back to article Wii U has 50 per cent more power than rivals

After Nintendo revealed the Wii U at this year's E3, a continuous stream of rumours and further details have emerged. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all now battling for a piece of consumers' lives, evolving their respective hardware into home entertainment hubs, rather than simply gaming systems. In a discussion with All …


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  1. Piro Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    A more powerful console = yes, stupid controller = no

    Seriously, are the days of gathering everyone round a TV to play some games gone? Imagine how much each controller will cost!

    They need to stop with this silly controller fiasco (no, the Wiimote is not an impressive innovation) and bring a solid, ergonomic controller. Hell, the GameCube controller was solid enough.

    If they want to introduce expensive, uncomfortable, gimmicky controllers, that's fine, but they should also ensure ALL games have support for a standard, comfy controller.

    1. Chad H.


      Nintendo had controllers just about right with the SNES. Its a shame only Sony seems to have realised this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The N64 Controller for me.

        Horses for courses.

    2. David Gosnell

      Extra controllers

      I'm sure I read that extra new-style controllers will not be available. Probably not enough oomph to stream video to multiple touchscreens at once. Which does beg the question of the point on a social-gaming console... Guess more for network play, but then too many screens to watch.

      Though nowt much wrong with the current Wiimote/nunchuk combination, IMHO.

    3. juice


      It's worse than that: the Wii U will only support a single touchscreen controller - though it's worth bearing in mind that this will be in parallel with up to four wiimote/nunchuck controllers.

      Then too, Nintendo is making some noises about enabling multiple touchscreens and/or streaming to a 3DS, but fundamentally there's no way the Wii U is powerful enough to be able to stream multiple HD feeds - especially when it comes to multiplayer, where each player is likely to have his own unique viewport on the world (e.g. FPS games such as Battlefield or CoD).

      Oh, and as regards the power of the Wii U: the only on-record discussion I've seen of it's capabilities came from John Carmack (he of Doom/Quake/playing with real-life rockets fame), and his statement implied the Wii U will be at "parity" with the Xbox 360 and PS3. Given that he's pretty knowledgable about such things, I'm inclined to suspect that claims of the Wii U being "50% more powerful" are a wee bit on the optimistic side...

    4. Adam T

      multiple controllers = no

      You can't use more than one U controller at a time.

      But yeah, I'm fed up with all the Nintendo accessories. By the time you've bought everything you need to play with friends, you may as well have bought a 360 Kinect pack and a PS3.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        My wife bought a Wii

        And I agree.

        3 Wiimotes, 2 nunchucks, a balance board, 2 traditional controllers.

        Was rather expensive

        And doesn't get that much play.

        Now used mainly as an expensive set of scales.

        And they eat batteries.

        I reckon £20 worth minimum. seem to go flat even if not used.

        This is the one thing you can say about PS3 rechargeable batteries are great

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Rechargeable batteries work just as well in the Wiimotes.

          Of all things to nicpic about!

  2. fLaMePrOoF
    Thumb Up


    Already saving up for one... =OD

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They go on about all its features and where its going to be in the marketplace and if its going to be late or not. Then there is pricing....

    There is no doubt that this console is going to be a premium price same as when the PS3 came on the market it was a premium price......

    The success or failure of this is going to be based on two things.... one, the machine is going to have to have enough of a kick to be able to support games that have superior eye candy to the ps3 and also enough kick in it that it will be able to compete with the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft when they are announced. the

    second part is the new controler. No doubt nintendo will provide a game or two at launch that will really showcase its capabilities, but third party developers are going to have to make good use of it. Your going to be paying a massive premium for these controllers and if they are not used then your gonna be a little pissed off... there has been so many games for the wii that totally failed to make good use of the wii motion plus or even just the accelerometers... if the developers just ignore the new controller and just do a basic port of games then I wouldn't be happy....

  4. hexx

    anybody surprised

    that it has more processing power than 5 years old consoles?

