Reports of Wii U's immense horsepower are exciting, simultaneously sound like a parody of tenuous video game news stories

As true and exciting as it may well be, this report of the Wii U's supposed monster horsepower is like a perfect storm of all the elements that make a rubbish video game new story. Analysts. Un-named sources. Vague, fanboy-baiting tidbits. It has it all. If ever there was a story to parody crap internet news reporting, this is it. But still, it's potentially awesome news if true, so I'm going to report it anyway. On the internet. But I've acknowledged all of the above up-front, so I'm not doing it in a crap way, obviously. Just so we all understand each other.

Industry analyst Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee (no, me neither) has come out with a report that Nintendo's Wii U could be an absolute monster when it comes to graphical grunt. According to Mr. Bhatia,

"Some of the developers we spoke to indicated to us that the console will have 50% more processing power compared to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. This is yet to be confirmed by Nintendo."

Yes, that's some anonymous sources, quoted by an analyst, giving vague, non-specific technical information which will no doubt act as weapons-grade flame-war fuel regardless, rounded off with an admission of non-confirmation. All we need now is to have the source discovered to be a couple of unverified Twitter accounts and have Nintendo drop in a "We do not comment on rumour or speculation", and by God people, we have internet gold. Oh, and if a dev wants to mention "pushing the console to its limits", that would be just great too.

Cynicism aside though, if this is true then it's very good news indeed, and would in fact make a great deal of sense. I've been saying since the Wii U was unveiled that for it to have any kind of a respectable life as a hardcore console, it needs generation 1.5 kind of horsepower. The next Xbox and PlayStation are still a good few years away, but launching next year, Nintendo's new machine needs at least enough power to carry it a fair way past the next-gen crossover point if it's going to avoid becoming obsolete before it has a chance to live. Nintendo is a smart company, and it must know that (even though it's unlikely to ever admit that after its highfalutin "graphics don't matter" mantra with the Wii), and I'd be very surprised if it was naive enough to not give the Wii U enough power to compete in the core gaming space for a worthwhile amount of time.

What do you reckon? Plausible? Does this in fact have to be true for the Wii U to succeed? And if it is true, is this enough to get to to back Ninty again after so long in the hardcore wilderness?

June 14, 2011




  • SolarPoweredShitMachine - June 15, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    Y'know, I reckon that they're going to use a fair bit of the immense amount of money they got from the Wii and DS to make the best console on the market. The only thing is that they have to appeal to the casual and hardcore crowd and considering it ignored the hardcore and is losing the casual gamers to Move and Kinect, Nintendo have to pull it together.
  • KippDynamite - June 15, 2011 3:20 a.m.

    If it has 50% more processing power than the PS3 then it must have 12 processors at 3.2Ghz each. I doubt that. And it doesn't matter how strong it is if they ignore their key franchises as they have done with the wii.
  • superfakerbros - September 3, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    You realize it's been 5-6 years since the PS3 was first shown and all that so it makes sense that the Wii-U is more than 50% than the PS3. They got 50% more powerful from the under-clocked dev kits and how have Nintendo been ignoring their key franchises? They've been THRIVING on their key franchises with the Wii and even brought/got back a couple of ones that have been dead for a while.
  • grayguwapo - June 15, 2011 2:46 a.m.

    power is one thing and library of games are another and what really contributes in making or breaking a console are the kind of games you can play on them... I'm not a big Nintendo fan but for their sake, I hope this doesn't turn out to be a Saturn... let's wait and see... it is intriguing though...
  • icantbelieveitsnutbutter - June 15, 2011 1:19 a.m.

    It doesn't seem too far fetched. The PS3 is an older console, comparable graphics hardware is probably relatively inexpensive. Plus it's gotta outlast the 5 or so year cycle. Let's hope it's true!
  • Imgema - June 14, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    Who cares about specs anyway? Specs dont make good games. Make me another game like Shadow of Colossus on PS2 or another Portal for my 7 year old PC and i'll play those instead.
  • Ruvalc - June 14, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    derr of cours its better its newer.(PERIOD) if tec all-ways goes up not no were
  • Zudeo - June 14, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    So wait. Your trying to tell me Wii U is more powerful than the PS3? (In GOB's voice) COMONN!!! Seriously. This is the same system that made babies cry. This is the same system that EXPLODED a Rubik's Cube. PLAY B3YOND.
  • garnsr - June 14, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    Third parties still aren't using PS3's superior strength when they make multiplatform games, they still build for the 360. I can't see them doing any different for Wii U, the games will now be based on the third strongest platform.
  • BeLuckyTreacle - June 14, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    It must be more powerful, the 360 and ps3 are based on 6 year old graphics tech. The Wii U would surely use more up to date tech? Right!
  • SparkleDevon - June 14, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    @markshell It most likely will, and they already said it has at least PS3 and Xbox 360's power. And nevertheless, Iwata has already said the console isn't going to be cheap.
  • markshell - June 14, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    I really doubt it. That would make the console too expensive and doesn't seem like Nintendo to push graphical power over gameplay innovation. I actually find it hard to believe it will have PS3's power into it.
  • superfakerbros - September 3, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Are you kidding me? This is the first time a Nintendo system has EVER been weaker than it's competition. It's going to be FAR more powerful, it's too new to be weaker than competition from 6 years ago.
  • Galgomite - June 14, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    Nintendo led the charge with the first "no loss" console in years when it produced the Wii. The current state of hackery/ piracy means that all consoles for the foreseeable future will follow suit. I for one expect Xbox 360-grade power with maybe a little more RAM.
  • superfakerbros - September 3, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    It's already more than 50% more powerful than the PS3, so it's a lot more powerful than the 360.
  • MySistersMenstruationTastesFunny - June 14, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    They need to turn up the graphics on level 2.
  • Aletheon - June 14, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    Gamers spend more time complaining than actual gaming.
  • KolbitosFruitJuice - June 14, 2011 3:46 p.m.

    *fart noises* No use speculating, we'll see when it comes out, won't we?
  • therawski - June 14, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    If they don't fix that right analog stick.... anyway, I'm pretty sure psvita can do exactly what the wiiu controller is going to do except sooner on the ps3 - but Sony probably knows their target audience better, I guess the exception would be the Move controller (I'd like to see the move/psvita peripheral sniper rifle!)
  • superfakerbros - September 3, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    That's only if you're willing to spend $500 on a system instead of $300-$400 for the Wii-U and keep in mind that the PSVITA is a handheld, while the Wii-U a controller. That's it. It's like comparing the PSP to a N64 controller, they can do the same thing but what they're used for and how they were used is completely different.

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