Wii U Review: Nintendo's Latest Is Out the Door

By Julio Franco · 28 replies
Nov 19, 2012
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  1. Novulux

    Novulux TS Rookie

    Too late, already bought 3 deluxe. :D
    Can't believe the larger Target in my area had less people waiting...
    I honestly don't think ZombiU is my type of game and regret the purchase.
  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    So 6 years later Nintendo finally court up in horse power and a useable controller... In a years time its going to be outdated anyway and the same thing will happen that happened to the Wii, no one will make cross platform games for it as it would need to be ported separately due to lack of power.

    Great one Nintendo -_-

    At least you got the controllers right this time round, I would happily buy one of these thanks to the Pro controllers, just a shame about the lack of horse power :(
  3. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    The horse power of any of the next gen systems including the Wii U is speculation, the PS4 is said to be a A10 CPU if thats the case then the Wii U and PS4 will be neck and neck processing wise as the A10 is an mediocre at best gaming APU, that and in a years time the Wii U would have been optimised so PS4 and 720 will receive ports from the Wii U.

    The Wii U is not to be confused as being similar specs to the current gen it's far more powerful.
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    Then why do a lot of reports suggest otherwise?

    I can't find the article right now, but I was reading an interview with (I think the developer's of the Zelda games) and they duely noted that the Graphics power is only slightly better than todays Xbox 360 and PS3 and the Processor was considerably worse.

    The console has now been stripped and its been found to have 2GB of RAM (and an unknown amount if eDRAM) which again, if rumours hold true, the PS4 and Xbox 720 will have at least 4GB, double already.

    The reasoning behind the low specs was to keep the power consuption low (Wii U takes 33Watts under full load) and to keep it cool (it has a heatsink almost double the size the WIi Uses)

    Just from that power draw I can happily place money that its specs WILL be outdated come next year, and I mean considerably out dated.

    I agree on launch of the new PS4 and Xbox 720 there will be ports, but I'm betting only one or two though and they'll be things like Call of Duty and some other popular title at the time.

    I could be wrong, but as the Xbox and PS3 prove, Sony and Microsoft are not afraid of creating a console that spews out alot of Hot air and can consume over 100 watts, Nintendo seem to be more interested in making expensive controllers instead.
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    Can I also add, They are releasing this TVii service yet, I can't find any reports that its even able to play back a simple movie DVD -_-
  6. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    Loved that "Not Yet" .gif at the end of the article....
  7. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    Are you saying the 720 and PS4 will have 4GB of eDRAM or system RAM? if your saying system eDRAM then thats just silly and would cost 1000's, the fact remains all next gen systems will be neck and neck Sony is using an APU, Wii U is using a GPGPU and the 720 will probably also use a GPGPU. The Wii U uses a total of 33watts under full load for the CPU this doesn't include the power drop or the HD optical drive or other components.

    I would bet sony and Microsoft will stick to the x84 platform so will have a maximum amount of system RAM at 3GB and both will feature 1GB graphics cards with the APU and GPGPU configurations, put in to perspective the Wii U uses 1GB of GDDR3/5 for the graphics and 1GB for the OS, take into account optimisation and all three systems share similar GPU configurations just that they might have more system RAM, either way that wont effect gameplay in the slightest as system RAM on a console is reserved and won't be used for graphics rendering or game loading at all, thus coming back to the fact of price, why include 3GB when you can use 2GB or even 1GB and yield the same result, and save money doing so?

    All three systems will be near identical also taking into account the limited specs of peoples HDTV's and the fact that no system will support 4K HDTV then I think we have near enough met the 1080p cap for games consoles, it's not like they have to render the resolution of a high end PC gaming monitor.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    I didn't know the Wii U had a release date until yesterday...
  9. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    33 Watts was recorded from the wall -_- so yes, that is overall power draw.

    Again, I'm quite happy to bet they will be far more powerful than Nintendo's offering, simply because thats been Nintendo's style since the gamecube, they even admit this in an interview on their own website, since the Gamecube, its not been about raw horse power but efficiency, Don't get me wrong, I have watched quite a few videos of people playing the Wii U and a few Tech demo's and they do look really good (Zelda in particular) but the reason they look so impressive is because I automatically compare it to the Wii, which lets face it, was so extremely underpowered it just didn't get much attention from developers, Compare it to todays Xbox's and PS3, its just caught up.

