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Nintendo has admitted that while its forthcoming Wii U game console will support high-definition graphics and will be rather powerful, it will not be able to compete with the next-generation systems from Microsoft Corp. or Sony Corp. in terms of performance as they will be ultra-powerful. Instead, Nintendo calls its approach balanced as it features both improvements and exclusive technologies.

"There are a variety of different ways to show the unique appeal of software. What’s important here is not to narrow down what we can do. Rather, we have to create the dynamic range of appeals that the consumers can appreciate. We decided to make a proposal of an additional screen into the Wii U controller because developers could think of a variety of different possibilities here and there of using both a big TV screen and a screen in a player’s hand," said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, during a conference call with investors.

Nintendo's approach with the original Wii was similar: to make a unique game system that would be not directly competing with more powerful devices by companies with a lot more financial and other resources. Nintendo did succeed in that, but had to sacrifice product cycle comparable to PlayStation and Xbox as well as the market of hardcore games. With Wii U, Nintendo hopes to regain core gamers thanks to improved performance and slightly different approach of work with game designers that is projected to yield into higher amount of titles for the new console. What Nintendo clearly did not want to do was to create a competitor for the next breed of systems: PlayStation 4 and Xbox Loop.

"We are aiming to make a system which shall not be forced into competing with the others where the contenders can fight only with massive developer resources and long development times as their weapons. Having said that, however, as I mentioned, it is true that, in some software areas, we need to be engaged in the power games. Take The Legend of Zelda franchise, for example, the fans must be looking for the graphic representations that they do not see as cheap at all when the title is released for the Wii U," added Mr. Iwata.

A third-party game developer has confirmed that Nintendo's approach for working with third-parties has changed dramatically. Apparently, Nintendo is constantly adjusting firmware and hardware of Wii U in accordance with demands from game designers.

"They asked us what we would want from the hardware, and when we give them feedback we can see that they have definitely listened and making changes. The hardware is still changing constantly,"  said Yosuke Hayashi from Team Ninja, in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.

Tags: Nintendo, Wii, Wii U, Playstation, Xbox

Discussion

Comments currently: 24
Discussion started: 01/31/12 10:37:56 PM
Latest comment: 02/12/12 03:55:54 AM
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1. 
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1 4 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 01/31/12 10:37:56 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Being the Wii is not necessarily bad considering how much it sold. Also, raw power has never meant a lot in the game industry. The Playstation 2 was less powerful than Gamecube or Xbox but it did very well in the market, and it did well with gamers for its library of great games. What Nintendo has to focus on more than power is giving out great games and a reliable console. As for the price, it does need to be low, but if it is below $400 I think it will do fine. I believe the prospect of being able to play games like Mario and Zelda along with games such as Ninja Gaiden 3 or Darksiders on the same console is going to be more intriguing tahn power alone.
1 0 [Posted by: sonicfan1373  | Date: 02/01/12 09:14:25 AM]
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2. 
The Wii U will be an awesome system.
Not only will it's power be at least 2x that of the
ps3. If not even better. It has a very nifty controller.
Not to mention it's head start in the race by 1-3 years
will amount to "Allot". Those that will think the masses will buy another 600$ machine like the ps3 was at launch are simply crazy.

Xbox and the Wii U will be the ones to succeed as
they always have within this past gen. Wii U because of
how easy it will be on developers to make games on ( they can even set the prices of in game downloads this time around. YES!!)
Much better than what you could say about Sony.
I like games Sony owns, but I do not like their prices. And their controller is too small :D ( I know because I own one)
ps3 controllers are great for people with small hands
while people with medium hands go both ways, but the large handed people like me will have to stick to "other" charms.

Microsoft could succeed with Halo 4-6 alone xD
I just love the series that much

Sony will likely take another 2-4 years for their PS4.

The games I'm looking forward to:

Halo 4 xbox360/720 (more than likely 360, then 5 and 6 for the 720 as they did with 1, 2 and 3.
the legend of zelda Wii U
phantasy star universe. (Would be fun on either the xb720
or the Wii U)
Solid Snake.
Fire emblem.
Aliens
SSB Wii U
Grand Theft Auto 5
Shenmue 3 and possibly a re-release of 1 and 2. ^^
Freelancer 2. (Come on MICROSOFT!!!!!!)( for the computer)
I would also like to see
a bunch of downloadable
GameCube games, as I've missed out on that
part of gaming goodness x.x

2 0 [Posted by: Reige Octavius  | Date: 02/01/12 12:35:27 AM]
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3. 
Its such a shame the new consoles are taking so long. I haven't bought a console game for 2 years now because my PC graphics have moved on and going back to console graphics seems a big step down now.

