Is the Wii U powerful enough? Digging through the news for the needle in the haystack

15 mins read

Nintendo’s Wii U has launched and the “gloom and doom” articles are just as abundant as with much any other hardware release, but you can rest assured, this is not one of them.

I’ve been carefully watching events unfold, enjoying the criticism as I always do, yet with this system there’s been something different – something just doesn’t ‘feel’ right this time around. I’ve been hard at work, searching though countless articles both recent and past and I think I just might have picked a few truths from the mounds of articles that amass each day in the world of gaming journalism, and I think I might have just found the needle hidden within the haystack.

Let’s start with two articles I’ve came upon across at Now Gamer. In the first one, Wii U is being sharply criticised by the developer of Metro: Last Light, 4 A Games, stating that it “has a horrible, slow CPU.” Then in a second article, this same notion was shared by one of DICE’s developers (famed for its Battlefield series) when he made the following statements, which I’ve listed exactly as he posted them on Twitter:

“I don’t actually know what makes it slow, but enough “tech” people I trust in world are saying the same things.”

“GPU and ram is nice to have shaders/textures loaded. Physics and gameplay run on CPU mostly so player count is affected etc.”

 “This is also what I been hearing within the industry, to bad since it will shorten its life a lot when new gen. starts.”

With two developers from studios that are held in high regards speaking out, I became intrigued to know more. I find that many people seem to loathe Nintendo and find enjoyment in predicting its imminent failure. These are arguments I won’t involve myself in and it won’t be found here at Digitally Downloaded either. There’s big interest in Wii U and a recent post at Nielsen shows that the only things more requested than the Wii U this holiday season is tablets and computers – most notably being Apple’s iPad.  It’s well-known that the Wii didn’t need high-tech processors to send it to the top spot on the console charts – where it still remains today – and Nintendo’s first party titles will alone sell its system. It’s here though that I find that the majority of journalists have seemed to settle down with Wii U’s power issues. But not me, I needed more pieces to fit together before I could feel settled myself.
So, I turned to Wii U’s system specifications for clues. A post at NeoGAF listed the RAM speeds for the Wii U after PCPer  posted a fantastic teardown of their Wii U on launch day and came up with that the Wii U has an estimated 17GB/s of DDR3 memory, with a substantial amount of eDRAM, which the total amount of is not yet known and could change things for the better. To put this into perspective with the current generation consoles, the Xbox 360 has 22.4 GB/s plus eDRAM for frame buffer, while the PS3 has 25.6 GB/s main memory BW + 22.4 GB/s graphics memory BW, no eDRAM. For the top end of the spectrum, the GTX 680 (likely what 4 A Games is using to develop Metro: Last Light on for PC) clocks in at a whopping 192.2 GB/s. While I’m not the savviest when it comes to the world of technology (I’d much rather just play games), it’s easy to see that Wii U is either on par, or a bit below the current generation of HD consoles. These numbers are also being based off of raw speed too, which does not equate for the power lost to stream the games from the console to the GamePad, which is indeed going to be a major factor into the equation.
But, hang on just a minute – what happened to the “Wii U is 50 per cent more powerful than the PS3” statements we were hearing just a few months back? Was there really nothing factual in all of those speculations? So it’s here again that I’m sitting on loose ends and I had to dig even deeper to find a bit more truth to the matter and one I was going to have to go beyond the system’s RAM speed.  
So let’s go back to those “50 per cent more powerful” arguments – shall we? It didn’t take long to find the ‘unconfirmed’ system specifications for the Wii U that were floating around just a few months ago and it’s here where I think I’ve found my needle that’s been hiding inside the haystack. See, it was rumoured that the Wii U would be running on a downscaled, tri-core version of IBM’s POWER7 architecture, which would indeed prove the system to be about twice the power of the current generation of HD consoles. But, what is inside of Wii U? Well, we know that it’s a new POWER-based IBM processor, but an IBM tech clarified on Twitter that it most definitely not based on the POWER7 architecture. Months ago rumours were floating around that it was based on a faster clocked version of the “Broadway” processor that’s found in the first generation Wii, which is something that I’ve seen come up in numerous conversations with interested tech savvy types over the past two days.
In my research here, I stumbled upon something else too, and it’s one that I don’t recall reading at the time that it came to fruition. Just a month ago, Eurogamer was researching just this subject and they went to a developer that could prove if Wii U’s processor is indeed lacking – Omega Force. The “Warriors” series is known for straining hardware, because of it rendering thousands on enemies onscreen at once, and with them bringing Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper to Wii U at launch, they’d surely have some answers – they did too. In their interview with series producer Akihiro Suzuki, he had this to say:

“One of the weaknesses of the Wii U compared to PS3 and Xbox 360 is the CPU power is a little bit less,” he said. “So for games in the Warriors series, including Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi, when you have a lot of enemies coming at you at once, the performance tends to be affected because of the CPU.

“Dealing with that is a challenge.”

But Eurogamer went on to state that, “one of its [Wii U] strengths is said to be its custom AMD 7 series GPU, and the 1GB of RAM available to games: double that of the PS3 and Xbox 360.” This means that there’s definitely some leeway for developers to push the system a little bit further and maximise its performance – a great thing for Wii U.
What does this mean for Wii U? Well, to put into perspective for you, it means that Wii U is very likely a “current generation” console from a technical standpoint and the reason behind the performance issues found within several of the multiplatform launch titles. This also means that there’s a real possibility that Wii U could potentially miss out on (or receive stripped down) key multiplatform titles once Microsoft and Sony’s next generation of home consoles land on the market. We’ll officially know more once the complete rundown of Wii U’s specifications come into light, but it’s pretty cut and dry to see that if Wii U is already struggling with current generation titles, it’ll continually worsen going forward.   
But this all seemed to be conflicting with a headline I’d read yesterday – didn’t the President and Chief Operating Officer at Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, make the claim that “Wii U is absolutely the beginning of a new generation?” Yes. He did indeed make just this statement, but you’ve got to read it in its full context to understand what exactly it is that he’s stating:

“This is absolutely the beginning of a new generation. With the innovation we’re bringing to bear, with the social community we’re bringing to bear, [and] with the video entertainment we’re bringing to bear, I think this is the start of a new generation. I think those who say otherwise are clearly trying to preserve sales on their current hardware. This is definitely the start of a new day.”

Does he state that “the Wii U is the most powerful home console on the market?” No, he does not. He instead states that Wii U is the beginning of a “new generation” of home consoles, not the “next generation” of consoles. He’s stating that Wii U offers something different from its competition, just in the way that Wii before it did. While I do place some blame on Nintendo for misleading people to believe that Wii U will be capable of handling multiplatform titles that’ll be developed for Sony and Microsoft’s next generation consoles (with snappy statements just as this one), by only beating around the edges of the subject and intentionally hiding the system’s specs. I do think that those looking to only purchase one next generation console need to weigh in these findings accordingly, as it could truly affect your enjoyment with the console a few years down the road.
As we come to our final conclusion – what does this all mean for the future of Wii U?  Should this change your decision to purchase the system? In my opinion, Nintendo does what they do better than anyone else in the business and that’s just being Nintendo. Their games reflect everything that’s good about gaming and you can be assured that their first party titles alone will make creative use of the system in ways that no other system can replicate and make the system worthy of its purchase price. Also, independent and third party developers are already showing support for the system, but it is (as I’ve previously stated) a possibility that it could miss multiplatform titles in the future. So if you’re a fan of what Nintendo brings the table, there’s absolutely no reason to skip out on Wii U, but if you’re just wanting to get a jump on the “next generation” of home consoles, it would probably be a wise decision to hold off on a purchase awhile longer to see how Wii U compares to its future competition; patience is a virtue.  

