Nintendo: Wii U GPU "more pronounced" than CPU, but CPU not weak

Developers have praised Wii U's memory in the past, but some have wondered if the console's architecture focuses too much on GPU. Shigeru Miyamoto, Satoru Iwata, and Genyo Takeda all responded to this topic at the Q&A session of Nintendo's investors meeting.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
ThaBlackBaron2141d ago ShowReplies(1)
Bumpmapping2141d ago

@ThaBlackBaron-If you think Wii U is that powerful your on crack seriously of course it has the edge over PS3/360 but that's like comparing Wii vs PS2/Xbox/Gamecube/Dreamcast.

Wii U is nothing more than a beefed up PS3 also that monolith trailer looked awesome great graphics for sure nothing jaw dropping about it in terms of graphics.

PopRocks3592141d ago

Yeah, nothing at all neat about high end and detailed 3D graphics in a large scale open world game. /s

LOL_WUT2141d ago

PopRocks to the rescue!!!!

Of course Nintendo wouldn't say that their hardware is weak especially when talking to investors that'll be suicide.

Lets just let the games speak for themselves so far nothing on the Wii U screams next-gen.

wishingW3L2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

the X trailer was large scale but not exactly "high-end"... Especially when at the very beginning of it there are a couple of texture pop-ins and visible draw-distance issues. And not to mention that the frame-rate looked low, like the image was about to break apart.

BullyMangler2141d ago

so the gamecube gots an exclusive game called Resident Evil 1 Remake, and theres yet to be a more Astonishing looking game than that .. the wii has about 2 times more power than the cube . so what does the cpu power of the wiiU matter if the 360 nor ps3 doesnt even have a game that looks mightier than Resy 1 remake for the Cube??

mua haa . Nintendo gots all fan-boys and girls by the what? . thats right, by the nippLes .

Yodagamer2141d ago

Actually Lol_wut they have done that before both on the wii and the ds, and those where their most financially successful platforms

Outside_ofthe_Box2141d ago

lol, is bulltmangLer the Ninty version of Killzoner99?

Awesome_Gamer2141d ago

It looks good but not half as good as Watch Dogs or GTA V, for example.

PopRocks3592141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )


Funny thing about Monolith's history. Once upon a time, they provided a teaser trailer for the first Xenoblade that looked "good, but not great" for a Wii game. Eons later, the trailer for the full experience came out and it was stylistically change and graphically superior to how it looked previously.

The footage we saw in the X trailer, as good as it was, seemed pretty rough. Who is to say it won't see a similar visual upgrade when it is closer to release?

EDIT: By the way, the game is still open world complete with massively sized gargantuan beasts, running off of Wii U hardware and as far as performance goes, it was running fairly smoothly. I find that very impressive.


That's your opinion, which is fine. But I think you missed the point of the argument. It's a fairly nice looking and detailed style; and it's unfinished footage to boot. Now throw in that this is an open world experience with huge maps and monsters. Now let's fast-forward to when this game is more finished and refined; you don't expect this to look even better?

I'm not necessarily saying that the final product will blow people's socks off, so much as I am saying anything is possible.

wishingW3L2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

but PopRocks359 you're the one claiming high-end when there's nothing high-end about it. Is just some kinda nice art-style with the mountains and some pretty colored sky-boxes. =/

LightofDarkness2141d ago


The game's backdrops are pre-rendered, just like the original, except with some advancements like reflections and particle FX (for candles etc). If you run the game in an emulator, you'll see that all the backgrounds remain in 480p while the character models and other assets are much sharper (this actually makes the game look pretty terrible in 1080p, sadly, as the "environment" is upscaled and muddy looking).

AsimLeonheart2141d ago

We will believe the "large scale open world" games on Wii U when we see them running on it. Right now there isnt a single game on Wii U that can prove that it is significantly more powerful console than PS360. Moreover, the hardware specs arent very "next gen" either. Just looks at the specs of PS4/Orbis and Durango. Now those are REAL next-gen consoles which will able to run games like Watchdogs and Star Wars 1313.

