Metro Developer: The Wii U 'Has A Horrible, Slow CPU'

Reggie says that next generation begins now, but we've been getting mixed messages with regards to the potential of the Wii U. Some seem happy with what the Wii U is capable of while others are a little disappointed. Oles Shishkovtsov, CTO of 4A Games — the team behind Metro: First Light — belongs to the latter group. He says the Wii U has a 'horrible, slow CPU'.

It was for those reasons that the team decided to skip porting its game to Nintendo's new console.

His colleague Huw Beynon agreed.

"We had an early look at it," he said, speaking to NowGamer, "we thought we could probably do it, but in terms of the impact we would make on the overall quality of the game – potentially to its detriment – we just figured it wasn’t worth pursuing at this time. It’s something we might return to. I really couldn’t make any promises, though."

It seems as though the processing power of the Wii U isn't something that can necessarily be easily quanitified — the GameCube tech was similar. Randy Pitchford, for example, from Gearbox, is insistent that the Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the best looking version of the game. Others have been complimentary also, but it is worrying to hear some developers passing on the Wii U because of processing power when it's a newly released piece of technology.

Wii U 'Has A Horrible, Slow CPU' Says Metro Last Light Dev [NowGamer]


    Seems like they couldn't just cut and paste so put it in the too hard basket. Would be a pity if Metro was actually a good game.

      ...but Metro 2033 was a good game.

        But that's not the game they are talking about here.

          Well, given that Metro : Last Light isn't out yet, I figured that Infermofperpus was referring to 2033.

          either that or Infermofperpus is a Time Lord & has returned from the future with insider knowledge...

          or, another possibility (and given that this is a comments section on the internet, the most likely), Infermofperpus is just ignorantly judging a game he/she hasn't played & knows very little about based solely on their experience with 2033 (if they did indeed play that at all).

            i was referring to Metro 2033. Which I did not like.

              Don't like ≠ bad game. Lots of people don't like Call of Duty. Lots of people don't like Pokémon

                Nobody doesn't like Pokemon.

                  Double negative.

                  And I don't like pokemon.

              Metro 2033 was fantastic.

    You do realise that 4agames along with CD projekt are the only ones really pushing the current PC gen to its limits. Metro 2033 had scalabity to work with consoles. Pity that it's still current console gen holding back games.

      It doesn't seem like it is, it sounds like they're just going to focus on the PC version.

    Nintendos consoles were never about brute force like the ps3 or 360, it was always about efficiency and optimization. From early ports on the console its obvious developers are having trouble with the Wii U's set up but i dont think for a second that its not impossible to get great visuals from it. I have 2 gaming rigs, one for me which is reasonably modern, and one for my wife which isnt. It is about 4-5 year old 2.4ghz core2quad CPU and an old ATI 4890 serious GPU. Even this OLD hardware it can easily manage 1080p on pretty much all games (maybe without all the fixin's) and keeps things running smoothly. Thats a 5 year old machine. Im sure a clever developer can easily get the same performance on the Wii U if they gave the hardware time and effort. At the end of the day the console will be defined by the games it releases during the middle to end of its life. Not by its launch.

    I'm a bit over people discussing whether Wii U is "next gen" or not. Even if your baby is deformed and brainless it is still your baby, it is still the next generation. Whether the Wii U is a great console or not is a question you can ponder. But whether it is next gen or not is not a question. It is part of the next generation of consoles whether it is great or not.

      next gen tech or not, Nintendo seem to sell consoles based on the experience, rather than the raw power of their hardware. This way, they can keep their manufacturing costs low & undercut the competition. & it works for them.

      The Wii had the waggle thing. The Wii U has the tablet-controller hybrid & these innovations are probably going to more than make up for the lower-end hardware specs. Especially when indie devs get a hold of it.

      Nintendo make games that are fun to play with your mates. Don't need hardware overkill for that.

      The problem is the term "next gen" has been stupidly linked to graphics quality, as opposed to an actual generation of consoles (hint: new console = new generation).

      According to Wikipedia, the Wii U is the first console in the 8th generation of consoles, of which (according to wikipedia) Nintendo has been in all except the second (although the game and watch came out during this one but it a handheld which don't fit to the console generations the same)

      Playstation is in its third generation, Xbox its second.

      Agreed. I'm not sure why people seem to get tech and "generation" so confused. Generations are about the timeframe as well as the gaming climate at the time of release and which consoles are competing for dominance at the time. tech really has nothing to do with it. the Wii U is a next gen console. It might be a severely underpowered next gen console, but that really doesn't matter.

    Sounds like a similar issue that the PS3 had.
    Takes effort and time to optimise the processing of games and as such people either give up or just do a regular port.

      I get what you're saying but its a different issue. Everyone knew the PS3 had amazing raw processing power with it's Cell Architecture, the problem was that no one could figure out how it worked!
      Wii U capabilities will still get better over time, but only because devs will be forced to be creative if they want the most power from the console. PS3 on the other hand, was already powerful, just bloody hard to understand.