    When the Xbox 360 was released, the graphics in the release games blew anything the PS2, Gamecube and even the orginal Xbox away, It was simply on another level.

    The Wii U doesn't deliver that, Simply put, I'm happy to bet a sizable amount of money that the next PS and Xbox will at least try to deliver the same upscale in graphics power for it to be called "next Generation".
  10. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    33WATTS from the wall have you accounted for the power store in the power brick? and the nanometers of the CPU?
    Your willing to bet this even though both Microsoft and Sony have stated that their systems won't be the graphical powerhouses people are expecting.
    I think the next gen is going to be all about content, Sony can't afford another over priced brick and Microsoft want to take the Nintendo route and bring out things like smart glass, given we don't know how much money smart glass costs per unit I'm willing to bet they will focus on that as opposed to making a massive leap with their console hardware and as I said they already told us this.
    Sony has already handed out the A10 based dev units, all dev units are around 50% more powerful than the actual console, the A10 is a mediocre CPU at best so it's a given that it will be under clocked compared to their dev kit, the final system will also feature less RAM and possibly less APU performance.

    Your right that the Wii was dissapointing esspecially from a 3rd part perspective but I think they have pretty much cured that issue now, Nintendo's first part titles with much much better 3rd party support will be quite an hard puppy to beat, but take into account Wii was the least powerful system yet it outsold all of the others, put quiet simply Sony and Microsoft want a piece of that action.

    Wii U has an entire year or more before it has to worry about Sony and Microsofts next consoles, and given that over a million units have been preordered so far I think Nintendo are well on their way to breaking their estimate that they will sell 5.5Million units by March 2013, by then it will have a foot hold on DLC and exclusive titles.

    Xbox 360 versions of games were not great to being with COD2 for example, was at best top end Xbox graphics, the same thing is happening with Halo 4 you can't go much further than that on an Xbox 360 but you can with a WiiU due to much less technical limitations just in the graphics card alone not to mention it's a GPGPU.

    Additional: The Gamecube destroyed the PS2 in specs and the N64 was more powerful than the PS1, so how you got this Nintendo style from just the Wii alone I don't know.
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    Wow.. you don't spend a lot of time on the Nintendo website do you?
  12. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I analyse everything I have an interest in and I believe nothing I'm told in the ignorance of hype, until I prove it or disprove it.
    I don't spend time on any particular site no I just have an interest in technology and have been working in the industry for nearly 9 years now completely unbiased and open minded to everything but still opinionated.
  13. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    Sunny87 likes this.
  14. shamus087

    shamus087 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    Well I dunno if I agree with all you said. I mean look at Microsoft's track record with consoles, M$ has been pushing it every gen (all 2 of them it's been in). I don't see why it'll be different now. I've heard rumors of M$ putting a 7970 in there, and make no mistake that alone will put M$ in a whole new playing field.

    As for the PS4 I've heard that the Dev kits were being sent out had 8-16 gigs of memory, even halved that is allot more then the Wii U. Also keep in mind the Dev kits are not on final spec yet, (http://www.vg247.com/2012/11/01/ps4_details_playstation_4/), I've also read reports of them using a CrossFire configuration in the system via APUXGPU which will put them quite a bit away's from the Wii U in terms of graphical power, this also can be done on the cheap, which fits with what you and I think, Sony wants cheap.

    One thing I don't get is why they WOULDN'T set the system up in a x64 type setup, I mean x64 is completely backwards compatible. Heck AMD pushed x64 for years, This being a Red system I don't get why it wouldn't be in there. Unless I'm not understanding it right, this does say 4 gigs usable memory in x86 under OS's that support PAE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAM_limit.
  15. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I think they are keeping to the x84 platform because it makes development easier not that it does but from an OS development stance, GPGPU and APU is a basic form of crossfire, to make an APU crossfire would suggest two graphics cards I don't think they want to spend the money regardless of how cheap it all is, I have no doubt the next systems will be powerful I just don't see how people can claim the figures they are claiming I definitely think that it will be nearly two years before game devs get to grips with the PS4 and 720 and by then the WiiU will be in it's second year of game development and will have very nice looking games, my attitude to it all is simple, the more pessimistic you are, the less disappointed you'll be when the time comes.
    shamus087 likes this.
  16. shamus087

    shamus087 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    Ahaha great philosophy!

