Will Nintendo's Wii U Release Feature Slower Processors Than Xbox 360? Company Responds To Microsoft Comparisons [SPECS]

on July 10 2012 1:01 PM
Wii U Questions Answered After E3 2012: A Closer Look At Nintendo’s Next-Gen Console
Nintendo's keynote at E3 2012 has left some fans and viewers with unanswered questions about its next generation console, the Wii U. The long-time gaming company had not included any information about a release date or price for the system, and has left some heavy hitters in the Nintendo universe out of the equation thus far. Nintendo

Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are all competing in the race to develop the most dominant brand of next-generation gaming consoles. Nintendo's upcoming Wii U is the first of the rivaling systems to be launched, with a release date of November 2012 expected for the Wii successor.

 Although Nintendo's next-gen beats the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 to shelves, it isn't the quickest when it comes to the machine's processor. According to Digital Spy, the Wii U's processor clock speed is lower than that of both competing current-gen systems, the Xbox360 and the PlayStation 3.

A game developer's take on the Wii U's processor

Producer of classic fighting series Tekken Katsuhiro Harada talked about how the originally PlayStation-exclusive game is translating to the Nintendo platform. At E3 2012, Nintendo announced that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will make its way to the Wii U.

I think maybe the game is coming along smoother than most people would thing, as far as the look of the game, Harada told Digital Spy.

However, the Tekken producer did mention the sluggish processor and its effect on the game's development.

As far as graphical processing and such, it's not much of an issue, he said. But as far as the CPU goes, the clock is kind of low. I guess they're trying to keep power consumption down so we have to come up with creative ways to get around that and that's taking a little bit of time.

He also discussed how the CPU power compares to that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, comparing the development process for the Wii U to other platforms.

For example on PS3 it was kind of difficult at first, but if you made good use of the different cores, you could split up the processing tasks and you could achieve very good effects, he said to Digital Spy. But this is kind of a different issue than that.

Harada did add that production for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on the Wii U isn't too far behind the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions.

What the competition says: Wii U is effectively a 360

In a recent interview with Game Industry International, Microsoft didn't compare Nintendo's Wii U gaming system to its next-generation gaming console. Instead, the upcoming release was likened to Microsoft's current device.

I think their Pro Controller makes a lot of sense with the platform they've built, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said to GI, in reference to the Wii U. They are building a platform that is effectively a 360 when you think of graphical capability.

Spencer continued to say that the Wii U would be an ideal platform to rehash ports of previous Xbox 360 titles, especially with the Pro Controller option open to players.

Now they are really making an on-ramp for the back catalog of games that are on 360, he said to GI. It is easy for those games to move over to the Wii U. They've moved the buttons around, and they've made a controller that feels familiar for 360 gamers, so I get why they are putting those pieces together.

When asked if Microsoft's SmartGlass app is a response to Nintendo's Wii U, the company's corporate VP said the following:

No, our SmartGlass was driven by the fact that people use multiple devices at home to consume content. Whether they're watching TV with their laptop up or sitting with their phone while browsing the web, we could use the power of Live to connect all these devices in an intelligent way and turn your TV into a smart TV.

 Nintendo's response: We do not compare ourselves to the other consoles

Nintendo has responded to the remarks made my Spencer listed above about how certain features, such as the Pro Controller and the Wii U graphics processor, bear striking similarities to Microsoft's Xbox 360.

The Wii U Pro Controller is an enhanced version of the Classic Controller Pro that has been designed specially to work with the Wii U console. It simply offers another way to play and more options for developers to use. We do not compare ourselves to the other consoles, the statement read.

Some gamers may forget that the boomerang style controller has been present in Nintendo's history previously, such as its GameCube console. That particular shape and style is not trademarked by or exclusive to Microsoft. When it comes to the processor, there's more than graphics that makes a worthwhile video game experience, as gaming blog thatSHORTguy points out:

As for graphic power, think of it this way: if gamers keep demanding better graphics (which is not entirely a bad thing; always strive to do better than last time), developers will focus on creating more visually appealing games like 'Crysis' then games that keep the player submersed in a great story like 'BioShock' or 'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.'

The Wii U rundown

Nintendo's next-generation console will be released this fall, and the company has unveiled a list of more than 20 games that will be available upon launch. Recently,Gameranx reported that a user in the NeoGaf forums has posted what is said to be specs from the Wii U development kit from late 2011. The specs are broken down into the following categories:

- Main Application Processor

- Main Memory

- Graphics and Video

- Features

- 8 render targets

- Sound and Audio

- Networking

- Peripherals

- Built-in Storage

- Host PC Bridge

Be sure to check out the full list of specs here.