Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
[Editorial] Who Cares About the Wii U CPU Specs?!
I grew up in a time when “bits” was the only thing that mattered. The NES was 8-bit, then came SEGA with the 16-bit Genesis and that’s when the fun started. See, companies like SEGA and Atari had a huge hard-on for bits. While Sega at least cared about the games they released in the bit wars, Atari didn’t. So at one point you had the 16 bit Genesis and SNES destroying the 64 bit Atari Jaguar because the games sucked and really didn’t look much better. SEGA carried on with the “bit” wars, releasing the 32X which was 32 bits. Then came the CD based 32-bit systems, the N64 (64 bits), and then FINALLY the bit wars ended because people stopped caring.
Or did they? The Wii versus 360/PS3 debate opened up a whole new debate of technology, but now everyone calls it CPU specs. At the end of the day, the Wii was very successful even while being overpowered by the Xbox 360 and PS3, still had a ton of graphically pleasing games and made companies tons of money. Look at the Sony PSP versus Nintendo DS war. Which system outperformed the other? Same thing could be said so far with the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita.
Now we have the Wii U which has just been launched and, oh God, here comes the usual crap again:
“I READ ONLINE ON A SITE THAT A GUY WHO MADE A VIDEO GAME SAID THE CPU IS CRAP CUZ NINTENDO WON’T RELEASE DA SPECKS!” You see moronic things like this all over the place.
“THE PROCESSOR ISN’T AS GOOD AS 360 OMG FAILZ!” So, what, do we need to call SEGA to get “blast processing” on the Wii U? I can’t tell you how many poorly written articles I’ve read bashing the Wii U “guts” just because of speculation and skewed numbers.
The facts are this: Right now, at launch, the Wii U is pushing two of the most graphically taxing 360/PS3 games out, Mass Effect 3 and Assassin’s Creed 3. So using that logic, how exactly could the system be weaker, when the ports are just as good if not better than on the other machines? Both Assassin’s Creed 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 run BETTER on the Wii U than on PS3, and that is fact. Try it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. I have.
“THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S HARDER TO PROGRAM FOR DA PS3, 360 RULEZ!” Alright, using that logic again, let’s look at something else.
If these games were designed for the 360 then ported to the Wii U and PS3, and the Wii U handles them just fine, then what’s to say that things aren’t going to get better? Look at a game like Perfect Dark Zero and compare it to Mass Effect 3. Do they look like they belong on the same system? Hardly. But they are on the same system, and that’s because developers find ways to harness power more efficiently and learn ways to program their games to look and play better.
So, if the highest graphical quality games of the Xbox 360/PS3 are being ran as launch titles on the Wii U, imagine how good the games will look in several years when developers harness the console’s power. Mass Effect 3 could be the Perfect Dark Zero for the Wii U [Ed — Graphically speaking, at least]. These games aren’t overburdening the system at all, so the sky is the limit.
Basically, shut up about the freaking specs. None of that matters. Any point you have about specs, I can refute it and I pretty much have covered the two main ones everyone likes to bring up. Whether it’s a 16-bit or 2000-bit device with a super core CPU processor, I don’t care. I play video games. I would rather play Sonic 2 than Vampire Rain on Xbox 360 because one game is good and the other sucks. It doesn’t matter HOW much power you have, it’s what you DO with it that matters.