Skip to main content

Previous Generation Radeon HD Powers the Wii U

The big reveal at the E3 games show this year was the Wii U, Nintendo's next-generation gaming system that's set to appear in 2012.

Like the Wii, the Wii U appears to be using modest technology that's affordable today, rather than the state-of-the-art parts that Microsoft and Sony chose for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over five years ago.

According to Japanese publication Game Watch, powering the graphics in the Wii U is an AMD Radeon HD 4000 series class GPU. Yes, this does mean that the Wii U, which is still a year away from market, is already spec'ed with a GPU that's decidedly last-generation.

Still, despite it being quite old in the PC world, it's still more advanced than Microsoft and Sony current offerings. The ATI GPU in the Xbox 360 and Nvidia GPU in the PS3 are of the DirectX 9 generation and feature Shader Model 3.0.

The Wii's GPU is based off of the RV770 core, which is of DirectX 10.1 generation with Shader Model 4.0.

Nintendo's use of Xbox 360 and PS3 game footage as its own at the E3 keynote may have raised a few eyebrows, but with this GPU, the Wii U should have no problem at least matching the graphical output of the current generation.

  • whysobluepandabear
    This is beyond F'ing sad.



    I can buy a 6870 RIGHT NOW for $165 after rebate. I'm sure if Nintendo was approaching Nvidia or AMD, they could strike a handsome deal on something similar.


    Why are they going to charge in the range of $400, for a console that has CHEAP ASS hardware in it? Nintendo is seriously the Apple of consoles.
    Reply
  • dormantreign
    It really looks like toms hardware will be shitting on the wiiu untill its released....Zelda in 1080p...comeon that as to count for something...oh an first post
    Reply
  • ben850
    Thanks for pushing the envelope Nintendo! Guess I'll be waiting a while before upgrading my video card again :(
    Reply
  • I just replaced an HD4870 from 2008 with a GTX 560ti. So the next Wii Console might be as powerful as my 3 year old graphics card.

    Hopefully the Xbox 720 will come out a year later then the Wii U sporting a HD8000 based GPU in it, and you know be caught up with the current PC hardware.

    The Wii U should have been called the Wii 2, it will be just as far behind and based around a stupid controller as the first one!
    Reply
  • whysobluepandabearThis is beyond F'ing sad. I can buy a 6870 RIGHT NOW for $165 after rebate. I'm sure if Nintendo was approaching Nvidia or AMD, they could strike a handsome deal on something similar. Why are they going to charge in the range of $400, for a console that has CHEAP ASS hardware in it? Nintendo is seriously the Apple of consoles.
    The console will be cheap, but the controller will be $200 by itself!
    Reply
  • Assmar
    If they pack 1 gb of vram on that it will at least be able to run current console games at 1080p, but don't bet on anything too fancy. But when people have talked about the controller they have pointed out the terribly outdated tech in those as well.
    Reply
  • flybri
    When the new Xbox and PS3 comes out, it better have graphics equal to that of the new Unreal tech demo that came out recently at the GDC. Epic said a reason they showed it off was to show what current graphics tech could do when running tri-SLI, in the hopes that this would get console makers to want to put out new consoles sooner rather than later. I'm all for it, but the graphics better be up to snuff.
    Reply
  • malicemizer
    This is a joke. I have a radeon 4670 and its a pos. I could go to a trailer trash store like walmart and buy a better graphics card for gods sake. I love nintendo but wtf man.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    This is a smart move, the resolution will never have to go above 1920 x 1080 and the HD4000 series in a PC can bust some serious moves with that.

    If they use a HD48xx core that should do for the foreseeable - you really don't need HD6000 series in a console, absolute waste of resources.
    Reply
  • mactronix
    You all seem to be down on this announcement, Why ? I will tell you why because you obviously know nothing about Graphics thats why.
    Pretty much all games that are being released these days are straight Console ports.
    When fully optimized to run the game code like it will be in the Wii U the Rv770 core will be a huge step ahead of the graphical abilities of the other consoles. I don't see people complaining about the Xbox graphics at the moment do you ?
    Reply