Ubisoft: Wii U is "Surprisingly Powerful"

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Ubisoft: Wii U is "Surprisingly Powerful"

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Is the Wii U just two Wiis duct taped together, or something more?

Nintendo's Wii has always struggled to fit in with its much more capable current-generation counterparts. Not surprisingly, gamers have been quite vocal about the Wii U as well, fearing that Nintendo may have made the same mistake again. For its part, Ubisoft doesn't seem terribly concerned about the Wii U's capabilities, telling Nintendo Power that the console is actually "surprisingly powerful."

"What surprises me with Wii U is that we don't have many technical problems," explains Rayman creator Michel Ancel, "It's really running very well, in fact. We're not obliged to constantly optimize things. Even on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions [of Rayman Origins], we had some fill-rate issues and things like that. So it's partly us - we improved the engine - but I think the console is quite powerful. Surprisingly powerful."

Ancel goes on to say that one particularly impressive aspect of the Wii U is its ability to handle large textures without issue. He admits that sometimes, during the course of developing Rayman Legends, the team forgot to compress certain HD texture files before testing them in-game, and it didn't bog down the console.

Of course, we're talking about a 2D platformer here - not a massive 3D action game. So while his experience is an interesting glimpse into the world of Wii U development, it remains unclear whether the Wii U will be able to stand toe-to-toe with whatever Microsoft and Sony are cooking up for the next gen.

Source: Gaming Everything

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It may no be able to compete in the modern 3D-space (at least I don't think it will), but hopefully this means we'll see more 2D games? Maybe? I miss sprites :(

BlazBlue keeps them alive at least.

Yes, let's compare something that comes out next month what might come out two-three years down the road and ask if it'll go toe-to-toe with it. Because that's terribly relevant.

It will be interesting to see which console handles Assassins Creed 3 the best. If the U is sooo powerful it should actually be better than the 360 and PS3.

Well at least now we know one thing about the Wii U for certain, there is absolutely NO way you can pirate games on it.

Well if Nintendo sais they are going to go back to the "hardcore market" then they have to make their console more effective.
The question is, how much more powerful can consoles get? We'll see when the next Xbox and PS come out how far ahed they are of the WiiU in power but if the WiiU is more powerful than PS3 and Xbox 360 (that's what I got out from teh text) then that should be good.

Yes. The Wii-U sounds comparatively powerful.

...Until the other next-gen consoles come out and blow it out of the water as far as capabilities go.

I have read so many articles about developers being surprised how powerful the Wii U is. I would have expected the surprise to be spoiled by now.

Here's a question, what's more powerful: Two Wii's duct taped together or four Gamecubes duct taped together?

At this point it's hard to tell what is actually impressive, or stuff that we would just take for granted. If this was announced say 2 years ago I'd probably be interested in what's going on, but it seems sort of "easy" to compare oneself against 7 year old tech. Now had they said that the WiiU version AC3 runs better than the other versions then you're cooking, but as it stands it's hard for me to get excited with this

So yet again another developer saying that the Wii U is surprisingly powerful because its a bit better than consoles that came out 6 years ago? That's not surprising to me. That feels like the bare minimum

MikeWehner:
Of course, we're talking about a 2D platformer here - not a massive 3D action game. So while his experience is an interesting glimpse into the world of Wii U development, it remains unclear whether the Wii U will be able to stand toe-to-toe with whatever Microsoft and Sony are cooking up for the next gen.

yes, and no. it depends on what kind of pipeline they are using, but for the most part the way that 3D graphics works (will spare the math because I don't want to go into all that) is that:

the graphics processor takes the position, and angle of the camera then does a distance squared calculation to each object then takes the angle between the normals of the faces(this is where we talk about polygon/face count). if the angle places the face in viewing angle/range then it interpolates the "texture" onto the screen at the given angle/dimensions. all of these calculations are only fractionally slower then 2D graphics, but 2D graphics barley touches the capabilities/optimizations that a graphics processor is designed for.

