The rumours surrounding the hardware housed within Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U home console never seem to end. One moment we’re hearing it’s not very powerful, next we’re hearing it is. In fact, you might have heard a report just the other day that the Wii U’s CPU is clocked “kinda low” compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation.
Nobody appears to know what to think, and Jeremiah Slaczka finds that very frustrating. Reported via Video Gamer, from an interview in Game Informer, Slaczka had the following to say about performance gossip:
…definitely more powerful than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s kind of frustrating to see the rumours and speculation of people going back and forth saying it’s weaker or more powerful. It’s definitely more powerful.
“Who is Jeremiah Slaczka?”, we hear you ask? Slaczka is best known as a creative director and co-founder of independent developer 5th Cell, who you might recognise for titles like Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life for the Nintendo DS, and the upcoming Hybrid for Xbox Live Arcade.
Slaczka and staff at 5th Cell have worked closely with Nintendo over the years to produce their DS titles, and continue to do so on the Wii U, having access to development kits in order to bring Scribblenauts Unlimited across to the platform later this year, along with the Nintendo 3DS and PC.
Though Slaczka’s statements might seem contradictory to Katsuhiro Harada’s thoughts, this may not be so. Internet gossip (take with a pinch of salt) suggests Nintendo’s Wii U CPU is indeed clocked a little lower than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and in attempt to counter this Nintendo has equipped the platform with a more modern graphics processor capable of compute programming support. Essentially this would allow developers to defer CPU specific processing to the GPU instead, making up for performance that would be lost if the CPU was used exclusively. The issue being that compute programming graphics processors are relatively modern, and a vast majority of current generation engines have not been built to utilise such hardware features. This causes some current generation titles to struggle with the CPU’s lower clock, unable to make good use of the GPU’s compute capabilities.
Whether or not that’s true is impossible to say, and knowing how tight lipped Nintendo is on their hardware probably impossible to ever confirm. However, Slaczka’s comments should calm concerned fans worried that the Wii U may under perform up against the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.