04 Apr 2012

This fall, Nintendo is expected to be the first company to introduce a next-generation console.  The Wii U will have HD graphics support and a new tablet-style controller.  These new features would typically excite many developers, but already many developers are all ready turned off.

Weaker Graphics than the Xbox 360 and PS3

Many believe its the graphic system of the Wii U.  Developers told GamesIndustry International that the Wii U is "just not as powerful" as the PS3 or Xbox 360.  Mind you these consoles have been around for ages now.  Another developer said that "there aren't as many shaders, it's not as capable."

This will come as a shock to many consumers that are expecting a new console that is designed at least five years beyond the Xbox 360 and PS3 to be more powerful, the Wii U's specs are technically less than these consoles.  The designing of a console though, often involves more than just giving it more graphic power, as that comes with a price.  For example, the latest Nvidia GPU in conjunction with a powerful CPU may yield a cost that is around $1000 or more.  

Innovative Tablet Controller Enough to Sell Consoles?

Nintendo strives to be different through the use of its new tablet controller.  Some games will make use of the tablet in ways not seen before, where one player may have different view with different tasks than the other player.  Or in the case of first-person shooters, perhaps having a map displayed on the controller while the main game play takes place on the TV.

Many developers see the PS3/PS Vita union as more attractive and more powerful than the Wii-U tablet interface, as well as being easier to program.  One source said, speaking of the PS3/PS Vita combination, "You can do everything with that combo that you can with the Wii U, and more."

Exact Release Date

According to computerandvideogames.com, a Japanese video game retailer has accidentally leaked information on the release date.  The date will be November 18th, 2012.

The Tech-Stew Take Home

Nintendo has always tended to focus more on game play, rather than having the latest hardware.  They try to find unique new controllers to give the user a more enjoyable experience and focus on the software of the game more than the hardware.  With the Wii U, Nintendo is going down that same road, though with slightly ramped up hardware and a new tablet interface as they try to keep the cost to produce versus performance ratio in balance.  

It would seem that unless they can keep the price of the Wii U at a low level, many fans, especially the die hard gamers who prefer more cutting edge hardware may opt to go the route of the next generation PlayStation or Xbox.  There will of course be those fans who would love to see Mario or Zelda in high-def and would buy the Wii U for that reason alone.  Fans buy Nintendo consoles to play those games made by Nintendo, not for their graphic capability.  If they keep the price right, like with the Wii they will be leading the way once again with innovation, fun and price on a new console.  

Source:  Gamesindustry.biz

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