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back to article Wii U graphics said to be no better than current consoles

Nintendo's next-gen console, the Wii U, will present visuals to match, not exceed, current-generation rivals. The new machine's display resolutions and textures will be no better than those supported by the Xbox 360 or PS3, it has been claimed. “So far, the hardware has been on par with what we have with the current generations …

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Anonymous Coward

What he's saying there is that poly count, textures and screen res aren't going up. Ok, but what about performance? If shader performance is a whole lot higher you can make much better looking games, and it's not like we have 4K TVs that need higher res or sharper textures.

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Well, the rumour is..

That it has a 3GHz PowerPC quad-core, an ATI graphics chip and either 768MB or 1GB RAM in a shared configuration.

So essentially, it's an Xbox 360 with a bit of extra RAM, specs wise. The graphics chip could be a bit of a boot up the arse, specs wise, but I don't know of any other details.

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But maybe the games will be fun? enjoyment is supposedly part of the fun. For instance, no amount of graphic realism will make driving a racing car on a console like the real thing, there's no wind, dust, g-force or sense of imminent death if you get things wrong.

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Meh

I agree to a degree, but if the power increase allows for say, a racing game to include actual grandstands of crowds and not constantly duplicated 2D cut-outs bouncing up and down - you are improving realism in a sense. The closer the simulation becomes, the more immersive it can be.

I don't want super hi-res Call of Duty: Corridor Edition... but neither do I want another Mario clone with last gen graphics. There needs to a happy medium and I fear Ninty might be restricting themselves a little. Especially if Microsoft/Sony pair a Windows 8/Android tablet to the Xbox 720/PS4 and totally gimp the USP of the Wii U...

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Boffin

At least they're switching to HDMI tho?

New telly (yeah, said LG passive 3D set) lags horribly when it comes to non-HDMI input. My regular Wii is pretty much unplayable with certain games as a result.

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Re: At least they're switching to HDMI tho?

Get a cheap hdmi adapter off fleabay?

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Numbers

The Wii U will be an upgrade from the Wii, which didn't need to match the 360 and PS3 to appeal to a market segment large enough for Nintendo to sell 95 million units. That's about 50% more units than either the 360 or PS3.

By producing a lower spec machine, Nintendo were able to make a profit on each Wii sold. Presumably if they next release a machine of comparable power to the 360 and PS3 they wll be able to do the same with that. The only real question is whether Wii users will be so interested in upgrading as traditional gamers. (I know many Wii users are also traditional gamers, but large number of them are new gamers that Nintendo lured into the market with the Wii.)

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Innovation

Its the Nintendo way, they prefer to innovate with new control methods etc rather than going for pure power and its a strategy that works for them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Innovation

Erm, you mean like the Wii-Mote, which was a rushed to market version of PSMove that was developed several years before, for the PS2, but realigned for the PS3...

I think you need to listen less to what Nintendo tells you and more an factual evidence.

Nintendo basically copied what Sony were upto and rushed it out before them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zin-gK6NEIY

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Re: Innovation

How many Decades ago was the Nintendo Power Glove? The Wii-Mote is just a hand held version of the power glove, in a lot of ways. Sony would most likely not be in the Video Game business if Nintendo hadn't asked the help on a CD add-on for they console.

A little history might help also....

Power Glove - 1989

Wii - 2006

PS Move - 2010

Unless Sony spent decades at thinking how to do it, I think Nintendo is the Innovator in this...

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Re: Innovation

he is kind of right about this. The move controller was conceptualised back in 2003 or 04 it was dropped tho, as sony didnt think it would sell.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Innovation

Actually that last link was from 2003 (3 years before the Wii launch), but there are also demos from 2001:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PtoxKDcCXc&feature=related

So at least 5 years before the Wii... So, don't try and pull that Nintendo innovates crap, they copy stuff and create an illusion of innovation.

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Re: Innovation

I don't know about that, the N64 could be considered an over the top piece of hardware at the time, and the GameCube was no slouch given its competition.

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Nintendo

Nintendo haven't been competing in terms of raw power for years.

The current Wii is effectively a GameCube 'Move'.

It became popular because it had that innovation (which has now been matched and arguably beaten by PS Move and MS Kinect).

It was also competitive on price. Release Wii U at £150, when the next gen PS4 / Xbox720 will be £4/500, and it will be a winner.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nintendo

The Wiimote was a Move copy. Just because Nintendo were first to market with a version that sorta worked (but then needed you to buy an add-on later to make it work properly) doesn't mean they invented it.

People really need to put their brains in gear before they type.

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Its not about the hardware

Its the software that sells games consoles and the Wii's software in recent years has been lack lustre. I am pretty sure if you polled most present Wii owners you would find the games they own are all pretty old. I have a Wii, but I haven't bought a new game for 2 years, just dragging out Mario Carts for the kids(why has there never been an update for that game?).

Problem is the market Wii once owned, the casual family gamer, has now been taken by the XBOX360 kinnect and to a lesser extent the PS3 move. If I was buying a console today I would be looking at those because I know I could have a family console and play battlefield 3 when the kids are in bed.