I am sure i am not alone in that people have stopped spending money on their 6 year old consoles because they need something new now.

Maybe the Wii U will do well if it is looking like the PS4 and Xbox1080 is still a year+ away as at the very least it should offer a bump up in graphical quality. I am not sure about the controller but i will reserve judgement until i have tried it and seen where Nintendo are going with it.

PS

I think the only sensible name for the next xbox is Xbox1080, you can't go with 720 as people will associate this with low quality 720p resolution, but 1080 is even known in none geek language as the best and full HD. It would make a good selling feature too, 'Xbox 1080 where every game is in full 1080p goodness'!!
2 1 [Posted by: Skynet  | Date: 02/01/12 04:42:28 AM]
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Anton already specified that the next XBOX will be called "LOOP"...Yeah, I know...
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 02/01/12 01:07:31 PM]
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Console games still outsell PC games, so it's reasonably safe to say that for most people the improved PC graphics aren't a big factor.
1 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 02/02/12 12:05:07 AM]
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4. 
I think Iwata may be getting ahead of himself now ,that system,according to my insider sources is pretty powerful ,i've seen a gfx engine for the 720 but not sure if its real cause its on youtube for anyone to see ,looks hardcore realistic but idk & he doesnt know either how things will turn out ,so take this with a grain of salt folks.
1 0 [Posted by: Hell No  | Date: 02/01/12 04:58:53 AM]
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5. 
Wow this article shows exactly what is wrong with journalism today.
2 2 [Posted by: Seriously?  | Date: 02/01/12 06:02:32 AM]
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6. 
How did you get this article out of the things said by Iwata? How could you possibly call yourself a journalist of any kind? I certainly hope you didnt get a paycheck for this speculative garbage, unless, you pulled your blatherings from some new interview, no one else on the internet has seen. Boss of Anton Shilov, hang your head in shame.
1 2 [Posted by: moku  | Date: 02/01/12 11:41:51 AM]
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7. 
In other news, nintendo is doomed.
1 3 [Posted by: moku  | Date: 02/01/12 11:44:57 AM]
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Please check facts before assuming. Head of Nintendo NA has in fact stated the opposite: "The Wii U will have the power to compete with all of the next gen counsels and you should not worry about its power capabilities."

What Iwata meant by the comments quoted in this article was that they are not concerned about what Microsoft and Sony does and that they are looking to provide a different experience then Microsoft or Sony. Different does NOT equal Doomed or Underpowered!
2 0 [Posted by: WhtaJK  | Date: 02/01/12 01:48:25 PM]
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Let me see... next gen consoles are using a AMD 28nm GCN GPU equivalent to a HD7850 (2012 Tech)

Wii U is using a 40nm R700 GPU equivalent HD4850
(2009 Tech) 3 year old rubish in todays standards! ... This was a very bad move by Nintendo
0 1 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/01/12 04:10:25 PM]
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What?

1) No confirmation exists as to what GPU is in the next Xbox. Rumors point to the GPU roughly equivalent to HD6670 series:
http://www.ign.com/articl...s-powerful-as-current-gen

2) No information is available regarding PS4. It seems Sony is in no rush to launch their next console. In respect to PS4, we can't even conclude if the GPU will be from AMD or NV, nevermind exact specifications of such offering.

3) HD4850 is not that fast by PC standards but is actually very fast for a console. Such GPU would be at least 3-4x faster than 7950GT in PS3 or ~X1900XT level of performance in 360. Looking at Uncharted, Killzone and Gears of War, it's amazing what those ancient GPUs can still crank out given the level of optimization. If Wii U really has an HD4850, that should easily last it 5 years. However, Nintendo still has NOT finalized the specs for the Wii U.

4) Even if Wii U were to ship with 3x HD7970s (obviously not, but just saying), it's unlikely that developers will devote all their resources for it since 2/3 of the console market is still suck with PS3/360. In other words, even if the Wii U had the most powerful hardware in the world, it would still be held back by current consoles until PS4 and the next Xbox launch.

As such, the biggest question mark for Nintendo is timing. Are console gamers ready to upgrade? Are console gamers going to give Nintendo's next console a shot considering Wii was a "kiddie" console?