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

  • this is nonsense

    the wii u is doing max ps3 games AT LAUNCH

    the ps3 was doing ps2 titles at its launch

    give it a break

    its next gen

  • what you said is it is current gen with nothing but speculation to back it up. If it was really as "under powered" as a lot of haters claim then how come its doing things day one that the mighty PS3 cant do?How is a vastly inferior system running direct ports of games that havent in any way been made to take advantage of the GpGPU better than "superior" hardware that developers have had 7 years to learn how to code for?PS3 isnt even 720p and on Wii U it's 720p while updating 2 screens. Reality isnt matching up with some peoples fantasy land but its popular to hate Nintendo so nobody has really stopped to think about that.
    Why not quote the Trine 2 dev and their comments on how powerful it is? Or any of the other numerous sources that have said the exact same thing.
    You said this isnt a Nintendo hate site yet you are selective in what information you want to share.

  • Firstly, I didn't 'say' anything. This is Chris' piece. It worries me when someone doesn't even read a byline before criticising a piece.

    Beyond that, there are multiple developers quoted here who are finding the Wii U's architecture genuinely challenging. Read the comments by the developer behind the Warriors game again. A legitimate challenge facing a very experienced developer.

    I've typed your name into Google, and I don't believe you've developed a Wii U game. So I don't think you're in the position to dismiss the criticisms of no fewer than three very renowned and very experienced developers when it comes to making games on the Wii U.

    No one said that there aren't developers having a great time with the Wii U. But to dismiss the criticisms of other developers? No.

    I suspect you found us via N4G, yes? Well then, hang around and you'll see we're not a "Nintendo hate site." In fact, a whole day or two ago I personally wrote an opinion piece praising the Wii U to high heaven. One of our journalists here, Farida, is almost exclusively a Nintendo fan.

    I suspect you won't hang around, though, because you're less interested in rational discussion and debate and more interested in aggressive fanboy games, and as such I don't think you'll have much fun here.

  • Hey guys, sorry im late for the party..jeje
    Chris your take on this "misinterpretation"of the meaning of next gen is indeed very interesting..and seems very likely if not for several points.
    one of the most in depth takedowns ive seen so far(no offense to the capabilities of the rest)was the one.
    it was very detailed even mentioning a couple of additional tidbits on the rest of the console.
    yet not even they could identify or figure out the capacity of the cpu/gpu.
    again making still all the doom and gloom articles run on opinions/estimates at best.
    in a way i may even understand why Nintendo was holding back the specs, (it is frustrating though)
    i mean really, correct me if im wrong (theres a good chance i am)but back at the ps3/360 launch were there as many "gaming techie-centric" "lets run the consoles through it paces like a Pc"sites? probably not.
    but if i knew ahead of time the scutiny my product would go through, AND be judged and sentenced BEFORE its launch, without being able to get the point across of the value of said product.(just look at all the commotion without being known)..hell i'd also be "apehensive" of releasing specs.
    that being said, judging with incomplete data and using in (many ways) time limited, third party launch ports (which by the way i picked up assasins creed 3, black ops 2..and believe it or not gaiden 3…yes i like to be judge of what i buy) as the PROOF that the console is not "up to snuff" just unprofesional and poor reporting..unless theres a bigger picture behind the scenes that im not grasping (i know you dont want to harbor conspiracy teories, i respect that).
    in the end my friends ive had it since launch day (enjoying the hell out of it)
    seeing this "nintendo centric,but everybody else is welcome too if you behave"Miiverse community is briliant. i see it growing, and from being reluctant people walking around, in very little time is becoming a proud group..of gamers having a blast.
    aside from the update/freezing hiccups, and the slugish os, my games run fantastic offline and on..but i guess my opinion as a actual consumer matters less than, benchmarks,and less than stellar reporting right?

  • This is a complex issue, so methinks it's going to be a long reply to your excellent comment. Get the pot of coffee ready!

    To start with though: Ninja Gaiden 3 is awesome. Nice choice!

    On a more serious note: I know the reason Chris put this together was because of some frustratingly-bad reporting on both sides, and it is indeed often very bad.

    The power of a console is fairly important for a couple of reasons: it's important because there are consumers that care – a lot of consumers, judging on how popular this debate has been. And so the power of the console becomes an important marketing point. At a time where Nintendo needs to justify the Wii U is worth consumer's dollars over cheaper HD consoles and the iPad, the power of the first console in the new gen should have been a factor.

    It's not though. Now, the question is – is that because the console is genuinely less powerful? Judging from the developers, some believe this to be true, but then there are developers that disagree with that, so it brings us to an interesting issue – no one seems to know how powerful this thing really is.

    And there is a very good reason for this – if we are to believe the Wii U IS more powerful, then there is absolutely nothing in that launch lineup that proves the case. There are ports that are more-or-less the same quality of their original releases. Those are ports though, they were never going to do *that* much more than the other consoles.

    No, the problem is that there's no Nintendo game, or third-party exclusive, that proves that the Wii U is more powerful. Mario U looks good, but it's a 2D platformer and doesn't really push the hardware. Zombie U and NintendoLand use the gamepad nicely, but are not impressive technically.

    In terms of showing off the power of the hardware, the Wii U's launch lineup is the least impressive that I can remember. They're good, or great, games, but they answer no questions about the Wii U whatsoever.

    And because we still don't know what the Wii U is capable of, there is a lot of bad reporting, guesses, and assumptions floating around – by both the press and gamers themselves.

    Ultimately I don't believe the power of the Wii U is going to matter in its long-term success. It's how Nintendo handles MiiVerse and how the GamePad is used that is going to count.

    But, if we are going to talk technical power, then I know I am personally disappointed to hear that the fellow behind my favourite game series (Warriors) is not pleased by what his team can do with the architecture. I want to see Nintendo answer these questions.