Gamer19822140d ago

We hardly know anything about the X game right now so I dont think we can rightly use that as part of an argument. Even so also we dont know if the final games gonna look anything like that (anybody remember ff13?). As for WiiU IF it was just the console without the new pad it would be a current gen console a gen 3 console but its got the new pad which is new and some could even say nex gen. So its more like a 3.5 gen console.

The thing you have to remember here is Nintendo audience is NOT the 360/PS3 audience. I'm not saying they wont buy one but they will buy it as a second console. Nintendo has there own fanbase and as much as they would like there consoles to compare to the upcoming playstation G4 and Xbox G4 it was never gonna happen. Nintendo like being behind as it keeps costs down and in this case they had to thanks to that pad.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2140d ago
ABizzel12141d ago

The Wii-U CPU in it's bare bones is 3 Wii CPU's combined (making it Tri-Core) with nearly 2x the Clock Speed, with a contemporary boost to cache memory. The 360 is also a Tri-Core CPU, but the Wii-U is better than the PS360 at streaming things down it's 3 cores at much faster speeds.

HOWEVER, the PS360 has dual / multi-threading capabilities that the Wii-U CPU doesn't have allowing them to outperform the Wii-U CPU in most regards when all three are used to their maximum.

That is why developers say the Wii-U CPU is underpowered. It's like a highway with a speed limit of 80mph with only 3 lanes (Wii-U), vs. a highway with a speed limit of 60 mph with 6 lanes (360), and a highway with a speed limit of 70mph with 7 lanes (PS3).

Yes the Wii-U highway is technically faster, but when it comes to moving traffic it's easily outperformed, because you can move a larger amount of traffic on the PS360 than you can the Wii-U which is somewhat of a bottleneck for the GPU.

Starting 2014 Wii-U games will start to look better than PS360 games in nearly every regard. PS360 games will run 720p @ 30fps while the Wii-U version runs 1080p @ 30fps, simply because it has a better GPU, and more memory to work, but as everyone has said the Wii-U is not "technically" that far above the PS360 to warrant a "next gen" label.

The Wii-U is basically an overall 50% boost in total performance to the PS360 (1.1 / 1.5 depending on what you prefer). But IMO there's nothing wrong with that. WHat's wrong is that they went with these underpowered parts when they could have easily gone with AMD's A-8 APU Llano, and still been able to sell the Wii-U at the same price and have a console that truly out performed the PS360 as well as being technologically advanced enough to receive ports of PS4 and Xbox 1080 since it would be a low-end PC. On top of that it would have made development so much simpler. But Nintendo just doesn't get it when it comes to tech, and they must be buying those Power PC 750 CPU's for dirt cheap since they were made in 2000 and used in the Gamecube, Wii, and now Wii-U.

MasterCornholio2141d ago

"WHat's wrong is that they went with these underpowered parts when they could have easily gone with AMD's A-8 APU Llano, and still been able to sell the Wii-U at the same price and have a console that truly out performed the PS360 as well as being technologically advanced enough to receive ports of PS4 and Xbox 1080 since it would be a low-end PC. On top of that it would have made development so much simpler. But Nintendo just doesn't get it when it comes to tech, and they must be buying those Power PC 750 CPU's for dirt cheap since they were made in 2000 and used in the Gamecube, Wii, and now Wii-U."

Wow i never knew that.

chronoforce2141d ago

the CPU can execute Instructions out-of-order if i'm not mistaken,that might help to avoid the system from being bottle necked

Theyellowflash302141d ago


But didnt the PS3 and Xbox 360 overpowered CPUs cause the Red Ring of Death and Yellow light of Death? Don't you think Nintendo was going for a powerful system thats doesn't overheat as well?

