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Why the Wii U is Powerful Enough

Still doubting the power of the Wii U?

It’s no secret that the Wii U and Nintendo have been consistently under-fire regarding the power of the system. I have seen countless and countless of ridiculous statements such as “It’s the Wii all over again” and “the Wii U is a last-generation system”. These notions, along with many others, were always silly to begin with and stemmed from nothing more than inflammatory fanboy logic, but after E3 2013 and seeing what Nintendo has to offer, now they are blatantly illogical.

Everyone’s initial reasons for claiming the Wii U was an under-powered system was the launch games themselves. Games such as Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, and ZombiU, only ran in 720p resolution, with the latter two games being the most prominent examples. Some of the multiplats on Wii U under-performed in some areas versus their 360 and PS3 counterparts as well, but I will get to those games in a second here. But to address Nintendo Land first, the game was a pack-in title; I doubt ANY company would spend the extra time and money to make a pack-in game utilize the full power of their system at launch (although the game still exhibited some of the best cartoon-style graphics on the market, with some impressive draw distance as well). Regarding New Super Mario Bros. U………well, why would anyone expect that game to showcase the Wii U’s power? And would it have even been worth Nintendo’s time to make the game 1080p? Would it really have made the game look any better at all? I doubt it.

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Did this game really need to be in 1080p? Not really.

Now when I explain ZombiU to other gamers I’m debating with, this is where I lose them and I am accused for “damage controlling”, a term that means nothing if all you’re using is facts. Ubisoft has stated themselves that graphics were a non-factor for the team when they were developing the game. In an interview with Florent SacréOur, the co-creative director and art director of ZomiU, he stated that ” Our main concern was not to showcase what the console can do in terms of graphics, but to create a compelling, original and coherent universe that serves our vision of survival in a zombie apocalypse.” In another statement from Ubisoft, the company said, “…..because as we’ve always said when there is such an innovation the need is not to have big production value but to concentrate on the innovation, this is what we are trying on Rayman and ZombieU.”

It is true that some Wii U multiplats under-performed compared to their last-generation counterparts, but at the same time, there were ports that ran better  on the Wii U as well. But of course, these ports were ignored, such as Trine 2 (which FrozenByte claimed would have to be downscaled to be on the last-gen systems), Ninja Gaiden Razor’s Edge, and Need For Speed Most Wanted U which used the PC version’s textures. DE: Human Revolution is also slated to be the superior version as well, according to Eidos. These ports are essentially living proof that the other ports that weren’t up to snuff and were simply lazily thrown together. Not much else needs to be said regarding this particular topic.

But enough about these past games, let’s get to the games shown at E3. Lo-and-behold, the Wii U can out-put some beautiful looking games. Monolith Soft’s Project ‘X’ is in-my-opinion, the most visually impressive game shown considering the scale of the game. It undoubtedly looks better than any other open-world RPG from the previous gen. But wait, there’s more. Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, and Super Smash Bros. 4 have all been confirmed to be running in 1080p and 60 frames-per-second. Now all of the sudden you don’t here naysayers speaking about resolution. Turns out that games that come out later in a console’s life cycle look and run better than launch window games, who would’ve thought? New Super Mario Bros. U only running in 720p obviously didn’t mean the system was incapable of achieving a higher resolution, but that is actually what some people thought.

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Which leads to my next point – now people are downplaying the Wii U’s capabilities by comparing it to the Xbox One and PS4. Which is good. Now people are no longer comparing it to the last-gen systems, but to the next-gen systems. People haven’t noticed that they are indirectly now admitting that the Wii U is a more than capable system.

The whole “Wii situation all over again” notion has virtually been debunked at this point, as nobody in their right mind ever compared the Wii’s graphics to the HD twins’ to prove it was a stronger system than the original Xbox. Not to mention that the Wii was not even an HD system to begin with, meaning the gap between it and PS3 and 360 was guaranteed to be pretty wide in the first place. But with the leap between this generation and the next, we’re not doing any format jump. We’re going from HD to HD, automatically making the gap smaller than what it was with the Wii.

Sure the Wii U isn’t close to the raw power of the PS4 and Xbox One, but it doesn’t need to be in order to be classified as a next-gen system or show some pretty-looking games. There has to be a weakest console,  a lowest-common denominator. The Dreamcast was a true 6th-generation system, despite being  much more weaker than the other consoles of that time. Honestly, after seeing the likes of Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Smash Bros, and Monolith’s ‘X’ (all of which are going to look even better by the time they launch), can one sit there and say these games are not visually appealing? Of course they don’t look as good as some of the PS4/X1 games we’ve seen so far, but they look damn pretty regardless and that’s pretty much all that matters. The hardware doesn’t have to be on-par as the competitions’ specs as long as the graphical standard is above what we had from the previous generation by a pretty good margin, and this is an important concept that many fail to realize.

