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Hackers Discover Wii U's Processor Design and Clock Speed

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the fodder-for-fanboy-flame-fest dept.

Nintendo 173

MojoKid writes "Early, off-the-record comments from game developers indicated that the Nintendo's Wii U console horsepower was on par with, or a bit behind the Xbox 360 and PS3, which raised questions about just how 'next-generation' the Wii U would be. Now, Wii and PS3 hacker Hector Martin (aka Marcan) has answered some of these questions and raised a few others. According to his findings, the Wii U's CPU is a triple-core design clocked at 1.24GHz. Marcan identifies the base design as a PowerPC 750, which makes sense. Nintendo used PowerPC 750-derived processors in both the GameCube and the Wii. Retaining that architecture for the Wii U would simplify backwards compatibility and game development. Now factor in the GPU, which is reportedly clocked at 550MHz. Some have favored the Radeon HD 4000 series as a basis for the part; I still think a low-end Radeon 5000, like Redwood Pro, makes more sense. That GPU was built on 40nm, measured 104mm sq, clocked in at 649MHz, and had a 39W TDP. The die size discrepancy between the Wii U and Redwood Pro would account for the 32MB of EDRAM cache we know the Wii U offers. Nintendo may have propped up a relatively weak CPU with considerably more GPU horsepower."

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Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#42144735)

Early, off-the-record comments from game developers indicated that the Nintendo's Wii U console horsepower was on par with, or a bit behind the Xbox 360 and PS3, which raised questions about just how 'next-generation' the Wii U would be.

The other possibility is that the consoles experience diminishing returns past the horsepower the modern systems are at for most of the game developer's needs. After enjoying the Wii, the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3, I'm more concerned about the media type they select for the discs as swapping three DVDs to play one game on the XBox 360 is unacceptable when it fits on one PS3 disc. For the love of Zelda, I suspect that popping an SSD into an XBox 360 and running everything from that and forgetting the optical drive would make everything faster (and, yes, I know you then would only be able to do that with downloaded games linked to your profile and not the installed discs that require a disc in the drive to run).

Nintendo may have propped up a relatively weak CPU with considerably more GPU horsepower.

Like the reader comment on that Ars Technica article notes, raw CPU speed hasn't always equaled winning in the console department.

And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed that Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft haven't done a little innovating and created their own technology like SLI/Crossfire to connect several cheap GPUs for their heavy graphics lifting on their machines. I mean their CPU/GPU pairs make it look like we should really start addressing these things with a different name [arstechnica.net] just like RAM started being called cache when it was fast and nestled up against or integrated with the CPU. I guess I'm not really a hardware guy but I feel like we've actually moved toward less inventive ideas for consoles. While that's been good for some aspects (I was able to flash the security sector of a HDD and install it myself on my XBox 360 to add storage) it seems like the architecture has gotten lazy and inbred to just do whatever desktops are doing.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#42145179)

Consoles arent about being inventive, its about locking your users in and abusing them. They dont WANT to sell upgrades in hardware, they want to sell you software on old hardware that they completely control.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#42145561)

I'm not a console user by any stretch of the imagination but some people prefer not to have a moving target for gaming. A single low-cost investment + games is preferable to many people than what us PC users deal with.

It hasn't been too bad with games generally being designed for consoles first keeping PC requirements down, but that's not always the case.

Re:Hacker discovers he's an idiot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146305)

The PowerPC 750 is a 32-bit processor, but the Wii U's processor is using the "Power" architecture which is a 64-bit architecture; Not the 32-bit PowerPC architecture.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#42146009)

Microsoft assuredly wants to sell you hard drives. Don't get the 4gb model, I spent almost as much time deleting saves for Skyrim as I did playing Skyrim.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145197)

Indeed, raw CPU speed means as much as top engine speed when trying to compare fast cars. You need to know how much work is getting done each cycle to have a glimpse at real performance. But ultimately, the only thing that matters is can it compete on the track?

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#42145283)

More like clock frequencies no longer equate to horsepower. At least this article mentioned the eDRAM which changes how many OPS you can get from the processor. The latest CPUs have been so radically different that saying one is better than the other is difficult. The eDRAM is a big deal for the WiiU chip, but does 32 MB address the cache thrashing? I think it should, and clearly Nintendo did since they opted for cheaper slower memory, but put in a quantity I didn't think Nintendo would consider. I thought they would only go up to 1 Gig Max, if that.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145857)

32 MB < 1 GB

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#42146341)

Just because it's smaller than the ram doesn't mean it doesn't reduce the cache trashing. If Intel or AMD offered a processor with 32MB of eDRAM I'd consider it. And the Wii U has 2 GB of ram not 1. 1 Gig for the OS and 1 Gig for games. What ever that means. I always assume that the amount of Memory an OS needs is variable, but they are stating it as if it's static. Maybe they don't want to put the expectation to programmers that they can eat into the extra gig.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146787)

Just because it's smaller than the ram doesn't mean it doesn't reduce the cache trashing. And the Wii U has 2 GB of ram not 1

I wasn't trying to say it wouldn't reduce cache thrashing, or that the Wii U has 1 GB of RAM. But I think you need to re-read your original post.

does 32 MB address the cache thrashing? I think it should, and clearly Nintendo did since they opted for cheaper slower memory, but put in a quantity I didn't think Nintendo would consider. I thought they would only go up to 1 Gig Max, if that.

