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Submitted by UnHoly_One 620d ago | news

x86'd: How PC architecture could push Nintendo out of the next gen

It didn't take long for console warriors, fanboys and a brutal media to take aim at Nintendo's Wii U. The fledgling system was relentlessly teased for its name (seemingly even sillier than that of its predecessor) and a list of specifications certain to be outdone by its competitors. The device's novel tablet controller stayed judgment for a short time, but it didn't last long -- a weak launch lineup, a slow operating system and software delays soured an already judgmental community.

Wii U detractors eventually climbed atop their soapboxes to issue their final verdicts: Nintendo is doomed. A premature prophecy, perhaps, but one that became increasingly difficult to argue with: diminishing sales and third-party desertion set a negative tone for the Wii U's future. Dedicated fans (this editor among them) quickly fell into a defensive position, dismissing EA's abandonment of the platform with promises of Nintendo's own first-party wonders. Optimism reigns supreme. Still, with both M... (PC, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One)

jcnba28  +   621d ago
Since when did graphics and power determine how successful a console would be? Look at the DS, 3DS, PS2 and Wii, all of these were weaker than their competitors but were still successful because of the GAMES.
#1 (Edited 621d ago ) | Agree(25) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
AKR  +   620d ago
And PS1, NES, and SNES. These three systems also won their respective generations, despite being weaker than their competition. There has yet to be a generation in history where having the highest specs enables an insta-win.

Usually the danger of having the *best specs* is also the most expensive price - which is last thing people want to hear in a day and age where even having a Bachelor's and Master's degree doesn't guarantee you a nice-paying job (or any job, for that matter). Even people who DO have the money are very reluctant to spend it on stuff like game consoles and video games.

The video game industry isn't exactly as stable and thriving as before, people. It's in turmoil right now. Really, the Wii U may have weaker specs; but it still has one thing ONE and PS4 don't have - Nintendo's IPs. The established IPs that attract millions? Yeah, those. Call em old, worn-out and milked. Can't deny that they still sell like hot cakes though.
#1.1 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
RAFFwaff  +   620d ago
what mainstream console in the early 90s was the snes weaker than?? add that it had mode 7 and the super fx chip developed for it. ps 1 came way later.
AKR  +   620d ago
@RAFFwaff

The NEO GEO had the best specs of the 4th Generation. It out-powered both the SNES and SEGA Genesis.
Psn800  +   619d ago
I just love Nintendo there is something mystical about them so many hero's of gaming in my past that I love .
UnHoly_One  +   620d ago
They aren't just talking about specs, though. It's mostly about ease of development.

If you have three platforms that are very similar and can be ported to very easily, then a fourth that is not only the low man on the totem pole in terms of horsepower, but also would involve significant expense to port your game to it, what o you think s going to happen?

The Wii U will get few multiplatform titles is what will happen. Especially if the install base remains low. That is just another reason that devs won't waste the time and money porting over to it.
AKR  +   620d ago
The install base is low because Nintendo hasn't came out with the killer IPs - yet. They already have some ace cards up their sleeves, but that won't be until the end of the year.

Don't count Wii U out just yet. 3DS made a serious comeback with just two Nintendo games. Look how many are coming to Wii U.
ChickeyCantor  +   620d ago
Im not so sure what support you have to make the claim it's "harder" to port to it.

Developers specifically said that they could easily get their projects running up in a matter of few weeks. Nintendo provides an API and all necessary libraries to compile for the WiiU. I doubt it's that hard provided that Nintendo made sure interfacing with the WiiU is easy.
#1.2.2 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(3) | Report
Neonridr  +   620d ago
The Wii U will have tons of indie support due to the low cost of developing for the platform and the way Nintendo has embraced them, as well as their high quality 1st party titles we have come to expect.

In today's day and age, it's very common for someone to own two consoles (I had a 360 and Wii last gen, and will most likely add a PS4 to complete my Wii U).

Why limit yourself from playing the best games each system has to offer?
RFornillos4  +   620d ago
I agree with sidar on this... except for the Frostbite issue, practically all other devs are saying that porting a game to Wii U is easy. heck, even Crysis 3 works on it, and would have made it through, if it hadn't been for the EA execs. you tend to forget that lately Nintendo's been adding support for different types of game engine to the Wii U; yes, it won't be as powerful as the PS4 and the XBox One, but it won't be as expensive as the other two either. yes, Sony and MS haven't announced pricing yet, but the specs alone suggests that their console will definitely not be selling at $300. Minimum would be at $400, but even go to $500.

what's stopping Nintendo from having a price drop by the time those two come out? none. and a combination of a price drop + first and third party titles coming out later this year will most likely boost the sales of the Wii U.

also just to note, some of the 3rd party games announced have already been confirmed not only for the PS4 and One, but also their "older" counterpart the PS3 and Xbox 360. in effect, both Sony and MS will be competing with themselves in terms of software. so the question would be, are you going to get a PS3/360 COD: Ghosts, or will you wait for the PS4/One version (taking into account that you will need to buy a new console just to get that)?
scissor_runner  +   619d ago
The unity3d engine is now free to self publish on phones now. iOS and android tools are free. X86 is in danger of being pushed out of gaming. So the move for wiiu being an easy port from phones makes lots of since. You can take polygons and even game code in c#,java, HTML 5 and add new features like second screen and true button inputs to get a small game company / studio off the ground just like minecraft.

If the Xbox one or ps4 had a intel i7 in them then I would be worried. That is not the cases though. Also the writer doesn't understand that gpu comput is becoming more important now. Tessalation is the first step and it can be done in the gpu. That one feature is as big as normal mapping was to last gen. That is not exclusive to a CPU not even a gpu.
PigPen  +   619d ago
The Wii U is easy to develop for too.
THEMIGHTYDOOVDE  +   619d ago
If you think Wii U has a small install base, just wait til PS4/ONE hits. You talk as if their gonna fly of the shelves month in month out, guess what, they ain't!