Yes, I am a Nintendo fan, but I’m one that doesn’t mind critiquing them when they need to be criticized. So when I say the Wii U’s hardware is fine, I mean that. I think it’s totally a competent machine that can and will produce some very beautiful games, especially with Nintendo’s mastery of their own hardware and the gorgeous art-styles that they use in some of their franchises.

What do you think? Are you happy with the graphical capabilities you saw from Nintendo’s E3 2013 games? Let us know down below.

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25 Responses so far.

  1. FaChina says:

    So true people need to stop judging a consoles power just because of a few launch titles.

  2. wombateer says:

    Nintendo are playing HD catch-up, and in all fairness they need time to adjust. Once they weave their magic, people will be blown away!

  3. holyfire says:

    It’s sad about ppls thought processes on gaming power. Just had a non-gaming centric work colleague drone on to me about the PS4, he’s gonna get it, it sports “full HD”. So crisp. Kind of being ignorant to the fact that 1080P res has been done a long time ago and that it only equates to a miniscule component of gaming visuals.
    I can’t stress the Minecraft vs Crysis 3 example enough. Minecraft was a phenomenon success in it’s own right, and probably did the devs some serious financial justice. Crysis 3 on the other hand was touted as a return to the pinnacle of software programming and was forgotten about immediately after launch. Minecraft wouldn’t be much more popular on the Crytek engine, and Crysis probably would have been more popular if it ran on a ‘minecraft’ esque engine and was sold to the new teens demographic.
    We need “Creativity” not more production values. To say WiiU is underpowered is to suggest the last 2 decades of gaming meant nothing to anyone. As I recollect endless reviews and sales of countless stellar titles that moved the industry over and over again.
    Even the Wii was never utilized in it’s potential, cause devs didn’t put the effort in. Gamecube had more visually impressive titles than all Wii’s 3rd party library (Rogue Squadron Gamecube launch).
    WiiU is very relevant. Lack of power is purely an excuse for devs not to make mind blowing games. It’s their scapegoat.

  4. John says:

    This is nonsense. If you’re an eight year old kiddie the Wii U is powerful enough but no serious gamer will be happy with the Wii U. It’s a last gen console. It was released two years too late.

    • a true gamer would never say something so stupid and plays what is good not what looks good
      I laugh at people like you serious gamers you sound like a little kid for saying that

    • Alex says:

      Don’t be a dick, buddy.

      Correction, if it was released 2 years ago it would have been a last gen console, but it wasn’t, it was released a full year before the PS4 and XB1, and it’s half the price, of course it’s going to be the weaker console… A “serious gamer” (and there’s nothing serious about gaming by the way) wouldn’t be happy with any one single console…

    • teufel says:

      Yep, those eight year old kiddies are sure going to enjoy ZombiU, Bayonetta2, X…..you get the idea.

      Real gamers care about the games which if you love genero shooters and racing games the PS4 and 180 will be perfect with a few select titles sprinkled in that real gamers might actually care about.

      As a “real gamer,” I appreciate Nintendo delivered a true next gen experience, “AND.” I get to game AND watch tv, search the web on the gamepad AND pop instantly back to the game, etc.

      MSony are still stuck on “OR.” You can use the tv for movies OR games OR internet. You can play that shooter OR yell at your tv to change the channel, thanks 180 because a remote is just so complicated.

      • Locknuts says:

        Why not? Whenever I play COD on console in general it sounds like most of the people I’m playing with are around 8. On PC I don’t know because no one is silly enough to wear headsets unless they know you.

    • A true gamer..Haha you act like your going into war as some elite soldier..games are meant to be fun a true gamer wouldn’t forget that moron.

    • Michael Silvera says:

      First of all you meant to say two years too early, even if you said 2 years too early, you would’ve been wrong because it was release nearly a year ago. Another, by even definition of Next-Gen. The Wii U is a Next-Gen console http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/next-generation

  5. vickybat01 says:

    I have some questions for the author.

    You said to compare monolith’s X with any RPG’s of last gen. Now, do you think X looks better than Skyrim? I don’t think so. Can you show me a wii-u game that can match the graphical fidelity of “Uncharted 3” and most notably “The Last Of Us”.
    And i disagree about the Most wanted U comments. I does not use PC textures period! and it looks just the same as PS3 and 360 versions. That game is not a system pusher. Games like Gran Turismo 6 looks better by miles and wii-u does not even have an answer to that. So i would say it still lacks in powwer compared to current gen consoles. PS3’s cell is still miles ahead than the PowerPC tricore CPU in wii-u. Games like Last of Us are a testament to the this fact. Besides, Metro Last Light developers have already bashed the wii-u and cited it having weaker cpu. Check metro’s wiki page for confirmation.The games you mentioned running at 1080p at 60fps are easily possible on PS3 too. They have that kiddish color palette and not at all demanding. It should have beaten the PS3/360 by a mile, not the original wii. Also tell me a wii u titles, which looks better than Halo 4? Even X is not in the league here.