MikeWehner:
it remains unclear whether the Wii U will be able to stand toe-to-toe with whatever Microsoft and Sony are cooking up for the next gen.

sure its a minor upgrade to what the 360 and PS3 can do now, but it has worse specs than the computer i bought a year ago, and i didn't even get a high end machine. anyone who thinks this isn't gonna get blown to bits spec-wise once the 720 and ps4 are announced is delusional.

ctear:
I have read so many articles about developers being surprised how powerful the Wii U is. I would have expected the surprise to be spoiled by now.

Agreed. If was the devs of the Wii U I'd actually be slightly offended at the constant surprise the gaming world is showing at the fruits of my hard labour.

walrusaurus:

MikeWehner:
it remains unclear whether the Wii U will be able to stand toe-to-toe with whatever Microsoft and Sony are cooking up for the next gen.

sure its a minor upgrade to what the 360 and PS3 can do now, but it has worse specs than the computer i bought a year ago, and i didn't even get a high end machine. anyone who thinks this isn't gonna get blown to bits spec-wise once the 720 and ps4 are announced is delusional.

And people making wild assumptions about next-gen consoles aren't? Nobody knows if Sony is even going to do a PS4, the amount of layoffs they've had and the fact they want to keep the PS3 going for much longer support that. As for the 720, that's just up in the air. It may be good, but it may be kinect-focused shite and will be the "Wii" of Microsoft's console lifespan.

Shadowstar38:
Yes. The Wii-U sounds comparatively powerful.

...Until the other next-gen consoles come out and blow it out of the water as far as capabilities go.

walrusaurus:

MikeWehner:
it remains unclear whether the Wii U will be able to stand toe-to-toe with whatever Microsoft and Sony are cooking up for the next gen.

sure its a minor upgrade to what the 360 and PS3 can do now, but it has worse specs than the computer i bought a year ago, and i didn't even get a high end machine. anyone who thinks this isn't gonna get blown to bits spec-wise once the 720 and ps4 are announced is delusional.

Console Units sold
PlayStation 2 153.6 million
Xbox 24 million
GameCube 21.6 million

Specs sure are the most important part of a console /Sarcasm/
OT: It's funny that console gamers call pc gamers graphics whores who only care about specs when the same thing is happening here the other way around.

It's funny that people are comparing a brand new console to a console that developers have had 6 or so years to learn to program on. This is programmers first chance to program on the Wii-U and it's matching or beating the competition, and that says something when you compare 360 graphics at the start of its life cycle to X-Box graphics a the end of it's life cycle.

rolfwesselius:

Console Units sold
PlayStation 2 153.6 million
Xbox 24 million
GameCube 21.6 million

Specs sure are the most important part of a console /Sarcasm/

Strangely, no one even made a statement saying that they were. I did not say that the Wii-U is lame console because of shitty graphics, only that it would likely be a less powerful machine than the system coming out after it.

This is a news thread about how powerful Wii-U's specs are. Therefore, we talk about specs. That can't be hard to understand.

Shadowstar38:

rolfwesselius:

Console Units sold
PlayStation 2 153.6 million
Xbox 24 million
GameCube 21.6 million

Specs sure are the most important part of a console /Sarcasm/

Strangely, no one even made a statement saying that they were. I did not say that the Wii-U is lame console because of shitty graphics, only that it would likely be a less powerful machine than the system coming out after it.

This is a news thread about how powerful Wii-U's specs are. Therefore, we talk about specs. That can't be hard to understand.

Oh sorry i didn't understand, I just wanted to state that spec's are not the most important part of a console. Edit: Also i doubt microsoft and sony can afford selling consoles on a loss again

Fappy:
It may no be able to compete in the modern 3D-space (at least I don't think it will), but hopefully this means we'll see more 2D games? Maybe? I miss sprites :(

BlazBlue keeps them alive at least.

