Monday December 5, 2011 11:06 am
Rumored Wii U specs put it ahead of Xbox 360, PS3
Let the console-jockeying commence: Rumored specifications for Nintendo's big follow up to the Wii are hitting the airwaves and, if true, they'll give Nintendo a one-up on its console rivals for a brief period of time, at least.
According to Wii U Daily, an undisclosed developer has allegedly leaked some of the specifications for Nintendo's Wii U gaming console, currently rumored for released in the latter part of next year. According to the rumor-starter, the Wii U will allegedly pack a quad-core, 3-GHz CPU from IBM into its design, a 45-nanometer PowerPC chip that's "very similar" to the 3.2-GHz triple-core PowerPC processor found in the Xbox 360.
Wii U Daily goes on to mention that the Wii U will come with 768 megabytes of embedded DRAM – built on the same die as the CPU itself – as well as an "unknown," 40-nanometer GPU from ATI.
Are your eyebrows raised yet? If not, they should be. First off, IBM's already insinuated that the Wii U will be using a Power7 variant of its Power-based microprocessor architecture, not a PowerPC. That said, there is a four-core Power7 CPU in IBM's arsenal that runs at 3.0-GHz on the dot – make of that what you will. As Extreme Tech's Sebastian Anthony puts it, "In terms of raw power, this should put the Wii U way ahead of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3."
And then there's the memory issue. Or, in other words, the questioning of whether Wii U Daily just got its phrasing wrong, or whether anything it's reporting has any accuracy to begin with. The website claims that Nintendo is testing versions of the Wii U with both 768MB and one gigabyte of "embedded" DRAM. In other words, eDRAM, of which the current-generation Xbox 360 has 10MB and the Wii has 3MB. A console with 768 megabytes of eDRAM would be both prohibitively expensive and likely not fit in one's living room.
While it's been suggested that Nintendo's successor console will come with a large quantity of embedded DRAM, a more likely scenario – a completely unofficial speculation, we should note – is that the main memory of the Wii U will hover around 768MB or one gigabyte and the eDRAM will come in at 32MB. For comparison's sake, the system's main memory would be a bit beefier than the 512MB currently found on today's Xbox 360. As for the eDRAM, that's still a high amount for a gaming console, but the Wii U will certainly need all it can get for displaying its images at a native 1080P resolution.
Ultimately, we're all playing the speculation guessing game. Numbers aside, it's safe to say that the Wii U will best the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, specs-wise, until both companies release their own follow-ups sometime after the debut of the Wii U. Welcome to the console wars.
This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.