatively) in the face of tough competition. With Wii — and DS — Nintendo shifted priorities from technological superiority to conceptual creativity. 3DS continued this — over-powered by but outselling the PS Vita to date — and so does Wii U, and we can only hope that today's revelations perhaps draw a line in the sand so we can all move on. Wii U won't be as powerful — again, purely in graphical terms — as the next systems from Microsoft and Sony. That's just the way it is, beyond any reasonable doubt.
Perhaps if we move on, we can assess and consider what this will mean for Wii U as a system in the long term. To start with a negative perspective, despite Wii getting close to nearly 100 million sales worldwide, its latter years have been typified by exceptionally light release schedules and a rather sad fall from the limelight. In part it's down to a simple truth that third-party and multi-platform release support wasn't strong enough, and that Nintendo simply couldn't do the work all on its own in 2011 and 2012. Concerns do remain in terms of third-party support and multi-platform games on the new system, with a number of big titles on the way not yet confirmed for Wii U — GTA V is a notable example. We'd love nothing more than another Wii U Direct where third-parties show their wares that include some of these potential monster-hits, but only time will tell.
Yet third-party support wasn't all bad on Wii, perhaps in spite of popular opinion, and it was undeniably different. The latest Call of Duty may have only had modest returns on the little system, but some memorable exclusives such as Monster Hunter Tri made their mark, while a number of smaller studios brought excellent titles such as Muramasa: The Demon Blade and No More Heroes. The Operation Rainfall trilogy — Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower — also showed that Nintendo was willing to fund, publish or support titles unique to the console. There are many more intriguing gaming experiences that could be named, many of which either appeared first on Wii or, in some cases, have remained exclusive to the platform.
When you add the impressive range of first-party titles from Nintendo, there was a sizeable and diverse library before it fizzled out. Can we expect the same with Wii U? Possibly. There may be something to be said for claims that the boundaries and gulf in graphical capabilities are getting narrower, and that developers may be able to downscale assets and game engines — for those multi-platform hits — to fit Wii U without too much effort. It may not be as simple as that, but it's too early to determine, with some missing ports in the coming months potentially down to the lateness of Wii U dev kits arriving at some studios last year, a "wait and see" policy to see how the system sells in its first year, or more time needed to adjust to the infrastructure.
We may come to a point, however, where Wii U will have to diversify and find its own path while some blockbuster entries duke it out on rival consoles; this will arguably repeat the pattern of its predecessor. As we suggested earlier in this article, anyone who's followed Nintendo for the last 7-8 years shouldn't be surprised, and if — unlike Wii — the games library can maintain momentum beyond its first few years, perhaps we're in for more innovative, imaginative treats. It's common to read complaints — particularly vocal during E3 2012 — that large parts of the games industry have become a blur of brown environments and shooting enemy soldiers/aliens/monsters in the face with big guns. Wii U, for the very reason that it's criticised — its technical specifications — can potentially attract projects and developers interested in more diverse experiences put together with non-triple A budgets. Less twin-stick FPS action, more GamePad innovation.
Nintendo, of course, needs to sell this to developers of all sizes, and by extension sell the console to enough people to make it worth these studio's time. Similarities to Wii are apparent in that the mass market success will likely need to be driven by Nintendo's games and "experiences", with the expected hype for new Zelda and Mario games accompanied by big sales of franchises that defined the predecessor's success, such as Wii Fit U. The buzz created by Wii U Direct shows that a key audience of Nintendo fans is still out there and ready to be convinced, whether they're fans of platforming, adventure, creative living-room exercise experiences or a variety of other genres.
We won't know how Wii U's multi-platform library will fare in the coming years until it's actually happened, of course, but Nintendo's success and appeal isn't solely down to that market or mind-blowing graphics. Graphical comparisons will be made later this year, and Wii U will finish third behind hulking graphical power-houses from competitors, but that doesn't mean Nintendo's system is destined to lose the bigger battles.
Lessons need to be learned from where Wii went wrong, and Nintendo gamers will be consistently reminded by others that their system is churning out less advanced visuals. Yet perhaps we should focus on what truly counts when playing a Nintendo system in recent times — the games and the experiences it gives us.
There's no way a gamer could "live" with Wii only, or without it of course, and now it will be basically the same.
Graphics aren't the only things needed in gaming systems, although they're a nice perk. To me, it takes games, fun downloads (at least nowadays), and a nice variety of games for all ages. So it might be a challenge to keep up until the tide of games come, but with a nice variety, they'll come out on top, the same they have done for years.
I'm a bit sick of reading these articles about Wii U's power or lack of power or whatever. I've never read countless articles the power of the Xbox or the power of PS3. The Wii U is a great console games look lovely and the games will only look better in a few years. When the Xbox 360 first came out the graphics were only a bit better than the last gen, but look at them now. One day I may actually read some positive articles on a daily basis.
@SuperCharlie78 I didn't, but I suppose it would depend on how many games you bought and what kinds of experiences you were looking for. For instance, my Wii library was, at the end of it all, massive compared to my X-Box 360 library.
The wiiu is doomed ... Why fork out £50 for a game when u can get it £10 cheaper on rival systems ... Especially when it'll probably be an inferior port? ... the wiiu is gonna get disowned (by 3rd party devs) when the proper nextgen systems arrive ... History repeating itself.
Yes, really. Now people can stop worrying about GPU and CPU hopefully. Focus on the games >:[
wii U may (or may not) become most popular system among next gen platforms due to having a one year head start and being easiest to develop for. Price of system will also be less than of it's rival's
Another solid write up by TW.
As disappointed as I've been with the Wii U, Nintendo still has a chance to come out ahead this generation for a few reasons.