  5. ph0b0s

    50% more power, so what....

    What people seem to be missing is that this will launch in a year with DirectX 10.1 capable hardware, just as Win 8 launches with an inevitable new DX version. So instantly the Wii will be two gens behind.

    I grant you that, initially the Wii U will have a big advantage over the current gen consoles from Microsft and Sony. But that will only be for about a year before they release their next gen consoles with DX 11 or later version hardware. Then the new Wii will have same problem as it's predecessor of being behind with low amounts AAA title support, again....

    1. Chad H.

      I think you're forgetting the lessons learned from the Wii

      The most important lesson being: Power is not everything.

      Its all about providing the best gaming experience, and despite it being underpowered, the Wii won this battle for many customers, and had the result of Sony and MS playing catchup with a machine that was weaker on paper.

      As long as Nintendo keep this lesson to heart, AND use the additional power that the Wii wil give them, Who cares about DX10.1 or Win 8?

    2. Lee Dowling Silver badge


      The chances that the Wii actually uses the DirectX API's are, I think, incredibly slim. Thus which number Microsoft decides to arbitrarily assign to a group of shader models, etc. is neither here nor there (and DX 11 is being ignored at the moment because it cuts out a large portion of older PC's, for instance - there's a point at which you just don't get any better graphics and just having higher resolutions or more anti-aliasing makes more difference).

      If you're writing a game today, you're almost certainly targetting DX 10-level hardware too because otherwise you'll get no end of driver / performance bugs on even slightly sub-par machines (old, laptop, integrated graphics, etc.). So moving to a "DX10 equivalent" machine rather than "DX11 equivalent" is hardly taxing compared to porting an entire program to a whole other platform anyway. If your program only works on DX11, then you have much BIGGER problems when it comes to moving to the Wii, PS3, etc.

      And the Wii itself was generations behind when it launched. Didn't seem to hurt it's five-year domination of the games console market. And the point is that, at release, it will still be probably the most powerful console available. Whether that lasts for six months or six years makes no difference - that temporary leapfrog on competitors is worth its weight in gold.

      1. ph0b0s

        Setting you both striaght

        First @chad, you are completely right "Power is not everything." Please tell this to Nintendo and the press who have been harping on about the power of the Wii U, like in the article above. Nintendo have stated one of their aims with this console is to win back hard core gamers and attract triple AAA titles to the system, that were lacking with the Wii. Why they would be chasing this market when the Wii was so successful is for others to discuss. The point of my post is, if that their aim is as stated, then they have already shoot themselves in the foot. For the reasons I stated above.

        @Lee Dowling. A couple of things. You are quite right that most consoles do not run DirectX code. But since all current gen console graphics cards are PC derived GPU's designed to run DirectX it is a useful standard to use when discussing graphical performance of different consoles.

        Second DX 11 is being ignored at the moment because all consoles at the moment are at most DX 9, not as you said because it cuts out some of the PC market. No-one wants to invest in using a level of DX that cannot be easily moved to consoles, due to the larger market. Hence most games are DX 9 at the moment. Even DX 10 is still not the norm.

        Also a title coded for DX11 is automatically DX10 due to DX11's backward comparability. The only things you would loss out on are DX11 features like hardware tessellation. The only people left out in the cold of a DX11 only title, would be people who only have DX9 hardware, a minority these days in the PC gaming market. So there is no excuse for not coding for DX11 apart from fearing that your engine won't run on consoles.

        And as far as DX11 not adding anything graphically, I beg to differ, hardware tessellation makes quite a big difference to the graphics you can turnout. And I expect to hear the term tessellation used repeatedly by Microsoft and Sony when they come to release their next consoles (unless over shadowed by some feature DX 12 brings to the party)

  6. MakkaPakka

    Still behind the 8 ball

    I'm not impressed... 50% faster than the 4 year old existing PS3 and 360 platforms?

