The mystery of the Wii U CPU

For more than a year, IBM's supercomputer Watson repeatedly said the Wii U has a Power7 CPU. But a few weeks ago, anonymous developers told Eurogamer the system has a PowerPC CPU with 3 cores. Then, on September 16th, weeks after Eurogamer's article, Watson repeated the claim that the Wii U's CPU is a Power7 chip. So which is it?

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LX-General-Kaos4312d ago (Edited 4312d ago )

Regardless of who is right, I am happy to have both of them help pave the way for next generation of Elite Nintendo gaming. I dont know too much about specs in full detail, but what I have witnessed from the Nintendo Wii U entertainment so far has been top notch. So whatever CPU that is present within the architecture of the Nintendo Wii U entertainment system is taking care of business in a proper way.

Rated E For Everyone

jaosobno4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

Thx for that obnoxious commercial. You've been either brainwashed (since you sound like a marketing zombie) or you are a Nintendo employee.

dboyman4311d ago

His post sounds like spam...

aznrunner18814310d ago

this is clearly sarcastic lol

2v14310d ago

think hes the representative of the nintendo fanboys

NewZealander4310d ago

damn bro negativity much? he stated his opinion, and a good one at that, nintendo delivered nothing new with the wii, and if the wii u can put that right then thats awesome, this is exactly what the original wii should have been.

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Chris5584310d ago

No matter what nintendo does he will like it even if it's crap

Ju4310d ago

Is that really so hard to understand? Power7 is an architecture. And I doubt the WiiU has a "Power7 Chip" build in, but it might as well be a custom implementation of a Power7 (generation) chip - with what ever core count it is; 3 in that case. No console ever had just a chip popped in; they usually are customized.

Nutsack4311d ago

Most likely the WiiUpgrade has the triple core PowerPC CPU. Pretty much the same as the 360 for easy ports of existing games.

Not that hard to understand really.

WiiUpgrade just gets a cheap upgrade to current gen, thats all.

Real next gen arrives with the announcement of XBOX 8 and PSOrbis at E3 2013.

DivineAssault 4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

Oh your asking for it arent u? U cant tell Nintendo fans that wii u isnt real nx gen..Look at Dragon Quest X for wii & wii u.. Still cant tell em.. Unless devs build a game from the ground up on wii u, nothing will show its strength.. So most devs wont waste their time risking resources to make new M rated IPs if it wont sell..

ALLWRONG4311d ago

All I see is "u" and "U" throughout your post.

I think the Wii U will be perfect for U.

DivineAssault 4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

your right.. It will be perfect for me.. Once the software gets put out.. For now, its little more than a 360 clone with DS features.. When the heavy hitting IPs are released, i will get one.. Only if the network is good & PS4 isnt here by then... Why would i buy a system to play games i can get on my PS3? i dont want mario, pikmin, or that zombie game.. Rayman Legends is the only game i would consider buying but itl drop in price & or become multiplat after a while.. Sure wii u will drop in price when the nx gen consoles get here too so its a win win for me

WiiUalpha4310d ago

You don't have to b a Nintendo fan to understand tech and how it would cost Nintendo more money to use an older chip....
Seems you have a hard time comprehending things like that d ivine. Lol it shows when u bring dq10 up as proof. Its a straight port of the Wii. I wont explain it again like others have. If u still cant comprehend the basics there is no hope for you. You really need to educate yourself because u looking stupid doesn't hurt Nintendo and nobody can relay b as dumb as u pretend to be....
Yes only Nintendo fans can understand technology.... you keep telling yourself that... We all consider u a joke on the Nintendo side.. you try too hard to make them look bad even if u have to look dumb doing it.

mcstorm4311d ago

Since when has next gen been about power? Were the psx and N64 different gens because the N64 was a lot more powerful than the psx?

This is Nintendo's Next Generation Console that's why its called next gen not because it is the most powerful console it because its there next version of there console.

Just because a console is more powerful than another dose not make it better it all about the games as it is a Games console and the one thing Nintendo Consoles have never been short of is Quality games.

eferreira4311d ago

n64 was more powerful but since it didn't use Cd's Third party companies thought it was too expensive to produce and had memory limitations.

Nutsack4311d ago

Yup, N64 was more powerful and introduced the first real 3D games on consoles pretty much. That made the N64 a total different gen from PSX.

More power means more stuff that can be done, not only in resolution but also physics and stuff. Just look at what the weak supercharged Gamecube hardware did with the Wii. Only 1st party games that don't demand a lot from the system like Mario are good.

A few 3rd party games were just alright, nothing great. Like Madworld, Xenoblade and Sin&Punishment. But because of the lack of power in the hardware they couldn't bring what new IP's like LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War, Uncharted or The Last of Us brought or will bring.