Graphics are "good enough". If you haven't played a Wii on a 52" 1080p tv after a few hours of PS3 gaming you probably don't realize just how lackluster most Wii games are graphically, A few first party games excluded. The Wii U may just be good enough, unless everybody buys a 4k tv to play PS4 games on, which I doubt.
First to launch. I think at this point people are waiting to hear from Sony about MS. I think many will be disappointed, b/c everybody on the internet is always disappointed with release dates, prices and launch line-ups. Next holiday the Wii U should have better games than either competing system.
Price. If somehow Sony and MS come out with new systems at the Wii U price point - which they probably won't - Nintendo can just drop the Wii U price.
I don't see any way for any system to sell like the Wii, or even the PS2, but the Wii U can still outsell the other 2 along with enough 3rd party titles to be seen as an equal.
Looks good, plays good, I'm happy and now just let me play!
where i am from, canada, the new releases are all the same price between the 3 systems. an inferior port perhaps by graphical standard in the years to come, at this point they are generally the same with variences on each system. but for gameplay i have found the wii u to be better then the ports on other systems, large in part due to the pad for now, with examples like blops2 (full map and quick switch without being taken out of the action) and arkham city, again because of the pad, it draws you right into the game. the games that don't utilize the abilities are the ones that generally come out on the same level or inferior. but don't forget guys and girls, these are ports! they have taken the same coding and plopped it onto new hardware, tweaked it a bit to get it to run then release it. this according to most developers was a fairly easy process.
so if the wii ended up being capable of graphics like skyward sword which if was in hd would have been comparable to the other two systems, think of what can be done with hardware that is, despite contrary beleif, on par with the average computer system graphically (has a mid range gpu) and a processor that runs slightly slower but has great memory capabilities, will be able to do. dont forget that the wii when it was released was actually a few years behind the latest tech as this one is actually the same or in some ways better then what the average pc has in it except for system memory but that is a moot point as the os doesnt always have 1-2 gigabytes of overhead like windows.
I remember having to decide between motion controls or high definition. Now I don't have to decide. Seeing as this dilemma has now been solved, how does MS or Sony get into living rooms? More ads and selling points for third party will get more development, expect their version of next gen to be loaded with commercials much like television. I think Nintendo will remain the king for this reason.
Savino what you are describing is actually handled in most part by memory, gpu controls textures and polygons in the most case, to a lesser extent physics. but new/ish technologies are around to help with these issues, like tesselation, and the newest shaders and engine optimisations, this is why new games that are being made for the pc are still being comparibly made for the 360 and ps3 even though their tech is 5-6 years old. it is becoming a game for devs to think outside the box rather then just attempt to use full power. it is these reasons a game will run better on a i7 2.5ghz then an i5 running at 3ghz. similar idea with gpu's although it gets more complicated when looking at those comparisons cause they gave up the processor speed fight many years ago, now it's about memory, pipelines, cache and generally in last place comes processor speed.
It's all about the games, no matter how complex are their graphics. The other consoles may have better specs, but Nintendo exclusive franchises are waay ahead of the competition.
last point, if the next sony and MS systems are really cutting edge then expect the prices to reflect that, and if people are complaining the wii u is too expensive i'm not sure how well the other two will bare it.
it honestly seems kinda goofy for the 360 to be releasing a new system, their sales are going really good for them right now and that means that their new system will actually be competing agains their own system. at least the wii generally seems to be done.
Im pretty sure the cost of these consoles and the cost of developing games for these next gen powehouses from sony and microsoft is gonna go through the roof and the way the economy is i can see them both failing and nintendo cleaning up.
People buy consoles for a lot of.things convenience, first party games, etc. But if these nay sayers are so concerned about graphics, buy a nice pc! Console will never compete until small chips and hardware technology pretty much peak. Period.doesn't make sense to me all how useless this argument is.
Just look at how expensive ipads are, and they shift millions on them to people who already bought one a year before. It's looking like the Sony and MS consoles will be far more advanced than Wii U, and far more expensive, but that doesn't mean people won't spend it. I don't know anyone that isn't buying a Wii U because of the price. They're not buying it because right now there's not really any games. It's a bunch of inferior ports, and the first party games aren't really system sellers. They'll all want one for 3D Mario though.
I don't think Nintendo should waste their time and money trying to get ports of current PS3 and 360 games. When those franchises move onto the new MS and Sony Machines, you won't really be able to port them to Wii U, so it's just not worth building up the brands. What they should be doing is taking a good look at a lot of the studios that are being closed down, and seeing who they can snap up, because I think the Wii U is going to be more reliant on 1st party games than even the Wii was.
Oh, and maybe try and get Level 5 for a Wii U exclusive along the lines of PS3's Wrath of the White Witch.
Wiiu for exclusives / PC for awesome graphics.
Perfectly sums it up.
Great write up Thomas
Yeah, again, we buy Nintendo systems for Nintendo games. The Wii U offers a generational power leap over the Wii, and so we'll get to see what the next generation of Nintendo games/interfaces look/play like. Hopefully, also, for this year at least we get a few multiplatform titles that we can buy with Gamepad perks. If that dies out that's fine, because despite being significantly more underpowered than 360/PS3 last generation, Wii was still my most played platform overall. Where there's a passion for and appreciation of innovation, creative developers will come.
@Savino - I agree, I'll probably get PS4/720 eventually as well, but the leap to capitalise on that kind of power is going to take time. In the meantime, we'll see slightly prettier versions of what we've come to expect at the end of the PS3/360 generation.
Its all these websites like IGN, and Gamespot that come and shout, WOW it only has this and that and get all the people up in arms about this debate fuel by fanboys.
"In the end it, it really doesn't matter"
What matters is what game came out for the system.
First, let me say I have no interest in shooting games, first person or any other kind. Second, I fully agree that graphics do not make the game.