  • ..finished second cup,brewing some more.
    like i tried to convey, i agree to a certain point with chris's teory, hell i apreciate the fact that he one of the few that has even bothered, "to go deeper in the issue" for that thank you.
    again the only thing holding me back from agreeing 100% is that its still based on assumption (although a mature one).
    getting off topic for a bit, my launch selection was made of:
    Zombie u
    black ops 2
    assasins creed 3
    ninja gaiden 3
    (i have admitedly a soft spot for ninja gaiden since nes, and completely burned out 1 and black on the my guilty pleasure/torture..jeje)

    now you are absolutely right that a better "showpiece" first party title would have done wonders to quell the ongoing arguments, i feel the same way.
    however (not justifying the fact)i also believe if that showpiece would have made an apearance..then probably the third party recruiting effort would have been a bit dampered by having "the killer app" canabalise the third party efforts..and..knowing the media..having them report that said title as the only one worth the trouble..sounds cruel and extreme, but look around..jeje

    another point i agree is in the importance of system power for progression,
    again when its beneficial to creative progression. thats one of the beauties of going from one gen to the other. but for what purpose? to be able to see new genres, better stories, diferent challenges etc.
    And sorry i go back to my old school perspective, but back then it was a means to an end , not THE END.
    and you must see where that has taken us, its digging its own proverbial grave.
    too high development cost.
    erradication (like you at one point wrote about)of mid tier devs
    meaning less niche, or risky (creative)products.

    even the thought of anything but completely realistic in art style is usually shunned and treated as "kiddie" (borderlands 1,2 dishonored-example of exeption, but look at the genre..jeje)..

    why this long winded explanation, because even if i may strike you as possibly
    a "nintendo white knight" i'm actually not. what i really do defend however is what i have learned from them studying from afar.

    i feel they have seen this tendency coming a long while back, you see they are buissness savy (profit) but they have an edge over every other "player" today: they saw and thrived in the landscape of the crash of 83' and built their company (many people seem to forget) around making great hardware and in the present where everything seems to be escalating to more monstrous, imposible tech they search for ways to keep the industry on its toes,disrupting as many put it..which is way better than going completely stale.
    then again, maybe im in denial and that the magic we had then, wont come back at this rate..but ill keep rooting for them and any dev,publisher or company that values this over "meaningless" or "shallow" power.

    Ps: I'm noticing in miiverse many people post notes (and beautifull art)about how much they would love to see and play a new axelay or lunar among others on the new system…hmmmm,maybe there is hope after all..jeje

  • Pss:Matt S umm sorry but forgot to cover that last point about tech,

    in the case of the warrior game i believe it was the cpu that brought dificulty to the port..then again if it were so crippling the deficency, then probably the project would have not been realised. is that a good sign?,no

    is it a determinating factor?..umm no, because logic tells me all games except maybe zombie u and first party titles are ports made from a primary platform (360 or ps3) with architecture optimised for that platform, which means that trying to "shove" that code to a diferent platform (albeit more modern)is not going to necesarily run great, even less be able to "show off" some new features because the original code wasn't made with these. example: 360, ps3,ps2(god i suffered that one)etc. launch titles (third party ports of course).

    now which title eurogamer uses to test the power or lack of the system?

    ..Mass effect 3. now dont get me wrong , straight right seem like an awesome bunch and seemed to have put heart and soul into the proyect, but come on with the little time given (because EA didnt seem to care much one way or the other)and the fact that the guys were porting a port of a game..which they didnt create(kinda puts a damper on "lets make this game scream on this!")
    its a short miricle the game runs as good as it does,plus having to add the gamepad features..geeesh.
    yet our friends at eurogamer thought this would be the "perfect"title to test the power of the system, disregarding these facts and surprise!…already expecting bad results because of "deficient cpu"
    and the score is:
    fanboys: 1
    logic,common sense,experience gained from past:0

  • Hi Charles Crowe,

    I thought about using Frozenbyte's comments in my piece, but it had gotten quite lengthy, as I covered so much content so rapidly. Though, I did cut an even more recent comment from 2K's president, Christoph Hartman, out of it for length purposes too:

    "There have been people doubting the Wii U because they don’t really understand it. I wasn't sure about the Wii and I was proved wrong, proved wrong by my own people, which I like the most because we sold a lot of Carnival Games. I believe the Wii U offers something special and we will be surprised how consumers will get attached."

    He clearly states that "people don't really understand it" and that is what I was focusing on in this piece. The idea that the Wii U was going to be this super powerful console was based on the *rumour* of it having a triple core POWER7-based architecture and it didn't ship out with what was *rumoured* to be inside of it.

    Instead, Wii U will indeed find its audience, just like Nintendo always does, with its many creative uses for the GamePad and killer software – just as I stated in my article and which mirrors Christoph Hartman's statements.

  • Nintendo has always in some form throughout the last few hardware generations made verbal attempts at assuring hardcore gamers that they are very much "still for them". As you pointed out however, the whole Wii thing was a concerted effort to cater to non-core customers…and was a smashing success.

    Regardless of Wii's market triumph, this time when Nintendo says "we want the core customers" I am liable to believe them…and that is because new products and new business models are honest-to-goodness eroding their very lifeblood-revenue streams. The "put out our own box and demand handsome royalties on the backs of high-priced software" business model is looking quite precarious going forward because of pricing pressures from new competitors.
    At the same time, quarter by quarter, it has been looking suspiciously like a significant source of steady revenue (so-called "casual" consumers) has migrated from Nintendo's sphere of influence.
    So who is left for the company to target? The core, high-end consumers whom, though very demanding and hard-to-please, are willing to continue to pay the high prices for their refined tastes.
    Thus I think Nintendo feels like they MUST recapture at least a part of that market to offset some of the coming losses in their expanded consumer base.

    Wii U, even if the hard numbers on its CPU performance don't impress armchair tech-philes, looks capable of outputting reasonably good looking HD games. I suspect if the system's games are cool enough, the games will look GOOD ENOUGH to earn the support of a decent number of core consumers. But yeah, even with more of the core consumer in tow, the company's current business model probably can't survive another full generation, even if the company itself surely will.
    Thank you for the article, Chris.

  • The article is appreciated, Chris.
    I feel like the conclusion is rather anti-climactic however (not meant as a slight).
    I can't help but feel it is obvious that Sony and MS's next hardware products HAVE TO BE significantly higher spec'd…after all, they have to provide clear differentiation not only from the new Wii U, but their own older products as well!
    However it so dangerous for both of them…I think they see the writing on the wall and that Nintendo's prediction that a tech arms race will only assure mutual destruction, a fate that has been hastened by the arrival of disruptive competition from Apple, Google, Valve and Facebook. Combine that with incredible competitive pressure on both company's CORE revenue lifelines (electronics with Sony and OS/Business software with MS) and I am predicting they will be more conservative in terms of how much they are willing to loss-lead with their next boxes. If so, they would likely target a hardware spec comfortably above Wii U (and PS3/360) for marketing/differentiation purposes but quite a bit short from what the bleeding-edge evangelists want. Personally though, my eyeballs probably won't notice much difference between Wii U's best efforts and most of the stuff that comes out for the PS4/Durango. That market is truly on a trajectory to far overshoot the average consumers.

    On a slight aside, PC is looking better and better this next 5+ years and I wonder if Steam's Big Picture will further force the issue!

  • Once again guys thanks for taking the time to respond.
    (i know you guys also wont let go of the fact the i actually spent money on NG3..jeje. just think about it as a case study if you will.jajaaja)

    i completely agree with you chris, in saying that the wrong choice of wording has crippled in a way, the percepcion of potencial in the system.
    even if one sees that they try to make up for this (providing their own take)with the periodic Nintendo directs.
    in which the seem to struggle trying to take your hand and guiding you to what is suppose to be important (Iwata Wii u unboxing comes to mind)
    a part of me always feel there is a voice in the background(when watching these) saying:come, dont pay attention to the others..this is what matters..jeje(subliminal messaging..perhaps?)

