Some Wii U Tidbits on Hardware Performance, Screen Sharing

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Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -

The moment the E3 show floor opened, I headed to Nintendo's booth to subtly grill whatever developers were milling around about the hardware. It was like pulling teeth, but I managed to hear a few interesting things.

Assassin's Creed III was being shown, and hey--it looked like Assassin's Creed III. The map is on the tablet screen, and you manage weapons there, as well. One of the developers on-hand told me the Wii U hardware appears to be "better in some areas" compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The developer did not expect the final version to be much different, and silencing any discussion about the game having a faster frame rate on Wii U.

I'd been holding out hope we might see a 60 frames-per-second Assassin's Creed III on Wii U but apparently not, at least not for the first wave of games coming to the platform.

The only download-only title being shown for Wii U was Trine 2: Director's Cut, which looked just as beautiful as ever. Sales and marketing manager Mikael Haveri from developer Frozenbyte was on-hand to talk about the game. Haveri said Frozenbyte had no trouble getting Trine 2 up and running on Wii U. Implementing the TV-to-tablet screen sharing was no issue at all, runs like a charm, and there aren't any issues of latency to report. Support for two controllers wasn't in the current build of Trine 2 for Wii U but Haveri didn't expect adding the feature to be very difficult.

Of course, we still don't know how much one of those controllers will cost.

I'll keep poking around as the show progresses, and let you know what I hear.

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -

The moment the E3 show floor opened, I headed to Nintendo's booth to subtly grill whatever developers were milling around about the hardware. It was like pulling teeth, but I managed to hear a few interesting things.

Assassin's Creed III was being shown, and hey--it looked like Assassin's Creed III. The map is on the tablet screen, and you manage weapons there, as well. One of the developers on-hand told me the Wii U hardware appears to be "better in some areas" compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The developer did not expect the final version to be much different, and silencing any discussion about the game having a faster frame rate on Wii U.

I'd been holding out hope we might see a 60 frames-per-second Assassin's Creed III on Wii U but apparently not, at least not for the first wave of games coming to the platform.

The only download-only title being shown for Wii U was Trine 2: Director's Cut, which looked just as beautiful as ever. Sales and marketing manager Mikael Haveri from developer Frozenbyte was on-hand to talk about the game. Haveri said Frozenbyte had no trouble getting Trine 2 up and running on Wii U. Implementing the TV-to-tablet screen sharing was no issue at all, runs like a charm, and there aren't any issues of latency to report. Support for two controllers wasn't in the current build of Trine 2 for Wii U but Haveri didn't expect adding the feature to be very difficult.

Of course, we still don't know how much one of those controllers will cost.

I'll keep poking around as the show progresses, and let you know what I hear.

#2 Posted by wumbo3000 (989 posts) -

Can't wait!

#3 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11272 posts) -

Nice to see this thing (apparently) isn't hard to work on. That should help in the long run.

Moderator
#4 Posted by antime (104 posts) -

In one of Nintendo's presentations they hinted that the curse of downloadable game patches will be coming to the Wii U.

#5 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6399 posts) -

I am dying for some specific specifications.

#6 Posted by samcroft90 (97 posts) -

I've read that using two gamepads half's the frame rate of some games

#7 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2160 posts) -

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

#8 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1139 posts) -

I cannot see that controller being less that $100. It might in Nintendo's best interest to produce a title that uses two Game Pad's, and package that game with the second Game Pad.

#9 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@samcroft90 said:

I've read that using two gamepads half's the frame rate of some games

that would be the kind of thing that requires a source, though I think that I can visualize how that would happen if something was sloppily coded.

#10 Posted by Excast (1011 posts) -

The Wii U seems to be a console without much of a market.  Looking at the demos I honestly didn't see anything that looked better than PS3 or 360.   On top of that it seems to be removing that "get up and move" mentality that made the Wii so popular with casual gamers and families with kiddies.
 
Who is going to buy this thing when true next generation hardware is coming within a couple of years tops?  Are PS4 and Xbox 720 games going to even be portable to the Wii U?  It seems to be an awful lot like the Vita, a machine that just doesn't make any sense at this place and time.

#11 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -
@patrickklepek said:

I'd been holding out hope we might see a 60 frames-per-second Assassin's Creed III on Wii U but apparently not, at least not for the first wave of games coming to the platform.

Show's over guys, let's go home.
#12 Posted by TadThuggish (908 posts) -

Cool. Glad to hear it's easy to work with, maybe that will convince more to jump on board.

#13 Posted by johnbakosh (115 posts) -

@samcroft90: source?