Finally, I am so very, very tired of these negative articles comparing Wii U's power (and now projected future support!) to hypothetical other systems. Give it a year, give it two years, then we can say something about it. For now, why encourage everyone to beat themselves up about something that's both unimportant and unknown?
Oh so they have 4K?
We have Pikmin 3.
I think we have a clear winner here. :3
@SuperCharlie78 The Wii was by far the best console of the past generation. How any gamer could live without a Wii is the bigger question.
Nintendo = First party games/exclusives.
PC = everything else.
It's been the same since the snes.
Agree 100%. Many Nintendo fans (I'm one of them, but have the ability to think critically) somehow have this belief that if the Sony and Microsoft systems launch at $550, everyone who was holding out for one of those will say "dang, thats too expensive!" and settle on buying a $350 Wii-U instead. I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If people want the newest technology, they will buy it even if it costs a little more.
Forget playing games, i want to engage in another graphical debate!
Console power is touchy. It truly does add new capabilities to games. The big question mark is can the next generation of games scale down to Wii U. It will be a different story for many games I'm guessing, but the trend in game development has been scalability lately. Look at humble bundle requiring Linux support on PCs or the majority of games going Android and iOS in the mobile and tablet space. Hopefully, Wii U will carve out a place in all of this.
Keep in mind that PS4 and NextBox will have their exclusives just like Wii U, so no matter what you WILL be missing out unless you buy them all.
I love my Wii U and I'm impressed with the visuals. Nintendo franchises have never looked this good, Nintendo games have been amazing for me and my family and they won't be going to the other guys, so... I guess I'm stuck with Wii U. Which is great.
It would take something pretty amazing to rip me away to the other guys, actually. We use our PS3 to watch blu-rays and play a few demos... and Rayman Origins. I love a good PC game, but keeping up is $$$.
We still haven't heard the next specs for other eighth gen consoles. Anyways I believe Nintendo will own again!
The biggest weakness the Wii had was poor online infrastructure. I think the removal of the Wii's limitations puts Wii U in a much stronger position vs its rivals this time around.
And some of us "gamers" got on just fine with the Wii alone, thank you very much.
@cornishlee That was kind of the point, the tone was targeting positivity (negative points were mentioned for context). The angle was to say that graphic comparisons will continue, of course, but that it's not been a priority for Nintendo systems for a number of years - it's about creativity and gaming experiences. If all goes well, Wii U can repeat some of the successes of Wii and, hopefully, avoid some of the weaknesses that affected it in its later years, in particular.
I'd debate any suggestion that this is a negative article, as a whole.
As @Sean_Aaron stated...some of us made out just fine with a Wii.
Without reading any other comments I'd like to say I was quite happy to live with Wii only and I've been a solid gamer since the NES and MegaDrive! I don't need 'graphical powerhouses' or constant FPS or violence and gore to enjoy computer games but I would contend with anyone who says I'm not a gamer! The wii was great and the WiiU is better and it's only since the Gamecube that I would call myself a 'Nintendo Fan' so neither am I ignorant of everything Sony and Microsoft (and even Sega way back when). We've all seen the new consoles coming and anyone who wants to buy them because they 'must have' every console is fine. I for one will wait to see if the cost is worth the product and make my decision accordingly, but judging by history I doubt this is going to be the case.
I plan on getting a PS4 when it comes out once I see it myself, and I think it's worth the extra cash, which it WILL cost more. I think Nintendo's idea of creativity(and the industry altogether kinda), is that whatever you want to show up on screen can happen. All the companies were pushing for a super all in one console last time, but when it comes right now to it, the games matter most. There are plenty of devices that do what Xbox 360 and PS3 does, EXCEPT play video games, plus more. You can buy a bluray/dvd combo player that does everything the PS3 does, except play games. Sony and Microsoft need to realize that their strategy was adapted by every other device out there, and figure out how to add more to their games. It's always good to see improvements in presentation, whether it be graphics, audio, controls, features, etc, but treading that new ground can take time, when you already have most of what's there and can still even improve on that. Like I said, I feel like Nintendo's console is pretty much telling people that anything they create can show up on screen. I will watch by the sidelines, and play later if PS4/Xbox 1080 are worth it...
i like how everyone is saying that the PS4 and next xbox will be power houses but as neither sony nor microsoft has said what they are capable of and as no one has their hands on them to do a test how do they know? because some random site said so for all we know the ps4 and next xbox may only be as powerful as the Wii U
Graphics are good enough on it. Who cares? It looks gorgeous and I'm sure the future first party games will be drop dead out of this world in comparison to the Wii and that is something the other consoles won't have haha
I almost worry about the horsepower behind the Wii U. And then I play Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii and promptly forget.
@Majin-Naruto - I don't know, they kind of have to take a bigger performance leap, don't they? Unless Sony/Microsoft pave new ground in interface design, having the power to last for the next 5 or so years is their biggest selling point, isn't it? Nintendo has had a different strategy for quite some time, but I doubt the others would feel comfortable being different enough to say graphics aren't everything.
@Raylax - I know right. Wii U has been able to pull off the end of the seventh generation with quick launch ports very well. There is so much room for expansion there. Think about the jump from early SNES games to DKCIII, or Uncharted 1 to Uncharted 3, Halo 3 to Halo 4. This is a much longer journey than what's possible in the first few months of release.
@Croz PC doesn't get a lot of the third party games consoles get, and have you seen Sony's first party and exclusive line up? It's absolutely massive.
Developers have had dev kits for them for a long time now, and the specs are pretty well known.
Honestly, have you seen the Wonderful 101? It just shows that that the WII U has PLENTY of grunt under the hood(maybe just not in terms of raw power). In the capable hands of good developers things are going to look really nice.
