The Wii U Speculation Thread V: The Final Frontier

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IdeaMan

My source is my ass!
A news concerning the dev kits (models, availability to developers, etc.)

One month and half ago, i told you that big third-parties were noticed by Nintendo that they should receive the development kits following the V4 ones that they used since late last year/start of january, at the end of march/beginning of april. These "V5" dev kits seemed to be tagged final or near final, and see a slight increase in their performances.

Here's the message which i'm referring to

Nearly all this post's infos are STILL relevant, except the time schedule. It appears third-parties were waiting for these dev kits during all april. There has been a delay of at least one month in the supply of this equipment by Nintendo.

But finally, they just received them

Another important news: they are the mass produced dev kits.

_________________________

Here's some bits of my previous message in regard to this subject, but updated:

- Except maybe big japanese studios (like Capcom), i doubt that other third-parties received these dev kits (much) earlier. It's likely that my sources are one of the firsts to be granted of the latest revisions. This means that all the declarations, the news, from foreign developers, that you've read until now, were certainly in a V4 dev kit framework, before the release of these newest ones.

- A previous post of lherre indicated that Nintendo guys were testing an engine and saw slightly improved results on the "V5" compare to V4.
Context: it was posted 2 month and half ago, when lherre decided to come out of his lair in answer to my very first message to confirm that Wii U was clearly closer to "2x than 5x xbox360". And he basically added that the expected more advanced dev kit in Nintendo headquarters at the time that i've talked about will not change dramatically the Wii U power status. So he surely knew of these engine benchmarks before my intervention, maybe some days, maybe some weeks.
Assumption: considering the at least 3 months interval between these internal tests and the V5 delivery to third-parties (minus the dev kits assembly and shipping), there's a good chance that the V5 dev kits in the hands of foreign studios have received even more hardware refinements and optimizations than the models used for these Nintendo tests some time before. More about that in this following message.

__________________

Additional infos:

- Third-parties have one month to adapt to these new dev kits and to what they bring (in terms of performances increase, hardware modifications, and new features) until E3.
- As they are tagged "Mass Production", they are final. Maybe there will be later revisions with small refinements here and there, but nothing drastic, except changes of plans from Nintendo. So the hardware is stable now.
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p

Still interesting to know that they are the mass produced models, and are supplied to third-parties just now.
 
The online gaming landscape has changed a lot since 2008 when the title shut down.

Time for a reboot?
I once read a good article about all the game's shortcomings and how various design decisions made players naturally gravitate toward logically sound yet nonsensical actions. You'd hope for a thriving online community of people going about their daily simulated lives, but instead everyone sat around making pizzas over and over (seriously).

One of its main problems was that you couldn't speed up time at all since everyone had to be playing at the same speed. I played the Sims at the 3x speed for like 90% of all in-game time and can't imagine it at normal speed. As I recall, this made sleep/recharging energy a huge boring time sink in Sims Online.

And nowadays there are other online communities vying for people's attention that aren't going to be supplanted anytime soon. Farmville might as well be Sims Online, or any other of the timesink simulation social games.
 
A news concerning the dev kits (models, availability to developers, etc.)

One month and half ago, i told you that big third-parties were noticed by Nintendo that they should receive the development kits following the V4 ones that they used since late last year/start of january, at the end of march/beginning of april. These "V5" dev kits seemed to be tagged final or near final, and see a slight increase in their performances.

Here's the message which i'm referring to

Nearly all this post's infos are STILL relevant, except the time schedule. It appears third-parties were waiting for these dev kits during all april. There has been a delay of at least one month in the supply of this equipment by Nintendo.

But finally, they just received them

Another important news: they are the mass produced dev kits.

_________________________

Here's some bits of my previous message in regard to this subject, but updated:

- Except maybe big japanese studios (like Capcom), i doubt that other third-parties received these dev kits (much) earlier. It's likely that my sources are one of the firsts to be granted of the latest revisions. This means that all the declarations, the news, from foreign developers, that you've read until now, were certainly in a V4 dev kit framework, before the release of these newest ones.

- A previous post of lherre indicated that Nintendo guys were testing an engine and saw slightly improved results on the "V5" compare to V4.
Context: it was posted 2 month and half ago, when lherre decided to come out of his lair in answer to my very first message to confirm that Wii U was clearly closer to "2x than 5x xbox360". And he basically added that the expected more advanced dev kit in Nintendo headquarters at the time that i've talked about will not change dramatically the Wii U power status. So he surely knew of these engine benchmarks before my intervention, maybe some days, maybe some weeks.
Assumption: considering the at least 3 months interval between these internal tests and the V5 delivery to third-parties (minus the dev kits assembly and shipping), there's a good chance that the V5 dev kits in the hands of foreign studios have received even more hardware refinements and optimizations than the models used for these Nintendo tests some time before.

__________________

- Third-parties have one month to adapt to these new dev kits and to what they bring (in terms of performances increase, hardware modifications, and new features) until E3.
- As they are tagged "Mass Production", they are final. Maybe there will be later revisions with small refinements here and there, but nothing drastic, except changes of plans from Nintendo. So the hardware is stable now.
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p

Still interesting to know that they are the mass produced ones, and are supplied to third-parties just now.
Long story short, final kits just got out, and not everyone has them yet.
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p
I'll just go ahead and pretend that this is Dolphin-like upgrades when playing Gamecube games BC.

