Wii U Developments Kits Reportedly Underclocked, Games Pulled from E3

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Posted by patrickklepek (4112 posts) -

Nintendo held back publishers from showing some in-development Wii U games during E3, according to a report issued by Hit Detection, the game consulting firm founded by former Newsweek journalist N'Gai Croal.

The only third-party Wii U game playable at E3 was Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Online. Ubisoft also showed Killer Freaks from Outer Space, and there was a highlight reel showing during Nintendo's press conference, later revealed to have been games running on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware.

"Developers have underclocked development kits, and worked hard to deliver titles running on that hardware to demonstrate live at E3," reads the report. "However, due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3, Nintendo decided late in the game to not show those titles and focus instead on tech demos."

Ghost Recon Online was the only "game" shown for Wii U. Everything Nintendo was declared experimental, albeit with the caveat that some or all could actually turn into proper games.

It's unclear whether Nintendo's alleged decision to hold back games that wouldn't show better than existing releases suggests Wii U is, in fact, may be more powerful than both. Nintendo hasn't released proper specifications for Wii U, as has been standard operating procedure for the company for years, instead focusing on what's possible, not the literal guts inside the box.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4112 posts) -

Nintendo held back publishers from showing some in-development Wii U games during E3, according to a report issued by Hit Detection, the game consulting firm founded by former Newsweek journalist N'Gai Croal.

The only third-party Wii U game playable at E3 was Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Online. Ubisoft also showed Killer Freaks from Outer Space, and there was a highlight reel showing during Nintendo's press conference, later revealed to have been games running on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware.

"Developers have underclocked development kits, and worked hard to deliver titles running on that hardware to demonstrate live at E3," reads the report. "However, due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3, Nintendo decided late in the game to not show those titles and focus instead on tech demos."

Ghost Recon Online was the only "game" shown for Wii U. Everything Nintendo was declared experimental, albeit with the caveat that some or all could actually turn into proper games.

It's unclear whether Nintendo's alleged decision to hold back games that wouldn't show better than existing releases suggests Wii U is, in fact, may be more powerful than both. Nintendo hasn't released proper specifications for Wii U, as has been standard operating procedure for the company for years, instead focusing on what's possible, not the literal guts inside the box.

Staff
#2 Posted by Bollard (5425 posts) -
@Nigglenummy said:
first?
You know if you say first you don't get the quest, right?
#3 Posted by ADarkMatter (138 posts) -
@Nigglenummy said:
first?
You just spoiled your opportunity for the quest bro :( you don't get it if you say "first" 
And they should have showed some other game besides that Ghost Recon Online, everything would've been better than that
#4 Posted by chickdigger802 (501 posts) -

Will this run Crys... Witcher 2?

#5 Posted by LethalKi11ler (1406 posts) -
@chickdigger802 said:
Will this run Crys... Witcher 2?
Weird that it has become the new graphical standard eh?
#6 Posted by rottendevice (159 posts) -

I'm curious to know what the specs actually end up being. I'm guessing it's just slightly above 360 / PS3 level.

#7 Posted by metalsnakezero (2290 posts) -

It is too early for anyone working on the Wii U to show what it can really do. By next year, however, they need to bring it.

#8 Posted by rmanthorp (3911 posts) -
@Nigglenummy: WAH WAH WAAAAHHHH!!
Moderator
#9 Posted by mattbanks (8 posts) -

It was a bit surprising that Nintendo didn't have more real games on display, but I guess this explains things.

#10 Posted by ShinAli (96 posts) -

It's kind of hard to believe that Nintendo would be worried about looking better than 360/PS3 counterparts. They really don't have much to gain from that, being lots of consumers are already established on either 360 or PS3.

#11 Posted by BonOrbitz (2183 posts) -

Even if they're "not looking much better" than the other systems, is that so bad? Why not show them anyways?

#12 Posted by White_Silhouette (472 posts) -

Oddly the more I hear about the Wii the less I become interested. Only one touch controller per console. The vids at E3 were from other hardware and now this. I really hope some of this is just the growing pains up till launch but makes me weary of this console.

#13 Posted by Jiquk (203 posts) -

Even if they were "underclocking" the console that wont magically make the rest of the components transform into their newer faster counterparts. Nintendo is about 4 years too late to the party. It's almost embarrassing seeing them try to advertise the WiiU to a hardcore audience, that's the same audience that got burned with the Wii and they're not coming back just for exclusives with gimmicky control options. 

