Wii U’s slow CPU “a challenge” for one launch developer

Sep 21, 2012
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Wii U’s slow CPU “a challenge” for one launch developer

These days, we have a better idea of what the Wii U is packing under the hood. While there are some aspects of the Wii U that are clearly better than the Xbox 360 or PS3, the CPU isn't one of them. We don't know everything about the Wii U's CPU just yet (clock speed, for instance, is still a mystery), but we do know that it comes from IBM and features three Power PC cores.

That underwhelming CPU is giving one Wii U launch developer some trouble. During the Tokyo Game Show, Eurogamer sat down with Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper producer Akihiro Suzuki, who says that the Wii U's CPU tends to have some issues when there are multiple characters on screen, which is pretty much always the case when playing a Dynasty Warriors game. "One of the weaknesses of the Wii U compared to PS3 and Xbox 360 is the CPU power is a little bit less," Suzuki said. "So for games in the Warriors series, including Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi, when you have a lot of enemies coming at you at once, the performance tends to be affected because of the CPU."

Suzuki followed up by saying that dealing with those performance issues can be "a challenge," but did also point out that as far as sheer graphics power is concerned, the Wii U has the 360 and PS3 beat. Not only does the Wii U feature what is believed to be a custom AMD 7 series GPU, but it's been confirmed to house 1GB of RAM that is dedicated to games, which is twice the amount the 360 and PS3 can boast. This means games which are more GPU-intensive will shine on Wii U, while those that require some significant CPU power risk falling flat.

It's important to keep in mind that as time goes on, developers will figure out how to squeeze the most power out of the Wii U's CPU. All you need to do is look at this generation to see that much is true - compare titles like The Last of Us or Uncharted 3 to games that launched at the beginning of the generation, and you'll surely notice a sizable boost in overall quality. It seems safe to assume that we can expect a similar progression with games on Wii U, so this is just probably one of those launch hurdles that most developers have to deal with. Check our story timeline below for more on the Wii U!


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