    All joking aside, i also believe we dont need next gen, yet we did need Wii u. at least at this point because whatever "shortcomings" the wii had has been at least eliminated with "whatever" its packing.

    now this is the point where things go bats@it crazy.
    things you may find, that doesnt fit "perception wise"

    1)the wii underperformed from a tecnical standpoint = duh!

    2)the constant tug of war with the meaning of the term "next gen"
    (call me crazy but it has historicly been a cronological term the brings with it advancements, not the other way around) = hmmmm?

    3)nintendo has never been known to make powerfull consoles.
    (as stated by many "gaming profesionals"and most recently a quote from someone covering the Wii u review= a big WTF
    (so the wii was weak to the current standards of the time, and in itself erases history..and any posiblities of the future?)
    The lost or (kidnapped)use and abuse of the term HARDCORE= HOLY S@IT!
    (when the term came up long ago and applied to gaming its meaning was difined more or less as follows: Someone who goes to extreme lengths to game,or does whatever to game,or enjoys extreme dificulty in games (could accept using cheating devices to finish game) or someone who regardless of platform/region would game…well you get the idea.

    at some point after the wii debacle the term was and (still is) being raped,as now the only thing it means is: someone who enjoys FPS (specially online), someone who games in advanced hardware,someone who doesnt play Nintendo products. (Nintendo has ALWAYS been casual) = W T F X 1000000

    so to many (gamers and devs alike) we (anybody who would play on a nintendo platform) are not considered hardcore ..but to Nintendo we are,
    (they know it because we constanly remind them)

    so in a way even though they may be trying to reach "the new" hardcore, after all its where the money is at.
    they know they have lost part of the "old"hardcore as well.
    hell maybe thats what they where shooting for since the start.
    What do you think guys?

  • I think you need to be proud of buying Ninja Gaiden 3… but then I'm probably the only critic in the world that gave it a positive review.

    … I like it 🙁

    Anyway, you and Chris are having a great discussion here, so I'll leave this one to Chris. Thanks as always for your input, htead – you're making these discussions great to read 🙂

  • You know, I'm not convinced Nintendo needs to target the "core" market at all. In the very short term, yes, that's the audience that actually shells out for expensive new hardware, but in a year or two the Wii U will be far more reasonably priced.

    The reality is that this console's strength lies in local multiplayer – a feature that the other two consoles have almost entirely neglected. It's a niche, but it's a niche in which Nintendo is essentially the only player in the market. Local multiplayer on the iPad sucks, and the PS3 and Xbox games are geared towards online multiplayer for the most part.

    Families looking for an entertainment unit to enjoy together, as a family? That's a lucrative market, and the Wii U has all the potential in the world here.

  • My suspicion is that the PS4 and Xbox (apparently Microsoft is copying Apple with its naming conventions now and Xbox 360 sequel will be, simply, "Xbox") won't be nearly as high spec as people are anticipating. Both Sony and Microsoft know that won't be the way to go. They'll make sure they have a jump up from the Wii U, but I expect these consoles to be more about being multi-feature entertainment units. You'll see heavy use of Cloud technology, application networks, Kinect, and so on and so forth.

    Of course I also have a suspicion that Apple is working on something gaming-related in the background and that's going to end the industry for everyone else 😛

  • I remember the days when we were just "gamers" and we were proud of it too! Ah, those were the days. Haha

    Yes. The term "hardcore" has been eschewed over the past few years, but that's also something that I don't really get offended by. I know I land in the real old-school hardcore crowd (not quite so much these days), but really, most anyone who grew up playing games on the NES (or earlier) was pretty hardcore, because those games were brutal.

    We now live in a world of gamers. Gaming is a typical mainstream pastime and it's confusing for many of us who grew up as the shunned few – hey, we started this whole thing – didn't we?!

    But, the newer generation doesn't understand any of this. How could they? They didn't live through the same era that we did. But, like we were back then, they are proud of being gamers too. To them though, their first console is the best and they will defend it to the death (not literally, I hope) if they have to. To them "hardcore" is something that's better than them, it's something that they can't comprehend or understand, so their instant reaction is that "hardcore" is bad. To them, these people just complain about the system that they adore so much, so there was a natural disconnect with the term "hardcore."

    As a hardcore gamer from the old days, it doesn't really offend me a bit – hey, "my Dad could beat up everyone's Dad" at one time too when I was younger. Haha It's just the gaming industry naturally evolving. We've got a whole new era of gamers who really like to play games, which means our industry is thriving like never before. These gamers don't care about the "next generation" really, they just want more goodness from Nintendo and that's exactly what they will get from Wii U – that my friend, is a thing of beauty!

  • Hi Andrew,

    You're very welcome! 🙂

    I seriously considered about using a snappy conclusion to this piece, but I don't feel it needs one – Wii U will sell very well and appease its fans, regardless is what I've said is conclusive or not, so I just left it at that. Haha I've always said that Nintendo has a "magic" about them that bridges from one generation to the next and I have absolutely no doubt that Wii U will be a success in the market. I solely wanted to bring the truth to light about the how the speculations for Wii U's processing power became a "truth" when their was nothing substantial behind it at all.

    If what I'm hearing is correct, we won't see hardly any kind of leap forward graphically on the next consoles (full 1080p support as a norm), but we will see a significant RAM boost. This means that our games will look much the same as they are now, but a deeper physics engine can be implemented to our games and a lot more can happen on-screen at once. While they might not look much different, they will play better than ever.

    Going back to the article, people are so focused on Wii U's graphics and that's their biggest mistake. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "but Black Ops 2 looks better on Wii U." Yes. It does indeed, but graphics is only one part the equation. If you strip Black Ops down, there's actually little going on at once in a FPS title for long periods of time, while a title like Warriors keeps the CPU in a constant state of overdrive, constantly building heat, when leads to a drop in performance, which is why the developers feedback was so critical. If the next consoles can pull off even 30% more than what they are doing now, we'll see Wii U really struggle to keep up at this point in time, which means that for *some* consumers, this is a factor that needs to be considered when making a purchase.

    And you're very right about the development cost for next gen too. Though, I've been reading that they've been increasing the staff for the big game engines (Unreal, Unity, etc.) and implementing new tools within them to maximise their efficiency, which will make it where developers won't need as many human hands to develop next gen games. This is a very good thing to see and will me instrumental to how the next gen plays out.

    Some people will not like what happens in the next 10 years in the gaming industry. Today, I've absolutely wowed two people with my iPad. Gamers who've never thought about gaming on an iPad and had absolutely no idea that they could do what I was showing them. It's not just tablets either, the Unity engine is built to port games seamlessly across all devices, so we could see the same games on Wii U making their way to Vita and mobile devices too. This puts more money in the developer's pockets and better games in our hands. I can't wait!

  • No, Apple just released their gaming related device – 4th Generation iPad. Why would they put so much power into the device? There's only one that I can think of. 🙂

  • See, I think they need to stay a generation behind the rest to keep their cost down and keep raising new generations of gamers on their consoles with their killer franchises.

    Nintendo doesn't need high-end technology. The only thing that will ever put Nintendo under, is if they lose their creativity and try to be another powerhouse company.

    I want my grandchildren to grow up with the same Nintendo characters that I did as a child. 🙂

  • Any number of non-gaming applications 😛

    Gamers often forget this – gaming is actually relatively gentle on processors compared to what some high-end business/ professional applications require.