It sounded like something got mixed up somewhere, and I didn't know where.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146535)

He's referring to the fact the console has 2GB of main system memory - 8 times that of the PS3 and 4 fold the 360.

The smaller eDRAM is basically a super-sized cache for the processor, pulling extra data down before the cpu needs it to reduce the number of cycles wasted waiting for the main banks. By making it so much larger than normal, they can effectively increase the throughput of the memory bus without spending a fortune on faster RAM.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145881)

s/no longer equate/never equated/

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (2)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42145605)

The other possibility is that the consoles experience diminishing returns past the horsepower the modern systems are at for most of the game developer's needs. After enjoying the Wii, the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3, I'm more concerned about the media type they select for the discs as swapping three DVDs to play one game on the XBox 360 is unacceptable when it fits on one PS3 disc. For the love of Zelda, I suspect that popping an SSD into an XBox 360 and running everything from that and forgetting the optical drive would make everything faster (and, yes, I know you then would only be able to do that with downloaded games linked to your profile and not the installed discs that require a disc in the drive to run).

I don't see the console gaming industry going back to cartridges. They've had many generations enjoying absurdly cheap production costs on optical media.

Nintendo may have propped up a relatively weak CPU with considerably more GPU horsepower.

Like the reader comment on that Ars Technica article notes, raw CPU speed hasn't always equaled winning in the console department.

While true, the reality is that they're already behind the curve. How many games will be able to be ported from the other competing next generation systems without major refactoring and potentially reduced in features? Did Nintendo even tell their premiere 3rd party developers what to expect, or did they make them buy dev kits to find out how underpowered it is only after they took their money? The fact that these specs haven't been released until today tells me, no, since they would have definitely leaked before launch.

I guess one could argue that you don't want a bunch of ports on your system, but most people can't afford to buy all the consoles and will choose whichever they can expect to get most of the games they want to play. This will, once again, turn into "and then there's the Nintendo port" that's a radically different game, since at that point it's cheaper to start fresh than adapt. And a lot of studios won't even bother, I suspect, leaving yet another Nintendo generation filled with shovelware and crap kid games that are dirt cheap to make because they're so bad.

And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed that Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft haven't done a little innovating and created their own technology like SLI/Crossfire to connect several cheap GPUs for their heavy graphics lifting on their machines. I mean their CPU/GPU pairs make it look like we should really start addressing these things with a different name [arstechnica.net] just like RAM started being called cache when it was fast and nestled up against or integrated with the CPU. I guess I'm not really a hardware guy but I feel like we've actually moved toward less inventive ideas for consoles. While that's been good for some aspects (I was able to flash the security sector of a HDD and install it myself on my XBox 360 to add storage) it seems like the architecture has gotten lazy and inbred to just do whatever desktops are doing.

SLI and Crossfire makes sense for computers which are mostly open platforms. They're designed to be upgradeable and expandable. Game consoles certainly aren't, and the only point to playing on a console instead of a PC is that you have a standard core of hardware available to you. You don't have to test your software on a variety of hardware, just that given platform.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (3, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#42146123)

I guess one could argue that you don't want a bunch of ports on your system, but most people can't afford to buy all the consoles and will choose whichever they can expect to get most of the games they want to play. This will, once again, turn into "and then there's the Nintendo port" that's a radically different game, since at that point it's cheaper to start fresh than adapt. And a lot of studios won't even bother, I suspect, leaving yet another Nintendo generation filled with shovelware and crap kid games that are dirt cheap to make because they're so bad.

Nintendo's games are actually much more popular than the FPS/MMORPG crap on other consoles and the PC. Not being able to port this garbage is probably a net plus – Nintendo is going for a completely different (and larger) demographic. There is more to life than young men in the 14-25 age bracket.

If the allegedly underpowered hardware of the Wii U offends you, congratulations – you're not the target audience.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42147305)

If the allegedly underpowered hardware of the Wii U offends you, congratulations – you're not the target audience.

Offend is a pretty strong word, they can put out whatever kind of system they want, and good for them. It's their business, after all.