    I agree with you on that one, the whole concept of naming a generation seems stupid to me.
    Furthermore the Wii U is going a different route to the other future consoles the way the Wii did from the last generation of consoles, in both cases trying to group them together is pointless.
    Phones, tablets and laptops are all different beasts, you really shouldn't try comparing a new phone to an old laptop.

      It's a console competing in the home console market. It's not "an old phone". It's brand new and it WILL get compared to the next gen PlayStation and Xbox. To fix your analogy, it's like comparing a Samsung Galaxy S3 to an iPhone 5 which is perfectly reasonable. Yes, the Wii U is doing some things differently, but its core function is the same and it will be getting the same games (or a version of).

    That was meant for Strange, apparently the new commenting system doesn't like me using the reply button.

    "Nintendos consoles were never about brute force like the ps3 or 360, it was always about efficiency and optimization. "

    "next gen tech or not, Nintendo seem to sell consoles based on the experience, rather than the raw power of their hardware. "

    I keep seeing comments like these.

    Has everyone forgotten the Nintendo 64 already? Nintendo's main push with that system was its raw power. "The World's first 64 bit console!" was one of their slogans. Even going back as far as the SNES - despite the fact both the SNES and Mega Drive were 16 bit, the hardware in the SNES was more powerful than the MD and Nintendo marketed that (games like DKC and Starfox ring any bells?). Even the Gamecube was very much comparable technically to the original Xbox (minus widescreen support) and was significantly more powerful than the PS2. Nintendo didn't really market that fact, but they clearly didn't make an underpowered console in favour of "experience" in that generation.

    The Wii was really the first console they made where they changed up their strategy, and now the Wii U is following that trend somewhat. I say "somewhat", because unlike the original Wii, which was launched with lesser specs than the competition right from the start, the Wii U's specs put it ahead of the current competition and it becomes the most powerful console on the market - at least until the next Playstation and Xbox are released.

      the N64 was released 2 years after its '5th generation' competition, so of course it was going to be more powerful.

      but when you look at the next batch of consoles, the gamecube was released a year after its competitors, and had very similar specs. this was probably the tipping point when nintendo decided to cut back on power (and therefore manufacturing costs) and undercut the competition.

      the following group of consoles (360, PS3 & Wii) all came out within a year of each other, and I think its pretty clear that Nintendo have gone down a different path than the competition. Gameplay & interface innovation, not power.

      having said that, I stick by the idea that gameplay > graphics, so I hope nintendo keep doing what they're doing.

        the N64 was released 2 years after its '5th generation' competition, so of course it was going to be more powerful.

        The console's release date is irrelevant. The Wii was released a year after the Xbox 360 but it wasn't more powerful. The point is Nintendo deliberately went for something significantly more powerful than the current competition with the N64 and used that in all of their marketing. The original Xbox did something very similar when it was introduced.

        The Gamecube sat squarely in the middle last generation. More powerful than the PS2, not quite as powerful as the Xbox.

        You're right that Nintendo have gone down a different path with the Wii, favouring gameplay and interface innovation over raw power, but the Wii was really the first time they've done that.

          I think the release date is relevant.
          Two years of advances in tech is quite a bit. 2 years after the release of the competition, there is a clear choice - spend less than the competition did at launch & have the same power, or spend the same as your competition did & get more power (and the extra selling point that comes with that).

            2 years isn't really enough of a gap for a jump in tech like 32 to 64 bit though. Yeah the N64 was significantly more powerful than the Playstation (and don't forget the Saturn), but guess what? It was also a lot more expensive, which definitely hurt its initial sales. Not unlike what happened with the PS3 really.

            Just because something releases afterwards doesn't mean that it needs to be more powerful, and the Wii is a perfect example of that.

        To be fair, the Gamecube was substantially more powerful than the PS2. Hell, the PS2 version of RE4 had to use the in-game Gamecube cutscenes as pre-rendered FMV in order to look anywhere near as good.

        Edited to remove mention of GC being more powerful than Xbox

        Last edited 21/11/12 11:09 am

          To be fair, the Gamecube was substantially more powerful than the PS2 and Xbox. Hell, the PS2 version of RE4 had to use the in-game Gamecube cutscenes as pre-rendered FMV in order to look anywhere near as good.

          Not quite. As I said in the above comment which you probably missed as you were typing yours, the Gamecube sat in the middle of that generation. It was significantly more powerful than the PS2, yes, but at the same time wasn't quite as powerful as the Xbox.

          It did actually compare to the Xbox rather well however, especially with the games that were built to use the hardware properly, such as the exclusives like Metroid Prime and some multiplatform titles like Soul Calibur II. Xbox had widescreen support and the Gamecube didn't but other than that it was pretty comparable when you looked at them side by side. The Xbox at a technical level was superior, but it wasn't super noticeable like it was between the Xbox and PS2.