    Apple's simply moving up the food chain and letting more businesses find a use for the iPad with that extra power. So far its demonstrated very little genuine interest in gaming.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to you as well – hope you have a good day.

    Marketing competition between rival companies is not a new thing, and certainly not exclusive to the games industry.

    My theory is that people form very personal attachments to game consoles. It makes sense – games consoles are fun, and people tend to emotionally bond with what is fun. For some people, this then translates into an irrational hatred of rival products.

    Make no mistake, fanboyism in any form is irrational. To actually think any of the modern consoles is "better" than the others is to pretend that it's possible for entertainment value to be an objective quality. Personal preferences aside, the iPad is no different to the PS3 to the Wii to the Xbox 360 – they are all well supported consoles with lots of good games.

    And so it is with the Wii U. The hardware of the console is not a genuine reason to criticise it. However, the hardware of the console is why a lot of people criticise it, and so, the hardware of the console is important in selling enough Wii U consoles for the game support to be there.

    If that makes sense, lol. Fanboyism isn't going anywhere, as irritating as it is.

  • Matt, I would even posit that despite Reggie's recent comments ("1 game and Wii U tilts profitable") given the system's cost effective parts and so-so raw performance, Nintendo has indeed positioned Wii U to drop substantially in price in case their main competitors reach market next year. It would seem that they got that flexibility.

    I would also agree that they are targeting the family as a unit, but this leads into Chris' point about Nintendo wanting to keep their brand strong among kids…I am somewhat fearful in the age of "Angry Birds" and "Where My Water At?" the company is losing mindshare in the West. Identification with their characters and brands is a big part of what sustains Nintendo and allows them to compete but that kind of strength is not everlasting without due maintenance. This example has been trotted out plenty, but an ipad Mini with the 10 most popular kid's games may prove very effective in garnering precious attention. More affordably, as well (Matt, I know I am preaching to the choir on this point).

    Great observations, guys!

  • Ditto on your Apple suspicions…they have assembled a seemingly very capable team of game industry veterans to guide…what, exactly? Something, that is for sure!
    If all Apple did was work on their wireless streaming performance (or otherwise developed an elegant solution to display iOS games on TV, as what they offer now is not quite good enough yet) the console market would get incredibly interesting.
    Ah, and of course, someone Anyone needs to provide the One Wireless Controller To Rule Them All: the control spec that all iOS (and heck, OSX) developers can safely target. Seems there are at least several startups who essentially wish to address this hurdle:

  • People not being able to respectfully disagree falls into nearly every aspect of media. Head over to any news site that covers politics and see how hateful people are to each other. Heck, we've had people shoot each other over college football team rivalries in my state before.

    The fact is, many people aren't capable of rational thought and they "think" they know everything, when just like what I've laid out in this article, so many times what they "heard/read" simply has nothing substantial behind it. That's why you hear so many different people stating the exact same things over and again – almost drone-like at times.

    I find it boring, annoying and closed-minded, regardless of the subject at hand.

    The gaming industry is flooded with too many games and many "gamers" aren't going to like some of the transitions that will take place in the next decade. Today was Black Friday and people line up hours before stores open in the hopes of landing great deals on most everything. I stumbled into Toys-R-Us four hours after they opened and guess what, there was 9 Wii U units still sitting on the shelf and the Xbox 360 and PS3 shelves were still full for the most part too, as well as the wall of games. Rewind back to the last 10 years that I've shopped there on Black Friday and nearly every single game (that's not shovelware) is usually wiped clean. And they were running great sales this year too!

    Where were all these people at? Oh, they were in half mile long lines to get iPads at Walmart, Target, Sam's Club and Best Buy – desires for dedicated videogame console is on a severe decline.

  • No, you're absolutely right man.

    I just said this earlier, but there's a lot of text on here now (which is awesome!) but I had an eye-opening experience today. It's Black Friday and people started lining up yesterday for big sales. Today, I go into Toys-R-Us about a good 4 hours after they opened and was stunned to walk into the videogames section a see that it's stocked like a typical day of business. Last year (and the many years prior), even 4 hours after opening, you could hardly even get into the game's section, but today, just a handful of people were there.

    I was absolutely jaw-dropped when I realized that there were NINE Deluxe Wii U units still sitting inside the console case! The other consoles (PS3/360) were hardly touched and the games shelves were still relatively full – I casually walked in to grab a copy of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for PS Vita – a game that came out this week! The only thing that I saw sold out was the PS Vitas, which if their selection was anything like their game case – it wasn't very big at all.

    Where were all the buyers at? Oh, they started lining up yesterday at about noon to land an iPad 2 for $300 (different stores had different ways to drop the prices), or other variations of iPads and tablets. I'm still saddened to think about what I saw today. There should absolutely NOT have been nine Wii U units sitting on a store shelf anywhere today, but ESPECIALLY NOT on Black Friday. I live in a heavily populated city and this wasn't a rural area – this just shouldn't be. I've not really been overly worried about the current state of the console industry, but after seeing what I saw today, I'm thinking that I might need to reconsider. 🙁

  • "I thought about using Frozenbyte's comments in my piece, but it had gotten quite lengthy, as I covered so much content so rapidly."

    Well, it should be your job when writing to present all sides. There is enough "rush journalism" which is all most sites do anyways. Instead of verifying when statements were said, or if "quoted" statements are/were accurate, they just "rush them to press" for hits, and cause flame wars…instead of doing basic Q&A.

    Providing Frozenbyte's comments should have been done, IF you knew about them when writing this. Saying you knew about them, but it was a lengthy piece and didn't want to add more…really doesn't shed good light on putting something like this together, and wanting to present this as a balanced piece. Also, the "50% more powerful" was originally a rumor if that link is correct, never stated as factual…again, gamez journalizm running and posting rumors all the time.

    If you have evidence in a trial, as the defense or prosecution, and you leave that out of the trial, it can affect what the "verdict" was years down the line.

    As for the Wii U, we have been enjoying ours, even though it hasn't been played as much these last few days because of some sickness in the house…your plague apparently SPREAD!

  • Greeting, hope you guys didnt get too "trampled" fending off the masses at black friday..jeje
    And Ditto my last Post Chris, Because it seems my lofty dreams of
    a "unified" Gaming Comunity will go down the tubes if what i gather from the rumos come true: microsoft intends to ship two versions of "720" in which consists of a:

    hardcore unit – for the "Real" next gen games -expensive
    Casual unit – for dowloadable/indie for the "casual crowd" -cheap

    just by looking at the options (if it was really the case) id say the next few years the imaturity levels will reach never before heights resulting in riots, murder, kidnappings…(just kidding guys)..

    of course its just a rumor (far as i know) but if not for this childish flame inducing tactic (because i believe the concept is brilliant {2 skus- different content /pricing}and in that sense i applaud it) ..

    not only does it irk me to know im gonna have a few more years of this nonsense, but realising that..sigh, like "Danny Glover" used to say:
    "Im getting to old,for this shit!"…literally.

