Nintendo

Hacker Says He Cracked Open The Wii U, CPU Is Nothing Special

Hector Martin, he who put together the first open-source driver for Microsoft’s Kinect two years ago, now says he’s cracked open the Wii U.

He won’t say what he did to get the details out of Nintendo’s latest console, but he did tweet some juicy (and very, very technical) tidbits about the system:

So what can we make of all this? For starters, it sounds like Kotaku‘s reporting over the summer — that the Wii U will be a “power orphan” compared to its next-gen competitors — was spot on. As Stephen wrote then:

But one insider who has had access to the machine says that the console’s impressive AMD Radeon-based graphics chip is off-set by a CPU that runs at low speeds, can do out-of-order processing but has fewer threads than the 360.

Also worth noting: just last week, one of the developers behind Metro: Last Light said the Wii U has a “horrible, slow CPU”. Martin’s discoveries seem to match that theory, as well as Digital Foundry’s thoughts on how Mass Effect 3 runs on the three different consoles.

We’ll be following this story and continuing to talk to developers about the Wii U’s power as time goes on.