But, when a seven year old console sells better during your brand new console's launch week, business isn't necessarily booming [videogamer.com] . Financially, Nintendo isn't doing nearly as well as it did during the days when the Wii and the NDS hit the shelves, so I really do hope their decisions pay off for them. I just have to question the wisdom of it. Yeah yeah, aimchair entertainment empire executive, but it's just a discussion amongst passionate people.

After all, we got to witness the downward spiral of Sonic, one of Sega's biggest properties, after they dropped out of the hardware business. It would be a shame to see Mario go the same route.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146333)

While true, the reality is that they're already behind the curve. How many games will be able to be ported from the other competing next generation systems without major refactoring and potentially reduced in features? Did Nintendo even tell their premiere 3rd party developers what to expect, or did they make them buy dev kits to find out how underpowered it is only after they took their money? The fact that these specs haven't been released until today tells me, no, since they would have definitely leaked before launch.

Metro: Last Light, a game announced alongside the WiiU, was de-confirmed for the WiiU. Take that as you will.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42145629)

What everybody seems to be ignoring is the target demographic for the wii U which is NOT the hardcore shooter crowd.

Is this a weak CPU? Yep, but for the casual games Nintendo is making their money on you aren't gonna see ragdolls and physics up the butt so a powerful CPU makes zero sense, its not ragdolls and fireball effects and physics that sell to the casual crowd, its easy to pick up games that everybody can play without having twitch reflexes.

So I truly see this as much ado about nothing, with only misguided fanbois that expected the big N to make "one console to rule them all" getting butthurt when they find the Wii U can't play games that the X360 can...well duh! The X360 shooter crowd isn't their target demographic! To use a /. car analogy it would be like getting pissy that the Ford fiesta can't take a new Porsche on in the quarter, its just not built for that market, isn't for that market, and just as Ford isn't building the Fiesta for the drag strip so too is the big N not building their consoles for the Gears Of Killzone, Modern Halo crowd.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145987)

Looks like it can do shooters just as well if not better than the 360.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZO33bCFwks

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#42146169)

The Wii U is not necessarily for the CoD people, but Nintendo execs have made many oblique statements (of course those are about the only kind of statements they make) that they need to capture the attention of the "core gamer" again, and that the Wii U is the answer to that problem.

As more and more casual gamers move to mobile apps for their fix, it is rather important to Nintendo's bottom line to do this. If the Wii U is seen as another outdated-on-arrival piece of hardware, I think it will not receive a great reception outside of Nintendo diehards.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146215)

Nintendo's goal was the Blue Ocean, Red Ocean approach - get a bunch of new users into the market, and turn them into longtime gamers.
Along with that, their marketing very clearly establishes that they also want some of that hardcore crowd, which is one reason that Reggie gave such negative feedback when they were criticized for "finally getting batman" and such.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42146485)

While you're right, I still think Nintendo is missing something here by falling for the same false dichotomy that you've mentioned. IF they did make it powerful enough to run those types of games, that doesn't mean they couldn't also have their good old nintendo frontliners as well. That would almost immediately sway anyone who grew up on the SNES/N64 but enjoys console FPSes into their audience, as well as deprive sales to their competitors. I think they are mistakenly fearing direct competition with Sony/MS by building similar hardware when in face their demographic is locked in purely on the software side.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42146827)

I have to say that I haven't seen any significant increases in 3D graphics quality since Unreal Tournament 2003(/4) which used to run fine on a single core 800MHz G3 and a cheap Radeon 7500 graphics card. I'm not going to suggest that there have been no improvements since, and I'm aware that engines such as those in GTA 4 and SRTT push things forward in other ways, such as world size, that are necessarily intensive, but I'm having a hard time believing that this CPU is underpowered even for "hardcore shooters".

It seems to be that GPU and the amount of memory available to the GPU is what matters right now. If Nintendo has a decent enough GPU (and I'm not seeing broad criticism of it) then is there really a problem?

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (2)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | about 2 years ago | (#42145829)

And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed that Sony ... haven't done a little innovating and created their own technology like SLI/Crossfire to connect several cheap GPUs for their heavy graphics lifting on their machines

The Cell processor (what that powers the Sony PS3) is a processor tech designed by Sony and if I remember right is meant to hook a whole bunch of fairly small GPU-like units (vector processors) together, usable for general programming rather than mostly graphics.

It's one of the reasons the PS3 cost so much, along with blu-ray. And the reason the cell processor cost so much is because Sony the R&D themselves instead buying off-the-shelf parts. If any of the console companies "does a little innovating" in hardware, they will have similar R&D costs.

