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Analyst: Wii U May Have 50% More Processing Power Than PS3, 360
Analyst: Wii U May Have 50% More Processing Power Than PS3, 360
June 13, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Third-party developers for the upcoming Nintendo Wii U console have indicated that it may have 50 percent more processing power than that of the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, according to analyst reports.

Arvind Bhatia at analyst firm Sterne Agee explained in an investor note that, although the processing power of the console is yet to be confirmed by Nintendo, a number of developers said that the Wii U will be notably more powerful than both the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The analyst also noted that publishers said they will likely make ports of existing PS3 and Xbox 360 games for the Wii U to keep initial costs low while the Wii U still has a small install base.

As more consumers pick up the console, we can then expect new and unique games with big budgets that take full advantage of the Wii U's controller, he suggested.

Earlier today, Michael Pachter, games industry analyst at Wedbush Securities, said that he believes Nintendo's Wii U "is arriving two years too late," while noting that "the system will be either a phenomenal success or a phenomenal failure."

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Alan Rimkeit
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If it does then expect it to cost way more than the Wii. Otherwise Nintendo will be in a situation where they are most likely going to lose cash with each sale made. That is something Ninty just does not do.

Lo Pan
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The more I hear about the Wii U, the more crappy it sounds. It feels like a kid system Hasbro or Mattel would put out. Thank the stars Nintendo has so much gamer goodwill and their legacy first party games. Iwata-san, I won't pay $300 for a $149 system.

Christian McCrea
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I agree with Anthony. If it was capable of a lot, they would have prepared graphics demos quickly to show it off. The bird one was impressive in the fine grain, but really not indicative of much. The Zelda demo was more like it, but without the details of the hardware, it could be produced in any number of ways.

Michael Compton
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Add a couple of processing cores and it would get close to that improvement over Xbox 360 and PS3.

It's not outside the realms of possibility; multi-core processors have being become a lot more prevalent than when Xbox360 or PS3 was in development.

John Martins
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I don't consider this exciting news even if it happens to be true. The 360 and PS3 have been out for years now and processing power says very little about how good a console will be. If it's 50% more powerful then great, I'm sure the next consoles from Sony and MS will attempt to beat that in however many years time, everyone's a winner.

Aaron Truehitt
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And 50% less games.

Bob Johnson
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I'm leaning towards bombs right now.

Seems like it will be too expensive to get folks interested out of the gate while not powerful enough to get gamers terribly interested out of the hate(or gate) either.

Don't have any faith Nintendo will exploit the interesting tech in the system. Remember Wii Connect 24? Yeah that turned out great. /sarcasm.

Looking around with touchscreen looks too goofy/gimmicky. Using same wiimotes makes it look old.

3rd party support? If they really wanted it then make a console that will be as powerful as the next Xbox and PS. Or close to it. But no.

That leaves it a 1st party machine with b-movie 3rd party support.

Gamecube plus Wii momentum plus new controller equals ....GAmecube plus 20million.

I'll give it 10 million for Wii mo. 10 million more sales for the new controller. So whatever the Gamecube did plus 20 million.

Harlan Sumgui
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I don't know what the hubub is about. afaik, PS3/x360 processors are scaled down custom versions of the IBM 970 PowerPC. Each core executes at less than 1/2 the speed of the IBM 970 at the same clock frequency owing to the fact that the IBM 970 has multiple execution units and will perform out-of-order execution whereas the cell and xenos processors only have a single execution unit and will perform in-order execution. I.E., the console versions of the 970 are 1/2 as 'powerful' as the production 970's.

So we are talking about a 6 year old processor from discontinued line that was cut off at the knees already when it was released. A 50% improvement on the xeno and/or cell adds very little to the cost of a machine that will be released no sooner than Q3 2012, as opposed to having a chip with equal power to the xeno/cell.

Joe Cooper
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50% above the incumbants sounds like a Dreamcast to me.

Its two year head start killed it. Once the competitors came out with substantial power advantages, and the DC was kind of old, it was like the Wii in that it couldn't easily run software and render content built for its competitors. Unlike the Wii, it lacked the intrinsic novelty for anyone to still care (though it had some nice games and we all love them).

I do not also see the value in this without local multiplayer.

I smell a dud.

Nintendo still rocks and still swims in cash for the risks that do pay off. Just not having high hopes here.

Chris Melby
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Nintendo has always introduced a new console about every 5 or 6 years;

NES ---- 1985

SNES -- 1991

N64 ---- 1996

Cube --- 2001

Wii ----- 2006

Wii U -- 2012

Nintendo is not in the same boat as Sega.