TruthbeTold2141d ago

Definitely out of order instruction is important. Like Takeda said, the cache size and quality upgrade is hugely important as well, since they work hand in hand. Less error, more streamlined function, and more commands that after their execution have to wait for manifestation are set aside without 'blocking the highway'. So while the above highway analogy is a decent one, it doesn't tell the whole story. The best way I can add to that by using the same analogy is to say that if the 'number of lanes' is correct, then PS360 Highways have far fewer on/off ramps, less optimized point a to point b distance, and more traffic jams than the Wii U.

ABizzel12141d ago


That's the biggest problem I have with Nintendo right now. I love Nintendo to death, and many of their IP's. The SNES was my first console, and I even went back and bought the original NES just to play many of those games, but Nintendo is giving a "C" effort at best and hoping to make money off of an "ignorant fanbase" (ignorant is defined as lacking knowledge in general or a specific area of interest).


That's true, but it still doesn't prevent the CPU from being bottle-necked. It's a workaround that let's the Wii-U get around some of it's faults, but when it comes to pure data crunching it's going to noticeably struggle. Battlefield's environmental destruction, Advanced Enemy AI, God of War like Scale, Loading (the problem with the Wii-U's menu) are all things that are going to be difficult on the Wii-U, and the only way around it is if the GPU can cover some of the task which it should, but then that pulls power away from the GPU, and still won't help with loading speeds, AI, and more.


No the CPU's didn't cause those problems. The 360 was because of "faulty builds" and poor cooling, and the PS3 was because of of the same reasons. It has nothing to do with a more powerful CPU, as long as the proper measures are then deaths will be minimized, but some errors are just bound to happen, then things are made in a warehouse where millions are being made by a workers and a machine. Somewhere someone or something is not going to apply enough coolant, or not screw something in enough, and those few consoles will be affected.

People purposefully overclock their CPU's which causes sever overheating, but they take the proper cooling components to keep it running well at those high heats for years.

The A8 Llano would have done nothing, but giving the Wii-U the push it needed to stand above PS360, and more importantly it could have came out in 2011 with a 2 year head-start vs. 2012 with a 1 year head-start and a weaker console.

Ulf2141d ago

I find these limited-understanding CPU and GPU commentaries utterly fascinating.

younghavok2141d ago

so umm... theyre already selling the console at a loss, and your saying they shouldve added more expensive parts and keep at it the same price?

ABizzel12141d ago


There's no way Nintendo is selling the Wii-U at a loss. The only way it's selling for a loss is if they included employee pay, R&D, shipping cost, manufacturing cost, and as much other stuff they can stuff into the budget. The actual console has been broken down and everything used to build the Wii-U only cost $180 including the controller.

Nintendo is spilling BS, which is another reason why I'm fed up with their business model (not their games).

The AMD A8 APU is are $90 that covers the CPU and GPU, and 2GB of DDR3 RAM is $10 - $15 on average. That's $105 for the main components of the a more powerful Wii-U. Add in the tablet controller. $155, add in the other components the Wii-U would cost $255 AT MOST, and that's from a consumer standpoint.

So show me exactly how Nintendo is losing money on each console sold. They're not.

Just like they claimed they were losing money on each 3DS being sold at a $250 price. That was BS as well. The 3DS was broken down to barely be over $100 for all it's components.

Gamecubes were selling for $99 dollars and was selling even near the end of it's lifecycle. The Wii used the same components in the Gamecube, but was selling for $250 for years.

Nintendo doesn't sell anything for a loss. They're loss is most likely coming from game development since they're finally in the HD era and have to pay for larger teams to develop these games, but the problem again is Nintendo didn't want to hire teams with 50+ people working on the project. They'd rather keep the same small teams and make them work harder, which is why there have been no huge exclusives since the Wii-U launch, and Nintendo is just getting around to getting more developers on board.

Nintendo's business is completely backwards. They do just enough s#!t to get by, and throw it to NIntendo fans like it's gold, and it's wrong as far as console go.

