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Nintendo's Wii U received a pair of mixed reviews this week, with one developer claiming the system won't be able to hold its own next to current gen competition, and another praising Nintendo's tablet controller as the next best thing for console MMOs.
The first insight comes from an unnamed source at GamesIndustry.biz, who said Nintendo's next lacks the muscle to compete with the current crop of consoles, noting, “No, it's not up to the same level as the PS3 or the 360...There aren't as many shaders, it's not as capable. Sure, some things are better, mostly as a result of it being a more modern design. But overall the Wii U just can't quite keep up."
This latest rumor contradicts an earlier anonymous report from January which stated the Wii U would be twice as powerful as the Xbox 360. However, that insider also admitted developers are somewhat discouraged by the system's specs, saying, “I've heard [a project designer] complain it's underpowered compared to what Nintendo announced, resulting in people having to de-scale their plans.”
On a brighter note, Funcom developer Joel Bylos is one un-unnamed source who is speaking positively about Wii U's ability; specifically its ability to handle MMORPGs.
“Wii U could be the first real console on which running an MMORPG without compromise is plausible,” said Bylos, in an interview with the official Nintendo magazine (via My Nintendo News). “The controller is perfect for lining up those rows of hotbars that are essential in most MMOs. A customisable touchscreen interface combined with the 3D spatial movement of a console controller could be a winner.”
It could. But then, going back to the first source, the Wii U will reportedly limit players to one tablet per console. Also, by the time Nintendo launches its next-gen hardware, the source suggested Sony will have already beaten it to the punch with its own PS3/ PS Vita cross-compatibility set-up, adding, “You can do everything with that combo that you can with the Wii U, and more.”
With new rumor mill in full operation, it's important to take every “anonymous source” with a grain of salt; especially if said sources are confident enough to make bold opinions, but forget to leave their names. On the flip-side, the fact Nintendo has shied away from addressing the Wii U's full capabilities in public isn't helping its case. Not that the company owes the community any details before it's ready, but if it can put naysayers in their place, now seems like a good time to start letting things slip.