#14 Posted by nickux (1385 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@samcroft90 said:

I've read that using two gamepads half's the frame rate of some games

that would be the kind of thing that requires a source, though I think that I can visualize how that would happen if something was sloppily coded.

https://twitter.com/Nintendo/status/210042395507695616

Google translation: Wii U GamePad [Iwata] is support for up to one. If the two connected, frame rate will be 30 frames / second half. Release is soft when extracted from a single connection.

Sorry that's the best I can do for a source. But the Nintendo Twitter account is a pretty safe bet- too bad I can't translate myself.

#15 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

@Manhattan_Project said:

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

I loved that part in every DS game ever.

#16 Edited by Dan_CiTi (3373 posts) -

At least it is easy to develop for and as far as power expectations in 2012 games it is (more than) solid.

#17 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

I heard some rumours saying that the gamepad screen controller has a battery life of only 3-5 hours.

#18 Posted by radioactivez0r (856 posts) -

I am seriously confused as to why the console itself is getting zero press - it's all about the games and the controller. What is under the hood on this thing? What can it do? Why is that not out there?

#19 Posted by Deathpooky (1417 posts) -

@Manhattan_Project said:

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

My exact reaction as well. I don't want at all to have to reorient to a separate screen to do basic inventory selection or look at a map. Developers have gotten good at displaying information on screen and allowing quick inventory management or item selection. This seems like a step backwards. I can't see how this would be more convenient.

Maybe for RPGs, but no way in Batman or Assassin's Creed.

#20 Posted by TheGorilla (230 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@samcroft90 said:

I've read that using two gamepads half's the frame rate of some games

that would be the kind of thing that requires a source, though I think that I can visualize how that would happen if something was sloppily coded.

That's from Iwata's twitter.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/06/two-controllers-halves-the-framerate-of-wii-u-games/

I assume that's what this says in crazy-mark-language: https://twitter.com/Nintendo/status/210042395507695616

#21 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

Let's hope that the WiiU being one year early won't make it obsolete once the PS4/720 hit. And while I still dislike the tablet thing having games like AC3 on there is a step in the right direction.

#22 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2160 posts) -

@Jack268 said:

@Manhattan_Project said:

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

I loved that part in every DS game ever.

Thats not the same. On the DS both screens are literally next to each other. Who holds the controller up to the screen when playing? Its usually on your lap. How frustrating is it going to be when a zombie kills you because you were to busy looking at stuff in a chest or locker on the gamepad to notice it coming at you?

#23 Posted by demazin (108 posts) -

It's now June now, right? Supposedly this thing is going to be released towards the end of this year, maybe Novemberish and they're still all tight lipped.

Hmmmm. I'm really not optimistic about any port running at 60 fps, even in the future, especially if developers are still saying it's only better in some areas.

Guess we'll have to wait for Sony's and Microsoft's efforts for 60 fps on a console as standard.

#24 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2160 posts) -

@Deathpooky said:

@Manhattan_Project said:

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

My exact reaction as well. I don't want at all to have to reorient to a separate screen to do basic inventory selection or look at a map. Developers have gotten good at displaying information on screen and allowing quick inventory management or item selection. This seems like a step backwards. I can't see how this would be more convenient.

Maybe for RPGs, but no way in Batman or Assassin's Creed.

How about ZombieU where it appears the game doesn't pause when you're looting and have to look down at the gamepad. I'm sure that will be completely awesome.

#25 Posted by Cybexx (1191 posts) -

Its a multi-processor Intel Power CPU and AMD Radeon GPU, which is what they are saying on e3.nintendo.com. I don't think we are going to get more concrete specs till the system is out and someone rips it apart, but maybe something will leak from a manufacturer before that.

#26 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -

@addictedtopinescent said:

Let's hope that the WiiU being one year early won't make it obsolete once the PS4/720 hit. And while I still dislike the tablet thing having games like AC3 on there is a step in the right direction.

I think we can hope all we want on that front and still end up with another obsolete piece of hardware used strictly for Nintendo games.

#27 Posted by planetary (350 posts) -

I, this. I, that. Patrick, come on. Start writing like a grown-up, not a teenager.

#28 Posted by me3639 (1790 posts) -

Spin control from Nintendo fan boys in full effect from across the industry. Really funny and sad in a way. What do you think developers are going to say it sucks?

#29 Edited by D_train_lives (107 posts) -

I think Nintendo needs to stop trying to make innovative gameplay and just make something people actually want to play rather then look at. That's all I do with my Wii is look at it haven't turned it on in a year and a half. Wii motes and now this thing its a cool gimmick to play with for a week then put away in a closet. they need something more then a zelda game this time to reel me in.

#30 Posted by SmithCommaJohn (144 posts) -

@planetary said:

I, this. I, that. Patrick, come on. Start writing like a grown-up, not a teenager.

We are not amused.

