IBM is still being quite secretive about the multi-core CPU it is providing for Nintendo's Wii U, but details are slowly leaking about what it has under the hood. The "Watson" chip is said to be a custom Radeon GPU, and while it's not exactly cutting edge it is capable of surpassing the output of the Xbox 360 and PS3. The chip is similar to the R770 found in AMD's last-gen cards like the 4890, but he custom core also supports Direct X 10.1, whereas the Xbox 360 can only run Direct X 9. It also supports an Eyefinity-like multi-display tech for up to four SD video stream, something Nintendo was being wishy washy about at e3. So it is a powerful system, but not cutting edge. These are not final specs however, and are subject to change before launch next year.
Wondering how powerful the Wii U is? Well it is powerful enough to run Crytek's Cry Engine 3, that much is known. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli had this to say about the developer's support for the new Nintendo system, "Crytek’s support for Wii U is definitely going to happen. We aren't showing it but we are pretty much running it already.” That is in stark contrast to id Software's statement, which showed hesitation due to the system's potential audience. Hopefully we see more Western developers like Crytek take a positive outlook on the potential Wii U offers, if only for its graphical prowess.
For some reason there are still a lot of gamers out there who think that all Wii U brings to the table are the same touchscreen controls we saw on the DS. Here is footage of the Ubisoft Wii U developer roundtable held last Wednesday night that will show you just a small amount of the potential the new Wii U controller brings to gaming.
Today is the final day of e3 2011. What a year it was, we had an information blowout on the PS Vita, a ton of new Kinect games, and even a new Nintendo console. But which of the big three, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo had the best e3 showing? Not just their press conference, but developer round tables and booths included. Click "read more" to become pleasantly surprised, or possibly upset if you are a fanboy.
During the Wii U third party roundtable held tonight Ubisoft announced that gamers would have a unified friends list, hinting that friend codes were completely gone. Is this just for Ghost Recon Online, or does this extend to every game on Nintendo's new system? I am seriously hoping for the latter. Maybe this means Nintendo is finally serious about online multiplayer.
Everyone expected to have their socks blown off by the announcement of Nintendo's new system, now known as the Wii U. Did it deliver? I'd answer that question with a resounding yes. Nintendo's goal with the Wii U is to deliver something for every type of gamer, both casual and core. They acknowledged that the Wii's lack of HD support was one of the main causes of this schism in the first place, so Nintendo is making sure this system is a graphical power house. It supports 1080p, is more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (although we don't know by how much), and can stream content to it's greatest new feature, the touch screen controller. But all of that power wouldn't mean anything without great software, which is why Nintendo announced some of the best third party support a Nintendo system has seen since the NES days. They showed a demo reel featuring core games like Dark Stalkers 2, Ninja Gaiden 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Tekken, and Batman: Arkham City. EA, Ubisoft and several other publishers and developers also announced their excitement for the system and their intent to develop for it.
Click "read more" to find out what I think about the rest of the conference, as well as watch a trailer of what The Legend of Zelda might look like in HD