#14 Posted by edck (2 posts) -

I wonder if Nintendo did this to try to throw Sony and Microsoft off in their next-gen R&D. If Nintendo expected them to look at the Wii U and say, "okay we're going to produce a console that's X gigabytes better than Nintendo", maybe Nintendo tried to preempt that by causing Sony and Microsoft to pitch low?

#15 Posted by chickdigger802 (501 posts) -

@LethalKi11ler said:

@chickdigger802 said:
Will this run Crys... Witcher 2?
Weird that it has become the new graphical standard eh?

haha the weird part is that it's still only dx9 ;)

But like Crysis, it's not hard to do 'High' or w/e the equivalent, but to max it out with the fancy 'uber' sampling requires some major horses in your rig lol.

#16 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2684 posts) -

If it's a big enough difference that they expect you'll be able to tell in first-run games that's a good sign. Yes please.

#17 Edited by Brendan (7753 posts) -

Not surprising. There's an another entire E3 before the release of the Wii U, so I don't see it as a big deal that they didn't show a whole lot of stuff. Next year will be interesting.

#18 Posted by Kingloo (85 posts) -

Nintendo's attempts to reclaim the hardcore ground is odd considering that if you want the big 3rd party games, you already own a 360 or PS3 or PC. With how important online is this generation, WiiU stands no chance of being the box where a franchise like Call of Duty is primarily played.

#19 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

Watch this space I guess.  
 
Seems an odd way to go about it. Excitement about a console is excitement about a console, doesn't really matter if it's through first or third parties. 

#20 Posted by themartyr (691 posts) -

You wear quite the press hat, Klepek. Nice work.

#21 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

#22 Posted by DaShAg (2 posts) -
#23 Posted by Shaanyboi (1284 posts) -

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

Reports have suggested that it's roughly 50% more powerful than the PS3, so... it'll probably look atleast a bit better.

#24 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2679 posts) -

There is actually no profit in making anyone MORE powerful or capable then the XB360. More powerful does not help them with ports of game. Moreover, more powerful does not help them on the hardware side of price. Under clocking, the chip allows it to run cooler, thus, less cooling is needed, thus a cheaper smaller fan could be used, or a cheap designed PCB.

Nintendo will only put enough power and parts into the device to make it compete. There is no profit in doing more. Think about it, they want to save a DOLLAR by not licensing DVD playback; yet people think they will blow cash on a powerful chip running fast requiring a more expansive design? No way....not going to happen folks. Nintendo will use the chip that will just barely do the job running at a speed then does the job - nothing more nothing less unless there is zero price or zero reliablity of hardware cost difference.

#25 Posted by Dixavd (1344 posts) -

I'm sorry but I don't understand this article - was it saying that game sin development ont he WiiU look much worse and so they showed them on the other platforms or they look much better and developers didn't want to show that so the y would lsoe sales on the other platforms which are likely to come out earlier. I'm not sure what this article meant - likely would have made a difference if I knew what underclocked means but I simpley have never heard that phrase before - may someone please explain this to me since details ont he WiiU is sketchy as best and I woudl at least liek to know what these rumours mean?

#26 Posted by truckington (54 posts) -

@Dixavd: It means the developers were working on dev kits that were less powerful than the final Wii U will be. Nintendo didn't want to show off these games since the final products should end up looking much better with the extra power of the final Wii U specs.

#27 Posted by smcn (923 posts) -

Literal guts inside a box does not sound pleasant at all.

#28 Posted by Theworldbreaker (173 posts) -

As stated before, we still have another E3 before the release of the WiiU, that will be when they show the games.
#29 Posted by David_T (25 posts) -

So... they had games that looked better than PS360 games. Not by much, but still better. And they decided that instead of showing games that already looked better and slapping an "Early in development" or "Alpha" or "Running on devkit" sign in the corner and blowing peoples mind... they went with existing clips of PS360 games or in one case a PC game with fucking fraps running.

That's either a really bad lie or a really bizarre decision. Hard to tell with Nintendo.

#30 Posted by Vexxan (4618 posts) -

Huh...how about that.

#31 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

@Shaanyboi said:

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

Reports have suggested that it's roughly 50% more powerful than the PS3, so... it'll probably look atleast a bit better.

50% is a LOT!

#33 Posted by ShinAli (96 posts) -

@Shaanyboi said:

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

Reports have suggested that it's roughly 50% more powerful than the PS3, so... it'll probably look atleast a bit better.

Doubtful it'd be that much more powerful, I'm betting whatever reports made that estimate failed to take into account on the Cell's SPEs.

#34 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Winternet said:

@Shaanyboi said:

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

Reports have suggested that it's roughly 50% more powerful than the PS3, so... it'll probably look atleast a bit better.