If Nintendo can't get the big game manufacturers on board the new console will be dead in the water.

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Anonymous Coward

D.O.A.

Toast. Who is going to buy it when pending the arrival in 2013 of the new Xbox, which has Kinect - it's now a "family" console.

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FAIL

Re: D.O.A.

Really?

Because the Wii was such a massive failure, wasnt it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: D.O.A.

Yes?

I know alot of people bought one, I don't know a single one that still use them.

It sold on the gimmick of the silly controller, then kept going with wii-fit.

The next one has a screen in the controller, I'm blown away tbh.

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Re: D.O.A.

@AC: Ah yes, you again. The one with all the more-money-than-sense friends who didn't engage brain before buying a console never designed with them in mind.

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Re: D.O.A.

Who's going to buy it? People who want a console that costs half as much as the competition but still gets new games, Nintendo fanboys who want the latest in Mario and Metroid and Zelda, people who think that touchscreen controller is a nice enough touch to outdo whatever MS and Sony have for the next gen, and people who like gaming but dislike both MS and Sony.

You know, the same groups of people who kept the Wii at the top of the current generation for three or four years despite the fact that it's really just a GameCube with a gimmick.

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jai
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Re: D.O.A.

that's weird then, i must know AC, because he seems to know all my friends too (and me, tbh, as i got a Wii last summer when the missus decided she wanted to use it Wii Fit and Zumba, used it for a month, haven't switched it on again since).

the Wii serves a specific need - that of multiplayer gaming, and light-weight, kid-friendly gaming.

i think the critical thing is, now that world+dog has a Wii in their lounge to fulfil those needs, why would they bother to spend so much cash again on a WiiU? if you're having a party, you'll wheel out the old Wii.

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FAIL

Nintendo fail

Since like the wii was little more than an expensive ps2 with no decent games, the wii-u will be an expensive PS3 with no games or blu-ray.

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JDX
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WTF?

Re: Nintendo fail

You're right, this is the same path they took with the Wii - previous gen spec, sold cheaper than current-gen as an affordable console that actually makes some profit on the console itself.

If the Wii-U 'fails' like the Wii did, Nintendo will be very happy.

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No change at Nintendo

Why would the Wii U be more technically advanced than it's competition? For years now Nintendo's business plan has been to avoid competing on a technical basis and instead to compete by being the only platform with an over abundance of Italian plumbers. All their consoles have been less advanced than their competition since the days of the N64 (and maybe before, I wasn't really paying attention).

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Re: No change at Nintendo

"Why would the Wii U be more technically advanced than it's competition?"

Why? How about because technology moves on and neither of Nintendo's competitors have substantially changed their consoles since at least 2007? Also, bear in mind that neither Sony nor Microsoft have even announced they have a new console coming, let alone given a timeline, so it is likely that for at least the first few months, the Wii U will be competing against the Xbox 360 and PS3.

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Stop

Re: No change at Nintendo

"All their consoles have been less advanced than their competition since the days of the N64 (and maybe before, I wasn't really paying attention)."

No, you haven't been paying attention. It shows. In terms of raw grunt, the N64 surpassed the ps1, though it fell flat with storage and v-ram. The Gamecube however, matched the PS2 perfectly, and surpassed it with better shader technology than it's rival. That's why the Gamecube was always flooded with Survival Horror games, because of it's ability to produce more realistic fog and whatnot.

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JDX
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Re: No change at Nintendo

>>Why would the Wii U be more technically advanced than it's competition?

That's not what was being suggested - the claim is not "Nintendo will be AS advanced", but "Nintendo will be a whole generation behind".

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Re: No change at Nintendo

With Wii U launching about 7 years after the late 2005 XBox 360. A long time in silcon term, XBox cpu/cpu at 90nm since 2005 we've had 65nm, 45nm and the 32nm processe is mature. Lots of much less expensive transistors so yes, really ought to be more than a small step forward from XBoxPS3 even if its starting at sub £200 retail.

Though compatibility with Wii games and peripherals must be the main key to recapturing some of the family market, more so than raw performance.

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WTF?

Re: No change at Nintendo

Actually the N64 was better hardware than the PS1, but was then surpassed by the Dreamcast and PS2. The only real big issue with the N64 was the fact it used cartridges (and that the 64DD was never released outside Japan AFAIK). Still had some pretty awesome games though.

The Gamecube was on par with the PS2 and XBOX, the Super NES/Super Famicom was better than the Megadrive, not so sure about the Master System and NES, they always seemed to be about on par to me (around the time they were around I was more interested in the ST and Amiga).

Rob

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FAIL

Re: No change at Nintendo

>Super NES/Super Famicom was better than the Megadrive

It should have been considering the Megadrive came out 2 years earlier. Nintendo sat far too long on their NES success and lost their monopoly because of it (and also by permanently pissing off all 3rd party publishers with their encryption key fiasco which is why Nintendo 3rd party is mostly shovelware) .