AdvanceWarsSgt2139d ago

^^^^^Nintendo never claimed they were losing money on the 3DS when it was priced at $250. You just made that crap up.

ABizzel12139d ago


I meant $170 for the 3DS. I must have been anticipating getting to the Wii's price next. At $250 they were selling the 3DS at an insane overcharge, on par with apple (2x as much as the systems actual cost).

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 2139d ago
user39158002141d ago

Takeda: Wii U is a machine that has a lot of performance compared to its power consumption. Its just a design where the memory is more stressed.

So, Wiiu lack memory?

Miyamoto: For High End graphics there is a hurdle
so, weak GPU?

Iwata: Every gaming hardware has its specialties.
So, you already know this console to be weaker?

Well. is not going to matter to me, I dont care for graphics much nor how fast a console is, its what kind of game will give me the most joy and big N will most likely continue to be my first choice for first party games, followed by sonys library and online gaming with xbox. I win...

lilbroRx2141d ago

You just distorted each one of those comments that you took out of context to mean near the opposite of what they were stating.

The comment about "High End" graphics was related to development difficulty of using the high end graphics that the Wii U is capable, not
a weak gpu. He was saying that the GPU is so strong that they needed to higher specialists to make use of it.

The comment about memory was that they had comparatively "more of it" and that it was the focal point of the design, not that they have less.

The comment about "gaming specialties" means that the console was designed to to emphasize specific types game designs and devlopment styles moreso than others.

You should become a journalist. Your seem adept at twisting words to mean different things than what is said.

WrAiTh Sp3cTr32141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

Yeah, the only hurdle, which you've misunderstood and misinterpreted, is that Nintendo devs aren't use to developing graphical intensive software so they've had to teach their staff how by bringing in 3rd party support. It's right there in the article...

Ck1x2140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

Just wow! I have no clue how you were able to twist such plain statements as these... That is just scary really
Now do you consider the sky to be blue or is it some other color the rest of us aren't seeing? I have to say that the gaming community extremist are no better than religious nut jobs. That are willing to lie, cheat, steal, kill or blow things up for the sake of their beliefs. I'm not even directing this comment at one specific group, because I think they're on all sides of the fence here. But its comments like the one above that show peoples blind intent, rage and disdain for a specific company that is just sickening. Whether it be against Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo it doesn't matter. When people would rather believe a lie before the truth, then there is no hope for reason at all in a conversation.

zillanoir2141d ago

Now think about this it looks good now but you obviously know much more polishing processing issues will occur between now and its release which is probably 1st quarter of nxt year or 4th of this yr.
Folks forget these multiplats have been ported in 6months with no optimization hardly. Score that between its counterparts which took up to 3 years.

OhMyGandhi2141d ago

Since the wii IS a gamecube with motion controls, it's more like comparing the wii to an n64. :)

zeddy2141d ago

honestly this conversation is irrelevant. the ps4 and 720 will blow the wiiu out the water.

1upgamer992140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

So The Last of Us looks great, the Wii U is more capable than that, and the 360 could not pull it off at all. How good do you need your games to look. Also it was stated about developers not having time to really even work with Wii U till awhile back, and to get to know the hardware. Who cares what a system that will not be out for 8 months can do. I care about what I will be playing, and how I will be playing in the next 8 months. Also Nintendo stated in this article they have basically graphics specialist involved to help developers make games look great. So I guess it all goes back to the fact Graphics are all that matter, and who has a bigger one than the other guys. All I know is PS2 kicked the Cube/Xboxes ass and it had allot less power than either of them.

JP13692140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )


In regard to the new game by Monolith, there's a thread over at NeoGAF that points out the low poly environment, canned shadows, PS2-era effects and sprite based foliage. It does look great, but your post uses hyperbole and sarcasm to showcase your own ignorance on the subject. Relative to the current generation of consoles, the Wii U is as Bumpmapping described it. Mind you, the Xeno game mentioned above, the Wind Waker remake and full-on Wii U Zelda game have me considering a purchase of said console. Graphics aren't everything and the Wii U doesn't seem as though it was made to be much more than a better version of current consoles.

lfclee2140d ago

According to the leaked reports for ps4 the Wii u is about the same really you won't notice anything unless you go right up to the tv lol , these fanboys think the ps4 is going to be a high end pc there in for one huge shock !