@DrMonk not always besides think about the development costs as well, if they put to much in and make it to expensive to buy no one will wan't to buy it take the PS3 and 360 it was well into their life cycle i got them because they were just too expensive
also game development cost would increase for the new playstation and xbox too and the way the economy is at the moment a cheaper console to develop for would be a pretty inviting wouldn't it
@Peach64 while they may have the kits until sony and microsoft officially announce it and release the specs for their machines i will take all the rumours with a pinch of salt
anyway horsepower isn't that important in a gaming console it's the games and Nintendo have never disappointed me yet in that regard
I couldn't "live" with only one console per generation, so none of this means anything to me.
To add to that, i would never want to experience a console generation WITHOUT Nintendo. Console Gaming would be dead at that point.
Doesn't better hardware alsoeffect non graphical aspects of gaming. Why focus only on graphics when you can look at stuff like AI or partical effects that aso get better with hardware jumps.
Here's the thing about Wii U though, when compared to the original Wii; the difference in image quality between a 480i/p signal via an analog connection with anamorphic widescreen and that of a 720p (or better) digital signal with a native widescreen resolution is hugely noticable. Especially on LCD and plasma screens.
What the average consumer noticed first and foremost about the Wii's competators last generation was this difference and NOT necessarilly the shaders, higher res textures, and/or better lighting. Wii games, however, tended to have better framerates, which tricked many uninformed people into thinking it was close enough to parity with those systems, but above all else it was the image quality on the newer types of screens that were emerging at the time that convinced most people of the PS360's technological superiority.
Now, those newer types of TVs have lowered in price, eliminated the CRT as a viable product, and saturated homes of people with varying economic dispositions. This means that the average consumer will now expect an HDMI connection for all of thier devices and anything less will be objectionable. Nintendo had this problem, but doesn't anymore, obviously.
The point is that the barrier that stood in the way of Nintendo appearing fresh in the technological space has been lifted, and from here on out Nintendo has a ton of elbow room for their hardware specs because of the naturally deminishing returns of the graphical armsrace. Of course there will be those vocal minority who cry fowl at Nintendo's insistance on practicality over cutting edge, but these people don't dictate the market as much as they think they do, as evident with the Wii's nearly 100,000,000 lifetime sales.
Not to speak of the rising costs that will come with Sony's and Microsoft's next consoles, it's really hard for me to think that the difference in power alone will decide Nintendo's fate in the coming years. I think it'll be more about what gives the consumer a better value and more versitility for that cost that will decide the next winner in the console race. Of course, we haven't yet seen Sony's or Microsofts machines, and they could very well step up to the plate on that front for all we know.
I appreciate that you tried to stress some positives but the thing is that they've all been stressed so many times that they're losing meaning. I guess I'm just jaded by the continual Wii U graphics stories.
Wii u,s graphic are good enough for me, now just give some fun and cool RPGs to play all my freetime.
" Originally Posted by Jim Morrison, Chipworks:
Been reading some of the comments on your thread and have a few of my own to use as you wish.
1. This GPU is custom.
2. If it was based on ATI/AMD or a Radeon-like design, the chip would carry die marks to reflect that. Everybody has to recognize the licensing. It has none. Only Renesas name which is a former unit of NEC.
3. This chip is fabricated in a 40 nm advanced CMOS process at TSMC and is not low tech
4. For reference sake, the Apple A6 is fabricated in a 32 nm CMOS process and is also designed from scratch. It’s manufacturing costs, in volumes of 100k or more, about $26 - $30 a pop. Over 16 months degrade to about $15 each
a. Wii U only represents like 30M units per annum vs iPhone which is more like 100M units per annum. Put things in perspective.
5. This Wii U GPU costs more than that by about $20-$40 bucks each making it a very expensive piece of kit. Combine that with the IBM CPU and the Flash chip all on the same package and this whole thing is closer to $100 a piece when you add it all up
6. The Wii U main processor package is a very impressive piece of hardware when its said and done.
Trust me on this. It may not have water cooling and heat sinks the size of a brownie, but its one slick piece of silicon. eDRAM is not cheap to make. That is why not everybody does it. Cause its so dam expensive""
DF jumped the gun on getting this article and their analysis up there so fast when people are still hard at work with analyzing the chip as we speak. That article actually made me lose a huge chunk of respect for DF. They stated their opinions like they were fact and didn't even bother to check their sources.
Officially done with this graphics argument. It is old and means nothing except for giving lazy developers,publishers excuses.
even if the WiiU is late, it doesn't matter because i bought a U for the games, and nintendo has always succeeded in games.
Why is there so much people that complain about the Wii U? I guess we all have individual minds that have different opinions. I for one like the Wii U and its graphics. About the third party games, the Wii did have a moderate amount of good third-party titles. The third-party games I liked was Sonic Colors and other Sonic games. I loved the idea of creativity that Nintendo has with its devices today. Some games to prove the game cube and its graphical powers is the two Metroid Prime games. Even Zelda: Twilight Princess proved to be visually impressive on the game cube. One more thing, I am excited for the new Zelda and Mario games, but I am still bummed by the lacking of a Metroid announcement.
I personally don't mind the graphics because I also think they're good enough. I also own a high end PC and stopped going for the "graphical arms race" because FULL HD IS good enough for me. What I'm really worried about is things like "world size" and "number of enemies" and multiplatform appeal. All in all I guess there will be many awesome indie titles, your usual bunch of cheap crap shovelware and excellent first party games on the Wii U further down the line. Which is "okay" but it could have been better.
not gonna lie i'm a little disapointed I really looked foward to playing all my third party games on my beast of a nintendo machine. Don't get me wrong I did buy a nintendo console for nintendo games, but if any nintendo fan says they don't care about graphics and that the third parties can stay on the other two franchises is a liar. As a hardcore ninty fan I know I would love to have the super great third party games on my ninty system along with my zelda, mario, pokemon and etc. I love the graphics on the wii u but I want it to be in the same league as the durango and orbis. I know people say quality over qraphics but guys common you can't say you dont want both.