Additionally, if the only (or just the first) place that these technologies exist is on a such platform, such as Sony with the Cell processor, it becomes a pain to program for that platform, and ESPECIALLY to port programs from one console to the next.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146401)

IBM! http://www.blachford.info/computer/Cell/Cell0_v2.html

George Lucas Effect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146409)

A good game is not determined by how many polygons the GPU can handle or how fast the processor is, it about the quality of the game. A good game with a decent story and sub par graphics is much better then a game with great graphics and a crap story. I have never liked a game solely because it was realistic and the explosions were so real.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42147227)

The weaker console often wins. The PS2 was weaker than the xbox (not sure about the gamecube though RE4 looked better on the GC), the PSX was weaker than the N64 and the Wii was significantly under powered compared to the competition. Nintendo's portables have always been the least powerful and have dominated portable gaming.

The reality is most people do care about the games more than the processing power.

Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | about 2 years ago | (#42147367)

And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed that Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft haven't done a little innovating and created their own technology like SLI/Crossfire to connect several cheap GPUs for their heavy graphics lifting on their machines.

Ugh, my mind reels at the memory of the N64 Memory Pak.

You are not Nintendo's target market (5, Insightful)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#42144803)

Nintendo's target market is young, and casual gamers. Not hardcore, bleeding edge, gamers of the Playstation and Xbox generations.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about 2 years ago | (#42144985)

the hardcore bleeding edge gamers I know build their own PC for > $3K

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#42145215)

All the ones I know abandoned PC gaming and are 100% console gaming. there is far more victims on the Multiplayer console games to teabag and torment.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (2, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42145449)

Sorry, but no one serious about playing any kind of FPS will move from a PC to a console. The mouse is an exponentially better precision device than a controller.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 2 years ago | (#42145655)

Yeah, the mouse is considered kind of a popular cheat to make FPS games easier for some people.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#42145907)

I suppose having arms and legs is cheating when going hunting

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42145979)

Hah, I think what he was referring to is how there's some hardhacked mice that appear as a controller to the console. They are not allowed by the consoles due to competitive advantage, so in this sense its definitely cheating. Google "xbox 360 mouse" for me info.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145957)

A cheat? Only in the same way that a bicycle is a cheat for a sack race. But I'm in a bicycle race, so get out of the way, you poor hopping bastards!

Wiimote (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#42145783)

Precision yes, speed not necessarily.

A shooter game with a wii-style remote in a guntroller on a 50" TV may actually do quite well compared to a mouse on a 21" or less computer screen. While the wiimote itself might be less accurate in many cases, it may also be a faster "twitch" response (and in many cases, more fun IMHO).

Now if you talk about RTS, I have yet to see any console controller that does well for these (although perhaps the touch-screen may prove useful).

Re:Wiimote (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42146147)

Sorry but this isn't accurate. Twitch responses with a mouse require less mucle and less movement, making the task quicker, while maintaining the precision of the lower portion of our arm, the most well controlled part of our body. The guntrollers use a lot more muscles and are a lot more involved, so while they and controllers are easier to learn and master and in many cases more fun to many, their ceiling is lower than a mouse. Also, a lot of console gamers buy computer monitors and play at a desk because big TVs make it harder to regonize small details due to the low DPI. Personally I'd think it shouldnt matter because of sitting further away you'd ahve the same effective DPI to your eye, but I've seen it in person since my bro did it and it indeed does work.

I'm not realy talking about the fun aspect with this post, I was replying to a post about people who play at the bleeding edge. Reading again I see it could mean two demographics, the ignorant buffoon who spends $3k on a computer only to troll noobs or someone who spends sensibly but whose focus is the bleeding edge of competition, not hardware. The latter group is the ones I was referring to.

Re:Wiimote (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42146315)

It will not be faster. Moving a controller many inches is not going to be faster than me moving the mouse a half inch or so.

Re:Wiimote (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#42146575)

As someone who completely swore off traditional console controllers for FPS games moments after first using the wiimote, I would say that the mouse is still exponentially better than any console controller.

It's just with the wiimote it's a binary order of magnitude instead of decimal. :)

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

GunSheep (982756) | about 2 years ago | (#42145835)

That's mostly what I play and I got off the PC treadmill. Yeah, the graphics may not be the OMGWTFBBQ you get with a high end PC rig. On the other hand, I haven't had to modify an INI file, install a driver, tweak the driver, download another driver that might work. Upgrade my video card. Try to get my friends into the game. Get us all on the same audio channel...steam version...whatever. Instead, I put the game in the machine, add my friends to a party, and invite them to the game. And it just WORKS. Sorry, I do computer support for a living. Trying to get a new game to work, then getting it to work on my friends systems, and then getting us all together to play? Not worth it.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42146309)

The post I responded to was referring to the bleeding edge, not what was more convenient. I took that to mean people interested in competitive play and derive enjoyment from difficulty. At that level, play with mice is completely different and far more exhilarating than that of a controller, and that's what this refers to. I'm not saying console gaming is bad or anything, to each their own, but as someone whose played at that level with a mouse on PC and then with a controller, the competitive side of console gaming is significantly less difficult to peak at.