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We need a Wii with Full HD resolution and backward compatibility - we got it. No need to throw in a $500 GPU in there.

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1080p

Just a shame the current generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles don't output at 1080p.

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FAIL

Re: 1080p

even though they do....?

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Re: 1080p

Mine certainly does?

What I assume Ed 11 is referring to is that a lot of the games aren't rendered at 1080p, they are rendered at a lower res and upscaled to keep the performance up. That's one of the reasons why a game on a much higher spec pc might not run as well as the console version when on the "same" settings.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1080p

Plenty do.

I have many NATIVE 1080p games, some 30FPS, some 60FPS on my PS3.

Don't be fooled by the Xbox boxes claiming 1080P, almost all Xbox titles are upscaled 1080P titles, with misleading box info. At least Sony are honest in their resolutions on the box.

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Alien

Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

- Hardly any telly can display it.

- Porting assets from PS360 made more difficult thus increasing development costs and reducing support.

- Apart from that, it's a clear winner.

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Re: Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

really? how many TVs do you see that arent 1080p? my TV is 4/5 years old and does 1080p fine.

some ps3 games are 1080p native but the vast majority are upscaled, which is cheating. same with xbox

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Headmaster

Re: Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

Please re-read title.

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FAIL

Re: Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

doh! my bad (fail on my part)

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JDX
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Re: Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

>>how many TVs do you see that arent 1080p?

Absolutely loads. Many, many people bought 720p/1080i TVs as little as a couple of years ago (maybe even now?) since they are a fair chunk cheaper and 1080p is currently only of use for blu-rays.

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Boffin

Re: Reasons for Nintendo not to include graphics at more than 1080p

>how many TVs do you see that aren't 1080p?

About half of the 32-inchers out there aren't 1080p, especially the cheaper weirdo-brand ones. And if you go for even smaller sets, the numbers go up. And you'll be very hard pressed to find 1080p sets of 19 inches or smaller, if they even exist. Smallest 1080p set I've seen so far is 22 inch.

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Stop

Nintendo will be as advanced as last generations consoles.

Another epic Nintendo failure in the works, perhaps not from a sales perspective (although I suspect it will), but definitely from a technical perspective.

The original Wii was always an inferior version of the PS2, which could be bought for less, had more games, and didn't suffer from the Nintendo shovelware problem, if you wanted novelty gaming, then buy an EyeToy for the PS2 for £15, job fun.

More fun for less money.

The PS3 will be in the same place when the Wii-U hits. Why waste your cash on a new console that's only as good as the 6 year old PS3, doesn't have any games, and is rather rubbish in it's media capabilities compared to the PS3.

Sony have the casual market sewn up, with titles like Little Big Planet etc.

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MJI
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Re: Nintendo will be as advanced as last generations consoles.

People don't buy what you expect.

They buy what they are told to, or what they know.

This is why the usual Nintendo series sell so well, everyone has heard of them.

If games sold by their quality, every child would be playing Little Big Planet, which I reckon is the best game I have come across for 8 to 12 year olds.

Yet LBP has not sold that well at all despite being a masterpiece of a game.

BTW never been a fan of Italian plumbers, prefered blue hedgehogs or early Id games.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nintendo will be as advanced as last generations consoles.

LBP sales are pretty good. Sure they aren't MarioKart huge, but then like you said, LBP is out there to be discovered, rather than pushed down owners throats.

I wonder how many parents are annoyed by their kids wasting time on driving karts, when they could be learning engineering and science skills in LPB whilst having fun...

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MJI
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Re: Nintendo will be as advanced as last generations consoles.

LBP

A while ago I asked the children about this. They prefer LBP to any of the Wii games, one of them love the Super Mario Galaxy games, but our Wii is basically an expensive set of scales.

My total Wii usage is less than a day of PS3 usage.

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Anonymous Coward

The secret to Ninty Wii success...

...was the price!

Seem to remember I paid about £150 for mine on release... this Wii U seems likely to be US$600 and the extra controller things aren't going to be 20 quid either.

Combine that with the other players having moved into "family" and hardware thats one step behind... not to mention the massive dissapointment I know most Wii owners had after the first couple of months when they realised that besides a couple of flagship titles, there was little else on offer - nor likely to be.

The gamecube was far better and my son still plays with that, rather than the Wii, which gathers dust...

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MJI
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Re: The secret to Ninty Wii success...

Price.

Then add on a second controller, nunchuck controllers, classic controllers for the downloads, balance board and you are looking at a LOT of money. Infact into PS3 Xbox360 territory (or beyond)

And never forget the way it eats AA batteries

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The secret to Ninty Wii success...

Yes, it does all add up, however at 150 quid, it was an achievable birthday/xmas pressie for mum/dad/grandparents to buy... compared to the (at the time) expensive xbox or ps3.

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FAIL

Re: The secret to Ninty Wii success...

Considering you can get a PS3 for less than £150, why would ANYONE want a Wii-U? You could even get a VITA too, and it would still rock in for less money....

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