I do hope Wii U will become the promised land of Indie.
we buy nintendo for the games that cant be played on xbox or ps and the same goes for them,nintendo mario,zelda,then xbox has halo,forza,ps3 gow,gt,heavy rain.i will buy ps4 or new xbox but not both and keep my wii u for the gamepad play is the best thing like sliced bread,its a great time for gamers cant wait to see what the future will bring to gaming.
oh one more thing how many people were like "the wii u will destroy the ps4 and the xbox 720 and stuff." Just sayin cause I know somebody said it. Its ok to admit it I said it in my head a couple of times myself. silly me
I'm pretty sure when used properly it's the most powerful and efficient system out there right now. So how it can't be good enough for anyone is beyond me.
Prepare to be underwhelmed by next generation graphics. The Wii U will do just fine.
Games that matter.
I don't buy Nintendo for 3rd Party.
I buy Nintendo b/c they are consistently the most innovative and interesting games to my taste.
I appreciate 3rd party games, on the Wii I loved Rune Factory to the point of it being one of the most played on my system, but I didn't buy the system for Rune Factory.
I hope the WiiU continues to get fun 3rd party titles that are quirky and different like Rune Factory, Tatsunoku vs. Capcom, and Fishing Resort.
HOWEVER, even if we get NOTHING from 3rd parties I'll be incredibly pleased with the WiiU b/c NO ONE makes games that I CONSISTENTLY enjoy as much as I enjoy Nintendo titles.
Just Nintendo published titles alone are enough to keep my pocketbook bare and my freetime overloaded with good games to the point of not being able to play them all!
I'm not concerned, the games look great, the last generation looked fine, on with innovation and more fun. I am ready!
@SimonB79 I'm sorry, what? "Proper" next gen? Have you seen the dev kits? I honestly have no idea why so many people say otherwise but the gap between the three systems is slim. Look at it this way, for multiplatform games the wiiu made a standard. Those will look very similar because developers won't want to waste money optimizing and reoptimizing. Thus comes down to the exclusives which is the real reason why we buy a system right? Those are up to the home developers. It doesn't matter what you put into a system. It's the developers capability at the end of the day. The WiiU won't be outmatched. It's a powerful system and that's the bottom line. That being said, i am also buying the ps4.
@jayblue how did you forget killzone?
@Savino ...do you even know how the chips work?
Meh, I'm still skeptical of a big potential performance gap between Nintendo and the competition. I don't see a good reason for Microsoft and Sony to incorporate very powerful hardware in their successors when the game-development market seems to be centered around PS360-like hardware, since many PC games seem to be ports.
@SuperCharlie78 True, very true.
Mclaren F1 or Mustang? If I were a kid I know what I'd have, but back then I lacked class and couldn't afford either. These days I have to share the living space with others, but with that responsibility comes disposable income. Oh look a WII U. Powerfull, practical and cool. And I can afford a few high end games when they come out, sit tight people, we may not blow you away but softly, softly catchie monkey me thinks.
Nintendo's super predictable/safe output nowadays means i would no longer consider buying a console JUST for their games. I'd feel sorry for anybody who was stuck with only the Wii this entire gen tbh..
I've decided to play it safe with the WiiU also; by completely ignoring it until there's more than a few high quality, original titles for it.
If the 3rd party support remains abysmal however, i may just write-off the system altogether. My gaming time will be/is fulfilled elsewhere.
@Doma How lovely. Goodbye.
@rambosdad No need for goodbyes. It depends on the future.
Seems you're the exception to the rule then.
Generally speaking people actually DO buy specific consoles for specific games. It's what has unfortunately also led to the uprising of fanboys, but besides that, there's something to be said for exclusives. I myself have always been a fan of GAMES, not of some particular console manufacturer, so in this house you will find many consoles of different brands and this generation will probably be the same for me. (as in a Wii U and probably the new Xbox)
That being said, I don't think people that last a generation with only one console should be pitied, like you said, because in the end it all depends on what games you want to play. Heck, in the old days no one felt sorry for a SNES or a Genesis owner and if they were hardcore Mario or Sonic fans they were definitely NOT going to play each others games, so back in those days, most of them also stuck to one console.
I can understand the reaction you got from @rambosdad, because you came across as very negative and it is almost never wise to discount any platform or, as you put it, completely ignore it.
I'll get it once the price drops and Wind Waker HD is released
Haven't you read the news? You need to check the article where Iwata very specifically stated that Wii U's price is absolutely NOT going to drop, so good luck waiting for that.
They're already sold at a loss, so Nintendo simply can't afford to do so, and even a competitive price point of the other two consoles will for that very reason make no difference to that fact WHATSOEVER. You either want a Wii U or you don't, and if you do but can't (or probably won't) afford it right now, then you better start saving up cash.
There's something in this article that's not factual and needs to be corrected:
"Wii U won't be as powerful — again, purely in graphical terms — as the next systems from Microsoft and Sony. That's just the way it is, beyond any reasonable doubt."
The issue here: "again, purely in graphical term" - how do you know this? The issue that's been discussed by journalist in the know about the Wii U's architecture don't speak of the GPGPU being underpowered, instead they speak of the Wii U being underpowered by it's average CPU.
Graphically, the bar is set at 1080p, so visually, the Wii U will be very close to the next generation consoles - unless they step up to a UHDTV. The reason that the Wii U will most likely not get multiplatform games come next generation comes from the CPU not being able to process the amount of information necessary as quickly as the upcoming systems.