    So, assuming Sony and Microsoft continue to improve at Moore's Law pace, then the upcoming XBOX 720 and PS4 consoles will be 2-3 times faster, and the existing large performance gap to Nintendo will remain.

  7. SpaMster


    It's going to be funny when Sony release their NGP and everybody realises it does everything the Wii U can do and more. Theirs a lot of stupid people out their that dont seem to realise they do practically the same thing. If sony get there NGP on the market first i think nintendo are really going to struggle to sell this.

    1. DrXym

      The PSP did it too

      The PS3 has had remote play for years now. Connect a PSP to a PS3 and you could watch videos, play music and even play some games. It was woefully underused but it was there.

  8. SteveBalmer

    LOL, how about some technical writers?

    As clearly in the case of the PS3, you can't JUST look at the spec of the RSX to determine it's graphical rendering capability, as the Cell is also heavily involved with this, it's a far more integrated rendering pipeline.

    Looking at specs alone might lead the clueless to believe that because the Wii U has a newer/faster GPU, then it must mean it's more capable, however this is utterly untrue.

    The PS3 when coded correctly (as opposed to most multiplatform titles that are coded incorrectly), is a massively powerful beast. Games like Uncharted and Killzone show what the system is really capable of, and I seriously doubt the Wii U will come anywhere close to that.. Left alone 50% more...

    Still we can all look back at this news in a couple of years and laugh at how clueless large swathes of the computing press are, and that they just fall for whatever Nintendo or Microsoft tell them in lame PR spin.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, and I'm guessing here

      (just like you in fact), maybe Nintendo are not a stupid as you think they are, and it IS more powerful than the PS3.

      In which case you would look the idiot.

      But, like I said, I'm just guessing.

      (actually, I do know of some of the tech inside the Wii, just not allowed to talk about it).

    2. Chad H.

      Laughing at the clueless

      You mean like how we laugh at those that said the underpowered non HD wii would be a flop?

    3. paulll

      Re. LOL, how about some technical writers?

      LOLOL How about some technical talk from the chap who's demanding technical writers? 'Cell' and 'RSX' are what's called 'marketing bs,' not technical terms, sorry to break it to you. Your use of the terms (I admit I had to look-up 'RSX') would seem to suggest that you're a bit of a fanboi ... You're not vulnerable to falling for whatever Sony tell you in lame PR spin by any chance, are you?

      Did they suggest to you, for instance, that there was something special about the 'Cell' being involved in rendering graphics? LOL

  9. DrXym

    50% more power than its 7 year old rivals

    That's great, just in time for the next generation. Nintendo did it with the Wii too which was accurately described as 1.5x the power of the Gamecube.

  10. James Hughes 1

    I'm interested

    Since I am not a gamer who goes for the shooters etc, I'd be interested to see what Nintendo can do with games like Mario Bros, Mario Kart, DK Country Returns, Zelda's etc, when given a lot more horsepower. I'm thinking some really good cartoon graphics on the way.

    HD goes without saying, unsure about the controller but being able to play entirely using it without the TV means you can vacate the room when needed. Seems like a good idea. As long as the price for a second controller isn't prohibitive of course, you can have people paying against each other in different rooms. Nice idea.

  11. Captain Hogwash

    trying to "reach out to the people who are not interested in video games"

    I'm one of those people and I'd like to know how.

    1. Chad H.

      Have you looked at the Wii and DS lineups

      I take it you havent seen a Nintendo ad recently

      Pusing to the "non-gamer" they have Interactive fictrion, "games" that teach you to paint, Party games, Dance lessons and the big one: Wii Fit.

      Nintendo have done a great job at widening the scope of who now plays video games.