#31 Posted by carlfoster91 (99 posts) -

Hey, Tricky. Give us a demo of Pikmin 3. That is all I want! Oh and Rayman...and find out more about Watch Dogs. and watch out for ditches and power lines.

#32 Posted by Marz (5658 posts) -
@patrickklepek: so are the games running in 1080p?  or are we still going to be fed 720p upscaled games on the Wii U, frame rate being locked down to 30fps isn't too much of a problem but higher resolution makes a pretty big difference in fidelity.
#33 Posted by Pitta (182 posts) -

Smart Glass

#34 Posted by SpasticHeathen (33 posts) -
@Manhattan_Project said:

@Deathpooky said:

@Manhattan_Project said:

Yet another game that makes me look away from the main screen to manage my inventory. WHY? This sounds terrible, right? Someone tell me I'm not crazy!

My exact reaction as well. I don't want at all to have to reorient to a separate screen to do basic inventory selection or look at a map. Developers have gotten good at displaying information on screen and allowing quick inventory management or item selection. This seems like a step backwards. I can't see how this would be more convenient.

Maybe for RPGs, but no way in Batman or Assassin's Creed.

How about ZombieU where it appears the game doesn't pause when you're looting and have to look down at the gamepad. I'm sure that will be completely awesome.

That I don't mind.  Adds a bit of immersion and tension to a zombie outbreak game that most games don't explore.  Be alert of your surroundings and so long as the game isn't cheesing out on scripted sequences, you should be fine.  That or loot faster.
#35 Posted by Zaxex (591 posts) -

The majority of the games I've played on my 3DS I've played without 3D on, most of them aren't 3DS games either. Nintendo's old games are so good that I can justify my purchase playing primarily very old games. It's a shame their new stuff is somewhat lacking. The actual games that have come from Nintendo and on their systems are some of the best, pretty much all antithetical to their consoles' gimmicks.

Any combination of creating new IPs, removing gimmicks or keeping in line with its competitors; If the WiiU is comparable, it's about 7 years behind. I like Nintendo, it'd be nice to keep one of their consoles hooked up for a change.

#36 Posted by Shaanyboi (1318 posts) -

@Excast said:

The Wii U seems to be a console without much of a market. Looking at the demos I honestly didn't see anything that looked better than PS3 or 360. On top of that it seems to be removing that "get up and move" mentality that made the Wii so popular with casual gamers and families with kiddies. Who is going to buy this thing when true next generation hardware is coming within a couple of years tops? Are PS4 and Xbox 720 games going to even be portable to the Wii U? It seems to be an awful lot like the Vita, a machine that just doesn't make any sense at this place and time.

I'd say new consoles in general don't make sense in this place and time. With development costs already too fucking high for their own good, constant studio closures every few weeks... This next gen of systems already feels like a breaking point for alot of devs that just can't afford that level of investment.

#37 Posted by washablemarkers (93 posts) -

Scoops!

#38 Posted by Microshock (341 posts) -

This thing is outdated right out of the water. Really Nintendo? Six years and all you could do is manage to have hardware slightly better in some areas versus the PS3 and Xbox 360? The 360 is 7 years old!

I'm not saying it should be CUTTING EDGE, because it is a mass market PC basically and needs to be cheap, but that is unacceptable. It's the Wii all over again, gimmicks to distract from a poorer gaming experience.

#39 Edited by liako21 (526 posts) -

soooo what your telling me is that it will cost $200 day 1? $250 max.

#40 Posted by JakeLogan (222 posts) -

Poke it like a piñata! Shake loose the fruit of their orchard!

#41 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@Cybexx said:

Its a multi-processor Intel Power CPU and AMD Radeon GPU, which is what they are saying on e3.nintendo.com. I don't think we are going to get more concrete specs till the system is out and someone rips it apart, but maybe something will leak from a manufacturer before that.

not Intel, IBM.  as in the evolution of the older 64bit RISC CPUs.  related to the IBM-Motorola PowerPC stuff.  It's almost certainly an IBM Power7 CPU. 
#42 Posted by RickyF (11 posts) -

How about the fact that the WiiU controller has a 3-5 hour battery life depending on brightness and takes 2.5 hours to charge. That was a hardware tidbit that jumped out to me.

#43 Posted by GBOmega (13 posts) -

The secondary screen concept is great, but if it's just a glorified minimap / inventory screen it's a complete waste.

The winner of the next generation won't need specs to differentiate.  They'll need to produce titles that are more than just assets bolted onto an off-the-shelf engine with no depth.

Nintendo is in a good position to do this, but if they think getting repetitive blockbuster franchises and their endless stream of sequels will help, they have a rude awakening coming.

#44 Posted by Mumrik (1080 posts) -

@Marz said:

@patrickklepek: so are the games running in 1080p? or are we still going to be fed 720p upscaled games on the Wii U, frame rate being locked down to 30fps isn't too much of a problem but higher resolution makes a pretty big difference in fidelity.

