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Nintendo exec defends “poor” Wii U CPU

by Mark Tyson on 5 February 2013, 18:01

Tags: Nintendo (TYO:7974)

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During an investor meeting in Kyoto last week Nintendo R&D director Genyo Takeda took the time to defend the hardware choices taken in constructing the Wii U. In particular, criticism of Nintendo’s CPU choice have been quite harsh since it was discovered that it’s tri-core Power PC chip runs at a relatively sedate 1.24GHz.

C&VG reports that Takeda defended the performance balance between the Wii U’s CPU and GPU, following a question from an audience member, saying “Regarding your comment that we focus on the GPU and that the CPU is a little poor, we have a different view.” He went on to explain, “it depends on how to evaluate a processing unit. In terms of die size the GPU certainly occupies a much larger space than the CPU. As you can see CPUs used for the latest PCs and servers, however, it is usual for current CPUs that the logic part for actual calculations is really small and that the cache memory called SRAM around it covers a large area.” Takeda concluded that “From this angle, we don't think that the performance of the Wii U's CPU is worse than that of the GPU.”

We all know that clock speeds aren’t everything, however we have heard more and more murmurs about the Wii U’s inability to keep up with modern game requirements. Oles Shishkovtsov, chief technical officer at 4A, developers of Metro: Last Light, called the Wii U CPU “horrible and slow” in an interview with computer game magazine NOW Gamer. Previously Tekken Tag Tournament 2 producer Katsuhiro Harada suggested that “creative solutions” were necessary to squeeze adequate performance from the Wii U.

EA: it’s not even 4th Gen

Unfortunately for the big N a few moody developers constitute only the tip of the iceberg. At the weekend Xbit Labs reported that entertainment software big-hitter Electronic Arts expects the “next-generation PlayStation and Xbox to drive sales” but are “not excited with the Nintendo Wii U”. John Riccitiello, chief executive officer of Electronic Arts considers the Wii U to be significantly behind its rivals. In a conference call to financial analysts he said he saw a “sharp distinction” between Nintendo’s new console and upcoming hardware from its rivals. Riccitiello suggested that the “gen 4 is yet to come”.

It looks very early in the Wii U’s lifespan for third party support to be drying up but this isn’t the first time we have written about this distinct possibility looming on Nintendo’s horizon.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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I never thought it would happen but no one i know is interested in the Wii U, not one. perhaps things might change when the big games appear like Mario kart, Zelda and Mario party but until then no interest. My Son (who is 11) loved playing Super mario galaxy 1&2 and Mario kart WII but when i told him about the new Console he did not want to know. The launch titles dont seem that interesting and some of the Ports over to it have been a little slower than the PS3-Xbox versions and for a newer Console the games can not be ran at 1080p either.
Lets face it, the Wii U is what the original Wii should of always been, no one can deny that the original Wii was disappointing after the novalty of its radical control system wore off.

Sadly Nintendo seem to have lost what little share they had in the home console market, they should either stick to handhelds or move back to a design slightly more in line with what most of us would call “traditional” and kick this sub standard performance trend they have going with their systems, they seem to be focusing on what they can do with a much smaller form factor rather than trying to actually keep up with the likes of sony and microsoft.

This is quite sad since im a fan of Nintendo's and i'd like to support them if i had a choice but the Wii never appealed to me, ive tried it and it got old fast, i still love my DS though and im guessing the reason for this is because its closer to a traditional nature without being over the top about it, a touch screen i can deal with but i cant say waving your arms around like an idiot is the best way for most people to relax in their own homes.

Because of this the Wii was always more of a party machine since most the time playing the Wii is spent laughing at the person atempting to play it..
Iain162
Lets face it, the Wii U is what the original Wii should of always been, no one can deny that the original Wii was disappointing after the novalty of its radical control system wore off.

Sadly Nintendo seem to have lost what little share they had in the home console market, they should either stick to handhelds or move back to a design slightly more in line with what most of us would call “traditional” and kick this sub standard performance trend they have going with their systems, they seem to be focusing on what they can do with a much smaller form factor rather than trying to actually keep up with the likes of sony and microsoft.

This is quite sad since im a fan of Nintendo's and i'd like to support them if i had a choice but the Wii never appealed to me, ive tried it and it got old fast, i still love my DS though and im guessing the reason for this is because its closer to a traditional nature without being over the top about it, a touch screen i can deal with but i cant say waving your arms around like an idiot is the best way for most people to relax in their own homes.

Because of this the Wii was always more of a party machine since most the time playing the Wii is spent laughing at the person atempting to play it..

From Wikipedia

Wii sales - 99.38 million
Xbox 360 - 75.9 million
PS3 70.2 million (all figures are correct as of 31st dec 2012)

If the Wii has outsold the Xbox 360 by ~ 25 million units despite being ‘disappointing’, do you agree that there is a small chance that the Wii U will keep a large market share, despite having many problems?

Just out of interest why should Nintendo try and compete with Microsoft and Sony? It seems like avoiding those two has worked out pretty well so far.
All that is because of the control system since at the time it was very different and never before seen on a mainstream console it had loads of people talking about it, of course word of mouth will sell a console if you can give the public enough reason to talk about it and generate interest, the Wii U is a perfect example of how the public see the original concept, its old news people would rather buy the cheaper Wii second hand since theres plenty of them around and theres nothing special about the new Wii U to make them think its worth the upgrade lol

Zerox
Just out of interest why should Nintendo try and compete with Microsoft and Sony? It seems like avoiding those two has worked out pretty well so far.

If by avoiding them you mean creating a new control standard yes that did work for them in the past but no one cares anymore, it'll take more than a refresh on an old idea to make the public want to buy into something like the Wii U, no amount of mario rehashes will change that.

This is where Sony and Microsoft are different, they have stuck to traditional designs and created an aftermarket style of control system in response to the Wii's original launch this means people can opt into the idea if they wish, this makes it easier for developers to impliment games as they see fit and its now working in their favor..
45nm process for the cpu, i'm surprised that they managed to find someone who fab'd chips that big!