So does King of Fighters.

gigastar:

Fappy:
It may no be able to compete in the modern 3D-space (at least I don't think it will), but hopefully this means we'll see more 2D games? Maybe? I miss sprites :(

BlazBlue keeps them alive at least.

So does King of Fighters.

Strange how it's only fighting games that still use sprites...

Fappy:

gigastar:

Fappy:
It may no be able to compete in the modern 3D-space (at least I don't think it will), but hopefully this means we'll see more 2D games? Maybe? I miss sprites :(

BlazBlue keeps them alive at least.

So does King of Fighters.

Strange how it's only fighting games that still use sprites...

Its always worked, so why change it?

gigastar:

Fappy:

gigastar:

So does King of Fighters.

Strange how it's only fighting games that still use sprites...

Its always worked, so why change it?

I'm just saying that I wish more genres would still use them :(

Vague anecdotes that don't mean anything.

Give us the specs an we'll decide weather or not it's "surprisingly powerful", ubisoft.

So were comparing Wii U specs to theoretical consoles from Microsoft and Sony?
Do you all have a crystal ball I'm missing out on?

Soooo, whenever the next Xbox or Playstation is announced, everyone is gonna be like "Hey whatever man, anything is comparatively better than 7 year old tech, plus, the next console from Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo is gonna blow the shit out of [enter console] once it hits the market in the next 5-7 years or so."

Come on, give it a chance ffs.

Powered by the souls of 14years old interns...
I sure hope it's "surprisingly powerful"

Kwil:
Yes, let's compare something that comes out next month what might come out two-three years down the road and ask if it'll go toe-to-toe with it. Because that's terribly relevant.

Well no, the new xbox is announced for september 2013 and the ps4 is said by some sources to come in march 2014. Warren Spectre, who made Epic Mickey, says that smartphones will be more powerful than those two in a few years. It's not impossible that we see a smartphone that's more powerful than the WiiU before mid-2013. Which is pretty sad.

rolfwesselius:

Specs sure are the most important part of a console /Sarcasm/
OT: It's funny that console gamers call pc gamers graphics whores who only care about specs when the same thing is happening here the other way around.

The only thing that is funny is you berating people for talking about specs and graphics in a thread about specs and graphics based on an article that discusses specs and graphics.

Shadowstar38:
Yes. The Wii-U sounds comparatively powerful.

...Until the other next-gen consoles come out and blow it out of the water as far as capabilities go.

1) We know exactly Jack and Shit about how powerful or non-powerful Sony and Microsoft are electing to go with their next consoles.

2) Considering just how much money was lost by both companies on production of their consoles, I'd be very surprised if either of them decide to go the uber-tech heavy route again next time round. Sure, they've been making a profit for the last year or two, but that's offset against the hundreds and millions, if not billions, they sank into R&D and selling at a loss at the start of the gen. The fact that Sony had to lay 10,000 staff off a while ago should tell you just how great their financials are. The fact that the Vita still hasn't taken off, despite all it's shiny high-end tech, will also be ringing warning sirens at Sony HQ. Quite simply, Sony cannot afford to lose money on another tech-heavy console. The PS3 nearly sank them at the start of the console race. The Vita is currently losing them money now. If they released another expensive, tech-heavy console now and it flopped, it would ruin them.

As for Microsoft, they've been pimping the 360 more as a Kinect machine and a media hub for the last few years. They're bound to go down this route even more.

Lesson number one in business: if you're selling consoles moderately well, but losing money on them, and your competitor is selling consoles like hot-cakes and making a profit from day one, which business strategy are your shareholders going to want you to take next time round?

In short, don't just assume that the PS4 and 360 are going to be gaming behemoths when it comes to specs. Both Sony and Microsoft have shown that they're incredibly desperate to break into Nintendo's casual-friendly demographic, and neither company is going to be particularly enamoured with the idea of losing yet more billions on loss-leader economic strategies. Not in the current economy, when most gamers have far less to spend than they once did. We've got next to nothing to go on, so there's no way you can say for sure that either company will 'blow the Wii U out of the water'. Will they be higher-spec? Probably. Will they be a quantum leap above the Wii U? I doubt it.