The input difference also shows itself at the low levels, best recent case being Battlefield 3 for me. I bought the game on PC for the full experience and big maps, then bought the console version to play with my two brothers sometimes. In the PC version everyone can aim, and it manifested itself in Rush results. In low level play on PC, the defenders almost always won because successful captures are based off coordination and tactics. In the console version the rush team almost always won because you could charge right up the gut and not get hit...you pop your head up on the PC and you're toast before you know it. Melee kills were also much more common on the consoles for the same reason.

Keyboard-mouse is inferior and outdated. (1, Funny)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | about 2 years ago | (#42145973)

True fps masters shun keyboard-mouse and use mouse-mouse. With keyboard-mouse you only have unlimited turning speed. But with mouse-mouse you have unlimited turning speed and unlimited *movement* speed! Any good player can then twitch instantly through any level. Meanwhile the knuckle-dragging keyboard users have to press a button to move. Those noobs don't have a chance. Let alone the console mouth-breathers who have to press a stick to move and press a stick to turn. Lol. Noobs.

Re:Keyboard-mouse is inferior and outdated. (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#42146367)

Pansies. I use three mice. Unlimited turning speed, unlimited movement, and unlimited firing rate!!!1!

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#42146753)

There's no good reason why the PS3 and XBox360 don't support playing these games with a mouse. They both are entirely capable of it from a technical standpoint.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42147003)

It is a competitive advantage issue, and is intentionally prevented by console makers. One of the console makers did a study on it a while back, and allowing mice would have such an impact that people would either have to be segregated by input device or FPS players would have to buy a mouse to compete on an equal level. There are hardhacked mice for consoles that appear to the console as a controller, and its actually considered cheating.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145603)

Anecdotes are not data. My circle of friends is mostly moving back to PC gaming after several years of being console-only.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42145653)

My circle of friends is mostly moving back to PC gaming after several years of being console-only.

How often do they visit bringing their PCs for a LAN party? Or do you play online mostly?

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#42146529)

Anecdotes are not data.

Sure they are! Just not a lot of data. All we need now is for you two to rigorously define the number of friends and their movements, and then get a couple hundred more people randomly sampled from the population to do the same and we'll have the basis for a solid study!

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145759)

That mantra was true a few years ago, but no longer. With Steam and other online distribution methods offering games for next to nothing it seems like almost everyone is switching back to PC gaming.

Not to mention, it's strange to say it as people used to say "I'd rather be able to play from my couch", but honestly I spend enough time at the computer compared to the TV that my computer desk has become my more comfortable position. I've got an ottoman and an reclining office chair at the desk - I'd rather play there.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (4, Insightful)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about 2 years ago | (#42145077)

Nintendo's target market WAS Young, and casual gamers, and you are taking for granted that being a hardcore gamer means that you must want the best graphics, and it's just wrong. Games used to be HARD. HARD HARD HARD, like not meant to be finished by most people. and FUN. because back then they didnt have excellent graphics to prop themselves up on (thus having to focus on FUN) and couldnt fit 40 hours of pretty easy content on their media (thus being HARD to extend the life of the game) IMO true hardcore gamers care about gameplay more than anything. With the Wii U specifically, Nintendo is actually opening up their target audience to include mature (Zombi U, Arkham City, COD:BO2) while games like Mighty Switch Force! Hyper-Drive Edition and Nano-Force NEO will appear to hardcore gamers looking for a challenge. Don't take for granted that the tablet is a gimmick. Zombi U was unfortunately misunderstood and is an awesome game that makes great use of the tablet, and even ports like Batman and BO2 make excellent use of the tablet controller to provide functionality in a way that can't happen on other systems. On top of that and despite all the fears leading up to launch, Nintendo actually knocked the online aspect out of the park as Miiverse is incredible and much better than I've seen on any other console. And yes, Devs don't figure out how to properly utilize console hardware right away. 1080p@60fps is plenty for me, now bring on the FUN because that's all I care about

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (-1, Troll)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#42145259)

Wii U will not be doing 1080p 60HZ on Batman, no fuckin way. Also, there is no way the Wii U version is anywhere NEAR the PC version with PhysX and 3D. Wii U is a joke and i firmly beleive nintendo is in serious trouble.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145619)

Nintendo in serious trouble? Surely you jest.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145905)

Ha ha ha, do you realize how few people actually care about "high end" graphics? Me, no. My family No. Out of everyone I know only 1 cares, and thus he uses a PC he custom builds to play his games and upgrades something in that machine almost monthly. I have been around consoles since the Atari 2600, and the Wii is the first I have bought and considered "good". And, surprisingly (as I am used to being in the minority) I seem to be in the majority for this. And, if one of my Wii(s) were to die, I would have no problem buying a WiiU (especially once it drops below $200 after the Christmas season). Btw, I have about 80 games for those Wii's (but have 5 family members that play them so take a $40 game and divide by 5 and that works out to 8 dollars each, if we each play it for just 2 hours that's a better deal than going to a movie!).

