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Nintendo Finally Chats About Wii U Guts, Tears It Apart

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October 12, 2012 4:45:23 PM

Sigh...
It's a hybrid version of SOC...
They basically took the CPU, GPU and stuck them on the same chunk of circuit board and X'd out the bus interface chip between the two while integrating the necessary circuitry for communication between the two on the chips...

Why they didn't go with a pure SOC route is anyones guess... maybe for future upgrade-ability or something...
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5
October 12, 2012 4:48:54 PM

Quoting Takeda from the article:I think that's the magic of game-console development. We carry out development together with other partner companies, but rather than having IBM employees and AMD employees and Renesas employees, we joined into what might be called "Team Nintendo". That happened because, it seems like they can talk to their families like their children, grandchildren and spouses about what they have made. In that respect, one of the good points of game-console development is how the participants' motivation inspired the team as a whole.

That is awesome, the full article is very revealing as to how the whole thing came together. Great read! :) 
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2
October 12, 2012 4:53:49 PM

Well, it seems Nintendo went for innovation versus performance, and that seemed to do them well with the Wii. You do have to admit the controllers have a lot of potential if the right developers get behind it.
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1
October 12, 2012 4:55:03 PM

memadmax said:
Why they didn't go with a pure SOC route is anyones guess... maybe for future upgrade-ability or something...


They're using IBM CPU and AMD GPU. SOC are designed as a whole. They can't just put different processors on the same die.
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16
October 12, 2012 5:06:57 PM

Toms Hardware Users: LOOK AT THESE SPECS THIS IS NOWHERE NEAR MY 3000 DOLLAR GAMING RIG

4 year old: Man this tennis game is fun. My Mii looks so cool.

Grandparents: only 199 bucks? and it has that italian man on the box, the kids are sure to like this.



Nintendo: IT STILL PRINTS MONEY :D  :D 
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26
October 12, 2012 5:18:25 PM

Cool and everything, but I was really looking forward to hear about architecture of the CPU and GPU. What type of memory it has, how much it has, how many cores or threads the CPU has, what version of open gl can the GPU support. What type of GPU is used? Sheesh this beak down was like reading a transcript from a political debate where there is no details and just some bare minimum information. Seems like Nintendo is REALLY down playing the importance of hardware. Do they really think they will have enough titles at start up to make consumers ignore that deficiency?
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13
Anonymous
October 12, 2012 5:25:16 PM

@internetlad

Except this one is 299.99 or 349.99 depending on the SKU (there's supposed to be a 249.99 SKU but it doesn't seem to exist here)
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2
October 12, 2012 5:40:18 PM

Daki@internetladExcept this one is 299.99 or 349.99 depending on the SKU (there's supposed to be a 249.99 SKU but it doesn't seem to exist here)


lol yeah I forgot the big N was pricing it's systems all stupid now.

Never mind, the N ship is going down. Everybody pray to your respective gods.
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-4
October 12, 2012 5:41:50 PM

I just like the pic with the honking GPU and the little bitty CPU, makes me giggle...
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7
October 12, 2012 5:43:59 PM

usbgtx550Well, it seems Nintendo went for innovation versus performance, and that seemed to do them well with the Wii. You do have to admit the controllers have a lot of potential if the right developers get behind it.

The motion controller was great because it brought more natural control to everyone from little kids to senior citizens, and it worked well (unlike kinnect), and it stayed out of the way (unlike the PS Move). Having to continually switch between 2 monitors, 1 which is 5-10 feet away, and another that is 1-2 feet away, is not natural, and not user friendly. It can allow for some more interesting game mechanics (especially for a card based game such as pokemon), but most games will not develop specifically for this feature, or will tack it onto a ported title and not really make it work like it ought to. Basically, having 2 screens will decease the audience by pricing the accessories out of the reach of the causal/budget gamer, and being too complicated for older audiences.

It will still sell well and print lots of money for Nintendo, but I do not think it will gain the wide-spread audience that the wii had. Personally I even got a wii (and I never get consoles), and enjoyed using it, but there were a lack of games that appealed to my age bracket which were not ports that I could simply get for my PC (and even an entry level PC with onboard graphics today looks infinitely better than the wii does). So after getting the hang of bowling, golf, and zelda I pretty much never picked it up again, so I will not be getting the wiiU. 5-8 years from now when the next gen console comes out my kiddos will be old enough to play, and I will probably feed the N machine for a generation then, but by the time the next gen rolls around they will be teens with either big kid consoles, or their own game rigs, so it will probably be the only N console I ever get.
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0
October 12, 2012 5:47:05 PM

Nintendo should not use the words "High Performance" and "wiiu" in the same line, ever.