50% is a LOT!

Not really, a generational jump is usually many times more than that.

But, we're talking about systems in the same generation. PS3 is what 5/10% more powerful than the 360?

#36 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Winternet said:

@rebgav said:

@Winternet said:

@Shaanyboi said:

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

Reports have suggested that it's roughly 50% more powerful than the PS3, so... it'll probably look atleast a bit better.

50% is a LOT!

Not really, a generational jump is usually many times more than that.

But, we're talking about systems in the same generation. PS3 is what 5/10% more powerful than the 360?

They're in the same console generation but the baseline tech has advanced significantly in the last five years. If they were to upgrade the PS3 to contemporary standards in cpu/gpu/ram it would have to be five or six times as "powerful" as the current model.

And what would be the impact on games performance?

#38 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Winternet said:

And what would be the impact on games performance?

You'd have higher throughput across the board, allowing faster processing and rendering, as well as much more memory. How developers utilized that would be their choice but you'd expect higher framerates, rendering at higher resolutions, higher resolution textures, more detailed models, more post-processing options, and an overall increase in scale. A 50% increase in power over the current gen consoles isn't going to allow for much of a leap in visual quality by comparison.

So, I would assume MS and Sony aren't releasing these upgraded PS3 and 360 because that would mean it would go back to 400 / 600 prices. Which means WiiU could very well be 250.

#39 Posted by Rafoix (2 posts) -

My guess is that the extra horsepower and memory will be used for 1080p visuals for all games with some nice antialiasing. 50% more power isn't very much. I doubt regular non-gamers will be able to tell the difference.  
 
Also, there really isn't much of an actual need for much better looking games at the moment. I'm sure developers like DICE, Rockstar, and Crytek need all the power they can get but the best selling games right now are COD and those games are anything but advanced. 

#41 Posted by Osiris (509 posts) -

How amusing it is to read all your guys' speculations and discussions. I'm just gonna wait until I get to actually see a "next-gen" game on the Wii U, which will be probably in a year. So until then, amuse me!

#42 Posted by Dixavd (1344 posts) -
@truckington: thankyou, I found it quite confusing thankyou for enlightening me and not trying to insult me for not understanding :)
#43 Posted by TehFlan (1944 posts) -

So the Wii U is going to look noticeably better than current consoles? That's actually really awesome.

#44 Posted by raikoh05 (415 posts) -

well tgs should be the time to remedy this

#45 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2379 posts) -

@Winternet said:

"due to titles not looking much better than what is currently available on Xbox 360 and the PS3" Does that mean the real deal will look much better than the 360 and PS3?

That's whats on everybody's mind.

#46 Posted by vinsanityv22 (1064 posts) -

Well, I agree with Nintendo's not revealing tech specs. Only idiots care about that. Every gamer should know at this point that games are designed for the weakest hardware - the lowest power SKU (last gen it was the PS2, this gen it's the 360) - and are then ported to the other consoles. So it's unimportant. Games will be identical to 360, PC and PS3 games on the Wii U, except for minimal tech performance (different texture resolutions, more or less screen tearing, etc. ). And with that unique controller, it is more important that devs focus on new experiences, not just competent ports. You don't become no.1 by being the best and most competent clone of the other guys.
 
But man, why the eff wouldn't they show ANY games for the Wii U at it's reveal? That's dumb, mans. The best tech demo in the world is only fun to play for a few minutes. Maybe that sounds like a great thing for people on-ground at e3, since it's such a loud, confusing show (which is why RPGs notoriously show badly at these events). But for anyone else - gamers at home on the 'net, investors, industry analysts -, it just makes your hardware look not ready to show. How can we get excited about a system with no games? Clearly, Nintendo hadn't been paying attention to one of the biggest complaints leveled at the 3DS so far -- there's nothing to play for it. Hardware doesn't matter; games matter. So don't show your hardware if you don't show games for it. Simple. 

#47 Posted by CagePlay (43 posts) -
@Winternet Yes a 50% step up is alot, but strangly alot of people don't seem to think it is.
#48 Posted by CagePlay (43 posts) -

The Witcher 2 (or even 3) by next year's E3 and GTA 5 on Wii U both making full use of the 50% power increase and the new ways the Wii U controller can be utilised would be ideal.

#49 Posted by Hector (3359 posts) -

As long as I get my Mario/Zelda/StarFox games in HD, I'm happy!

#50 Posted by damnboyadvance (4060 posts) -

Considering that Nintendo is generally slow with technology, I will be genuinely surprised if the graphics of the Wii U manage to surpass even the current generation of systems.

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