    In an epifany, i now see the more realistic outcome, the one that involves me, instead of my gaming peers,

    1) if the industry plummets or the mobile sector overtakes the reigns of the console arena: i will need to look for meaningfull options in order to leave something to my 8 year old son (he already a passionate gamer..sniff,sniff)

    2)As i ready to enter the golden years (still off,but not that much)
    i will end up keeping my trusty Pc (by that time most likely rockin a Amd 20000 series card..jeje)..A Nintendo console (till my grave,) and MAYBE..just MAYBE.. ….ONE of the rest : Xbox 3600, PS9,
    Ipad (by this time numering conventions in apple products will be prohibited)..not so bad when you think about it, hopefully i wont need a AI friend to actually game with.
    and guys carefull with the damn wishbone…its a kicker..jeje
    Htaed out.

  • Hey Coffee, sorry this will be short – I am on an iPhone as my modem exploded.

    There are many different kinds of journalism. Collecting solid evidence to support one side of a debate is a perfect legitimate kind, and I support what Chris has done here. Using Frozenbytes comments wold have weakened the piece, as well as ts quality as a source of open debate. I am a firm supporter of well-researched opinion pieces. 30+ good quality debating comments (not flame wars, debate) tells me he did a good job here.

    Almost all editorials take one side of a debate. Whethe it's to simply be a devil's advocate, or because the author is genuinely critical.

    The evidence Chris has collected here is more than enough to support his opinion piece.

    I'm looking forward to unboxing

  • "There are many different kinds of journalism."

    An opinion piece is not what I would say is "journalism", and if that opinion piece admits it saw something that could sway the argument but leaves that out, that's not exactly….legitimate?

    I'm not even sure what the piece is about, as again, it is using a quote from a developer that has yet to be clarified…it's the equivalent of using a hobo to give an opinion on the topic, since we don't know the background to first quote really is.

    The "evidence" Chris has collected is weak at best, and not really evidence of any reason to not buy a Wii U…because he leaves out a comment from a developer about a game being on the Wii U that might not be possible on the 360 and PS3.

    "Using Frozenbytes comments wold have weakened the piece…", then why write it if one piece weakens it? He admitted to seeing the information, but didn't want to include it because the piece was long? But he used a quote from a developer that has not been clarified and every site ran with it, without getting clarification on it? It doesn't really make sense.

    Now…back to ZombiU!

  • Once again, there are many forms of journalism, and opinion pieces and editorials have existed in newspapers for as long as newspapers have been around.

    The purpose of opinion pieces and editorials is to provoke thought and argue one side of an argument. It's not investigative journalism and it certainly isn't about writing a book on a topic. Finding three developers and a host of links to support a stance is more than enough to be a legitimate editorial. If I didn't think it was I would have not published it.

    A couple of days ago I wrote a personal anecdote piece. No sources whatsoever for that one, but again, a different kind of journalism, and so I didn't need to.

    What you are thinking of when you say 'journalism' here is investigative journalism, and I agree with you that 1) there isn't enough of it in the industry and 2) this piece would not have been adequate as tha kind of journalism.

  • Cont…

    Chris' piece is not investigative journalism though, it is an opinion piece and it has been marked as such.

    As far as the legitimacy of his sources are, when a developer says they don't like something, or that it is 'slow hardware' – regardless of why they said it (the work of an on estigative journalist to uncover), they have provided an expert opinion. Developers are the experts in the games industry, and what they say is fair material for an opinion piece. Once again, different forms of journalism. Op eds are to generate thought leadership by supporting one side of an argument. It's like comparing debating to public speaking. Different format, different rules.

  • Hi Coffee,

    I'm sorry that you feel my piece is a weak argument, but I hope you also realise that this piece in no way is formed to sway people against purchasing a Wii U, but only to inform consumers to a rumour that has seemed to become a truth, because of the exact same kind of quick-hit journalism that you spoke of.

    I'll also break down why I chose not to use Fronzenbyte's comments as well. Firstly, Mike Mason, the writer who ran the interview with Mikeal Haveri, the sales and marketing manager at Fronzenbyte, is a personal friend and former colleague of mine and I have absolute trust in his reporting.

    In his interview, Haveri made this statement:

    “Basically that [adding additional content only currently available on Steam] does require… well, not huge amounts more graphics processing power, but still considerably. If we would publish that on the other consoles, then I believe that there would be some small downscaling of what it is right now.”

    His context is only referring to a "graphical downscaling" for other current generation systems. I've published a 9/10 review of Trine 2 and have also played through the original Trine, and can honestly say that I'm a huge fan of the series – it's absolutely beautiful. It's become common knowledge that Black Ops II does indeed look better on Wii U – it can indeed produce 'slightly' better visuals – which is reflected by what Haveri said, "not huge amounts more graphics processing power."

    My article makes it clear that 'graphics' are only one part of the equation and I in no way wanted to solely focus on them – that's what's caused all of this confusion and I felt that trying to add this into my piece would only create confusion and like Matt said "weaken" the piece as a whole. Why? I feel that there's really nothing substantial in his statement that we already know. If they bring the extra content to PS3/360, they will have to downscale the graphics a bit for it to run properly – we've already seen this with Call of Duty Black Ops II, but with it, Wii U's lesser online options is keeping it from being fully functioning, which starts yet another argument and then I'm completely off the track of where I originally started – see why I didn't go here yet? 🙂

    All in all, when you factor in the additional eDRAM and the additional GPU, you're getting a console that's slightly above current generation consoles. I'd think it'll likely clock in around the 27 GB/s mark when we eventually find its max, but come next generation, I don't think we'll see a graphical leap, but they will be significantly faster and then, Wii U will be the console that will very like be getting scaled down for.

    Does that mean that you shouldn't buy a Wii U? No, it doesn't mean that. But it does mean that what I've put together here does shine some light into the possible future of Wii U and it's something that should be taken into consideration for some consumers.

  • Matt S
    "The purpose of opinion pieces and editorials is to provoke thought and argue one side of an argument."

    He didn't present both sides, that's the problem. Most opinion pieces or editorials at least show BOTH sides (even briefly), so the audience can see it, then say why they are on ONE side of the information, not the other…

    The problem with opinion pieces is exactly what I mentioned above, using information that isn't clarified AND not using information that has been stated, isn't presenting a topic fairly. It's not about investigative journalism. He admitted to knowing the other information, and left it out…that information could have changed his readers' positions on the topic.

    Chris you say, "this piece in no way is formed to sway people against purchasing a Wii U"

    but in this very piece you said, "but if you’re just wanting to get a jump on the “next generation” of home consoles, it would probably be a wise decision to hold off on a purchase awhile longer to see how Wii U compares to its future competition;"

    "It's become common knowledge that Black Ops II does indeed look better on Wii U"

    Actually, no. IMO, and many others, I think it looks better on the 360. The visuals appear crisper in the videos that have been posted. Now, there is probably a good reason for it, in that the 360 was the lead console…so that would/should make sense. I don't think we'll see any difference on graphics until we get solid first party titles, and third party titles, that have had time to get used to doing things on the system.

    SPEAKING of Trine 2 though…the game has INCREDIBLE visuals! I'm playing on a SD TV, and the GamePad visuals look better than my TV…something we are hoping to remedy in the next 2 days (come on CyberMonday SALES!). Bean 1 (our oldest) and I played through the tutorial yesterday, and I have finished the first level in it so far. Very impressive what that studio put out, and Trine I think is available for DL on Amazon right now (or was ) for $2.