    • Do you like just making up complete bs? the cell is miles ahead of the U’s tri core gpgu set up huh? Wow I think my brain just exploded from the amount of stupidity in this statement..

    • Excecutionar says:

      Why would you brag about a cgi-Interactive movie from sony? That all they do lol. Play a minute or 2-CUSCENE) play another couple mnutes-QUICKTIME EVENT! Im so fed uo with fanbous trying to hype them games uo lie they were Gos. They dont have any replay value… bring ctra popcorn buddy.

    • “and most notably “The Last Of Us”.”
      X looks better than The Last of Us. Being outside in daytime didn’t look that good most of the time, when in this game it looks better outside during daytime.

      “It does not use PC textures period! and it looks just the same as PS3 and 360 versions.”
      Take a gander at reality.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_PCozvf0jQ

      “PS3s cell is still miles ahead than the PowerPC tricore CPU in wii-u. Games like Last of Us are a testament to the this fact”
      No it isn’t. You don’t know anything about specs. Wii U, PS4, Xbox One all have slower clock speed than the PS360, but they are all more officiant.

      “Besides, Metro Last Light developers have already bashed the wii-u and cited it having weaker cpu.”
      Yet Iwata said that the Wii U is stronger than people think. Maybe those devs haven’t heard of a GPGPU, which PS4 and Xbox One also have.

      “It should have beaten the PS3/360 by a mile, not the original wii.”
      Proof you don’t know what you’re talking about. Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 completely blows Wii’s Mario Kart Wii out of the water.

  6. Ron says:

    The Wii U is in the dead zone, it can not compete with ps3/xbox360 because it is more expensive and does not have the amount of games they have and it can not compete with ps4/xbox one because the weak of hardware.

    • “can not compete with ps4/xbox one because the weak of hardware.”
      Wii sold better than PS360.
      DS sold better than PSP.
      3DS is killing Vita.
      PS2 killed GCN, Xbox, and Dreamcast.
      PS1 killed N64.

  7. I agree that people shouldn’t say Wii U isn’t a next gen console based on hardware, as it is. What most people mean by that though when they say it is the Wii U seems to be lacking the massive new push for better games that both of the other console makers are receiving, specially from third parties.

    I’m not a Nintendo fan, nor am I any dedicated fan. I’m a gamer and I’ll go where the best games are, whether that be look, feel, creative or mind blowing. As long as a game is good and unique, graphics don’t mean a lot. The game is what pulls you in and entertains you.

    Wii U’s problem is the same as the Wii’s problem for most gamers. The games are remakes or classic games released at full retail price with little new for us to play that we haven’t already experienced. They have had a couple great looking games but is that enough to convince us to buy the next gen console. No! What we need is a constant stream of semi-decent to great games that keep us wanting more and third party is the key to that along with indie devs.

  8. swagmaster3000 says:

    THANK YOU! FINALLY!!!!

    FREEEEEDOOMMMM!

  9. teufel says:

    It is adorable that all of these third party devs are tossing out “real next gen graphics” and “brand new” and anything else they can think of to justify people buying their game on the next systems.

    What amuses me is that the true next gen games wont really hit for another couple of years once dev teams get their teeth sunk into the new software they are currently using to make “next gen” games and master the hardware they are running it on. It really wont surprise me when many people feel let down that the upgrade is barely a smoke-and-mirror act with just a few shiny baubles to make people happy rather than truly evolving the games they are playing.

    As for the U being underpowered compared to the others, that is true, and it has not sold as well as Nintendo had hoped which is a godsend for those who prefer to deal with fans of Nintendo rather than casual gamers that believe potty jokes would be the best use for the Miiverse. Heck, knowing how bigoted, sexist, and racist the chat sessions are on some of those matches on Live while gaming, I am even more thankful that those people are less inclined to make the move to “AND” gaming.

    Finally, if we are lucky, while MSony enjoy their current measuring contest, Nintendo might be working on their damage control by readying some of their bigger titles and even experimental titles that they might not launch if they were trying to appease a broader audience. On top of that, if this turns out to be like the Gamecube, then the U will have a short cycle meaning we are several years away from the next launch where Nintendo will be able to surpass the competition in specs and newer tech offerings at a competitive price while the others are stuck with another 8+ years cycle.

  10. Hal Thompson says:

    I actually don’t understand why is the WiiU more powerful than the Wii if Nintendo fans are against improving the hardware? It just doesn’t make any sense. Nintendo is Oxymoron.

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