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7
October 12, 2012 5:50:48 PM

We know the CPU is built on a 45nm fab, and some folks at Beyond3D estimated that the CPU is around 60mm2 given the HDMI port as a frame of reference. If you take the graphics part out of Ivy Bridge it's probably around there too, but that's on 22nm, so immensely higher in transistor density. Penryn at 45nm was 80mm2, and the Wii U is widely believed to have three cores, so each core would have to have even less transistors than the old Core 2 Duo. Transistors don't equal performance of course, but there is only so much you can do with a given transistor budget. Even the 6 year old Cell on 45nm is larger than this if the estimate is right, and that was only 200 million transistors.
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4
October 12, 2012 5:52:41 PM

memadmaxSigh...It's a hybrid version of SOC...They basically took the CPU, GPU and stuck them on the same chunk of circuit board and X'd out the bus interface chip between the two while integrating the necessary circuitry for communication between the two on the chips... Why they didn't go with a pure SOC route is anyones guess... maybe for future upgrade-ability or something...



Cost, the more complex and large a single chip is the more will fail. This way they can toss out the CPU if it fails or the GPU if it fails, with a SoC they would have to toss out everything, plus costing more since it's larger, plus failing more often for the same reason.
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0
October 12, 2012 6:27:33 PM

Daki@internetladExcept this one is 299.99 or 349.99 depending on the SKU (there's supposed to be a 249.99 SKU but it doesn't seem to exist here)



There was never a $249 SKU at all it is 299 for 8gb and 349 for 32gb but you can espand the storage by adding a ext HDD to it via usb
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0
October 12, 2012 6:55:27 PM

tipooWe know the CPU is built on a 45nm fab, and some folks at Beyond3D estimated that the CPU is around 60mm2 given the HDMI port as a frame of reference. If you take the graphics part out of Ivy Bridge it's probably around there too, but that's on 22nm, so immensely higher in transistor density. Penryn at 45nm was 80mm2, and the Wii U is widely believed to have three cores, so each core would have to have even less transistors than the old Core 2 Duo. Transistors don't equal performance of course, but there is only so much you can do with a given transistor budget. Even the 6 year old Cell on 45nm is larger than this if the estimate is right, and that was only 200 million transistors.


Toms Hardware Trolls: I don't know what this actually means. I just come one here to dog apple and...
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-2
Anonymous
October 12, 2012 7:42:37 PM

internetladToms Hardware Users: LOOK AT THESE SPECS THIS IS NOWHERE NEAR MY 3000 DOLLAR GAMING RIG4 year old: Man this tennis game is fun. My Mii looks so cool.Grandparents: only 199 bucks? and it has that italian man on the box, the kids are sure to like this.Nintendo: IT STILL PRINTS MONEY


4 year olds dont have big gaming PCs... as far as I know :p  Kids and teens are fine away from the all mighty PC.
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-1
October 12, 2012 8:25:34 PM

sesante2000Toms Hardware Trolls: I don't know what this actually means. I just come one here to dog apple and...


Huh?
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3
October 12, 2012 9:10:19 PM

You also gotta remember that consoles don't require anywhere near as much processor horsepower as a PC does. They run a specialized OS tailored to the CPU, to use low amounts of memory, and cpu overhead. Not to mention any game made for it, is going to be highly optimized for that hardware.
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2
October 12, 2012 9:24:48 PM

I never used a Wii, AMA!

been PC Gaming since 80286.

I will however finally buy this one. my wife will appreciate the touch tablet, while she does stuff on screen to add to my immersion. I hope Nintendo pulls off games like this. coop, tablet + gamepad.
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0
October 13, 2012 1:42:35 AM

MathosYou also gotta remember that consoles don't require anywhere near as much processor horsepower as a PC does. They run a specialized OS tailored to the CPU, to use low amounts of memory, and cpu overhead. Not to mention any game made for it, is going to be highly optimized for that hardware.


Lol, they still stagnate the gaming industry for years.
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0
October 13, 2012 1:56:52 AM

MathosYou also gotta remember that consoles don't require anywhere near as much processor horsepower as a PC does. They run a specialized OS tailored to the CPU, to use low amounts of memory, and cpu overhead. Not to mention any game made for it, is going to be highly optimized for that hardware.


All of which is also true of the previous consoles which it is competing with. I think most of us get that consoles aren't meant to be gaming PC competitors.