    But on your interview, there are more than just that one place where they have commented on the graphical differences from the Wii U to the PS3/360 versions. BUT, I see you wanting to try and justify not using it, and you didn't justify in using the same hit line from a developer that was never clarified on WHEN he looked at the Wii U early on. That's a legitimate issue, and a spinning of the topic. It's not presenting both sides of an issue to the audience, so they can make an informed decision. It left out some positive comments, and focused on the more critical (which could end up being true). (*Waiting patiently on Metroid 3D!)

    "Wii U's lesser online options"

    What are those?

  • HI Coffee,

    My interpretation of "sway" is when an author intentionally states things to try and get you to not do something. My piece isn't focused on "should you buy a Wii U?" Instead, an informative piece that's based on the mix-up between people thinking it has a tri-core IBM POWER7 architecture, when it in fact doesn't.

    There's not a developer out there that's stating that "Wii U is overwhelmingly more powerful than current generation consoles."

    Awhile back, Team Ninja said this:

    “right up there with the PS3 and Xbox 360”

    "For all of Nintendo’s hardware, it’s not about power; it’s about how you creatively use the hardware. When we make games for Nintendo, they are going to come and challenge us to use that hardware to make a creative game. That’s the key point from Nintendo that we always feel."

    Like Frozenbyte's these statements only show that Wii U is basically on par, or slightly above current generation consoles.

    As for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, I had read several reports that it had a graphical edge and Eurogamer has an awesome write-up on this today too. In their lengthy write-up, they show that the graphical capabilities of Wii U are just as good of what the 360 offers, but go on to say that it's got some significant performance issues, which is something I'd not heard before. They've got video analysis to backup their claims too and the author went on to state this "it could well be that the Wii U's lacklustre CPU is also a contributory factor" – reflecting the same findings in my article.

    Yes, developers will get better with developing for the Wii U and will learn how to pull every ounce of power from its CPU, just like every console before it. Regardless, I still think Wii U will struggle with multiplatform titles going forward – not that it even needs them, because it doesn't.

    On a brighter note, I hope you get the chance to play Trine 2 in HD at some point. My gaming set-up involves a 22 in. 1080p Samsung television that I use in a desktop format (the smaller screen size allows me to get the ultimate image) and Trine 2 was absolutely beautiful! It's an incredible game and I've not doubt that y'all will enjoy it.

  • Mate, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I do see and understand your points but the route I went with this piece was for a reason and that was to keep focus on the main topic at hand.

    My tv is only a 60hz, but it looks amazing when playing high-end PS3 titles. The smaller size reduces any stretching that you get from larger screens and it's a fantastic little set for reviewing games on. I think the same TV will run you around $150 nowadays, but it's too small for a family TV – you'll definitely want larger than 22'.

    Just for a bit of clarity though, I'm actually a big Nintendo fan and I came to Digitally Downloaded from the largest independent Nintendo website in the world. I absolutely want to see Wii U sitting on the top in the next generation and I truly believe that it will – regardless of what it's processor can/can't do. The lower development cost and multitude of control/input options available on Wii U are outstanding and if I was a developer right now, I'd be jumping all over Wii U and the Unity engine.

    My predictions for Sony and Microsoft's next consoles, well, if Microsoft does what I think they're going to do – slightly more powerful console that uses a new iteration of Kinect and focus on more casual titles – I think they will be okay, but Sony current financial woes and the fact that they're expected to up the ante (power wise) worries me greatly about their future. Next generation development cost are beyond worrying and if these platform holders don't take their next steps carefully, I'm afraid their adverse consequences will be great.

    If in some crazy way Sony and Microsoft both did exit the gaming industry (which I don't foresee happening), I think Nintendo will just keep on trucking, brining their awesome franchises to new generations.

  • "Mate, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I do see and understand your points but the route I went with this piece was for a reason and that was to keep focus on the main topic at hand."

    It's not really "agree to disagree" it's trying to understand what the point was…when information was left out and the piece was titled, "Is the Wii U powerful enough?"

    I took the information from your piece, and from your comments after you acknowledged you knew about the Trine 2 comments:

    From your post: "While I’m not the savviest when it comes to the world of technology (I’d much rather just play games), it’s easy to see that Wii U is either on par, or a bit below the current generation of HD consoles."

    From your comments: "Like Frozenbyte's these statements only show that Wii U is basically on par, or slightly above current generation consoles."

    It just seems there were some big jumps in the piece, while skimming over/not really addressing "Is the Wii U powerful enough?"

    From the piece: "But Eurogamer went on to state that, “one of its [Wii U] strengths is said to be its custom AMD 7 series GPU, and the 1GB of RAM available to games: double that of the PS3 and Xbox 360.” This means that there’s definitely some leeway for developers to push the system a little bit further and maximise its performance – a great thing for Wii U."

    Do you see that jump? We know the system has 2GB of RAM, now how much is kept on the side for the OS and how is available for the games, remains to be seen it seems. But even 1GB is DOUBLE the PS3 and 360, as the quote said…BUT then skip to the very next paragraph:
    "What does this mean for Wii U? Well, to put into perspective for you, it means that Wii U is very likely a “current generation” console from a technical standpoint and the reason behind the performance issues found within several of the multiplatform launch titles."

    So, you have double the RAM of the "current gen" PS3 and 360 consoles, you have the GPU (GPGPU?! thing), but it is "very likely 'current generation' console from a technical standpoint and the reason behind the performance issues found in several of the multiplatform launch titles."

    Do you not see the jump there?

    "Just for a bit of clarity though, I'm actually a big Nintendo fan and I came to Digitally Downloaded from the largest independent Nintendo website in the world."

    You have mentioned NintendoLife before. Just because you have been associated with one site, Nintendo related or not, doesn't mean I understand the piece here. It doesn't clarify what I was getting at here.

    I honestly have issues with NintendoLife, and their lack of standards and the fact they will publish certain items and the writers don't respond to simple questions on reviews.

  • Wow – tons of replies to this so far. Overall, I think it's too early to see how the hardware will be used – I remember the arguments that the PS3 was more powerful than the 360, but then Skyrim bogged down for the PS3. Some of this is on the Devs to make good use of what they have. That being said, I found it interesting when I was reading an IGN article a couple of weeks ago about Madden 13 for the Wii U.

    At the time, that author stated that the infinity engine was scrapped not due to time constraints, but system limitations. That right there really gave me pause. I realize that not everything is about graphics or audio, but when a new system releases and seems to struggle to keep up with what's been on the market several years? That is at least slightly disconcerting to me.

  • Hey Coffee,

    One again I'd like to suggest you break down the piece. The title is, as you say "is the Wii U powerful enough?" The piece contains quotes by three different developers that Chris has a lot of respect for that say, quite clearly, that no it is not powerful enough for what they want to do.

    You're focusing on one of the quotes Chris used, but there are three different developers quoted in that piece. There's a quote in there from the guy behind the Warriors series (who has worked directly with the Wii U) and who is not happy with the hardware. For someone who is a fan of the Warriors series (read: any game with a high level of action rendering a *lot* of moving stuff on screen at once) this does indeed concern me that the Wii U is not powerful enough, and so the question stands.

