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Wii U Does Not Support EA's Frostbite Engine

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 50 comments

Yes, this means EA's Star Wars game won't be coming to the Wii U.

Nintendo's goal for the Wii U was to bring on board plenty of third party developers and third party titles. It was the publisher's attempt to tell gamers that they could still be considered hardcore, even after their long association with casual gaming on the Wii. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Nintendo's attempt to court third party developers with its new console is working out too well. So far, the Wii U's have been playing catch-up with the current-gen, receiving re-releases of third party titles that have already been out long before being on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Now, after bringing FIFA, Need for Speed, and Mass Effect to the platform, EA may be jumping off the Wii U ship. According to the publisher, the Frostbite Engine 3 won't be coming to the Wii U. "FB3 has never been running on WiiU. We did some tests with not too promising results with FB2 & chose not to go down that path," explained DICE technical director Johan Andersson via Twitter.

This means that the Wii U won't be getting some of EA's biggest upcoming titles including the next Mass Effect, Dragon Age 3, Battlefield 4, and the unannounced Star Wars game that will be coming out of the new EA-Disney deal.

Things aren't looking good for the Wii U on the third party end. Nintendo might be able to get by this generation cruising on the power of the first party, yet again, but it won't be able to survive riding its train by itself for forever.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    themissingpiece , May 12, 2013 8:02 PM
    Doesn't support it? More like EA/DICE is too lazy to adapt it to WiiU/they can't make money off Frostbite WiiU games. If they can adapt BF4 to the Xbox 360 and PS3, they can adapt it to the WiiU. I'll wager that the WiiU can run Frostbite better than those ancient pieces of technology can too.
  • 28 Hide
    Yuka , May 12, 2013 7:47 PM
    Sorry to say this, but the premise/title is very stupid.
    Hardware doesn't adapt to software; it's the other way around.
    Cheers!
  • 18 Hide
    nevilence , May 12, 2013 6:09 PM
    This console seems to have been a rush job with little real foresight. I mean if it is playing catch up with current consoles then someone in Nintendo is dropping the eight ball. Which is a pity, as I am a fan of Nintendo and have played since the original
Other Comments
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  • 18 Hide
    nevilence , May 12, 2013 6:09 PM
    This console seems to have been a rush job with little real foresight. I mean if it is playing catch up with current consoles then someone in Nintendo is dropping the eight ball. Which is a pity, as I am a fan of Nintendo and have played since the original
  • 0 Hide
    Ninjamonkeh , May 12, 2013 6:25 PM
    IIRC the unreal 4 engine wasnt on wii u , or at least epic wouldnt use it but maybe someone else would. Doesnt look good for the wii u.
  • 11 Hide
    hero1 , May 12, 2013 6:34 PM
    Someone dropped the ball at Nintendo. I am glad I didn't get one because I was that close to doing so. Phew, dodged that one!
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , May 12, 2013 6:42 PM
    Never really understood the hubbub about the Wii U. It seems like a rushed console, barely superior to the XBOX 360/PS3. Microsoft & Sony's next-gen consoles will smoke it, as they did with the Wii. Oh well, Nintendo's sales will reflect this. Suck for them.
  • 8 Hide
    dormantreign , May 12, 2013 6:56 PM
    I bought the WiiU for its first party games. No Regrets....give me the Zeldas :) 
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2013 7:09 PM
    Its because the Wii and Wii U were designed for the casual/family/sub 12 yr old crowd that game. Not hardcore fps shooters. The next gen graphics such as frostbite don't mix and shouldn't with the Wii. Stick with Mario Nintendo.
  • -3 Hide
    unknown9122 , May 12, 2013 7:24 PM
    Wii-garbage
  • 28 Hide
    Yuka , May 12, 2013 7:47 PM
    Sorry to say this, but the premise/title is very stupid.
    Hardware doesn't adapt to software; it's the other way around.
    Cheers!
  • 33 Hide
    themissingpiece , May 12, 2013 8:02 PM
    Doesn't support it? More like EA/DICE is too lazy to adapt it to WiiU/they can't make money off Frostbite WiiU games. If they can adapt BF4 to the Xbox 360 and PS3, they can adapt it to the WiiU. I'll wager that the WiiU can run Frostbite better than those ancient pieces of technology can too.
  • 0 Hide
    everygamer , May 12, 2013 8:05 PM
    So lets see, the Wii U hardly matches up versus the current XBOX or PS3 offerings, yet Nintendo expects to compete against the next XBOX / PS models when they are released. Good luck!
    I in the past have owned every console system going back to the Super Nintendo / Sega Genesis. I have no intention of wasting my time with the Wii U, or any future Nintendo product. Thanks for the great memories, please release your library of games on other platforms (Microsoft/Sony/Apple/Google/etc) and give up on the hardware, you can't possibly keep up with the race anymore.
  • -4 Hide
    bluestar2k11 , May 12, 2013 8:10 PM
    Soo... Battlefield 4 (Using frostbite 3) can run on the 360 and PS3, but not the WiiiU?
    And frostbite 2 gave unimpressive results? I can't believe that for a second.
    Yeah.. Sure EA.
    Keep trying to make crap up, your starting to sound like a politician: a career liar.
    You're just too lazy to work on the thread coding for your engine to make it run.
  • 0 Hide
    poik , May 12, 2013 8:17 PM
    Probably a result of the PPC CPU and R700 graphics. Yes, it could support it but with the XBOX and PS4 both going APU x86 cost benefit wouldn't be there. It's also a lot slower which could be frustrating. I wouldn't say it's so much a rush job as it was a product of the components available at the time. The new systems will be using current APU systems 3-4 generations ahead of the WiiU because in the last year that's how much change will have occurred. The choice of a PPC chip might be problematic moving forward but that's historically what Nintendo has used.
  • -6 Hide
    everygamer , May 12, 2013 8:17 PM