This is tomshardware, no one else wants to venture guesses based on these pictures? Does the 60mm2 CPU estimate look accurate? On 45nm and such low wattage, how powerful do you think this could be in comparison to the Xenon or Cell?

tipooWe know the CPU is built on a 45nm fab, and some folks at Beyond3D estimated that the CPU is around 60mm2 given the HDMI port as a frame of reference. If you take the graphics part out of Ivy Bridge it's probably around there too, but that's on 22nm, so immensely higher in transistor density. Penryn at 45nm was 80mm2, and the Wii U is widely believed to have three cores, so each core would have to have even less transistors than the old Core 2 Duo. Transistors don't equal performance of course, but there is only so much you can do with a given transistor budget. Even the 6 year old Cell on 45nm is larger than this if the estimate is right, and that was only 200 million transistors.

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0
October 13, 2012 2:30:35 AM

ATMinsideCool and everything, but I was really looking forward to hear about architecture of the CPU and GPU. What type of memory it has, how much it has, how many cores or threads the CPU has, what version of open gl can the GPU support. What type of GPU is used? Sheesh this beak down was like reading a transcript from a political debate where there is no details and just some bare minimum information. Seems like Nintendo is REALLY down playing the importance of hardware. Do they really think they will have enough titles at start up to make consumers ignore that deficiency?


Consoles don't sell units based on hardware specs, this is not a PC.

Protip: They sold out of preorders the day it was made available, I don't think they'll have an issue with initial sales.

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0
October 13, 2012 5:21:19 AM

ATMinsideCool and everything, but I was really looking forward to hear about architecture of the CPU and GPU. What type of memory it has, how much it has, how many cores or threads the CPU has, what version of open gl can the GPU support. What type of GPU is used? Sheesh this beak down was like reading a transcript from a political debate where there is no details and just some bare minimum information. Seems like Nintendo is REALLY down playing the importance of hardware. Do they really think they will have enough titles at start up to make consumers ignore that deficiency?


the gpu they used has a tesslation engine on it
what i want to know is if that will be implemented in games.
sure you would had games take a 30-40% hit on performance, but currently im getting about 60fps on well programmed games at near max if not max settings. you tell me the game will play at 40 fps, but would beat out anything the ps3 or 360 could spit out in terms of polies and detail... im fairly interested.

and the only people i heard complain about the wiiu not being powerful enough was epic, who are pushing a tech demo and a vision for the next gen of a 3 tflop minimum gpu. so i really take what they say in terms of not being powerfull enough with a grain of salt.
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1
October 13, 2012 6:19:35 AM

MathosYou also gotta remember that consoles don't require anywhere near as much processor horsepower as a PC does. They run a specialized OS tailored to the CPU, to use low amounts of memory, and cpu overhead. Not to mention any game made for it, is going to be highly optimized for that hardware.

Only 1st parties will be optimized. The rest are usually muddied down by multiplatform middleware.
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0
October 13, 2012 7:54:06 AM

look everyone, it won't matter what's in the Wii U because it's capable of native 1080p at 60 fps, which will be enough for the next 5-7 years. Then if 4k TV's become the standard by that time, they'll have a new console which will do 4k at 60fps.
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0
October 13, 2012 8:36:30 AM

That was actually a good read on what was done on the Wii U. Kind of surprised how much engineering went into the cooling I would have thought they would have just said screw it and tossed in a copper heatsink and low speed fan for good cooling and low noise. Heck thats what I would've done even if I had Nintendo's resources at hand.
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0
October 13, 2012 12:52:29 PM

BigMack70Newsflash buddy: games are rendered in 720p and then upscaled... this thing doesn't have the hardware to do 1080p rendering let alone with 60fps


you are putting words in nintendo's mouth that were never spoken, every thing they said , points to the console having NATIVE 1080p that means it renders natively in 1080op they never once mentioned upscaling. upscalling is what CURRENT consoles do. so quit being a hater. and eys this consoel likely does ahve enough power to run 1080p games , keep in mind console have less code overhead because their code is nubed down from full pc code. meaning the code is more efficent and direct (ie less room for doing stuff with t he code) point is code running on a console requires less hardware.
this directly translates to more availbe power for resolution.
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1
October 13, 2012 1:00:03 PM

alidanthe gpu they used has a tesslation engine on itwhat i want to know is if that will be implemented in games. sure you would had games take a 30-40% hit on performance, but currently im getting about 60fps on well programmed games at near max if not max settings. you tell me the game will play at 40 fps, but would beat out anything the ps3 or 360 could spit out in terms of polies and detail... im fairly interested. and the only people i heard complain about the wiiu not being powerful enough was epic, who are pushing a tech demo and a vision for the next gen of a 3 tflop minimum gpu. so i really take what they say in terms of not being powerfull enough with a grain of salt.