    I will be more than happy to reassess my concerns once I've had hands on time with the game on the Wii U, but after reading that quote it's certainly a question I have in my mind.

    Chris has used all of this to frame an opinion piece that the Wii U isn't advanced enough for the games he wants to play. We have clearly marked this as an opinion piece, and the reason we have the comments below the story is so people can discuss whether or not they agree with it.

    You don't need to agree with Chris' assessment. You can even choose to ignore what the developers who have worked with the hardware say about it if you like. That's fine – you more than anyone know that constructive debate is what we're all about at Digitally Downloaded.

    You don't even need to like the piece, and we certainly appreciate the feedback there too. I would much rather know if one of our most valued readers is not happy with something we've done than not say anything and end up with a bad impression of the website. Be assured that we've taken the criticisms on board for next time.

    However, now that we've all had a chance to speak our peace, I would appreciate it if the debate can either die a peaceful death, or head off in a direction that doesn't involve you questioning the integrity of the journalism here. I've been doing this for 15 years, and whether you agree with me on this one or not, I would have hoped that you could at least respect my discretion when publishing it. From experience, if this current line of discussion goes on for much longer it's going to get very unpleasant, and I'm sure that's something none of us want to happen.

    Thanks, Coffee, and again thank you for the feedback. Your pack of Zimbabwean coffee beans is in the mail.

  • "At the time, that author stated that the infinity engine was scrapped not due to time constraints, but system limitations."

    Not sure if you're referring to this one: ?

    But it was time constraints apparently listed as the reason in that one. The Wii U version only had about 6 months of development time. If you're referring to the same article I'm referencing where he talked with the developer at an EA event I think.

    He mentioned three features not in the Wii U version, Infinity Engine being one, and said:
    "…I learned this is largely the result of the game's incomprehensibly short development cycle. The team began experimenting with prototypes this past February, and didn't formally begin production until April."

  • "You're focusing on one of the quotes Chris used…"

    No, I'm focusing on the fact two of them aren't currently, that we are aware of, developing Wii U games, and the third game was a port I believe.

    "There's a quote in there from the guy behind the Warriors series (who has worked directly with the Wii U) and who is not happy with the hardware."

    But not so unhappy, they didn't port the game over. 🙂 THAT being said, reports on it aren't good from what I have read, and the framerate appears to be a legitimate issue with the game…so you might want to save your money on it if you already own it.

    "I will be more than happy to reassess my concerns once I've had hands on time with the game on the Wii U, but after reading that quote it's certainly a question I have in my mind."

    That's absolutely understandable. I would imagine with the Warriors games (and those like it) being around for a while now, that if it's done from the ground up for the system…some of the issues could be addressed. (I actually wonder if it can be patched?)

    "You don't need to agree with Chris' assessment. You can even choose to ignore what the developers who have worked with the hardware say about it if you like. That's fine – you more than anyone know that constructive debate is what we're all about at Digitally Downloaded."

    I'm not saying the Wii U is light years ahead, or even ahead of PS3 and 360, all I have been saying is that there are both sides to it. I'm not ignoring the Warriors developer, I'm saying there is another side to it. When writing the piece, as Chris said, he chose to not include the Trine 2 comments. I'm not ignoring any comments, I'm trying to include them all.

    "However, now that we've all had a chance to speak our peace, I would appreciate it if the debate can either die a peaceful death, or head off in a direction that doesn't involve you questioning the integrity of the journalism here."

    Perhaps you are missing the point of the conversation here, as I'm not questioning anybody's journalistic integrity, I'm questioning reasonings/thoughts on an issue as written.

    Just because somebody is/isn't a fan of something, or in your case has been doing something for so many years, that doesn't really apply to the topic at hand though. I didn't see clarity in the piece, or the comments…hence why I provided the direct quotes and even made some of them bold.

    "From experience, if this current line of discussion goes on for much longer it's going to get very unpleasant, and I'm sure that's something none of us want to happen."

    Why would it get unpleasant? We are discussing things back and forth, in a civil manner. There was even a new comment today from Chalgyr, who hadn't commented yet. I'm not really sure I follow the "very unpleasant" part…this is "E" rated right?!?

    "Your pack of Zimbabwean coffee beans is in the mail."

    Wait. You're sending me coffee?! Or, you have ordered more and they are headed your way?

    *BTW, the plague that is going around…is about to hit full force I think, so I may be incapacitated for the next few days.

  • "But not so unhappy, they didn't port the game over. 🙂 THAT being said, reports on it aren't good from what I have read, and the framerate appears to be a legitimate issue with the game…so you might want to save your money on it if you already own it."

    Money to be made, and all that. Tecmo Koei generally supports Nintendo launches (I suspect there's financial incentive in there).

    "That's absolutely understandable. I would imagine with the Warriors games (and those like it) being around for a while now, that if it's done from the ground up for the system…some of the issues could be addressed. (I actually wonder if it can be patched?)"

    There's no reason to think that a Warriors game can't work on the Wii U. There's Warriors games on the 3DS, and the Wii, for instance. The question is whether the Wii U can handle one of the Warriors games of the standard of the ones on the PS3 or Xbox 360. It's going to be a blow if it can't, because it will imply that a range of other games are also unlikely to "work" on the console.

  • You know, I was thinking about the CPU thing earlier today and some of the launch games being ports and having issues…then there is Nintendo Land. While not throwing around as much action on the screen as other Wii U titles, it does have a good number of Miis, and objects, milling about the plaza…

    I just think the whole CPU thing won't be fully addressed until we get a Mario, Metroid, or Zelda…because Nintendo doesn't have any excuses, IMO, for framerate and stuttering issues.

    Matt S

    I did check the Warriors Miiverse community last night, and didn't see any complaints about framerate issues being posted, though most of the users seemed to be very early in the game, Chapter 2 for most it seemed.

  • Dude, look what they did with the Wii! Both Super Mario Galaxy titles (especially 2) are absolutely BEAUTIFUL and play just as smooth as most anything in the market. AND it's on the Wii, which released with a CPU (IBM Broadway) that's significantly underpowered.

    You can suck everything out of a weaker CPU and create amazing visuals and gameplay, but you've really got to work hard and efficiently to do this. Nintendo builds their systems to their desires – they're a hardware and software company, but one with the most popular franchises of all-time. This enables them to create cheaper hardware for the consumer, with killer software that they develop. Their development teams are amazing and can put the time into getting absolutely everything out of the technology that they produce.

    Third parties don't have the time and/or resources to do this, seeing how they will lose their jobs if they don't meet the overbearing time restrains and deadlines of the publisher, which is also how they lose their rights to the IPs too.

    This is why I adore Nintendo so much. They don't develop systems that will destroy your pocketbook and they deliver gaming experiences that bring extremely high fun-factors, and can't be replicated anywhere else. This is needed in an industry that's using overwhelming amounts of capital to keep it alive. It means that Nintendo has a stable long-term strategy in mind and that they realise that the idea of "more power" is exactly what's damaging our industry.

  • Previous Story

    Games-giving: Steam’s Autumn sale is live

    Next Story


    Latest Articles