I'm confused now too. They originally confirmed 1080p so you expect it to be fast enough to at least run games of 360/PS3 level fidelity in that resolution. A very modest goal today. VERY modest.

@Microshock said:

This thing is outdated right out of the water. Really Nintendo? Six years and all you could do is manage to have hardware slightly better in some areas versus the PS3 and Xbox 360? The 360 is 7 years old!

I'm not saying it should be CUTTING EDGE, because it is a mass market PC basically and needs to be cheap, but that is unacceptable. It's the Wii all over again, gimmicks to distract from a poorer gaming experience.

Dude, if any of the other rumors are true, MS and Sony will be launching severely outdated hardware this time too. Either something will change or this next console generation is going to be weird, but make PC look even better... Specifically about Nintendo - the cost of that gamepad makes me worries about costcutting on the actual console.

#45 Posted by Crash_Happy (723 posts) -

@radioactivez0r: And that's why there are people that think it's an add-on to the Wii, much like the balance board. Nintendo need to start advertising the console rather than the controller.

#46 Posted by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

The backside of that controller had better have some decent rubber grips; no matter how light they make it, it's big and the buttons are too close to the edges for comfort if the backside is flush or even a little slippy.

#47 Posted by DS23 (247 posts) -

@Mumrik said:

@Marz said:

@patrickklepek: so are the games running in 1080p? or are we still going to be fed 720p upscaled games on the Wii U, frame rate being locked down to 30fps isn't too much of a problem but higher resolution makes a pretty big difference in fidelity.

I'm confused now too. They originally confirmed 1080p so you expect it to be fast enough to at least run games of 360/PS3 level fidelity in that resolution. A very modest goal today. VERY modest.

@Microshock said:

This thing is outdated right out of the water. Really Nintendo? Six years and all you could do is manage to have hardware slightly better in some areas versus the PS3 and Xbox 360? The 360 is 7 years old!

I'm not saying it should be CUTTING EDGE, because it is a mass market PC basically and needs to be cheap, but that is unacceptable. It's the Wii all over again, gimmicks to distract from a poorer gaming experience.

Dude, if any of the other rumors are true, MS and Sony will be launching severely outdated hardware this time too. Either something will change or this next console generation is going to be weird, but make PC look even better... Specifically about Nintendo - the cost of that gamepad makes me worries about costcutting on the actual console.

I keep seeing this despite hearing the complete opposite in my own wanderings regarding MS and Sony's next gen plans, especially MS. Weird.

#48 Posted by Hawk456 (133 posts) -

but what about my Virtual Console downloads? Is Nintendo going to tell me to buy them again, or will they fix it so I can transfer them over? That's all I care about

#49 Posted by sirdesmond (1244 posts) -

@planetary said:

I, this. I, that. Patrick, come on. Start writing like a grown-up, not a teenager.

If you want journalism lacking personality, go someone else or look into one of Patrick's more in-depth editorial pieces. This is just a few little tidbits of information thrown together. I like the casual voice of most everyone's writing on the site and it has nothing to do with the "age" of their writing.

#50 Posted by habibyjohnson (85 posts) -

@DS23 said:

@Mumrik said:

@Marz said:

@patrickklepek: so are the games running in 1080p? or are we still going to be fed 720p upscaled games on the Wii U, frame rate being locked down to 30fps isn't too much of a problem but higher resolution makes a pretty big difference in fidelity.

I'm confused now too. They originally confirmed 1080p so you expect it to be fast enough to at least run games of 360/PS3 level fidelity in that resolution. A very modest goal today. VERY modest.

@Microshock said:

This thing is outdated right out of the water. Really Nintendo? Six years and all you could do is manage to have hardware slightly better in some areas versus the PS3 and Xbox 360? The 360 is 7 years old!

I'm not saying it should be CUTTING EDGE, because it is a mass market PC basically and needs to be cheap, but that is unacceptable. It's the Wii all over again, gimmicks to distract from a poorer gaming experience.

Dude, if any of the other rumors are true, MS and Sony will be launching severely outdated hardware this time too. Either something will change or this next console generation is going to be weird, but make PC look even better... Specifically about Nintendo - the cost of that gamepad makes me worries about costcutting on the actual console.

I keep seeing this despite hearing the complete opposite in my own wanderings regarding MS and Sony's next gen plans, especially MS. Weird.

The thing is, if released soon, no matter what hardware it is it'll end up not looking too different from what we have now. Graphics has pretty much peaked. This is why we're not ready for next-gen yet. Were obviously ready for Wii U, cos Wii is very outdated, but there is no reason for ps4/xbox 3 right now. I think these rumors are false anyway. I doubt we WILL see them for a few years yet.

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