JP13692140d ago

If you think that, then you don't know how to read the specs. Provided the VGleaks specs are accurate, PS4 will destroy Wii U in the horsepower department.

Lior2140d ago

Wii u is the most idiotic console since the neogeo

Nevers0ft2140d ago

But... The NeoGeo was awesome!

ape0072140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

NeoGeo was pure awesomeness fella

sackboyhappy2140d ago

looking at nintendos specs since the wii makes me wonder if they are the first next gen or the last current gen ha!

metroid322139d ago

Your on CRACK if you can't see the huge difference in Xenoblade wiiu trailer to every game on ps3 and 360 even most pc games your going to be dissapointed in ps4 sorry kid all 3 have dx11 comparable graphics ?

Take note the ps4 devkits had a meltdown when using UE4 explain that,WiiU zero problems.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2139d ago

i think the wii u is a great system that will cater to both the casual and hardcore. give it time to grow people. look how long it took for the ps3 to prove itself...years!!!

2141d ago
Thatguy-3102141d ago

That's true but look at it this way. Sony any Nintendo are way different when it comes to the games it produce. Never will Nintendo make something like Uncharted or any other the other ps3 exclusives. Nintendo doesn't do that. Let's just wait and see if they do end up coming out with titles like that. I highly doubt it but I'm still curious to see if that changes.

mcstorm2141d ago

I have to disagree when you say Nintendo don't make games look as good as uc. Metroid on the gc was an amazing looking game for its time and I expect the next one to look amazing too on the Wiiu. Also if the Zelda demo is anything to go off this will also look amazing.

Also Mario galaxy looked amazing on the Wii and I think the next 3d Mario game could have as much vibrant level design as lbp.

Im not having a rant I just disagree about what you said about Nintendo. Alto of people on here seem to forget that until the ps3 came out Sony consoles were not about power it was Nintendo consoles that were about the power.

I also don't think the next Xbox and PlayStation will be as bigger jump as people are expecting because of the times we are now in and also over the last 10 years gaming is not just about the core market now. All 3 will want a big chunk of core and none core market.

delboy2141d ago

Uncharted is a corridor shooter, nothing impressive about this game.
Show me a open world game with half the uncharted graphics and than we can talk about ps3 power ;-)


But see that's the beauty of owning multi consoles. I don't want the same experience on my Wii u that I can get on my ps3 or 360. The Wii u will set the trend like it or not. Just like the Wii did before it.

metroid322139d ago (Edited 2139d ago )

Your wrong kid Ninty are open to making mature games in fact they are linking up with 3rd partys to co develop games as we speak,and when they have done this before the best versions come our way ??

Lets not forget that racing game Concept GP,also they are developing that lego city with TT,developing Smash with Namco,Secret game with Team ninja,Secret game with Platinum,and many more.

Oh guys GPGPU's do compute tasks quicker and better than cpu's whilst taking zero hit on graphics performance in other words Edram and cpu can be used for gameplay ect and nintendo say the cpu isnt weak it's all about the cache.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2139d ago
TemplarDante2141d ago

3 ductaped Wii CPUs...
These guys want to limit next gen ports..
Too bad, Ninty..
You're the one stuck with 360 and PS3 ports when we game on PS4s and XboxNext soon :)
For those that dont realise it, contrary to Ninty fanboy belief, it is not a Power7 cores, Its Gamecube Gekko cores ----> overclocked to 800mhz (Wii broadway cores)-----> Wii U 3 cpus.