I'm sorry Thomas, I'm not trying to tear into you, but this piece is actually written quite backwards from the reason that the Wii U will be underpowered going forward. Graphics are only a small part of the equation and for the Wii U - graphics are one of the best things that it has going for it. What it lacks is raw processing power - not graphics. I see where you're going with this article - staying positive, because the Wii U does indeed have a lot to be positive about. But be careful talking about hardware specs, unless you what they are and how they all work together. Why do I say this? Well, if a Wii U title is lacking graphically, it's because the GPGPU (General Purpose Graphics Processing Centre) is having to use its power to help the CPU work harder. Again, the CPU has been the issue, not the GPU - we've known that the GPU was powerful, especially with all the eDRAM packed into it.
I don't give a crap about graphics the Wii U is wicked. Having 2 screens makes up for graphics anyway.
For those that don't know yet, DF is being blasted by GAFers because of the false information they're cherry-picking. Don't know why people take DF seriously nowadays.
The difference between the WiiU and the next Sony and Microsoft consoles will be similar to the difference between current PC games and the current consoles. The graphics on PC look amazing, but the consoles versions still look good.
It seems likely that the WiiU will have to carve out its own market separate from Sony and MS once their consoles are established. Which really comes down to Nintendo driving units sales and then getting developers on board for WiiU exclusives.
@TheRealThanos My problem is when those exclusives amount to being retreads of past efforts, gets boring fast. They chose to showcase their brand new system with a NSMB game... this doesn't inspire confidence.
We'll see as things progress but, very little of what Nintendo has shown so far has gained my interest.
For me, the Wii U will put out beautiful enough graphics that will make me drool. When I want bleeding edge graphics, I have my $550 PC.
This is 2013, don't want 2008 graphics. So yeah, graphics do matter to players.
I've been saying this for a while, but Nintendo really need to try and go it alone. By that I don't mean having no third parties on board, but that its a well known fact that 1st party software sells much more than 3rd party games on Nintendo consoles. If EA and Activision don't come to the party, it wouldn't be such a problem if Ninty owned more devs and published more games. Not a cheap option, but with all the money saved by not going all out on specs with the Wii U, Wii, DS and 3DS it should be going into securing more games for their systems, because gone are the days of 3rd party publishers flocking to Nintendo systems to sell their games. Without that, there is no steady stream of games because Nintendo at the moment cannot meet demand with their own first party games. Solution? Buy out more dev teams. With the amount of old IP that Nintendo has laying around doing nothing this approach could help them immensely as the gaming landscape changes, if Nintendo hope to carve out their niche, I believe this is their only way. I love that Nintendo have gone their own way with their hardware, but as the Wii proved, 3rd parties will put their blockbuster games on the higher spec consoles. The only counter for that is to have your own blockbuster games, and I don't think focusing on just having Mario and Zelda is going to cut it this time.
I dont know, I had alot of fun across all formats this gen as I'am sure I will with the next including wii u of course but still I have to say far more of those great experiences came from 360 & ps3 than the wii, there were some great titles for sure but the waggle factor because boring quickly and the majority of titles I enjoed the most were those which placed little emphasis on wiicentric features and for the most part would have been better without them at all. I'll probably invest in all next gen hardware and hopefully wii u wont get left behind in a couple of years like the wii did. Dont think anyone thats played all three can honestly disagree that both xbox and ps3 had far greater catalogue overall than the wii which missed out on a load of great multiplatform titles. I really couldent see myself getting by with just one console whichever one it may be.
Solution: Get a gaming PC for all the multi-platform HD glory games. (And ya know... all those great PC exclusives) and have Nintendo systems for the amazing experiences they have. Get the best of both worlds and don't worry about missing out.
I don't know this looks good enough graphically for me. Real gameplay for one second.
@FineLerv Same with my My Wii libraby was enourmous compared to my PS3 library.
Power is for PC, I don't even have a gaming PC and I know that. Anyways, they already got a more competent online system. I also question how big the power jump will actually affect the games. I want Nintendo to make as much money as possile and have 3rd party support. However, if the Wii U has JRPGs, some good Japanese titles, and some decent indie, I could care less about the other stuff. This doesn't matter much to me, Wii U already has Tekken and I know this is probably going to be my only console anyway.
I'll never sell my soul to XBox or Sony (not that I've never played their systems, they just don't need or deserve my money. While the other 2 sell pc's, microwaves, cameras, ovens, mp3 players, etc, Nintendo makes it's business off games). The other 2's consoles will def be over 600 bucks at start, and their games probably will be 80. Big N til the end.
@TheRealThanos (#77) I think he means in a few years, I mean, they aren't going to keep it at whatever price it is in the Netherlands forever.
@DaemonSword I never knew that Sony or Microsoft made ovens and microwaves... If they did, wouldn't they have combined them with their game consoles? I mean come on.
That's literally why I'm a Nintendo fan 1st & a Sony fan 2nd: for the games. At the end of the day, to me, a console can have huge graphical potential but if there are no games to play then what's the point? Consoles should be judged on their games not on their potential imo.
I think that we can all agree that, without Nintendo continuing to thrive today, gaming would be a pretty monotonous industry.
I dread "next-gen" anyway because it's going to be more bs. First of all, the first several years they'll probably produce mostly photo-realistic games with bad art because they're going to be so focused on warranting the extra horse power. Then it won't be until almost near the end of the lifecylce, when the photorealism gimmik has worn off, that we'll see things like Borderlands and Dishonored where it has a striking art style makes up for the 5 or 6 year old hardware.
Graphical limitations have always made for pretty games because they HAVE to rely on great art, they can't say "it looks super real" and call it a day. And i'm not saying realistic games suck, I'm merely say many studios will rely on horespower over good artists to make the sale to the consumer during the first few years of a console.
That's partly why so many realistic looking games don't hold up today. Aesthetically they probably looked like garbage back then too, we were all just impressed with the technical bump.
