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Nintendo Wii Games

THQ Clarifies Claims of "Horrible, Slow" Wii U CPU 281

An anonymous reader writes "THQ has clarified comments made by 4A Games' chief technical officer, Oles Shishkovtsov, about why their upcoming first-person shooter, Metro, won't be available for Nintendo's new Wii U console. Shishkovtsov had told NowGamer, '[The] Wii U has a horrible, slow CPU,' by way of explaining why a Wii U version of Metro wasn't in the works. Now, THQ's Huw Beynon has provided a more thorough (and more diplomatic) explanation: 'It's a very CPU intensive game. I think it's been verified by plenty of other sources, including your own Digital Foundry guys, that the CPU on Wii U on the face of it isn't as fast as some of the other consoles out there. Lots of developers are finding ways to get around that because of other interesting parts of the platform. ... We genuinely looked at what it would take to bring the game to Wii U. It's certainly possible, and it's something we thought we'd like to do. The reality is that would mean a dedicated team, dedicated time and effort, and it would either result in a detriment to what we're trying to focus on or we probably wouldn't be able to do the Wii U version the justice that we'd want.'"
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THQ Clarifies Claims of "Horrible, Slow" Wii U CPU

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @12:45PM (#42081937)

    ... because Nintendo is still stupid when it comes to the long term health of their console sadly. If we see third parties abandon Nintendo's new console again everyone nay-saying against Nintendo's ineptitude will have their concerns about poor 3rd party support confirmed once again.

    While Nintendo is certainly a profitable company it seems the corporate culture there lives in a bubble when it comes to winning the long term war.

  • by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @01:05PM (#42082031)

    I've never understood why consoles don't simply have more RAM. Even in 2006, it was cheap enough to put in more than what the PS3 and 360 have. Right now, you can get 16GB of DDR3 RAM for $50 from Newegg, which is obviously higher than what manufacturers pay. Will it make the system cost a bit more to produce? Yes. Would it cost that much more to produce? Probably not.

  • Return of the SNES (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vegan Pagan ( 251984 ) <deanas AT earthlink DOT net> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @01:10PM (#42082045)
    It sounds as if Nintendo's priorities when designing the Wii U's chipset in contrast to the Xbox 360 were similar to what they were when designing the SNES in contrast to the Sega Genesis: more RAM, more powerful GPU, slower CPU. Some SNES launch games either suffered slowdown and flicker (Gradius 3) or lacked a two-player modes and had fewer enemies onscreen (Final Fight) compared to similar Genesis or arcade games (Thunder Force 3 and Final Fight arcade). Most post-launch SNES games fared much better in these areas: Axelay, Space Megaforce, Turtles in Time, Final Fight 2, Smash TV. So far the Wii U is repeating the SNES's launch pains. Let's hope it repeats the payoff years!
  • by Smallpond ( 221300 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @01:59PM (#42082275) Homepage Journal

    This site [wiiudaily.com] claims its a 4-core 3GHz Power7 CPU with x4 hyperthreading, plus AMD GPU. I'm having a hard time figuring out how that's a "horrible, slow" CPU unless they have a lot of code that is optimized for x86.

  • by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:00PM (#42082281)

    For various reasons, the consoles don't use cheap PC-style DDR RAM.

    Because it has to share it between the CPU and GPU, the Xbox 360 uses the high-bandwidth GDDR3, which was very expensive in 2005 when it launched.
    Sony being Sony, the PS3 uses high speed XDR RAM, the successor to Rambus' RDRAM, which ended up losing to DDR2 in the PC space. They are basically the only ones using it, so it's very expensive.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:02PM (#42082289)
    Not shitty, just modestly spec'd and priced. Most games don't need all that extra power, and for the ones that do I have my PC. I never even touch my 360 anymore, just Wii and PC. Wii is perfect for hanging out in the living room with my kids and playing games. PC is perfect for late nights up in the bedroom, headphones. Best of both worlds..
  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:31PM (#42082467) Homepage Journal

    Nowadays developers expect a console to be easy to develop for as well. That has harmed the PS3 a lot, when the 360 and Wii were relatively easy to get on with. The next generation will be even easier, which means more RAM and a bigger OS footprint to provide services like network connectivity and online profile management.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:54PM (#42082609)
    Sounds like a design failure on the part of the console manufacturers to me.
  • by Bram Stolk ( 24781 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:45PM (#42082869) Homepage

    I've programmed both PS3 and iPad.
    PS3 CPU is OK, the SPUs are insanely fast, however, the PS3 GPU is so incredibly slow, it is a joke.