      1. Captain Hogwash

        All just video games... far as I can see (which you'll perhaps say is not too far.) The point of video games is to change the colour of pixels on a screen and the sounds emanating from loudspeakers. The traditional ways of doing this usually involve pretending to be either a racing driver or a gun-toting type battling aliens, opposing armies, rival criminal gangs or the police. The games you've mentioned use new ways to try and disguise the fact that the object of the game hasn't changed. There may be beneficial side-effects (also available elsewhere) to regular playing using some of the methods (e.g. wii-fit.) But in most cases there seems not to be (learning to paint is impossible without using paint.)

        So, in order to attract someone with no interest in video games, these things need to offer something else. Something unrelated to video games. As they're in the business of video games, I wouldn't expect them to do that but I was curious as to what Nintendo's ideas are since the statement I quoted had a hint of a suggestion that they might be thinking of going in this direction. Anyway, I stand by my original icon.

        1. Danny 14


          you can watch iplayer on one :)

        2. Chad H.

          I think you've missed the point

          Are they video games... Sure.

          But they appeal not to "gamers" but to those uninterested in Video games. Hardcore gamers do not buy Wii Fit - their non-game playing mother does.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Interesting controller, but realistically, with all the tech crammed into that, one of those things is gonna retail at a minimum of £80. Three and four player games are gonna cost a fortune, and heck, even two player games will as well.

    1. fattybacon

      Hope for ex-gamer dads like me

      It's designed to only support the one good controller (supplied) and supports up to 4 wiimotes (either original or the wiimote+ ones, and wii-fit boards).

      Added into that backwards compatibility with Wii disks then it's got to be attractive upgrade for the households (like mine) that have invested in a fair bit of Wii kit already and would like to have some more traditional gaming in addition to waggling.

    2. SpaMster

      hate to break it to you

      Your going to hate it even more when you find out you can only use one WiiU controller on the system at a time, i like it how they shy'd away from telling everybody that at the conference. All other players will have to use a standard Wii controller. So although your dreams of multiplayer gaming arnt shattered, your dreams of everybody using one of those controllers on the same system is.

    3. Luke McCarthy

      Even worse

      Only one of these controllers can be used. All other players must use Wii remotes.

      1. Term

        Only one WiiU remote.

        Anyone got a link about this which isn't from a third party. I'm not saying it's not true but there does seem to be a lot of rumours.

  13. Dave Murray
    Thumb Down


    50% more powerful yet they had to use XBox and PS3 footage during their E3 presentation. What's that funny smell?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flame bait?

      I expect it was because the games haven't been ported yet, but don't let that stop the PS3, 360 fanbois from flaming...

  14. Andy 73 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    My Guess..

    Might as well nail my mast to the post:

    Just as the XBOX and PS3 demand to hog your living room TV (particularly if you're using Kinect - you need some decent space to use that, so it's not so bedroom friendly), Nintendo realise that sometimes you still want to play games when other people are taking turns watching normal stuff on the TV. So from that point of view, a console that doesn't stop working when the main display is otherwise used is genius.

    Power doesn't matter so much - good if it steps over the current gen, but otherwise, no-one has won the console wars on raw speed in the last decade or more.

    If all the manufacturers continue their current strategies, Nintendo will release it at a price where they make money, MS and Sony will pull out all the stops for their next gen machines, and end up with expensive consoles that loose money as they sell. Being underpowered never hurt the Wii, and if the U can run things like Crysis, serious gamers should at least be happy with it. If they absolutely must have the biggest GPU, they can spend on the other consoles, but they are in the minority.

    As for the 'expensive controller' - well, it's a relatively dumb touch screen, so not necessarily an expensive part over the already moderately sophisticated Wiimote. As the machine works with Wii controllers, it's not a problem if you use those instead. The big question is - will the base machine come with a touch screen controller, or will it have a Wiimote? Ie. will the touch screen be an optional extra (or more expensive bundle), or will it be sold with every U?

  15. Elmer Phud

    Only one question

    and it may have been answered already

    "But can it run Crysis?

    Actually, yes, it can. Develop spoke with Crytek, which confirmed its CryEngine is almost up and running on the Wii U."