The next problem is "next-gen" is likely to just be a continuation of the bs with on disc dlc, online passes, micro-transactions, etc. I feel like Wiiu brings things back to its roots and I'm excited! The Wiiu will not be an Xbox, however, and you're going to need to still buy a new Xbox if you want an Xbox. That's always the criticism of the Nintendo console in the states, "It's not an Xbox." Well no **** sherlock!
I'm still very much on the fence on whether or not I'll participate in "next-gen". If the Wiiu ends up having a lot of good games that are different but just as good as the stuff on other consoles I'll probably skip it!
Let's not forget that any device, including Wii U, could release a box that gets to where PS4 and Xbox 1080 can specs wise as soon as they release it. Sega CD, Wii remotes almost geing an add on for GCN, and Xbox 360/PS3 adding motion halfway through the gen are good examples of adding extra hardware during a life span of a console. I would buy an extra box for $100-$150 if it literally evened the capabilities between the consoles as soon as I plugged it in. Wii U already has tons on motion controls and the Gamepad on it's side already, so they don't need to improve that, that much.
I already have a Wii U, and money comes and goes. If they release a U-ltimate Cube that ups the hardware for 4K, better graphics, faster RAM, etc, and I need or want it, I will get it. I already paid for Wii U, it's done. I'll go get more money.
Nintendo could even release the U-ltimate Cube on the same day as PS4/Xbox 1080 come out to be rude. Haha. Now you're playing with power, (insert horrible adjective + noun combo here).
That Digital Foundry analysis was terrible.
"We now know everything! Except for the stuff we don't know about!"
Look, I've spoken from my soapbox enough times regarding Nintendo's core philosophies and ideas. I don't what else I can say that will convice these graphics whores of their anal stupidity.
Here's the thing with consoles - they will ALWAYS be outdated. There will ALWAYS be something bigger and better around the corner. PC is always at the forefront of this...always has been, always will. Yet despite this, 'underpowered' consoles have always thrived.
Yep. The games.
Think of all the great gaming consoles of the past; NES, SNES, Mega Drive, PSOne, Dreamcast, PS2, GCN, etc etc...their legacy isn't how 'powerful' they were, but all the great games they provided.
This is the GAMES industry...NOT the graphics industry.
Also, take a look at those Pikmin 3 screens. If Nintendo can achieve THAT this early in the Wii U's lifespan, then I don't think there should be any cause for concern for 'dem grafix'.
@AtomicToaster - My thoughts exactly. People seem to think Sony and Microsoft are somehow the acceptable barometers of what next-gen 'should' be. It's ridiculous. For all the criticism the Wii received, at least it wasn't flooded with microtransactions, day-1 patches, exhorborant DLC, disc-locked content, rip-off subscriptions (hello Xbox Live Gold), hacked systems (hello PSN), and online communities ruled by racist, sexist, homophobic and jingoistic 12 year olds.
@SpaceApe so you're ready to fork out $10k to go with that $800 Playbox or just going with a PC monitor. What's your idea of 'better graphics'?
this time around i wont be buying a new xbox or ps4
if the xbox still uses normal dvds dual layered etc, because its really anoying to swap discs all the time, nintendos panasonic discs can use up to 25gig on the discs so alot.
And for the record nintendo has the best IPs if whe are talking about games.
now on the wiiU i cant wait to play a new zelda, and for the new Xenogears game its really beautifull, and also cant wait what Namco bandai is doing for the new SSB.
if the xbox 720 will be reall really good maybe then i will think about it, but i am sure they will be too expensive, so i wont buy them from the start till they get cheaper in over a year lol.
"Shall we play games now" Explain ?? why not?
Shall we play Mariokart wiiu? shall we play mario galaxy wiiu? zelda wiiu?
Off course we do, we know nintendo for a long time now, and they did not dissepoint me, ever
I wouldn't care if Nintendo was making pixel style games as long as they are fun games to play. Graphics don't make the game.
When ps3 launched im pretty sure it cost around £430 and no body bought it until the price dropped significantly, i can see sony making the same mistake with the ps4 being priced higher than this and nobody buying it until the price drops. Xbox will prob be the same aswell.
I love the wii U. And when I look at me playing blackops on two screens with anybody, I only see great support, not dwindling doom.
I speculate on the strange addition of ultraHD by the others in order to differentiate on poweful graphics, making the console versions essentially the same for all of us mortals running 1080p on our tv's.
Seriously, the race to the technical capabilities is irrelevant. It's going to bite sony in particular, I'm afraid, if they don't come up with some stellar games themselves. There's the upside chance they will - looking at littlebigplanet type stuff - but is it going to be enough? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, I only ever bought one console each cycle and it was always a nintendo one. The wii had so many great games I could barely keep up sometimes. The wiiU will have the same thing happening.
Anyway, is monster hunter out yet?
I like my Wii U as it is. It's all about the games for me, why even bother about that few extra pixels for hundreds of euro's more?
"There's no way a gamer could "live" with Wii only, or without it of course, and now it will be basically the same."
@SuperCharlie78 The Wii was the only console I owned last gen. Sony and Microsoft just didn't offer me anything my computer couldn't do that would justify the absurd price tag, Nintendo on the other hand offered me a new way to play and interact with games. I'll take innovation over raw horsepower any day of the week.
It's not about resolution, technical specs, or graphical prowess. It's about art style. Label me a super fan, but in my honest opinion, the Wii games I've had the privilege to play have been more beautiful than anything I've experienced on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It's about imagination. I hope there will always be a market that realizes that.
It can have all the graphical specs in the world and be the most photo-realistic thing around, but if a game is bland and lacking imagination, I see no reason to call it good looking in the slightest.
Let's see how the games are, and how well the competition does, in the long-run. Then we'll talk.
