Good News And Bad News For Those Concerned About The Wii U's Power

The Wii U is significantly more powerful than the Wii or the GameCube before it, but Nintendo's next console doesn't appear to radically surpass the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, according to conversations we've had with people familiar with the Wii U and the forthcoming consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

But horsepower alone never won anyone a major battle in a console war, so power's not everything. With that in mind, two pieces of news, via Go Nintendo, add a little more clarity about the potency of Nintendo's machine.

From an interview with Epic Games' Mark Rein that ran on VideoGamer.com, we get this comment about the Unreal Engine 4, the new Epic graphics engine intended to run games for next-gen consoles like the follow-up to the Xbox 360:

Rein: "I'll state that I don't think it's our intention to bring Unreal Engine 4 to Wii U, but Unreal Engine 4 is going to be supremely scalable.

"We'll run on mobile phones and on a wide variety of things, so if a customer decides they want to port an Unreal Engine 4 game to Wii U, they could. But Unreal Engine 3 is a really good fit for that platform."

That's the good news, which appears to rule out first-run WIi U games from being made on UE4, but keeps Epic on message with the idea that the engine will not inherently block a game made for UE4 from running on Nintendo's device or any other non-optimized hardware.

The not-as-wonderful news comes from Namco's chief game designer of all things Tekken, Katsuhiro Harada, who puts on-record information about Nintendo holding back the Wii U's CPU that we reported here on <em.Kotaku last month, though cited to oen of our own inside sources.

This is from a Nintendo Gamer interview with Harada about Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which is being made for Wii U:

NG: How has it been developing for the Wii U? Is it a relatively easy system to develop on?

KH: The first thing we don't really know at the moment is the release date of the hardware itself, then we'd be able to release more information about our game in particular. Regarding the hardware, the graphical processing capability is not bad at all. We're actually able to do pretty much what we want in that regard. The one thing where we do kind of have to put our heads to good use is with the CPU itself — I guess because they're trying to keep energy consumption pretty low we really do need to come up with some unique ideas to make good use of the CPU in order to attain the goals we need to for the game

Again, it's important to remember that the Wii trounced its more powerful competitors, the Xbox 360 and PS3. But it's also worth keeping things like the above statements in mind when pondering the notion that the Wii U, which has PS3/360 games like Assassin's Creed III and Mass Effect 3 announced for it, will be able to run the games of the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles.

Unreal Engine 4 games could be ported to Wii U - Epic [VideoGamer.com] Interview — Katsuhiro Harada talks Tekken Tag Tournament 2 {Nintendo Gamer]


Comments

    I decided when I traded in my Wii I wasn't going to buy the next Nintendo console, and my mind remains unchanged. While it's true we don't buy consoles based on graphical capability alone, releasing a console that's basically par with the other consoles currently out just means it'll be left behind again when the next Xbox and Playstation come out next year (or more likely 2014 for the PS4).

    I don't doubt it will sell well, and currently games look and play fine. But more power means more potential. Xbox v3 and PS4 will use that potential. The Wii-U won't be able to keep up.

    Also after having now used a tablet (beyond fiddling with iPads in JB Hi-fi for a few minutes), I really don't see holding a tablet controller (even one with thumbsticks) is going to be tolerable for more than half an hour at a time. I think I'll stick to an Xbox controller with a smartglass-capable device alongside.

      I agree somewhat. I definitely won't be racing out the door to purchase a Wii U, but I'm open to getting one should enough developers decide to use the control scheme properly. Odds are they won't.

        Ok. Your not going to get the next Nintendo consol. That's fine and dandy. Then why are you looking out up online? Can you answer that for me please?.

      +1. The wii has basically left me with no real desire to buy Nintendo products again.

        Same here. The DS has got a fair amount of use over the years, but the Wii has been one of the most disappionting purchases I've ever made.

      no offense but if you knew the 1st thing about hardware architecture, you would know that nowadays, clock speed is a very unreliable indicator of horsepower. how do u think a single core 2.7GHz processor stacks up against a quad core 2.3GHz one?

      The Wii U's tablet isn't even modern technology - it's a single-touch resistive screen, i.e. it's pressure sensitive like a DS screen. On the upside that should mean DS games on the virtual console. On the other hand though, people are used to being able to slide their fingers around on tablets now and that won't work well.

      I don't think the Wii U will be left behind quite as much as the Wii was though. From the sound of things you're talking a decent graphics chip in there, and more importantly it'll be a more modern chip with some of the nice things the PS3/360 GPUs are missing (it'll be a DX11 chip). That plus the fact that it'll be outputting in decent resolution over a proper digital connection should stop it dating quite so fast. But it does feel like Nintendo's going to effectively have a Dreamcast on their hands.

