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Post by Dan @ 01:39pm 26/11/12 | 19 Comments
In a recent interview with broadcaster CNN promoting the North American launch of the Wii U, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has been seemingly caught out by overstating, and misrepresenting the current performance of games on the new console (thanks GoNintendo).

When fronted with the surprisingly well-informed question "Aren't you worried about the timing, and that the Wii U will be a generation behind your rivals?", Reggie's defence is to claim that the Wii U's specs are "much more graphically intensive", and goes further to explain that "if you do a side-by-side comparison, you would actually see that third party games like Call of Duty look dramatically better on our system".

Unfortunately, Fils-Aime could not have used a worse example, as the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II has since been analysed by games tech veteran Richard Leadbetter over on Digital Foundry. DF's detailed report compares the Wii U verison with the Xbox 360 offering (which has previously been compared with both PC, and PlayStation 3), and the Nintendo native comes out on the bottom of the pile. While the graphic fidelity is largely the same across both consoles, the Xbox 360 quite consistently maintains a 60FPS framerate, while the Wii U frequently drops into the 40s --with both running at the same sub-720p resolution.
The Wii U version matches the look of the Xbox 360 game and thus gives it an edge visually over the PlayStation 3 release, but unfortunately it comes up well short in terms of performance - an aspect that is all-important to the playability of a COD title. The frame-rate variance is such that the PS3 game feels generally smoother, while the 360 release feels like an entirely different game in the more demanding levels. Bearing in mind the commonalities in hardware design between Wii U and Xbox 360, we can't help but feel somewhat disappointed that Black Ops 2 under-performs so noticeably.
In addition to the obvious advantages of years of optimisation on the Xbox 360, it's also worth noting that the Wii U version has some unique advantages, such as off-screen play on the wireless GamePad, which can also function as a second discrete screen for two players on one console.

However, it seems like poor Reggie really put his foot in it when naming Call of Duty as an example of the console's superior technology. Watch the CNN interview below, and click over to Digital Foundry for their full comparison.













Latest Comments
eski
Posted 01:51pm 26/11/12
hah, I've heard terrible things about the Arkham City port.

Reggie probably knew he would get a free run on CNN so took the time to spin as much BS as possible.
thermite
Posted 02:07pm 26/11/12
It really doesn't matter if he's lying or wrong. He is the authority on the subject, and now he has cemented the fact that the Wii U is superior on national television.
Media is great like that. Just keep lying, most people can't tell what the truth is - but they are convinced that they can. Beautiful. See Campbell Newman.
Eorl
Posted 04:00pm 26/11/12
Looking forward to picking one of these up on 30th, been quite eager to get my hands on ZombiU and a few other launch titles. Must say this is the most I've ever been hyped for a console, never really cared much for 360 or PS3 on launch or even after.
Khel
Posted 04:16pm 26/11/12
Heh, its the opposite for me, usually I get excited about new console launches, but this is probably the least excited I've ever been for a new console.

I wish they'd come out and just say what the specs were instead of being so cagey and vague about it all, doesn't inspire trust in the consumer. How long is it going to last anyway, if its struggling just to keep up with what the XBox 360 and PS3 can already do? Its going to be left in the dust when the new machines come out next year.
ravn0s
Posted 04:12pm 26/11/12
this had to be the least hyped console release i've ever seen.
Khel
Posted 04:14pm 26/11/12
Yeah, I haven't even seen any advertisements for it or anything, I mentioned it to my parents and they had no idea what it was, had never heard of it and didn't have a clue it was coming out. I find thats a good indicator for how well something is marketted and what level of penetration it has, if my parents have heard about it, then news of it has reached the 'average' person. But it wasn't like they had heard of it and just didn't know details, or didn't know it was coming out, they were completely oblivious to the fact it even existed.
Enska
Posted 04:58pm 26/11/12
Yeah I was speaking to a few people at work about it and they looked at me like I was from another planet.
Nobody I know has a clue about it.
I'm pretty keen to pick one up purely because I have rose tinted glasses for the days of n64 and s***, so I'm probably gonna be let down either way :P
groganus
Posted 05:49pm 26/11/12
As if buy a Nintendo product to play games other then Nintendo exclusives.......

I'm eager to get my hands on a Wii U, at the same time Its frustrating to see a company like Nintendo make such huge risks...
Eorl
Posted 06:05pm 26/11/12
As if buy a Nintendo product to play games other then Nintendo exclusives.......I'm eager to get my hands on a Wii U, at the same time Its frustrating to see a company like Nintendo make such huge risks...

I'm guessing that's what innovation comes at, the risk of it not working as intended. Though really these negative outlooks have been around since the earlier console launches where people thought the Nintendo 64 was going to fail due to have thumbsticks. Heck the PlayStation 3 was a joke on launch yet has great looking games now.

All consoles need time to mature, as the cream of the crop only appears near the end of the cycle, with the likes of GTA V or Watch Dogs.
TufNuT
Posted 07:17pm 26/11/12
I was in Adelaide on the weekend (for the distant worlds concert), Nintendo had a tent set up in Rundle mall, got to play both on the U and the 3DS XL. played Mario bros 2, was awesome fun.

ended up trading in my PS vita which I hardly ever play and picked up 3DS XL with Mario Bros 2 for $100 (with trade).

At the end of the day I wouldn't expect anyone to buy the Wii U (or any Wii) for 'hard core' gaming. as fun as the Wii U is I probably wouldn't buy it..

but yeah seems silly that they would be claiming it to be as good or better than its rivals..
Linker
Posted 09:40pm 26/11/12
Even though Reggie's comments are incorrect, I wouldn't be so quick to judge the Wii's performance for multiplatform titles. It's not like developers have had 6 years to develop for the console, more likely only 6 months to port it. Compare day 1 games such as Perfect Dark Zero on the Xbox 360 and you'll understand.
Khel
Posted 10:16pm 26/11/12
Compare day 1 games such as Perfect Dark Zero on the Xbox 360 and you'll understand.