Nintendo's problems are actually more related to trying to get hardcore gamers to consider Nintendo after the Wii alienated them. Without mature games, strong 3rd party support, online network similar to PSN or XboxLive, Nintendo would have no hope to attract hardcore gamers even if it put 3x HD7970s and SB 3960 into their console.

Will Nintendo actually have a good line-up of launch titles? There are a lot of important questions that need to be asked first before even starting to critique the Wii U on the hardware level imho.

And then there is a question of price. If the next Xbox has Blu-Ray and a powerful HD7000 style GPU, how will it be priced vs. the Wii U? If the Wii U is $349 but the next Xbox is $499, will that matter? Too many variables to discount Nintendo. Not to mention, the market for casual gamers is very large. It's possible that the next Xbox will throw some crappy HD6670 (which is no faster than HD4850) and focus on expanding Kinect to attract even more casual gamers. As such, it's very possible that the next Xbox might be much more powerful than the Wii U.
1 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/01/12 05:16:24 PM]
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If the Wii U will have a GPU fast enough to run current gen console games at 1080p, that would be enough for some success. Even just porting current console games to the Wii U will make it a significantly better rounded console than the Wii.

BTW, could you tell me where you read about the next gen GCN equivalent? Last I read the next Xbox was rumoured to be using a rather anemic GPU.
1 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 02/02/12 12:12:35 AM]
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It's in the post from IGN:

http://www.ign.com/articl...s-powerful-as-current-gen

Take it with a huge grain of salt though since we still don't even know when Xbox next will launch. It really might have GCN architecture. MS may just be sending developers a platform with weaker parts to stumble the competition, etc.

Following initial reports from tech blogs Fudzilla and SemiAccurate, our sources have confirmed that mass production of the system's GPU will indeed begin by the end of 2012 but will not, however, be based on AMD's 7000 series Southern Islands GPU. Instead, the processor will be derived from the 6000 series, which was introduced last year. More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multidisplay output, 3D and 1080p HD output. The chip currently has a market price of upwards of $79.99.

I hope it's not as weak as an HD6670 though!
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/03/12 01:58:01 PM]
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So it will even compete with the Jedi Counsel O.O
sign me up!
Joking :D
0 0 [Posted by: Reige Octavius  | Date: 02/01/12 06:20:23 PM]
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8. 
check again "latest" Rumors point to the GPU equivalent to HD7850 series: and AMD has won contracts with both sony and Microsoft.. for what ?? most likely consoles... and GCN to be the only shipping 28nm part on offer! .. the one thing that is going to be the case is that sony and MS are going to use 28nm parts for the next consoles to save on heat and cost. Remember these machines have a 2013 release date... so by that time we will all be using HD8000 series or HD9000 Series videocards... and the consoles will have cheap HD7850 cards powering them.
0 1 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/01/12 08:12:46 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
If you bother to read this article instead of just posting random crap, you would know that all of the stuff in the article is based on nothing, and was made up by Anton Shilov's imagination.
If you want to be taken seriously, read, check sources then comment, and stop posting stuff that has nothing to do with the article.
0 1 [Posted by: Seriously?  | Date: 02/02/12 02:14:52 AM]
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Unless there is some random obscure rumor, pretty sure the last rumor was the 720 was using something similar to a 6670. I havent seen anything since.
1 0 [Posted by: stupidvillager  | Date: 02/02/12 09:18:17 AM]
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If consoles fit HD7850 (hard to imagine given the > 100W power envelope for the GPU alone), that would be insane. Even HD8000 series would be barely 2x faster than that and cost $500+ most likely. Given that PS3 and 360 produced very good graphics for their price, and based on optimizations on consoles, an HD7850 would be extremely powerful and highly unlikely.

Also, I don't you should expect HD8000 or 9000 series in consoles. I mean really? Those graphics cards will be > 200W and costs $450-550 at least!! Consoles don't even need such powerful hardware in the first place. Even if next generation console games have some DX11 effects and are at full 1080P @ 50-60 fps, that already would be a huge step forward. Something like HD6870/6950 would deliver that.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/03/12 02:02:25 PM]
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Current consoles were rated at nearly 400W when they first launched.

Take PlayStation 3 for example, its PSU was rated at 380W. The console themself surely pulled 350W while running games. Current PS3 slim is at 200W.

Still, they're inefficient. My laptop has a PSU of 120W, GPU and CPU alone add up to 70W, now count the blu-ray unit, RAM and hard disk, thats probably another 25W. Add 10W more for the screnn, I'm at 105W.

