Just recently we uploaded a video comparing footage of Watch Dogs on Wii U with Xbox 360 and PS4, to provide an indication of how the Nintendo system's version stacks up. The results highlight a closer parity with the 360 iteration, as expected in light of the performance of previous multi-platform ports on the Wii U.
Digital Foundry has also pitched in on the Wii U version, highlighting a disappointing level of performance. Early on it's stated that this "isn't the next-gen/current-gen technological blend many were hoping for", highlighting a sub-720p framerate; visually it's largely in line with the PS3 version, with relatively subtle differences in some aspects, while screen-tear is pleasingly wiped out.
Unfortunately, frame rate is highlighted as a persistent problem, particularly when driving through the city.
V-sync is permanently engaged to remove all the tearing we see on the PS3 edition, making it much easier on the eye overall. However, there's no skirting around the fact that the Wii U version's frame-rate is worse than a last-gen version that was already pushing the threshold for acceptability.
Put into perspective, the PS4 operates at 30fps throughout most of our tests, while the PS3 runs between 25-30fps during cut-scenes, but can drop lower during gameplay. However, Nintendo's platform struggles to even achieve this level, with matching car chases towards the city holding at between 20-25fps on Wii U- dipping to the high teens when smashing through physics-based objects.
Remarkably, a 20fps refresh is often the standard for inner-city driving, making it exceptionally sluggish to control.
Ultimately, Digital Foundry declares that, if Watch Dogs is to be the last of these major multi-platform ports for Wii U — at least for a while — then "it's a disappointing conclusion to a story of mixed fortunes". There have been standouts that have utilised the Wii U well, including Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, but this isn't one of them.
We certainly concur that performance is a regular issue in Watch Dogs on Wii U, but our full review will be with you on 28th November.