          EDIT: Damn, ninja'd me :P

          Last edited 21/11/12 11:10 am

            I don't really know much about the original Xbox and just assumed it was about the same as the PS2. Clearly I was wrong. But I agree that Nintendo deliberately went out of their way to deliver powerful hardware (especially with the N64) and the Wii was the first time they ever tried a "low performance" machine.

            The GameCube had widescreen support in hundreds of titles- I don't know where the whole "Xbox can do widescreen" thing came about. So could PS2, depending on the title.

            Literally the only difference between Xbox and GCN were how shading effects were done. On Xbox, they were done easier with developers by leveraging DirectX pixel shader code, whereas on GameCube, you had to manually add texture, light, and other pixel ops with microcode, or with sharply written shaders for the TEV register, which very few developers did.

            GCN threw more polygons and texture layers out due to incredible memory bandwidth, and Xbox threw more shader effects because they were easier to do.

            In the end, Xbox was better than GCN in some areas, and GCN was better than Xbox in some areas. They both were clearly superior to PS2 in terms of hardware.

      SNES CPU: 3.5Mhz
      MD CPU: 7.67Mhz

      The SNES was always a gimped, hard to develop for console that relied on external hardware in carts to do anything decent with a higher on screen colour pallet being its only redeeming feature. Hell, background rotation scaling (or mode7 if you don't know any better) needed extra internal hardware to pull off along with the external DSP1 chip on carts. The MD homebrew scene have proved that the MD is powerful enough to do background rotation scaling in software. Not to mention that the MD can run at a higher resolution then the SNES.

      All the power of the Gamecube and N64 and what did it get Nintendo? Last place. Actually the Gamecube was powerful due to it being highly optimized and efficent compared to the brute strength 'of the shelf parts' console that was the original xbox was. Considering what happened with GC i can understand Nintendo's 'just enough power' strategy. You just have to look through the history of consoles. Power ≠ market leader. To emphasies that point why in the hell is the venerable old ps2 selling when we have HD consoles like ps3 and 360 (and now Wii U). Power isnt everything, its important but not as important as enjoyable gaming experiences.

        because the ps2 was awsome the controller is way better than the ps3 one and the games on it were great

    --Whoops, meant to reply to #35--

    Last edited 21/11/12 10:59 am

    When will dumbarses realise that next-gen doesn't have anything to do with power.

      Because uneducated hyperbole gets page clicks. No offence to Mark but sites are latching on to any story about the Wii U's power. As is been said many times above next green tech can't be purely defined by graphics and horsepower.

      I realise I should stop clicking these stories to defend Nintendo because I'm just adding to the page clicks and thus increasing their relevance.

        Oops lots of typos there. I blame android 4.2's swype style keyboard!

    Why is nobody discussing the fact that Randy pretty much said they are going to half ass the Colonial Marines PC version?

    OK, sure, so maybe the Wii U's processor is abysmally slow and underpowered but it's still the only console processor upon which one will be able to play the latest Mario, Pikmin, Mariokart and (most importantly) Zelda games.

    Of course, the Wii U certainly wouldn't be my first choice for multi-platform titles & afterthought ports.

    So a PC focused dev complains about the Wii U CPU? Can we hear what they think about the other consoles too, because they might say the same or worse, especially if they're comparing to PC.

      They've already commented on the PS3 and the limitations of our current consoles, but the fact that we have a new generation console that is still attracting the same flak is a real concern.

    They were comparing it to 360's CPU and the Wii U's is slightly weaker (mostly because it is severely underclocked to minimize power consumption and heat), I wouldn't be surprised if the RAM bandwidth also hurt them.

    Overall the Wii U's hardware is really quite pathetic -- even the Wii was more powerful then its predecessor :(

      So are you trying to say the Wii U isn't as powerful as the Wii? There is more to a console than just the CPU, the rumours also say the Wii U has up to 4x the memory than the 360/PS3 which gives devs a lot more headroom - and the bandwidth is all speculation just based on one thing - the name on the memory chips.

      You cant just quantify all specs or just 1 spec and call it doom or gloom. Fact is the games already look pretty good for generation one, and like most once they figure out how to get the most out of the system we will see a lot more work done with it.

    You cannot grasp the true form of the wii u's power.

    seriously, nobody can decide whether it's more powerful or less powerful.

    Yes but we have known the Wii U CPU wasn't as powerful for a long time - it was rumoured it was always slightly slower then the PS3/360 (but of course we still don't know if that's true). Fact is, this system is probably a lot more efficient and has a lot more resources aimed at the GPU.

    In the end my question is too - are they still using that dreaded PhysX? There is a CPU hog that doesn't speed up your gameplay. Nor am I in interested in installing my Nvidia Card to handle the PhysX, I would have rather played it on the Wii U if it did.

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