OT: Why is this still a surprise to everyone? The same developer already confirmed in an earlier interview that the Wii U can output a 1080p HD image to a TV screen while simultaneously streaming a 640p image to the Gamepad with latency of 1/60th of a second. Nintendo already cracked open the Wii U and showed that they've got a highly tweaked MCM module running the CPU and GPU together. I'm pretty sure it's confirmed now that the Wii U has got a GPGPU in it, rather than a regular GPU. It's got 4 times the RAM of either the PS3 or the 360.

In short, even without the name and specs of the exact chips being used, it's clear as day that the Wii U is more powerful than either the 360 or the PS3, and that it's a next gen system. Why do people still get so surprised when any developer confirms that it can run software more complicated than Minesweeper or Solitaire without hiccuping?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Shadowstar38:
Yes. The Wii-U sounds comparatively powerful.

...Until the other next-gen consoles come out and blow it out of the water as far as capabilities go.

1) We know exactly Jack and Shit about how powerful or non-powerful Sony and Microsoft are electing to go with their next consoles.

2) Considering just how much money was lost by both companies on production of their consoles, I'd be very surprised if either of them decide to go the uber-tech heavy route again next time round. Sure, they've been making a profit for the last year or two, but that's offset against the hundreds and millions, if not billions, they sank into R&D and selling at a loss at the start of the gen. The fact that Sony had to lay 10,000 staff off a while ago should tell you just how great their financials are. The fact that the Vita still hasn't taken off, despite all it's shiny high-end tech, will also be ringing warning sirens at Sony HQ. Quite simply, Sony cannot afford to lose money on another tech-heavy console. The PS3 nearly sank them at the start of the console race. The Vita is currently losing them money now. If they released another expensive, tech-heavy console now and it flopped, it would ruin them.

As for Microsoft, they've been pimping the 360 more as a Kinect machine and a media hub for the last few years. They're bound to go down this route even more.

Lesson number one in business: if you're selling consoles moderately well, but losing money on them, and your competitor is selling consoles like hot-cakes and making a profit from day one, which business strategy are your shareholders going to want you to take next time round?

In short, don't just assume that the PS4 and 360 are going to be gaming behemoths when it comes to specs. Both Sony and Microsoft have shown that they're incredibly desperate to break into Nintendo's casual-friendly demographic, and neither company is going to be particularly enamoured with the idea of losing yet more billions on loss-leader economic strategies. Not in the current economy, when most gamers have far less to spend than they once did. We've got next to nothing to go on, so there's no way you can say for sure that either company will 'blow the Wii U out of the water'. Will they be higher-spec? Probably. Will they be a quantum leap above the Wii U? I doubt it.

I simply followed a pattern. The Wii was the least powerful spec-wise this gen. Now the Wii-U is just catching up and Microsoft and Sony have had years to expand on their tech so it can surpass their own 6 year old machines. Business wise, it'd make sense to scale back on the hardware, but given all this, I'm fairly certain they'll still be leagues ahead of the Wii-U when they're released.

Shadowstar38:

I simply followed a pattern. The Wii was the least powerful spec-wise this gen. Now the Wii-U is just catching up and Microsoft and Sony have had years to expand on their tech so it can surpass their own 6 year old machines. Business wise, it'd make sense to scale back on the hardware, but given all this, I'm fairly certain they'll still be leagues ahead of the Wii-U when they're released.

It's not really a pattern though. That's simply what happened this gen. A pattern is when a company repeats the same strategy over and over again.

Before this gen? Well, the Gamecube actually sat quite nicely in the middle between the Xbox and the PS2 in terms of power. I don't think it could quite compare to Microsoft's big black box in terms of raw computing power, but it was certainly far and away above the PS2 in its specs.