i think epic is just trying to hype pc devs and gamers for UDK 4 , i in no way believe their bogas claims of needing "a super computer on a single gpu to run it". Unreal in the past has become the giant engine it is because of it's ability to scale down , also there have been other articles where they claimed the engine would run on tablet pc's. If they did design their next udk to require such power , few people would be interested in licensing it for the first few years, that would put epic in the poor house, so i think epic is just full of s---.
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1
October 14, 2012 6:09:44 AM

looking the picture I almost though it was looking at a real computer
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0
October 14, 2012 10:54:49 AM

demonhorde665i think epic is just trying to hype pc devs and gamers for UDK 4 , i in no way believe their bogas claims of needing "a super computer on a single gpu to run it". Unreal in the past has become the giant engine it is because of it's ability to scale down , also there have been other articles where they claimed the engine would run on tablet pc's. If they did design their next udk to require such power , few people would be interested in licensing it for the first few years, that would put epic in the poor house, so i think epic is just full of s---.


oh, i dont think that the engine itself requires high end hardware to run... well... they are misleading articles about them... but i dont think they would push an unplayable engine, but i do know epic are lobbying microsoft and sony for more powerful gpus.

i dont doubt that the demos that they have shown don't require a 3tflop gpu, and if the rumor is right, the next upper mid range cards will be in the 3-4tflop range from amd, so super computer... no... a better gpu than most of us have to run it at 1080p at max detail... i believe it.
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October 14, 2012 8:56:49 PM

CaedenVThe motion controller was great because it brought more natural control to everyone from little kids to senior citizens, and it worked well (unlike kinnect), and it stayed out of the way (unlike the PS Move). Having to continually switch between 2 monitors, 1 which is 5-10 feet away, and another that is 1-2 feet away, is not natural, and not user friendly. It can allow for some more interesting game mechanics (especially for a card based game such as pokemon), but most games will not develop specifically for this feature, or will tack it onto a ported title and not really make it work like it ought to. Basically, having 2 screens will decease the audience by pricing the accessories out of the reach of the causal/budget gamer, and being too complicated for older audiences.It will still sell well and print lots of money for Nintendo, but I do not think it will gain the wide-spread audience that the wii had. Personally I even got a wii (and I never get consoles), and enjoyed using it, but there were a lack of games that appealed to my age bracket which were not ports that I could simply get for my PC (and even an entry level PC with onboard graphics today looks infinitely better than the wii does). So after getting the hang of bowling, golf, and zelda I pretty much never picked it up again, so I will not be getting the wiiU. 5-8 years from now when the next gen console comes out my kiddos will be old enough to play, and I will probably feed the N machine for a generation then, but by the time the next gen rolls around they will be teens with either big kid consoles, or their own game rigs, so it will probably be the only N console I ever get.


While I admit there was a lack of games out there that were not just more then wagglefests... even putting aside Nintendo's great first party games, I found alot of deep and fun games that were not just "Carnival Games 18".. such as

Little King's Story
Lost in the Shadow
Fragile Dreams
Muramasa the Demon Blade
Monster Hunter Tri
The Last Story
XenoBlade Chronicles
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
Rune Factory Tides of Destiny + Frontier
Metal Slug Anthology
Ivy the Kiwi
Dragon Quest X (coming out for both Wii and WiiU)
Epic Mickey 1 + 2
Tatsunoko vs Capcom
A Boy and His Blob
Ultimate Shooting Collection (3 Japanese bullet-hell shooters that were released on the NAOMI arcade board)
Okami (PS2 Port, but still new to alot of people)

Then you look at some other import only games that came out that with an easy mod you can play.

I am so happy to have a deep single player experience that has a bright fantasy world. This whole "Realistic" or "Gritty" or "Mature" thing that seemed to hit full swing when GTA III came out for the PS2 bores the crap out of me. Sure I am more then happy to play an FPS with some interesting elements to it... but this whole Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty thing... kinda lame. Just because you hit a certain age doesn't mean that everything has to be "Mature", give me a fleshed out and deep world that I can get lost in then space marines anyday.

It also makes you look at what the word "Mature" in gaming means... at this point in video game history... it means realistic graphics, guns, violence, and sex (almost a teenage mindset). Yes those are mature things, but mature can mean so many other things. Heavy Rain for the PS3 was the best attempt at a truely mature video game. Deep adult story line, a sense of panic, a serious tone, real choices... I didn't like it that much personally but it is a step in the right direction towards something truely mature in gaming.

As always, E stands for Everyone.
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November 11, 2012 4:31:47 PM

BigMack70Newsflash buddy: games are rendered in 720p and then upscaled... this thing doesn't have the hardware to do 1080p rendering let alone with 60fps


Ummm, actually that's what the PS3 & 360 do... No where has Nintendo said they render everything in 720p then upscale it...
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