Yodagamer2141d ago

They don't need a huge cpu, the gpgpu covers up the weakness when developed right. It's almost like the ps3 except the ps3 uses the cpu to cover it's gpu weakness.

sonic9892141d ago

the ps3's CPU was one of its kind the CELL processor it was fast it was sooo advanced back then but the wiiu's gpu is nothing special yes its more powerful than the ones inside the ps3 and 360 but when a system comes out with a better GPU ( most likely ) and faaaar better CPU then you have a problem catching up .
but in the end i think they design their systems based on what they need in development process in the coming year ( good strategy if your 1st party teams are good and they are )
IMO i will go with the ps4 i like sony's franchises and of course a powerful console wont hurt anybody

Yodagamer2141d ago

The gpu in the wii u is actually a gpgpu, so no the wii u gpu isn't anything normal. It can do cpu tasks which is why the cpu isn't really need for more than helping out the main processor which is the gpu.

sonic9892141d ago

i know ......
but everyone will be having it and in every pc
the cell was used inside the ps3 and some super computers ( with slightly different architecture )
wiiu gpgpu is nothing special today anyone can have one did you get what i mean

Ulf2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

Actually GPGPU programming has extremely limited applications. It's performance is absolutely terrible on anything that's not embarrassingly parallel.

If you don't know the computer science definition of "embarrassingly parallel", then you probably won't understand my comment. Wikipedia can help anyone with that issue.

sonic9892141d ago


parallel computing generally is the future btw i will graduate from computer science .
embarrassingly parallel is a bold statement that means everything should be done again and again and again so that it works at the same time without making any sense for the programmers also dumping down the code so the hardware can execute it

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney2140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

"They don't need a huge cpu, the gpgpu covers up the weakness when developed right"

So what will cover up the lack of gpu power do to it doing the cpus job??

I no the answer.. Nothing..

They could just use the whole gpu for graphics and have less cpu power right?? lame move by ninty imo..

They should have put in a powerful cpu and gpu.. Console companies doing it wrong and can't achieve balance.. ugh..

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2140d ago
chadboban2141d ago

I'm not gonna be stuck with PS3 and 360 ports because I'll have a PS4 right next to my Wii U. I like to play a wide variety of games and having one console just doesn't work for me. To bad fanboys will be so busy online defending their favorite consoles to the death while I'll be gaming on everything. Seriously, fanboys are the worst part of the gaming community because they are the very same people that prevent us from being a community.

delboy2141d ago

I'm with you chad, wiiu and ps4 combo, and not to forget a pc for gaming.

ahronith2141d ago

chadboban, your mentality is what i wish more gamers would think like. Fanboys/girls are only hurting themselves by pledging allegiance to only one console. Long live gaming.

chadboban2141d ago


PC is a no brainer for me. I actually have a really nice rig with a GTX680 and a 3rd gen intel core i7-3770 3.9Ghz and a laptop I got for a surprisingly decent price with a GTX660m which is quite good for a laptop also has a 3rd gen intel i7-3630QM. Like I said, I game on everything. Still need to get a Vita and Wii U. Also a PS4 whenever it comes out.


Agree with you man, long live gaming!

quantae062141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

@chadboban PS4/Wii U will be lineup also. I might get my first Gaming PC soon. I need a new PC for recording my music, might as well get a Gaming PC while I'm at it. It'll be for music and games.

7uff12139d ago

I'm not a fanboy but the only consoles that worth buying for me are the Nintendo ones, I really love many of it's IPs. I'm from Brazil, I'm doomed as a gamer, games here are pretty damn expensive(3DS games here are about US$80). I have a pretty good PC and mostly things I can play on PS/Xbox I can play it in my PC with better settings. Nintendo is all about inovation and I also like that, but I agree they could have done a better job with Wii U's hardware without affecting the price. But they're in video game industry for many years, I believe they know what's better for them to work with. Just my opinion, though.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2139d ago
SuperShyGuy2141d ago

I like Nintendo too, but will anyone admit they are totally bumbling around right now?