Before that? The N64 shat all over the PS1 in pretty much every category except its data storage. Because the PS1 used CDs, which had more room for data than cartridges, PS1 games tended to have more voice acting, and higher quality textures. In every other regards, however, the N64 was far more powerful. It could push out more polygons, render greater distances, and even had its own form of in-built anti-aliasing.

Interesting to note, in both categories the technologically superior Nintendo consoles were massively outsold by the graphically weaker Sony consoles.

So, despite what you say, there isn't really a pattern. Nintendo bases its console specs based on what their priorities are. This generation, they focused less on graphics because they wanted to appeal to more casual gamers, and they didn't want the Wii to be the money-sink the Gamecube was. Before the Wii, however, they were gunning for hardcore gamers, and they brought some hefty tech to their consoles to try and woo them.

From what they've released regarding the Wii U, it seems like they've designed it with the Gamecube in mind. It may not have the most cutting edge components, but everything looks like it has been engineered to be highly efficient. The CPU and GPGPU are going to be communicating with each other with far less latency than the 360 or PS3, because they're both part of the same module, rather than being two separate modules bolted onto a die. That's just as important to performance, if not moreso than what model number the GPU and CPU is. A cutting edge CPU/GPU combination can be badly bottlenecked if they're bodged together with little thought as to who they should communicate with the other components. Just look at the PS3: allegedly it has 512mb of RAM, but half of that is reserved for graphics. Only 256mb is available for other operations.

Microsoft and Sony could release a console with the latest quadcore CPU/GPU combination, but if they're as badly bodged together as the innards of the original 360 were, that isn't going to mean shit. Try and push the console too far, and the console will melt itself trying to work through its design limitations.

Anyways, I'm going on a bit of an essay here. I'll try and bring it home. Developers have already said that the Wii U is a very powerful machine, and it's very easy to develop for. That last part is key. Several developers such as Vigil and the guys working on the ME3 port have said they got their games running on the Wii U incredibly quickly. Developers like that. It doesn't matter how powerful a console is- if it's a bitch to programme for, then developers will avoid it. The onus for M$ and Sony isn't to make a super-powerful console, but to make an efficient one that is easy to develop for, one that doesn't cause teams to waste huge amounts of time and resources. If they can't do that, then developers will choose the Wii U simply because it's less of a hassle.

We shall have to wait and see. Sony, certainly, needs to re-learn a few things about making a developer friendly console.

I simply followed a pattern. The Wii was the least powerful spec-wise this gen. Now the Wii-U is just catching up and Microsoft and Sony have had years to expand on their tech so it can surpass their own 6 year old machines. Business wise, it'd make sense to scale back on the hardware, but given all this, I'm fairly certain they'll still be leagues ahead of the Wii-U when they're released.

Nintendo having weaker hardware than it's competitors isn't exactly a consistant thing. The N64 was arguably the most powerful of it's generation, The GameCube was maybe in the middle compared to the Xbox1 and PS2.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
MotherofGod.jpeg

Well that effectivly /thread this thing.

From your enthusiasm, I'm guessing you'll be one of the people getting it at launch?

Comparing a Nintendo product's hardware specs to most anything else is the dumbest idea ever for trying to sell the product. If you want to sell the Wii U, stop talking about how powerful it is, because it will be shit by the next month in terms of specs. Talk about its strengths, like how well they would be able to implement the touch screen, which was a hell of a lot more innovative than that last innovation they tried to pull. Seriously, I think the Wii U will be a damn good console, just not for making amazing games graphically speaking.

Shadowstar38:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
MotherofGod.jpeg

Well that effectivly /thread this thing.

From your enthusiasm, I'm guessing you'll be one of the people getting it at launch?

Not quite. I'm really psyched for the console, but I couldn't justify buying it that soon. I've just bought myself a new phone (Samsung Galaxy Note), and with the job I'm currently working, I couldn't justify spending nearly £300 on another gadget. I'm planning on getting one around the time Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends come out, so hopefully soon next year, once I've got a bit more money saved up.

Yay for living in a double-dip recession economy...

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