    Quote from the comments ...
    Yuka said ...
    Sorry to say this, but the premise/title is very stupid.
    Hardware doesn't adapt to software; it's the other way around.
    Cheers!
    Hardware does adapt to the software, the console market is a reflection of the PC market, in the PC market game engines come out all the time that are way beyond the hardware available at the time. You get software that can only run at 10-15 fps with the top hardware on the market with bleeding edge graphics features then as new hardware comes out games can fully make use of the new software techniques in real-time with the help of the newer hardware.
    Software development tends to outstrip hardware development. Hardware makers adapt to those trends and push to catch up. A little company called 3DFX made a point of that back in the 1990's when they released one of the early and most popular graphics cards the Voodoo. They didn't release the card and then people got good ideas for games, people were making games and the hardware came along to solve a performance problem.
    Hardware adapts in that each generation of hardware is built upon what was done in the last generation, and then the needs of the software market drive the direction of research/growth in hardware.
    The console market looks at the PC market, takes from it the best it can get its hands on and still release a console at a competitive price, and then builds in game development requirements to keep the performance stable. If you look at the console market you can easily say that software adapts to fit the hardware, but the console market has a 6 year life cycle for replacement, the PC market shifts hardware every 12-18 months, and in this place software pushes hardware.
  • -4 Hide
    razor512 , May 12, 2013 8:31 PM
    Cant they work on either releasing a firmware update that overclocks the CPU significantly, or re release the console with a faster modern CPU, then offer free upgrade kits for the 10 or so people with the old wii u console so they they can take it apart, then remove the current BGA CPU, then reflow a new CPU onto the motherboard?
  • -1 Hide
    bigdragon , May 12, 2013 8:48 PM
    I remember a few years ago when EA was kicking themselves for not supporting the Wii better when Wii global sales exceeded the 360 and PS3 combined. Here we go with them making yet another mistake. I don't see Nintendo breaking a sweat over this. They will continue to have outstanding first-party titles.
  • -4 Hide
    1zacster , May 12, 2013 8:53 PM
    This article is bullshit. The wii can run frostbite and the wiiu is roughly 50% more powerful.
  • -1 Hide
    _Pez_ , May 12, 2013 8:57 PM
    okey Nintendo I want my money back .....
  • -2 Hide
    thundervore , May 12, 2013 8:57 PM
    I am happy I did not buy a Wii U now. I waited for years to get my original Wii because Nintendo refused to release it in Black state side. Then they had the nerve to trickle out first party titles and released foreign games stateside when the system was almost dead like Xenoblade, Last Story and Pandora's Tower. Im not even going to mention Kirby Return to Dreamland which was the Kirby game we should have gotten from the start, not that Epic Yarn which was a epic yawn!
    Ive had every Nintendo system since the NES, I still have them too, but I just may skip the Wii U. I also had every Nintendo handheld since the Gameboy but im skipping the 3DS for the same reason. The good first party titles are not being released fast enough and third party companies are not innovating their games. Im tired of FPS on consoles, I have a computer for that, im tired of sports games with just updated rosters.
    As soon as Nintendo lost Rareware to Microsoft they lost all games that were just as good as First Party titles that their home consoles had to offer. That was their Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye, Conkers Bad Fur Day, Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong, and Blast Corps. Im not even mentioning Battletoads & Double Dragon because im still playing a 20 year old game on a 46 HDTV, huge pixels!!!!!
    What people need are games that made you enjoy it back in the 80s and 90s. Good RPGs, Action and Adventure, beat em ups! Not the mindless FPS games with pointless movie scenes.
    I wish I was back in the 90s, after 2001, video game developers just don't try anymore.
  • 2 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , May 12, 2013 9:03 PM
    Wow is this the biggest screw-up in the console world? No wonder Nintendo isn't doing a press conference on this year's E3, they literal have nothing to show! I feel bad for the people who payed for the Wiiu considering they screwed Wii owners hard by ending game development for the console once the Wiiu came out.
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