Also Nintendo are well noted for their ease of programming. Just ask Criterion with their Need for Speed U!
#1.2.7 (Edited 619d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
jacksheen0000  +   620d ago
@jcnba28
You're missing the point. He's not saying that graphics and power determine how successful a console would be.

He's just stating that having PC architecture inside of consoles would make ports much simpler, and that most DEV won't hesitate to port games now that these platform(ps4/xboxone) are very similar in architecture.

This would be a huge money maker.

As for the wii U, I think it will eventually be left be-hide if most devs don't want to put in the extra work to port their games to the wii U. If true than the wii U will fail miserably.
#1.3 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
MasterCornholio  +   620d ago
Nintendo fanboys refuse to understand the point of the article which isnt about system power its about the architecture that all 3 next gen systems use.

In terms of next gen systems

X86
1. PS4
2. XBOX One
3. PC

PowerPC

1. Wii U

This is the main reason why Epic didnt even bother building their Unreal Engine 4 from the ground up for the Wii U. It makes more sense to cater to a much larger install base (PC,PS4, XBOX One) than just the Wii U.

Nintendo could have solved this easily by using X86 but they didnt.
#1.3.1 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(10) | Report
scissor_runner  +   619d ago
The phone market is way bigger and more software is bought there also. So slinging the dev tools for the wiiu with unity3d and making ports from it easy to go wiiu or moble is going to be big. Or better yet HTML 5 directly.

People said pc gaming was dieing and the hard ore are killing any hype for Xbox one and ps4 doesn't have any real draws except the ps3 which we already have and will keep instead of going ps4 for a while. No bc hurt them pretty bad I believe.

Come out of your echo chamber once you are becoming deaf.
THEMIGHTYDOOVDE  +   619d ago
@MasterCornholio 'It makes more sense to cater to a much larger install base'....

PS4/ONE Install base: 0
#1.3.3 (Edited 619d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
PigPen  +   620d ago
If Nintendo gets pushed out, then a bunch of gaming companies also. More likely the others will get pushed out.
WitWolfy  +   620d ago
Its not about the specs but the support it has.. At the moment all the Wii U has going for it self is an expensive price tag and next to no games 6 months into its life span (not counting late ports)

If the game had a better software line up it would actually sell.. But at the moment its just being shrugged off as a kiddies' toy yet AGAIN!

Cant someone just crack it already?!? I'd rather use it for homebrew at the moment instead of it just laying there gathering DUST!
#3 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
RTheRebel  +   620d ago
engadget lulz they still relevant?
jameson12345  +   620d ago
Its actually got a lifeline now, especially with that horrible Xbox presentation. If Nintendo advertises it as a cheaper, pure gaming console and brings the big first party, second party, indie, and third party games (Sega, Ubisoft, etc), it could form a place for itself in the next generation. Right now Sony and Nintendo have the only real next gen "gaming" consoles.
evilsooty  +   620d ago
The Wii U is the only console I will consider buying on the strength of Nintendo's first party games. As a PC gamer the new Xbox and PS4 offer nothing that I can't already do on my existing PC.

I think I'll take the plunge once Pikmin 3 comes out as at the moment there aren't any must have games.
Triforce079  +   620d ago
X86 doesn't mean hey were more powerful the ps4 cores are jaguar cores slightly enhanced the wiiu power pc has edram cache on all cores which is the future of IBM cores look it up,and with Retro building extreme powerful GameEngines that are built solely on WiiU strengths i can assure you 60fps will be the standard,and weve already heard big devs say 30fps on ps4 ect so lets wait and see.
insertnamehurr  +   620d ago
WiiU cant even handle black ops2 running at 60fps let alone a better looking game, ive seen reviews where they showed the framerate on the wiiU and blackops2 would run at 45/50fps. With a weak cpu and an old gpu (from like 2006/7), you shouldnt expect wiiU games to look that good, and, super marios dont count, even ps360 can have 2D games looking that good.
lilbroRx  +   620d ago
First off, that is a complete lie. The Wii U version ran at 60 FPS normally. http://www.youtube.com/watc...
It simply had frame rate stuttering which is always the result or poof optimization on any system where it appears.

You can spot a fanboy by the way they use the worst ports as examples of a system max capabilities instead of better ones. Because the least that something demonstrates is always its maximum capability as opposed to the most.../sarcasm

Also, Black Ops on the Wii U runs better than it does on the PS3 and it has higher res textures. Its also now known that the Wii U was only using 2 cores of its CPU for most of the launch games and that most game got a performance boost after the last update(the old firmware was wasting resources.
#7.1.1 (Edited 620d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(1) | Report
scissor_runner  +   619d ago
"Reviews" what is this mysterious creation? Have you not seen the game your self? Try it with the wiimote and watch 60fps in action pure perscission.
Masterman280  +   620d ago
Doubt it, because i still don't think developers will utilize the PS4/Wii U and X1 power due to the PS3 and 360 will being available. The gap ain't that big anyway.
_QQ_  +   619d ago
Nintendo will never be out of the game untill the game ends...
PigPen  +   619d ago
That's what I say and that's along time from now.
lilbroRx  +   619d ago
x86 is actually older than the tech in the Wii U. Its funny that people make fun of Nintendo for using the PowerPC tech when the other two next gen console you CPUs with even older and less efficient tech.
Triforce079  +   619d ago
I agree Power PC with edram cache ect makes this cpu more capable clock for clock and edram cache is the future of ibm cores on cpu's and it's new,its what ibm meant by wiiu cpu shares some of watson's technology.

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