So, if the game is good enough it can stand without high-end graphics than I am sure it will come to Wii and I'll enjoy the game. Then again, if the game relies just on Graphics to make it good, then Xbox and PS3 can keep it and I'll spend my money elsewhere! No skin off my knees (Maybe literally with the way Sony and MS treat their customers).

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146517)

And out of everyone I know, not one of them is black. Africa must be a ghost continent.

and thus he uses a PC he custom builds to play his games and upgrades something in that machine almost monthly

I'm sure this isn't hyperbole, or just fabricated from whole cloth.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145083)

That is hilarious

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145101)

Yo momma is the target market!

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

Jartan (219704) | about 2 years ago | (#42145743)

Even still it seems like they are pushing it here. They aren't going to sucker so many non-gamers this time.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about 2 years ago | (#42145785)

Is that why they are so much pushing casual and kid games like Batman and COD ? The WiiU has been released today in Europe and seeing what is available as launch titles, I would hardly call it targeted at the "casual" and "young" crowd... . Give me a break, really that old "Wii" explanation doesn't fly with the WiiU.

What really struck me as odd is that you pay 100 euro's more for a system that produces the same kind of visuals (maybe with less performance) then a xbox 360 or PS3. The WiiU totally doesn't make any sense... it WOULD make sense if it was targeted at "casual" and kids but then again a 300-350 euro costing system is really stretching it.

Re:You are not Nintendo's target market (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#42146213)

Nintendo's target market is young, and casual gamers.

The Wii was also very popular with older gamers as well – some of whom were people who grew up with Nintendo franchises like Mario and Zelda, and some of whom had no video game experience at all but enjoyed simple activities like Wii Fit.

Take a look at this Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on video game sales figures: the best-selling Wii games are far outselling the top Xbox 360 and PS3 titles.

The truth is that FPSes and MMORPGs are actually a relatively niche interest, but since they appeal to the coveted teenage/young-adult male demographic, they get a lot more press than they deserve.

slow but convenient (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42144807)

for some reason consoles refuses to die

I always considered nextgen as (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#42144821)

new things for game play that were not possible in the last gen consoles and I'm not talking about "Real Life Graphics"

Re:I always considered nextgen as (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145097)

Yeah well you've been able to hook up a hand-held screen to a console since at least the GBA<->Cube, so that's nothing new. You can do remote video and touchscreen wirelessly PS3<->Vita (and video/controls, PS3<->PSP), so that's also nothing new. In short, this is Nintendo catching up with the last generation, by any definition. This is not a next-gen console.

Thin clients going in the same direction. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42144849)

Weak CPU alongside a decent GPU does work relatively well, so long as whatever program you're using utilizes the GPU.

Never really been about horsepower (5, Interesting)

Ginger_Chris (1068390) | about 2 years ago | (#42144901)

Nintendo will get my money purely because of their software; mario (inc paper mario series), zelda, metroid, pikmin, pokemon and a dozen other's that were purely first or second party exclusives. The vast majority of x-box and ps3 games I can play with much better graphics on my pc. The x-box and ps3 don't really offer anything beyond what a pc is capable of, where as Nintendo consoles do.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (1)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about 2 years ago | (#42145105)

This. ~This post brought to you by my lack of mod points~

Re:Never really been about horsepower (2)

darjen (879890) | about 2 years ago | (#42145713)

Seconded. I am a very occasional/casual game player myself, and I've never really been a huge fan of the FPS genre. When I was a kid growing up, I always loved mario and zelda. If I wanted to play games with better graphics, I would buy myself a better video card and use my PC. Now that I'm 35 and can afford it, I mosty just don't bother.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (2)

thygate (1590197) | about 2 years ago | (#42146981)

Motion Carried. I haven't played on my 360 for years now. I went back to PC, and this cheap i5 box with a gforce gt 320 far outperforms MS and Sony consoles. And most important of all I don't have to pay up $60 for the same game, and can usually get them for $10 on Steam sale a few months later. I do however still play nintendo every now and then for their legacy games, like mario kart, zelda, etc..

Re:Never really been about horsepower (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | about 2 years ago | (#42145271)

Maybe OT, but please don't forget that the PS3 can also be used as an excellent BluRay, DVD, SACD and SACD-R player. Although I'm not a gamer, I would buy it if I could afford it.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#42145687)

Maybe OT, but please don't forget that the PS3 can also be used as an excellent BluRay, DVD, SACD and SACD-R player. Although I'm not a gamer, I would buy it if I could afford it.