Jonathan Jou
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Ooh! I have an article from Gamasutra that's a really worthwhile read if you want to know why the Dreamcast failed.

Interestingly enough, the rabbit hole gets a lot, lot deeper, and the "headstart" Nintendo's springing on its competition resembles the Dreamcast only if you pretend this is some sort of headstart.

To wit:

1. Sega had (very recently) pissed off an amazing amount of its loyal fanbase with the release of several heavily unsupported consoles, all released then promptly replaced - Sega 32x, Sega CD, and Sega Saturn, specifically.

2. They picked the more expensive, less powerful Japanese design over the design from 3dfx.

3. The Dreamcast *lost* EA's support, where it sounds like the Wii U is about to gain EA's support. Because, you know, the Wii has been floundering without it.

For my money, the Wii U doesn't have any selling points yet. I'm going nuts trying to figure out what an extra screen you spend most of your time not looking at adds to the experience (Miyamoto said there were many in an interview but I didn't hear any examples). But it also sounds like they haven't nailed down the design either, which might explain the conservative presentation.

Jerry Pritchard
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A lot of people are going to buy into this simply for the brand name, just like Apple. Then in a year or 2 when the next Xbox and Playstation are released, the Wii2 will gather dust right along side the Wii1. This is just history repeating itself.

Sure, there are 3rd party developers saying they'll make games now, but in the next 3 years, you're going to see the exact same trend, over 80% of the "good" games are all rehashed first party titles with the other 20% being multi-platform ports, just like with the Wii1.

No publisher right now is taking risks on new hardware because its stupid when the currently established hardware is selling just fine. Look how well the Playstation2 is STILL doing!

Andrew Witt
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The WiiU is clear example of trying to base too much around one gimmick. Frankly I have come to see Nintendo as mainly a marketer of gimmick ideas. The controller is ridiculous and looks unwieldy and distracting.

Amy Austin
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I think it all comes down to that casual gamer market that the Wii has lived off of. Do they REALLY care about the graphics or power? My guess is no since they went with the Wii to begin with. So the bigger question is will the casual gamers want to spend to upgrade their existing console? If it's good enough, and the developers keep the gimmicks to a minimum while offering a solid selection of games, the hardcore gamers will naturally gravitate to it. It wasn't the hardcore gamers that lifted the Wii in the first place, I'm on the fence as to whether or not this will be enough to convince the casual gamers, their current bread and butter, to upgrade.

Paopao Saul
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I take it most of the haters have not read the Iwataasks series about WiiU? My takeaway from that is Nintendo want people to play games in different ways. Not just rehash the old formula of same gameplay+better hardware every 5 years.

Steve Peterson
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I think Nintendo would have touted the graphics capability if it was a huge improvement over the Xbox 360 and PS3; 50% is in the realm where exactly how it's implemented makes the improvements arguable. More cores or faster clock speed? How big is the RAM, what's the bus speed? And what visual impact will it really have in an actual game? If it's something you need to carefully inspect a frame to see, it's probably not going to have a big impact on sales.

A lot depends on what Nintendo does with it, and how good their tools are. There's so many unknowns at this point. I think a robust online service would be a more important innovation for Nintendo, though it's not something they seem that interested in developing.

Jonathan Jou
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I find this hilarious! So many people saying nay in so many ways over so many things no one is sure of. As a biased, 100% diehard Zelda (and by transitive property Miyamoto, and by transitive property, Nintendo) fan, I can explain to you that "cutting edge" 5 years ago, which is indeed what the PS3 and Xbox360 touted, is deep into the realm of "underperforming" and well on its way to "extinct." Nintendo tends to release their consoles after their competition, and one of the ways this really helped was in cutting costs.

If Nintendo wanted to release an HD Wii, they could do it and keep the $150 price tag. The graphics card in the Xbox360 (according to wikipedia) performs roughly along the lines of a graphics card that *retails* for $79. Which is to say, close to 1/3 of its original going price. Remove retail markup, account for streamlined manufacturing (the 360 went from losing $124 per unit to making a profit on their new $250 price tag, I'm pretty sure), and I'm pretty sure this argument is out the window.

Any takers? No?

Jamie Mann
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The only developer comment I've seen came from the mighty Carmack, who noted in passing that the Wii U has "parity" with the Xbox 360/PS3. Admittedly, this isn't much to base speculation on - and Carmack himself noted that he didn't attend Nintendo's formal developer launch party - but if the Wii U was significantly more powerful than it's rivals, I would have expected someone like Carmack to note this, rather than just putting it in the same category as it's relatively ancient rivals...