    I don't thinks it's unlikely though, about the APU/GPU in the PS4, I think AMD might have sweetened the deal a bit to beat out Nvidia entirely. Sony was the last bastion for Nvidia as far as the consoles go. That means who ever comes out on top it doesn't matter for AMD they win not matter what. Think about this, if AMD had had all the consoles this time around (7th Gen) as it seems like it is in the 8th Gen, it would be looking at roughly 307 million in sales.

    Though you're probably right about the timing. I'd expect the Xbox before the PS though. Who knows what'll happen then though >.>...
  17. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I think Sony jumped onto AMD because A; generally they are cheaper B; Because all the other brands have been using them for so long and dev's are used to developing on the AMD platform.

    Think about it being the only company that uses a different architecture of graphics card is always going to be a disadvantage game development will take longer on none exclusives and might end up being rushed to get them out on time, then inevitably your companies version of the game might end up looking rubbish or have glitches.
  18. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    Just thought I'd add btw, I've ordered a Wii U for Christmas for the family, Wii U Pro controller and Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (what can I say, my brother is stupid) I have to admit I used the Pad and was very impressed how responsive internet browsing was.

    Anyway any Wii U games anyone can recommend? if any are coming out in the next few weeks as well would be good to know.
  19. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    Awesome you wont regret it dude I get mine next week I'll add you online get some CoD online gamin going on (I know I have stupid friends haha)
    If your playing with the family you should get Nintendoland for christmas family fun it's perfect, depends what your into Pikmin 3 coming out next year, ACIII very good games in my opinion, Tekken is supposed to be awesome my mate can't stop playing it, he reckons the mushroom mode is really addictive so I'll be getting that, I'm getting ZombiU but only because I live in London and I really want to see how accurate it is haha. Batman Arkham City Armoured edition is supposed to be quite good if you haven't already played it on another system.
  20. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    HAHA! I live on the outskirts of London and work in London, Would be interesting to see how accurate they got it xD
    Yeah I'm not going to lie, I think the console does have a lot of potential, I don't think it will get left to gather dust as quickly as the Wii was in our house, if anything I'm actually looking forward to getting one now, been looking into videos and reviews for the past couple of days, getting as much info as I can and I have to admit, I really do feel it has potential, I just hope they continue to really push getting good games on it, even cross platform games would be fine, the Wii is the main and only console in the front room and if we can continue to get Call of Duty, Mass Effect etc... on the Wii U then it won't just gather dust like the Wii has.

    Will probably pickup Lego City as well, hasn't got a confirmed date yet but is showing as this year so hopefully in time for Christmas!
    Sunny87 likes this.
  21. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I do agree I do hope they keep it up, next years line up has to bee a good one, but I'm holding out on Mass Effect because I would like to get the box set with all three in and so far there are only rumours of it coming out on the Wii U, but if it doesn't I'll get ME3 on Wii U as I love the idea of using the gamepad for the menu on ME, and get ME2 on Xbox, I've played through 1 but really haven't had the chance to sit down with the rest, but I've got some time off wouldn't mind getting them on the Wii U.

    I think what helps the Wii U is the new online setup they have going for it, I think if they carry on getting that right then the system will really hit off. content wise from the word go I think they have got it right, lets hope the 3rd party support will keep up.
  22. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 296   +125

    Hey everyone, new to these forums, but saw this discussion, and thought I could add some insight. I was doing research on the next gen AMD GPUs coming out soon, and the article explained that both MS and Sony are looking to use these GPUs in their next systems. AMD will be launching the 8870 and 8850 first before their top of the line 8970 and 8950 GPUs at $269 and $199 respectively. The 8870 will be on par with Nvidia's GTX 680 and the 8850 will match the GTX 670. Since the 7870 is = to the GTX 580 and the 7850 is = to the GTX 570 this sounds reasonable.

    MS, and ESPECIALLY Sony, know how much it sucks losing money everytime you sell a console, so I guarantee you they will be cost nutral day one. Most likely the systems will ship at $350 (small storage,) and $399 (More storage,) to keep prices where people will pay. With all of this in mind using the 8850 GPU is extremely viable. I'd assume they'd both pair the GPU with a budget Quad Core CPU (Either from Intel or AMD,) to save money, and hit their goal of NOT losing money.