SACD playback in the PS3 was dropped at he same time PS2 compatibility was dropped.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (1)

Newander (255463) | about 2 years ago | (#42145717)

So can a $50 BluRay player.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42145755)

A dedicated BD/DVD player is under $70 now at Walmart, and only the godawfully expensive launch PS3s play SACD. Besides, did SACD ever become popular?

Re:Never really been about horsepower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146127)

So, when it wears down, you waste $300 rather than $60... no wonder you can't afford anything.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146739)

I don't know about SACD-R, but the Sony BDPS390 plays DVDs, BluRay, and SACD for $90.

Re:Never really been about horsepower (3, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#42146235)

This is why I bought a Wii U. I can already play 90% of 360 and PS3 games on my gaming PC (and they will look nicer to boot, have modding abilities, etc.), but I can't play Nintendo's exclusives anywhere else. When I considered it that way, it was a no-brainer.

you want me to pay for a 40nm chip in 2012? (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42144979)

really?

nintendo should have put more hardware into the actual console and not used that tablet thingy they ship with it. just write an android/IOS app to run on the cheapest tablets and connect to the console like MS is doing with Smartglass.

Re:you want me to pay for a 40nm chip in 2012? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145141)

You mean that they should have made exactly the same console that their competitors will make, and therefore have absolutely no distinguishing characteristic of their own? (And, in fact, just compound the fact that they are behind in their online setup?) Nintendo learned that that strategy didn't work very well with GameCube.

And do you understand that you cannot just send console-generated video to a regular tablet without incurring lots of latency? Might be okay for some games, but definitely not for anything fast action. If you want the tablet to generate the video, then the cheapest ones will not generate much that looks so good. And who wants to try and develop an app that works across all the varieties of tablets out there? Do you have any idea how big that compatibility matrix is?

OnLive; buttons (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42145615)

And who wants to try and develop an app [for game graphics display] that works across all the varieties of tablets out there?

Someone like OnLive perhaps?

Do you have any idea how big that compatibility matrix is?

Let's see: there's iOS and Android, and what else really? The advantage of the Wii U GamePad is that it also incorporates traditional physical buttons, unlike everything that isn't the Xperia Play (or the forthcoming Archos GamePad).

Re:OnLive; buttons (2)

CityZen (464761) | about 2 years ago | (#42146117)

> Let's see: there's iOS and Android, and what else really?

You're not a developer, I see. You need to multiply all the commonly-used versions of iOS and Android by all the different base hardware platforms, then figure out other factors such as screen size & density and platform-specific quirks. Compound that by the fact that new OS versions and new hardware platforms come out every month, and you've got quite an impressive matrix, assuming you care about supporting them well.

Re:you want me to pay for a 40nm chip in 2012? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145219)

that is not the Nintendo way

Re:you want me to pay for a 40nm chip in 2012? (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#42145635)

nintendo should have put more hardware into the actual console and not used that tablet thingy they ship with it. just write an android/IOS app to run on the cheapest tablets and connect to the console like MS is doing with Smartglass.

The problem is latency. It's incredibly difficult, but the Wii U's screen latency on the tablet is practically real time (I think I heard 1 frame latency). So much so that yes, you CAN game on it.

The latency using your smartphone is much higher - it's why smartglass and such don't display in-game information that changes immediately but can tolerate a delay. You certainly can't "remote play" using your smartphone without incurring a half-second of display lag.

Indeed (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#42145673)

The Wii U seems intresting but consoles have to last half a decade. In 5 years, this thing will be so obsolete it just won't be funny anymore. Lets not forget that Nintendo started losing money because their GAME sales per console are low. They do sell a LOT of consoles but fewer games per console then their competitors. And consoles are like printers, the real money is the ink/games.

The problem is that the rest of the industry is moving on, I have seen multiple reviews by xbox friendly gaming sites that roundly admit Far Cry 3 is best on the PC.

Claiming that the Wii U will win because it is cheap forgets that PC games are cheaper and tablet/phone games are even cheaper. Going for the budget market means competing with games that cost $0 to 5 dollars. Going for the budget market competing with games with 2048x1440 screens with something like 800xXXX which is what the Wii U remote has... that is insane. EVEN cheap drugstore Android tablets have a higher resolution. And they are a LOT cheaper. And so are their games.

That is the problem with aiming for the bottom, there is always someone willing to go even lower. How are you going to sell expensive games to an audience that buys their console hardware because it is the cheapest? Especially since it ain't the cheapest...

One of the things that made the 3DS such a disappointment was that frankly is just looked hopelessly obsolete. And that is okay, if you make brilliant games but... well, evenyone knows the 3DS line-up was poor. And the Wii U? Zombie U reviews are to mixed to tell and the rest is the type of game that is bought at christmas and then no other games are bought for the entire year.