      I want to personally thank you for referring to the next generation's Xbox as "xbox v3".

      Every time the term "Xbox 720" is uttered, an angel dies. True story.

      The good news is the power does not really matter (SMG + 2)

      Bad news is people won't shut the f up about how powerful it is... Without actually knowing!!!

    I am on the fence and the games will decide if I purchase this or not.

      My thoughts exactly - while it is less powerful than the other too, Microsoft and Sony heads were left spinning when the console steamrolled them sales wise.

      At the end of the day, it's not the hardware the counts, its the grade of the games. A lesson Sony and Microsoft learned later and finally we started getting better games for the two power horses.

      And before anyone tries to brand me a Wii fanboy, I have all three consoles (purchased a Wii, XBox 360 and PS3 in that order due to the games) as I refuses to be fenced in by one platform.

      I also have a PC so I'm covered there as well. The only good systems I am missing are the Dream Cast and Atari 2600.

    I'm going to make a prediction: Between now and 1 month after the Wii U launches, somebody is going to make an Old Spice parody using the Wii U's tablet controller, a la "Look at your TV, now look at me, now back to your TV, now back to me..."

    Man..... They need to wait and make a console on par with the next ps or xbox.
    Nintendo has awesome games but wont handle the multiplatform titles next gen and this is why I wont buy it.

    They were lucky they stretched the wii as far as they did.
    They shouldn't risk it again with out of date tech.

    Could it be that the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a Port from the High clocked In-order-processors of the PS3 and Xbox 360 and it just might be a little difficult to translate that to a much lower clocked out of order CPU in the WII U.

    Might not be a case of weaker, but just very different!

    "it’s important to remember that the Wii trounced its more powerful competitors"

    For specific reasons - it caught the zeitgeist at the right time and introduced something very new - motion gaming that the wider public could engage in.

    However, their new controller competes with both the PS360 and the tablet market. It's not something new and innovative as much as it's a Frankenstein of existing tech. Will it persuade Joe Sixpack to buy it rather than a new iPad? It'll sell, but don't expect to see 100 million units rolling out the doors with it.

      The WiiU is not a tablet, it's a controller, so you wouldn't even be able to take it out of the house like a normal tablet.

    Another one of these articles?

    So the wii sold to casual gamers which is why it was successful do we really think casual gamers will buy a second casual console in droves?

    hold your horses people ! as a computer science student i feel the need to clarify a couple things.

    first of all, clock speed alone is FAR form being a determining factor when judging a console's horsepower. for example, when running tailor-made (called multi-threated) application (such as a video game) , 2.3GHz quad-core CPUs run faster than my 2.7 dual-core CPU. that's a simple example but hardware architecture is a complex field and clock speed should be the least of our concern. actually, in laptops, clock speeds have now stagnated around 2.7GHz but computer are still getting faster. the progress is now being made in architecture vs. pure clock speed.

    now i'm not saying the Wii U is gonna be a beast either. but saying its clock speed is "maybe a little bit" lower than the 360's means absolutely nothing in terms of how it stacks up to the current or the next-gen so hold your horses people. personally, i'll buy a Wii U as soon as i see games that make unique and captivating use of the GamePad (probably the next Metroid).

    finally, as far as the next-gen goes, please keep in mind that, while next-gen can theoretically destroy the Wii U graphics-wise, it will come at a price, both in hardware and software. for such graphics in a console, be prepared to drop at the very least $500 at launch, $70 a game and wait for very long development cycles. might as well buy a powerful PC and Nintendo consoles ;)

    i love good graphics and i love good game play (the wii u is just the same length with 360 and ps3). in this case Nintendo have lost me as a customer . i will be waiting to buy the ps4 and the 720, hopefully the specs are better than wii u.

      you should get a PC then if you want the best graphics because you sure dont get them on a console

        Good graphics doesn't mean more polygons, higher resolution or fancier shaders ;)

          Actually for the most part it does? Add in more AA/AF and the same assets that make the console games and you get a far superior product. As long as its coded right..

    *shrug* it's all about the games, and WiiU offers some very cool potential. In recent times I've been far more impressed with creative and unrealistic visuals (such as Journey, Flower and El Shaddai) than the "brown+bloom" fad of gritty realism which will require the next generation of graphics power. IMHO so long as WiiU is a bit more powerful than current systems and has full BC, its comparative lack of power will not be the issue: it will have the power to render pleasing HD visuals. After that it comes down to the games themselves.

    I think some people are getting a little ahead of themselves. Truth be told we still don't know the actual specs of the Wii U. Come to think of it, we don't know the specs of the PS4 and the next X Box either. We don't even know if those consoles will be released next year!