It still ran better than it would have on the original XBox though, thats like the equivalent here. I'm sure people haven't completely got their heads around the intricacies of coding for the Wii-U yet, but the same game, at the same level of detail, is running worse than it does on 8 year old hardware, thats a bit more than just not getting the most out of the system. Plus I'd imagine the API would have a lot in common with the Wii so they would have been able to leverage that knowledge anyway, its not like starting from scratch.

Even if you're generous and say they'll be about to get another 25 - 30% out of it once they know all its ins and outs and have optimised the s*** out of stuff for it, that only brings it up to par with what the current generation of hardware can do, possibly a very small bit in front. Its still going to be left for dead in a years time. Which by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is going to be a bad thing when you factor in that Nintendo's whole marketting push for it is that its a console that can compete on equal footing with the other consoles on the market, and that they're attempting to capture the 'hardcore' audience who currently do most of their gaming on 360 or PS3.

I'll probably still get one at some point, if people make good use of the screen in the gamepad and theres some cool first party or exclusive titles for it, but I can't imagine a reality where I would get the Wii-U version of a game that was available on other platforms. It'll be like third party titles on the Wii all over again, once the next generation of hardware comes out and companies realise they can't just straight port their games over to the Wii-U because it can't handle them, they'll just drop third party support for it.
Midda
Posted 10:30pm 26/11/12
I have to admit, I find it all a bit confusing when we see these multiplatform titles with average performance on the Wii U, when that Zelda demo when it was unveiled looked amazing and was being rendered at 1080p. I understand that it was basically just an in-game cinematic, but it still looked pretty kick-arse, especially given the resolution.

Either way, I'll be picking up my pre-order on Friday and getting stuck into it. I'm pretty keen for ZombieU and Rayman Legends.
Eorl
Posted 12:08am 27/11/12
It will definitely be interesting to see what Sony and Microsoft are going to be offering, considering Sony's recent junk status debacle and Microsoft leaning more towards Kinect integration. Look at what the Wii did with motion controlling and how everyone needed to have their own version so I could see Microsoft pushing their glass tech.

I understand the doom and gloom as its just a natural response to something new especially after 8 year old tech has been in the reigns, but really people are just jumping on the bandwagon at times. Hopefully we can see some really cool looking games utilising the Wii U tablet, hell I'll make my own if I have to. A Dungeon Master style game would be just amazing if done right.

Also Nintendo consoles have always been about the first party titles, its just a given. However it seems they want to also cater towards third party so they are offering that tech, however I'm not sure whether the developers are just getting use to things or it is old tech. I have an inkling it could be either or, will have to wait I guess.

The most interesting thing that will come out of this next-gen beginnings is how the other two will follow. I'm highly doubting these next consoles will be what people are claiming, with 4K graphics and 16GB RAM as it just would not be profitable, but I'd like to be proven wrong. Time will tell I guess.
Linker
Posted 12:12am 27/11/12
Yeah its going to be very interesting considering sony's financials. It seems like the tv division cuts didnt work and they might have to leave that market altogether to stay afloat after the much needed restructure.
Midda
Posted 12:23am 27/11/12
Yeah, I'm not expecting anything terribly impressive from the next console generation. While I'm sure they'll be more powerful than the Wii U, I highly doubt we'll see a jump on par with the Xbox > Xbox 360. Microsoft will play up the Kinect, and Sony will... I don't know, be Sony?

I reckon my current PC will probably still out-perform the next consoles, though I'd like to be proven wrong.
Khel
Posted 02:37am 27/11/12
Well I'd expect at least the 360 to fully support DX11 or DX12 or whatever the version is when it comes out, and Sony's next offering will no doubt offer up a proprietary, difficult to work with API that achieves the same thing, which means we'll see more games fully embracing those features instead them just being added into PC ports as a token gimmick or afterthought. I think that alone will dramatically bump up the overall quality of games, since the lowest common denominator that they're coded for, will no longer actually be low.

I understand the doom and gloom as its just a natural response to something new especially after 8 year old tech has been in the reigns


I would have expected the natural response to something new after 8 years to be excitement and buzz and hype. The fact that theres so much doom and gloom and complete lack of buzz and marketting is entirely the opposite of what I'd expect for a new console launch.
TiT
Posted 01:35pm 27/11/12
I hate consoles but i did buy wii off ebay couple of years ago for $100. The only reason is that i love the party games (Beer and mario kart is always winner) and mario games brings back memories as originally owned NES and loved the SuperNES. If i want to play real games i just buy them for the PC.
skythra
Posted 09:36am 29/11/12
I hate consoles but i did buy wii off ebay couple of years ago for $100. The only reason is that i love the party games (Beer and mario kart is always winner) and mario games brings back memories as originally owned NES and loved the SuperNES. If i want to play real games i just buy them for the PC.

Oh yeah you can totally get a positive return on investment. Even though it was only like maybe 4-5 times of drinks and wii, the $200 on that passing it around like 8 people playing 2-4 player games in brawl, cart or wii sports, it was well wroth the money.

It's just that it's not a console in the sense of sitting at home after a day at work and relaxing f or an hour or so on the couch alone.

Nor is it a media centre like the ps3 and xbox are.

Maybe the wii U can overcome that and make it a party game machine + cheap media centre, or maybe it can't. Time will quickly tell.
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