    I don't think there was ever a PS3 game that did 1920x1080/60Hz, simply because the fill rate is not there.
    Every popular PS3 game renders at a VERY low resolution (often LOWER than 1024x720) and would scale it up to 1920x1080.
    Even then it cannot do 60Hz.

    The iPad GPU is blazingly fast, as it has a fill-rate to match the screen resolution. You can do 60Hz at native resolution on iPad, you can NEVER do that on PS3.
    The PowerVR tile based rendering has a lot to do with this.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:41PM (#42083175) Homepage Journal

    My experience of newly graduated developers is that they understand the need to keep memory usage under control. They are not as anal about it as I am (embedded dev, 8k total RAM is luxury to me) but trade it off against getting complex and robust apps developed on time. Cost/benefit ratio etc.

    I'll get off your lawn now. You are welcome on mine.

  • by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:57PM (#42083261) Homepage Journal

    On the other hand, its made me enjoy the gaming on my PS3 even more because the developers who do focus on it seem to be out to prove something. Naughty Dog and Insomniac and others' offerings on the PS3 have been absolutely beautiful and sounded incredible. I dare say nothing else out there has the kind of sound track heard in Uncharted. I can understand why others prefer something else, but for someone who wants to play a dozen fantastic games and not a hundred me-too games, its a great platform.

  • by PhunkySchtuff ( 208108 ) <kai@@@automatica...com...au> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @05:42PM (#42083507) Homepage

    Now I may be wrong, but I believe that WipEout HD/Fury is proper 1080p60.
    That was one of the big things that held up the game - Studio Liverpool weren't going to ship it until it was running smoothly at Full HD.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-wipeout-hd-fury-interview [eurogamer.net]

    From reading the interview, it seems they had to decide between 1080p and 720p with 2xMSAA and chose 1080p although it was a lot harder, they wanted to push the boundaries. They also implement a few cheats as well, things like dynamically altering the horizontal resolution (and then, I assume, scaling it up to 1920 pixels wide)

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:59PM (#42083881) Homepage Journal

    still, the most limiting factor in xbox1 game design(even if you did use the memory smartly) was ram. not cpu, not gpu, but ram. morrowind on 64mbytes? of course it blew. ps2's 32mbyte was a joke on the day it launched - turn around 360 degrees in gta III and you'll have cars appear and disappear.

    and now the most limiting factor in ps3 and xbox360 game design is ram. 720p graphics one could live with, but lack of ram makes games tunnel runs by making game designers design games that can stream content to that limited ram from disk. this has turned a sad number of releases into something that seem like 21st century philips cdi games.

    but it's been like this for a loong time. 640kb vs. nes's ram(2kbyte? + whatever was in the cart). which pretty much made a lot of games that were on pc at that time (late 80's, beginning 90's) just downright impossible on nes. if either ps3 or xbox360 had even half a gig of memory that system would dominate(wii u has a gig for games)

  • WipeoutHD renders many frames at the full 1080p60, but uses a trick for "complex" areas with too much overdraw, that, at least in my opinion, is quite clever. They start rendering at full resolution, but time how long each row is taking, and if it looks like they won't reach the 1/60s deadline, they start rending the frame in half resolution in the horizontal direction only. This way, they always maintain a solid 60Hz which is important for such a dexterity-based game, and only degrade the image in the frames that need it.

    Because it maintains the framerate and the full 1080 rows, any slight blur is totally hidden. Even better: because the blur only engages on the frames with *lots* of stuff happening on the screen, it's pretty much guaranteed you will always be distracted by the crazy stuff happening to even notice any quality change.

    I really wish more games used this (or similar) tricks - just keeping the framerate consisten (at the expense of quality) really helps - you don't have those stutters that end up just drawing attention to the problem areas.

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