With half the power, I can play console games perfectly, and supply energy to a blu-ray combo and LCD panel.

Edit: And the CPU power on my laptop is more than double the power needed to play console games.
0 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 02/04/12 04:56:35 PM]
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9. 
The Wii was only 50% more powerful than GameCube, which was a little more powerful than PlayStation 2 (10%?).

Wii U is supposed to be 100% more powerful than Xbox 360.

I only ask Nintendo to put, for God's sake, an AMD R800 instead of an R700, just a bit of tessellation capability, it's better for multiplatform games, better to tune down something than to remove it completely.
0 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 02/04/12 04:53:11 PM]
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10. 
ok im tired of this BS rumors that so called ecperts from tech sites either believe, speculate, or do not actually understand what was said. What iwatta ment was that the Wii U is not going to req dev to make games or software in HD or have a minimum standard in HD. Basically they do not want to detor Devs from making games for their system because they req say all games/software to be playable/run in 1080p. Currently the devs have their games designed around the current gen consoles and due to limitations of the old hardware they are majority built for 720p resolution or less. By not req hd or have a standard of HD lvl nintendo will attract more devs to their new platform.

Just because they do not req HD does not mean its a low power console only 2x over current. Thats utter rumor and the sources mostly come from secound hand knowledge or from dev kits for the system that are from 2008-2011. And even with latest dev kit of the Wii U the dev won't use much of its power because their game engines that are being put onto it are ported from the current consoles and while theres a perfomance increase it would not be much until they start to go in and optomize it or actually built a game engine for the Wii U. This is why 2x-3xfaster than current consoles keeps comming up.

The other thing you have to consider is that Nintendo confirmed that it will support up to 2 Wii U controllers on one console. That means its got to have some beefy processing power to support 1 1080p screen and 2 wii u touchscreens that are half 1080p res. To have that be garuanteed for at least 5-7 years it has to be a powerful system in order for that to work and keep up.
0 0 [Posted by: WarnarI  | Date: 02/12/12 03:28:42 AM]
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11. 
To give you an idea on how powerful the Wii U really is I got info that the so called "Experts in nextgen or reporters" either "forgot" or "gloss over" more credible sources which are AMD and IBM. Those are the companies who are making the gpu/cpu for the Wii U and are way more credible than some 2nd hand source or dev. There is no point for them to lie to anyone about the console since if they did it would piss off nintendo and their investors.
CPU
It was last reported that it is using a prototype custom cpu, along the same type of cpu as the Wattson super computers uses, which means power 7 cpu and that nintendo has ask for "a lot of embedded DRAM" to be put in the l3cache. As to if the final product will be a power 7(45nm) or 7+(32nm) is unknown but its likely the 32nm jsut so that it gets more power overall and cheaper to make. As to the L3 cache the power 7 currently goes up to 32mbs, however since this is a custom cpu and is likely 32nm power 7 cpu it could be 64mb-160mb cache. As to the GHz speed and cpu cores the wattson super computers use 3.8GHz 8 core cpus or 4.2GHz 4 core cpus. Again likely its 32nm proccess for the cpu and it will probably be 8 core to keep up with microsoft and sony. As to GHz it could range from 3.8GHz to 4.8GHz with perhaps some tech like intels turbo that could speed up some select cores while the others are either turned off or in idle. Would be useful with ported games this year and next as well as games that dont need the cpu as much.

As to the gpu ill let this quote from AMD tell you:
“We’re proud to provide our leading-edge HD multimedia graphics engine to power the new entertainment features of the console. Nintendo is a highly-valued customer and we look forward to the launch in 2012.”
And since the ONLY series in the 7000 series to have the new gpu tech is the 7900 series that means its likely simular powerful to that of the 7970 or the rumored 7980.

As to ram a while ago nintendo was reported to make it like the 360 in terms of it being a shared ram rather than spit evenly like the ps3. Most likely 384bit-512bit Gddr 5, running at 1.6GHz-2.0Ghz, 4GB-8GB capacity, and 290GBs-400GBs bandwidth. AS to size a rule of thumb is that the game companies make thier systems ram about the same as the top videocard has. 512mb was top tier in 2005-2006, while yes 3GB-4GB seems to be it right now however to keep in competing with the other consoels that are comming out next year the wii u needs to comparible in terms of ram size to the others.

anywho i could go on but thats some hard facts and probable logical speculation on the Wii U.
0 0 [Posted by: WarnarI  | Date: 02/12/12 03:55:54 AM]
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