    How does this compare to the Wii U? Well lets break things down. The Xbox 360 GPU is equal to the ATi 3850 in performance. The Wii U is supposedly slightly faster... so lets assume ATi 3870 performance levels except with modern day sharder models. In a modern day GPU this would be about as fast as the AMD 6670 (Technically it's not even that fast, but due to the 6670's memory limitations it'd be close... ish.) The short and skinny of it is you can see the differences looking at charts comparing the GTX 670 to the AMD 6670 (Even the 7750 if you want, but the Wii U is NO WHERE near that level of performance.) Expect the next MS and Sony consoles to command at least 4x the GPU horsepower of the Wii U.

    This doesn't mean the Wii U is totally boned however. With the massive install base of the 360 and PS3 there's NO WAY Publishers are going to drop those consoles anytime soon. Call of Duty will not release only on a new console. They'd lose millions in sales, and billions of dollars, until the next gen install base is high enough then they'll drop previous systems. Also, next gen consoles want to deliver 1080P gaming. Lets face it almost NO 360 or PS3 games actually run at 1080P resolution. Most games run at 1024x576 or 1280x720, and usually at ONLY 30 Frames Per Second. The next gen will focus on making sure all games run at actual 1080P Res, and 60 Frames Per Second (Basically what PC gamers enjoy today.) This means the Wii U should be able to run those same games, but at lower resolutions 576P or 720P, and lower framerate 30FPS. The only issue with the Wii U is the lack of RAM. The Nextbox and PS4 will probably opt for DDR3 RAM due to the cheap price (keeps them in budget,) and it makes NO SENSE at all not to toss in 8GB as it costs consumers (you and I,) about $30 now, and they'll get it even cheaper. Post Windows 8 all MS OS's will be 64bit only, and the rest or the world will have to deal with it, so most likely the next consoles will be x64.

    Obviously all of this is conjecture at this point, but all signs point to this direction. It makes sense for the publishers, as all systems are viable, just MS and Sony will produce a better looking/running game.
    Burty117 likes this.
  23. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    It's not about the RAM though that doesn't matter in a games console, if you put 8GB of RAM in a games console what does that achieve other than a really fast OS that won't use anymore than 1-2GB of RAM if that for it's standard features of the 8GB you have crammed into it, the gaming memory if 8GB or more would exceed the £300 mark for GPU alone costing roughly £800 to produce an 6GB GDDR5 GPU, so they are either going to be 1GB GDDR5 or 2GB GDDR5 nothing more, system RAM in a games console will not affect the gaming side of the system so development of a x64 OS for a games console is pointless expense and added development time to the dev's, trust me Sony is the only company who might pull a silly move like that to use it as a selling feature, the Xbox brand doesn't use standard windows based os as they use PPC CPU's that are incompatible with the same memory settings.

    Next year it will be all bout the GPU performance and how well they perform an seeing as the Wii U uses a 1GB GDDR5 graphics GPGPU then I believe that the system will hold it's own, there will be a difference between all the systems as much as the PS3 and Xbox 360 are now.

    Think what they have achieved with Halo 4 look how good that looks on a system that has max graphics memory of 256MB think what you can do with the WiiU's newer faster GPGPU and with 768MB of additional graphics memory and out of order CPU.
  24. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 296   +125

    While Halo 4 looked pretty good, it's obviously memory limited. Low resolution, low texture res, low framerate. More System RAM and GPU memory is required to raise all of those areas. Although, I agree 8GB in a console at the moment may seem excessive, but you have to realize these things have to last 5-8 years (and MS/Sony would much prefer 8 if possible.) Games on PC are already being 64 bit optimized (Says it right on the back of Dishonored.) Since the industry is heading towards 64 bit over the next few years it makes sense for both companies to take advantage of that for minimal cost. 4GB RAM costs you and I around $20, and 8GB around $35. Even if the price increase is the same for Sony and MS (doubt that, but let's go with numbers we have,) the industry is looking to make use of 8GB systems already... I think they'd side with futureproofing and spend a few extra bucks. CPU side is where they can slack. Even a low-end QuadCore will be able to handle pretty much anything over the next 5 years or so (hell a Q6600 with a minor OC to 3Ghz still works great today.) That's where they'll find most of their savings, and invest heavy in the GPU. Next round of consoles (the next NEXT gen,) will be something interesting as 4K TVs will be come the standard, and pushing those resolutions will be interesting to say the least.

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