  16. Graham Jordan


    I look forward to a dose of Syphilis more than I do the Wii-U.


    I'm no high horse folk, I'm not a core gamer though I do own both the 360 and PS3, my other half has the Wii.

    It seems to me though the core gamer has long gone. Why would a core gamer give up a mature system all their mates play online for something that will no doubt play the same games with the same graphics at the same speed in which there are absoloutly no benefits whatsoever.

    The controller looks retarded. I would sooner use cow dung to control my games and aside from that "magic" moment in September/October time, cow dung is offensive. Again, I'm not a core gamer, would a core gamer want to use something retarded that does not output mushrooms? Probably not.

    So all Nintendo are going to get out of this venture is Zelda/Mario fans as lets face it, everything Nintendo has done has been utterly crap minus a few EXCELLENT games.

    But don't take my word for it. I'm not a core gamer. And I also like magic mushrooms.

  17. Adam T

    Cheap parts, cheap price

    720p...Resistive DVD...

    I'm bored of it already. I can't imagine playing a game on two screens that aren't side-by side. My PC and the DS let me do that... (and hey were are all the dual-screen PC games!?).

    Real Racing on iPad with a telly is novel, for example, but not something I'm interested in much beyond that.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not about the hardware, it's what you do with it.

    The press all went on about the good and bad of the Wii's motion control, when most games simply benefited from having a good pointing device supplied with every console (like PCs have had for decades), and that had nothing whatsover to do with accelerometry.

    Now with this, I look at it and can see various multi-player possibilities (like configuring your Chocobopoképikmin or whatever on your own private screen and chucking them into battle on your TV in some sort of hyped-up version of Paper/Scissors/Stone), but then the cost and the implication that you can only have one scuppers that idea. So it comes down to what other gameplay ideas either Nintendo has (and is willing to share) or that other developers can come up with. And Nintendo has a poor track record of third parties being able to produce such showcase games. Now if a developer IS getting excited (and *check*, nope, not Molyneux) then maybe something's changed for the better. We can but hope.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    But will Nintendo screw us?

    Given how vigorously Sony has been screwing its customers, I've decided not to buy more Sony gear.

    And Microsoft is, well, Microsoft.

    So the question is, what will Nintendo do to screw us? Will they forget/ignore the idea that I *bought* the device, it belongs to ME, not them? Will they lock it down in some annoying way?

    Or will they be brilliant, and allow (and CONTINUE to allow <looking at="sony" type="sharply"/>) the device to boot Linux and allow users to experiment and make it even better? Will they support a robust homebrew gaming ecology? Let it stream media from a server without jumping through a million hoops?

    (I know where my bet it... unfortunately).

    1. SteveBalmer

      LOL, Sony screwing you...

      Get a grip.

      Out of all the consoles, the PS3 is the ONLY console to offer next-gen features, decent exclusives, and hardware that's still bang-upto date, even launch 2006 consoles have been upgraded to latest BD, HDMI and 3D specs via software.

      In this same timeframe, Microsoft have forced users to upgrade 3 times to stay current (I'm guessing that was always the plan, get in first, and then offer incremental upgrades to sell the same many times over).

      Nintendo just sold you their previous gen Gamecube in a new box.

      Out of all the console companies, Sony are actually the good guys, taking time to design a great console, and not rushing it to be first to market, they packed it with features to last the 10yr span, and they didn't lock users in and then charge them to play online like Microsoft did.

      You might want to listen less to Microsoft's astroturfing channels....

  20. Ramazan

    But will Nintendo screw you?

    Of course they will, because Crytek wants their share of those £39.99 and other devs too. It's a tough business, just imagine spending years developing single game paying 100k salaries to scores of programmners, designers, their pinty-haired managers and all those sales/marketing staff.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Scores of programmers on £100k

    You're not going to find many people earning £100k (or even half that) developing games...

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