    Whatever Wii U, PS4 and the next Xbox are packing under their hoods they will already be behind what PC's are doing. I personally hate PC gaming but if I were obsessed with "raw power" then I wouldn't even think about getting any of the 3 home consoles.

      Well put, I cant agree with you on PC gaming - I love my PC rig. But the next Sony and MS consoles are still far off.. It takes 2-3 years to produce games for a console and there is still only rumours going around about parts and no tech demos or anything yet. We will be very lucky to see 1 of them next year..

      Mark Rein has always been biased against Nintendo consoles.. Has he actually worked on the Wii U hardware yet? I doubt it. They have had very little if anything to do with it - and the fact he has already said it could possibly run EU4 but it would be up to the devs clearly shows they have no interest any form of support.

    I'll most likely buy a PS Vita before I buy this.

    I've still got my Wii, still got Mario Galaxy 2, Smash Bros and Mario Kart Wii. I'll be waiting for a massive price drop before I even think about picking one up. I've got a 3DS, so I'm good for Mario and Nintendo exclusives.

    I'll most likely get the next Xbox or Playstation first next gen before picking up the WiiU. It seems logical.

    Show me a new Zelda game, and I'm sold. I couldn't care less about console power.

    Considering NINTENDO has not released any information to give the 'exact' specs of the Wii U this article is beyond laughable and show the lack of professionalism, integrity, and intelligence of the author. Find a new job please.

    It's funny that whenever any unsubstantiated NEGATIVE news comes out about Nintendo people take it as the inherent gospel-truth. However when traceable and substantiated positive news comes out about Nintendo people refuse to believe it. Even if the Wii U used hardware that was directly on-par with the 360 it still would be more powerful because technology is faster and more efficient than it was 7 years ago when the 360 launched. It's a pretty simple concept to understand. Based on what we do know for certain, the Wii U has more powerful hardware than both the 360 and PS3. How much powerful? We don't know. Here's is idea. Why not just wait until Nintendo tells you instead of constantly speculating on something that doesn't matter anyway.

    It's hilarious to listen to how people have convinced themselves that a system needs to be a SKYNET-level powerhouse to be successful when every single console that has won it's respective war has either been weaker than one or more competitors or the weakest of the lot. For example....

    Atari 2600
    NES
    SNES
    PlayStation
    PlayStation 2
    Nintendo Wii

    They all won and they all had more one or more systems more powerful to compete against. In contrast...

    Colecovision
    Sega Master System
    NEO-GEO
    Nintendo 64
    XBOX
    PS3

    Were all the most powerful consoles of their generations and they all LOST. The most powerful console to date is the PS3 and it is DEAD LAST in the current console race. Even the handheld console follow the same pattern.

    Least powerful:
    GameBoy - Winner
    GameBoy Advance - Winner
    Nintendo DS - Winner
    Nintendo 3DS - Winning

    Most powerful:
    Game Gear - Loser
    Sega Nomad - Loser
    PSP - Loser
    PS Vita - Losing

    These are all facts folks. I guess it must bring some type of pleasure or gratification to people to show their stupidity by bashing Nintendo using unsubstantiated information that they don't even understand anyway. Bashing Nintendo is popular right now because of that horrible conference at E3 they gave. So people who crave attention feel that if they bash Nintendo too it'll make them sound intelligent and people will listen to them. It's pretty tragic if you ask me. Especially since the people whining the loudest will be FIRST in line to purchase a Wii U on launch day.

    Blah blah ~hate nintendo~ blah blah ~more hate nintendo~.

    Ill be buying it day one. Its has a lot more power then people realize, the fact its rendering better graphics already (maybe only slightly for 1st gen games!) but the console is also producing the gamepads graphics as well - there is a lot of horsepower under that hood.

    The PS4 and supposed 720 wont be out anytime soon either.. what is everyone going to play in the meantime?? I still maintain I will ALWAYS own a Nintendo console paired up with a Sony system or more than likely a Xbox console. Nintendo games are too freaking good to pass up, my mind boggles how people cant see that. There is alwyas going to be stacks of exclusives to Nintendo but very few between the Sony and MS consoles..

    ZombieU cant get here soon enough.

      I sooo agree with you...... 100$

    Having worked on the WiiU before I left the games industry, I can say with confidence that the console will lack what the new generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony will have. I'm sure it will suffer the same fate of the Wii, just sooner

      Am sure what you just said is all bull shit.... Don't worry when the wii u kills both the 720 and the ps4 with sales you are gonna be shocked..... you don't have to be... .am telling you now. Nintendo is gonna win the next round of video games war.

      Get N or get OUT!!!!

    I don't much care, so long as it plays new Zelda and Mario games I'll have to buy it.

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