@drunkenmaster76 "i can see them both failing and nintendo cleaning up"
Now I know where you got your nick name, you must be drunk if you thing Nintendo is going to crush Sony and MS. The hype and buzz on the streets when these come out will be a roar. Expect shortages and long lines to get them. The graphics will amaze. Right now the Wii U is like a 6 year old Xbox 360 with no games. The only one saying "graphics don't matter" are people and companies with graphically inferior systems. The 3DS is an exception, while technically inferior to the Vita, the 3D does add a superior graphical aspect, 3D, that the Vita lacks.
No matter how amazing the artistic work that was put in to many Wii games that made them look fantastic one must also remember that it could NEVER display 1920x1080. So even if a game looked good it could never look great. Even with the new systems coming out they will almost assuredly be running at 1920x1080 (Even if capable of doing higher). While they may have more effects they can use to make things look a little flashier they will not be leaps and bounds ahead of the Wii U like the current systems are to the Wii. 1920x1080 vs 720x480 was easily visible. This time not so much. With the experience Nintendo has at squeezing beauty out of little power I think they are salivating at using their artistic creativity in HD to show that they still know what they're doing.
I was gonna post that, which IMO should have been in the main article, instead of those DF biased comments. I sadly notice no one took notice of your post, of course. Go figure...
graphics come second gameplay comes first... plain and simple
@Amigaengine Digital Foundry has a huge bias out for NIntendo. There head to head comparisons were a joke. I have Call of Duty BLOPS2 on Wii u AND PC... THe Wii U game is almost on par with it, and its definitely far better then the one my brother has the PS3. But according to DF the Wii U version is terrible.
Nintendo never sold the Wii U as bleeding edge horsepower, so why everyone really cares whats inside?? Things have been confirmed thats its 150% faster than the 360/PS3, and thats the minimum, judging on only 50% what has been pinned down by these screens. There is still another 50% we don't know anything about. ALOT of speculation by NEOGAF seems to point to alot of silicon dedicated to alot of shading and lighting effects to allow the GPU squeeze a bit more out.
Time will tell what it can do, and by my judgement off tv play is good enough for a $300 purchase, even if it wont play some unknown game 3 years from now... If I want "Nextgen" graphics, my PC has already been doing that for 2 years now, and when Sony and Microsoft finally release their Gen 8 machines, I'll upgrade my computer and start enjoy Gen 9 graphics
@SCAR392 as cool as that sounds, Nintendo would have had to built that capability into the system before selling it.
As it stands there is no way to get extra horsepower goodies to that CPU/GPU... If they added a slot module into the motherboard, then it would have been possible, but looking at the console, there is no such thing. The Wii U is what its going to be performance wise.
But its way too early to judge this systems max performance. We wont see what it can do until E3 comes rolling around.
I am just not sure I care that much any more and here is why....
1. Tech has been taking smaller and smaller leaps in recent years. My last two PCs have lasted me more than 4 years and with minimal upgrades...
2. The Wii ended up having a pretty good library overall, It was slow and jerky in coming, but so many faves in the end. Some things looked really good for 480p and some things didn't. Not many 3rd party 'ports' but who cares there were some great 3rd party orginals and that is what counts..
3. Assuming Nextbox and PS40000 are equal in power which one should I buy first? I think they are making a bad move bringing both out at the same time. I purchased X360 in Spring on 2006 because Oblivion came out, I played that game for the better part of the rest of that year. I didn't buy a ps3 until 2008 when the MGS 4 bundle came out and it took a price drop. Before that there wasn't squat but late X360 ports to play.
4. Sony and M$ are scambling to add new or inovative features like Ninendo did with Wii-U. Meanwhile their solutions to 2nd screen are costly addons like buying a tablet or a vita. This on top of a likely $400 system.
5. Will we really see the value of these new systems without a 4K TV which I don't plan to buy anytime soon and I don't see telivision broadcasts supporting any time soon. 1080 will be the standard for atleast another 5-10 years in this regard.
6. My favorite game recently and in a long time is an XLBA game called Mark of the Ninja......2D, hand drawn, fricking awesome old school platformer with unreal gameplay. Seriously, if you have an X360 please buy this game and play it if you have ever liked Castlevania, Metriod, or any other great 2D game. This ranks at the top. I also have this game on PC and it runs on my mid-spec laptop.
7. I think Wii-U Xmas 2013 is going to be very strong. While $ony and M$ do hand to hand combat, take losses on hardware, people complain about lack of launch titles, prices for a complete setup with game costs $500 and quircks and bugs get worked out.....Nintendo will be sailing....with a number of must play games, a bunch of good content on eshop, a much lower price point likely $250 for base and $300 or $350 for a pro maybe with a better bundled game. I would love to see a US Monster Hunter budle with the game and pro controller and how about a 3DS download code for $350...tell me that wouldn't sell when already so many 3DS owners.
Not to flame as I own all consoles and play them all. I buy a lot of stuff at launch, but not all. I bought 3DS at launch and it sucked and didn't have an Estore for months, bought Vita at launch and after beating Drake it still sits largely unused. I will eventually get PS4 and X720 but I won't be in a rush, look at how good the stuff coming out this year looks......the leap for the new systems is not going to be that big initially, it will take time and experience for stuff to really blow you away. Microsoft's first party titles have meant zero to me lately....Halo 4 eh, Forza Horizons...so so but I own a wheel for PS3 so not buying another. At this point I like Sony franchises better and love the Drake games, GOW ok, GT oh yeah with a wheel, Ratchet and Clank yepper, Sly oh yeah, would love to see a new Jak and Daxter game. Unless you are in to online shooter M$ really doesn't have much for you!
Why is it always about graphics. graphics graphics graphics. it's all i hear about.
what about a quality game? graphically i think games are just fine. it looks good. excellent even. why not focus on making some great games? nintendo does. 1111`11q
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