Game Developer On Wii U’s Slow CPU And Untapped Potential Compared To PS3/360

We ask them about the Wii U.

Posted By | On 06th, Jan. 2013 Under Article, News | Follow This Author @KartikMdgl

We recently interviewed Fronzenbyte Games, the developers of Trine 2, and this is what they had to say when asked about how difficult it was to port Trine 2 to the Wii U, and how much untapped potential it has compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

“None whatsoever,” they said, when asked whether Wii U’s slower clock speed had an effect on porting. “The whole architecture is running very well and we were able to ramp the Trine 2 art to a higher degree than with the other consoles.

“So for porting no issues at all and there is a nice base for future original development too. Maybe some were looking for a larger leap in terms of pure power, but in the end I believe most developers will be quite comfortable with the system.”

Trine 2 DC combat

They also believe the Wii U has a lot of potential but they mentioned that Nintendo mostly designs a console based on what their first-party games offer, and have their own standards.

“Absolutely, but again in a very different direction that Nintendo has always been known for. They create their own standards and have huge IPs to fall back on. As for untapping the hidden power of new consoles.. I think Nintendo personifies that in all of their first party titles, regardless of the actual CPU or GPU performance.”

Trine 2 video.

Several developers have been pretty critical about the Wii U’s memory speed and some even called it horrible. We had also reported that the Wii U’s GPU clock speed is slower than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. You can check that report over here. Our full interview will be posted soon. Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Alexis Rodriguez

    Incorrect, info there. If Marcan’s reports are to be believed, how exactly is the GPU clocked slower than PS360 if it’s @ 550mhz, the same speed as RSX (which is weaker than Xenos (@ 500mhz))?

    I don’t understand how people can be naive to believe the clock speed is what determines the overall performance of the system (it matters, but it isn’t all that determines power). Did you really need to ask whether the slower clock speed caused issues? It’ll only cause issues for games that were designed to run with a high clocked CPU’s in mind. (The CPU in 360 for example is only how it is because of the high 3.2ghz clock speed, if it didn’t run in that speed, it would choke severely due to its design and very low IPC). A lot of engines designed for PS360 rely on the high clock speed and heavy SIMD, which is something Wii U CPU doesn’t have. Since the SIMD is apparently “weaker”, developers would need to find alternatives to SIMD for their games in order to get most out of the CPU. Based on most ports, it would seem like the devs relied too much on the SIMD, which is apparently weaker on Espresso. For the final results, it looks like the only things that helped the SIMD were the Out-of-Order execution, higher IPC and extremely low pipeline (4 stages @ 1.24 GHZ, that’s pretty good).

    In other words, we can blame the CPU for not having a better SIMD; however we can further blame the devs/port people for using SIMD and not something else (which would have required heavy modification of code, and I don’t believe time nor money was available at a convenient amount for that. It would be a pain to rewrite code with such limitations at hand)

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