Yes, Nintendo makes a profit after selling just one game but that just means they are dying a little more slowly, in business, you can only survive on tiny profits if you are certain they keep coming. You ain't certain of that in the game industry so you need to big winners to compensate for the slow times.

The Wii-U is an interesting idea but Sony can do the same thing with the PSP and or a tablet and the same goes for MS. And then the Wii-U remote will rapidly look very old fashioned indeed.

Strange (4, Insightful)

mseeger (40923) | about 2 years ago | (#42145013)

I always thought, playing was about fun and not horsepower. Maybe the incapability to distinguish between those two explains a lot about what happens on the streets ;-).

Re:Strange (4, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#42145305)

Yeah, just the other day I was out on da streets minding my own business and suddenly a harras (had to look that one up) of horses sporting butterfly knives come out of nowhere and takes all my valuables with threats to my person.
When will this horsepower on the streets ever stop?

Re:Strange (1)

Sydin (2598829) | about 2 years ago | (#42145485)

I agree, it's about fun and not horsepower. The Wii U could have all the horsepower in the world, and I still wouldn't buy it because I don't think Nintendo's stupid new gimmicks are fun.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146209)

Funny, I tend to buy consoles based on the games it offers, not the gimmicks. To each their own I suppose.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145663)

Driving is about traveling and not horsepower.

Which do you want to do that travelling, a 33hp engine or a 500hp engine?

Hardware can help define an experience, ignoring that is foolish.

Re:Strange (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 2 years ago | (#42146439)

Which do you want to do that travelling, a 33hp engine or a 500hp engine?

Based on a very cursory google, the 33HP engine actually. 500HP on a motorcycle seems like it'd be rather dangerous.

Hardware can help define an experience, ignoring that is foolish.

And there is more to hardware than just the engine/CPU.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145731)

And for most major console developers, fun is third to accessibility and copying proven formulas.

No legit indie scene is part of it (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42145833)

And for most major console developers, fun is third

That isn't likely to change soon, given how Nintendo refuses to open up development on its platform even to the extent that Microsoft opened Xbox 360 to Indie Games.

Re:No legit indie scene is part of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146143)

IIRC, Nintendo won't even consider giving you a devkit unless you have a physical office building. Which kind of defeats the benefits of bedroom developers. Sony might be worse, but at least PSN has some unique games up (Journey, Flower, Noby Noby Boy, etc).
The 360 has arguably the lowest barrier to entry, and that might be a bad thing; XBLIG is flooded with Minecraft clones, twinstick zombie shooters, joke/novelty games, and just plain bad and lazy efforts. An SA LPer by the name of supergreatfriend has a Youtube series where he demos new releases on XBLIG, so you can get an idea from that.

Horsepower vs selection (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#42145847)

Some games require more horsepower, especially moving forward in time.
Having insufficient horsepower means less selection, which means the console is a bit less useful (and IMHO less fun).

Nintendo releases a lot of fun games, but traditionally a lot of fun non-Nintendo games haven't been available on their consoles due to lack of horsepower or related issues. Already since WiiU has come out, a bunch of games that have been available on other consoles have been added to the catalogue.

Re:Strange (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#42146251)

I suppose we should all go back to Atari 2600s again?

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146757)

I suppose we should all go back to Atari 2600s again?

only if we all have fun playing the game on it. dick.

I agree with GP, I've been playing chess for 30 years and though I play many video games chess is still by far my favorite game. you can even play chess without hardware.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42147373)

I don't follow your logic. Chess is fun and therefore video game hardware is totally irrelevant to video games?

Be patient: It will get better, eventually. (1)

faragon (789704) | about 2 years ago | (#42145377)

In my opinion, limitations on the CPU side will be compensated by using Open CL in the GPU. But it is just too soon for adapting SDKs, so I bet it will get much better FPS, as the GPU gets proper usage.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146077)

I was told to be patient with the 3DS, that it would get better. Still waiting!

it's not the cpu that counts (3, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#42145981)

Nintendo has never incorporated bleeding edge processors into their design, rather focusing on games and weird peripherals. It seems to have worked for them so far, so why change?

What a shocker! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146187)

When running Wii homebrew in "Wii mode", the clock rate is much lower. What an absolute surprise.

I don't buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42147035)

Unreal Engine 3's default deathmatch build runs like gangbusters on my devkit, pardon me while I express doubts that Espresso is not even running at twice Broadway's clock rate. Marcan's smart, but my money is on him missing an internal clock multiplier.

The ghz doesn't mean much (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42147187)

If this proves anything, the ghz number doesn't mean much. So it's apparently half the speed of the xbox and PS3 and yet it's already producing graphics on par with those systems. if the ghz was the be all and end all them it shouldn't be able to do that.
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