Lets be fair now, the Wii only brought more rehash of 1st party games, and a lot of hardware sales through sh!tty WiiFit stuff for fat kids and lazy moms. It didn't bring a whole lot new and improved stuff for gamers now did it?

New powerful hardware get developers to try new stuff, can't deny that

stragomccloud4310d ago (Edited 4310d ago )

You know it actually takes more effort to type "upgrade", than "U", right?

As far as being similar to the 360 though. I guarantee it is a completely different beast.

You know that it actually costs a company more to manufacture older technology right? So, there is no way that this even close to on par with, it probably exceeds those older chip sets immeasurably.

The infrastructure just isn't there anymore, except for specifically manufacturing older 360 and PS3 chipsets.

Though 720/PS4 will definitely be more powerful(coming out at least a year later), the gap probably won't be anything like what people are expecting. Really it won't.

If you want a real hardware jump, get a PC. Oh and expect to pay at least $1000. Not knocking PCs, I am actually a PC gamer first, and a console gamer second.

Pillsbury14310d ago

I have never met anybody that hates Nintendo more then nutsack. He tries way too hard to talk smack about it. I think he secretly has a thing for them.

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samtheseed4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

IBM never tweeted it would be a Power7 chip, they said 'the same technology' as Power7 chips, which means it will have some of the same features but isn't a true Power7. A custom chip.

samtheseed4311d ago

Note the use of the word 'Custom'.


They never said it was a Power7 CPU.

DeadlyFire4311d ago

They have actually. But an important thing to note is that you can build Power7 based features onto anything on the PowerPC platform. So indeed it is likely a combination of both.

Which still means WiiU could have up to 12 threads and 3 core CPU at around the same clock rate as a Power7 CPU.

WrAiTh Sp3cTr34311d ago

Are you dense? A "custom" what? A " custom" what? Crayon?

dantesparda4311d ago

Yeah WrAiTh, i think he's dense. This the problem with fanboyism, everyone hears and believes whatever they want to. To me its clear its saying a custom Power7

Ju4310d ago (Edited 4310d ago )

" So indeed it is likely a combination of both. " both of what? Power7 is an architecture or call it a generation. When IBM made the Cell and 360s Xenon it was based on a G3 design simply for the reason of power consumption.

There were two cpu lines, the 601/602/604/G3/G4 line, and the Power line. Similar designs, but different targets. There never was a G5 (Apple used the term, or it was also called the PPC970 - but that was some sort of hybrid).

The Power series was a pure server chip...while the 60x series was a consumer level desktop chip. When the CELL was designed, the latest server generation was the Power6 but IBM recognized that they could use a lot of the CELL/Xenos tech to merge into future Power chips. The Power7 is the result. Next gen Power6+G3, if you will. A server class CPU with desktop power attribute.

And with every console generation, IBM does custom designs for their customers. Gekko was a G3 design - and so was the Wii CPU (with some extensions). Obviously, for the WiiU goes the same route. Latest IBM generation in a custom chip. Hence Triple core based on Power7. Makes sense, doesn't it?

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herbs4311d ago

Most likely the tri core enhanced Broadway (Espresso) CPU which is probably only slightly better than the Cell, Xenon but much more efficient-reliable. However with the dedicated sound chip and GPGPU taking a huge load off, not to mention double the ram and disc reading speed, it will most definitely run circles around Xbox PS3...

They just have to figure it all out first ;)

wishingW3L4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

you talk like if the GPU on the Wii were a Larrabe or something but is just a normal GPU. GPGPU refers to an implementation and nothing more. And is obvious that the CPU on the Wii U will be weaker than current gen since: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk...

If the rumor about the CPU being a tri-core Broadway is true then logic says that there is no way in hell that it will be a "bit" more powerful than the Cell, in fact, is quite the contrary. Do you even know how many flops the Cell can push? I mean, IBM uses the architecture to make freaking Super Computers for god's sake!

And that's the reason of the GPGPU implementation. Wii U CPU is weak. And using the GPU for CPU tasks will only hinder its performance on the visuals department.


ChickeyCantor4311d ago (Edited 4311d ago )

That article isn't saying much. A lower clock speed doesn't mean lower performance. It's far more modern considering the 360/PS3 have CPU's from anno 2005-2006. It's probably more sufficient than the Cell or Xeon.

"in fact, is quite the contrary. Do you even know how many flops the Cell can push?"

Do you even know how many flops this system can push?
You are riding on assumptions. Stop.

"And that's the reason of the GPGPU implementation. Wii U CPU is weak."

No a GPGPU allows developers to offload some processing to the GPU to actually do more. The Cell was already trying to do something similar for visuals.

You can bet on it that the next PS and Xbox will have a GPGPU. This says nothing about the CPU. It compliments the CPU.
Because why pay for a GPGPU to compensate the "weak" cpu. If they could just have a GPU and put a "stronger" CPU in.

Your logic doesn't add up.