Nintendo goes HD with the Wii U, but that’s it apparently. However, it might be considerably cheaper than Durango or Orbis.
The Wii U is expected to bring Nintendo’s franchise to life in next-generation graphics, but sources say to temper expectations
The Wii U launches this year, so many fans are eagerly waiting what Nintendo will show off in their final build of the console at E3 this year. Many expect it to be much more powerful than current consoles, especially if the Zelda tech demo is anything to go by, but developers who are currently working on the console say to expect something a little different.
A source who spoke with GamesIndustry International said that the Wii U is “not up to the same level as the Xbox 360 or PS3.” When pressed on what he meant, he said that graphically the console is just not up to the current HD consoles.
A developer at a “major company” also said the console isn’t generally up the levels of the Xbox 360 and PS3, while doing some things better such as shaders. The source added that was down to more modern design, though.
Don’t panic … yet
Whether the rumours turn out to be true or not remains to be seen. Though while the news is concerning, and would be seen as a major let-down on Nintendo’s part, fans shouldn’t feel frustrated at this point. I think.
For one, the Wii launched at a low price when compared to the prices of the Xbox 360 and (especially) the PlayStation 3. I estimate Nintendo will be looking to do that again, particularly as they have a large install base with the Wii. Therefore, they can’t get the latest GPUs and graphics cards and put them together because costs will skyrocket.
Second, a console that lags behind the Xbox 360 and PS3 isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Developers got everything they could out of the Wii, making games like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword look great despite the maximum resolution of the console being 480p. The Wii U undoubtedly supports 720p, and possibly 1080p, so developers who get everything out of the console will have great-looking games.
Consoles sales also fell 8 percent last year in Japan and the U.S., so high price won’t be attractive to consumers.