Seriously, though, I look forward to figuring out what this is.

Also, in your opinion, would this be "good news" that most would be indifferent to or "good news" that most of us here would probably love to hear?
 
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
SIX TRIGGERS!?

(I'm joking but honestly wouldn't mind another shoulder/trigger if implemented well, like for stuff that gets relegated to the sucky click sticks cause there's no other buttons left)
I already had a talk with IdeaMan about that in private, that is just not his style so I respect that. He is having fun and we get little bits of hints out of it so let him have his fun and post the way he wants to present the info
Well the last post above was good, it's just the super vague hinting ones that are kind of annoying...cause they're vague enough that they're not necessarily helpful.
 
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p
The controller comes in different patterns to match a gamer's outfit?

In a way it's a bit sad we're at the final dev kits. I was hoping for MOAR POWA.
 

IdeaMan

My source is my ass!
SIX TRIGGERS!?

(I'm joking but honestly wouldn't mind another shoulder/trigger if implemented well, like for stuff that gets relegated to the sucky click sticks cause there's no other buttons left)

Well the last post above was good, it's just the super vague hinting ones that are kind of annoying...cause they're vague enough that they're not necessarily helpful.
My teases announcing future posts about particular subjects are vague by choice (fun & hype building & nurture the speculation). But once i write the promised messages, they are rather clear with a lot of details & explanation about the context, etc.

I understand why the hints can annoy some people, but it's an entertainment business guys :)

Oh and for the "original" bit, it's not the DRC, it's the dev kits, meaning the big box used to develop games.
 
Ideaman in gif form:



so much teasing! >_<

Fascinating stuff though nonetheless. What I find interesting is that, iirc, dev kits often ship much closer to launch dates (in this case rumored to be in november). I'm willing to be the farm that the added "good news" that Ideaman is hinting at is OS based, perhaps having to do with NN and online multiplayer, perhaps social tools such as video chatting or whatnot. Features that nintendo probably told devs to expect but haven't really been in presentable condition until just recently. It makes sense for nintendo to release tools for OS features now because devs can easily advertise at E3 that their games will make use of them at release without having to go to great lengths to demo them within their own games.
 
Ideaman, one of your recent posts stated that devs have little to no access to the OS so know barely more about it than we do. Does that apply to these latest mass-produced dev kits, or the previous versions?
 
Ideaman in gif form:



so much teasing! >_<

Fascinating stuff though nonetheless. What I find interesting is that, iirc, dev kits often ship much closer to launch dates (in this case rumored to be in november). I'm willing to be the farm that the added "good news" that Ideaman is hinting at is OS based, perhaps having to do with NN and online multiplayer, perhaps social tools such as video chatting or whatnot. Features that nintendo probably told devs to expect but haven't really been in presentable condition until just recently. It makes sense for nintendo to release tools for OS features now because devs can easily advertise at E3 that their games will make use of them at release without having to go to great lengths to demo them within their own games.
I think that's a good guess that it has something to do with the OS. Another possibility is that Nintendo has significantly reduced the OS's RAM footprint, opening more up for developers to use.
 
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p
.
I'm guessing they added in Wii Games upscaling in HD like Dolphin!!!

Please be true!

EDIT: After reading Guek's post, I'm with him, if this is the final or near final mass produced dev kits then the OS layer is now in there.
 
My teases announcing future posts about particular subjects are vague by choice (fun & hype building & nurture the speculation). But once i write the promised messages, they are rather clear with a lot of details & explanation about the context, etc.

I understand why the hints can annoy some people, but it's an entertainment business guys :)

Oh and for the "original" bit, it's not the DRC, it's the dev kits, meaning the big box used to develop games.
the unit itself slightly larger?
 
I'm guessing they added in Wii Games upscaling in HD like Dolphin!!!

Please be true!
Oh god what have you done. Don't get me going on hype like this, god DAMN.

Is there a Neogaf rule where 10 members can all call for information to be revealed where it is withheld, but if it is then those 10 members have to resign their posts?
 

IdeaMan

My source is my ass!
Ideaman, one of your recent posts stated that devs have little to no access to the OS so know barely more about it than we do. Does that apply to these latest mass-produced dev kits, or the previous versions?
It was in a V4 dev kit context. And 2.01/2.02/2.03 SDK framework.
It doesn't mean they know much more with these mass produced dev kits (and the newly released 2.04 SDK) about this Wii U aspect though.
 
I think that's a good guess that it has something to do with the OS. Another possibility is that Nintendo has significantly reduced the OS's RAM footprint, opening more up for developers to use.
Also a possibility, but I think he'd make a bigger deal out of it if that was the case.
 

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
I'll just go ahead and pretend that this is Dolphin-like upgrades when playing Gamecube games BC.

Seriously, though, I look forward to figuring out what this is.

...
well, that would be disappointing because, to be perfectly honest, dolphin emulations look crummy to me. If you don't have the extra geometry to fill up the expanded scene the visuals look hollow.

That's what I want most out of wii u, polygons polygons and more polygons.
 
My teases announcing future posts about particular subjects are vague by choice (fun & hype building & nurture the speculation). But once i write the promised messages, they are rather clear with a lot of details & explanation about the context, etc.

I understand why the hints can annoy some people, but it's an entertainment business guys :)

Oh and for the "original" bit, it's not the DRC, it's the dev kits, meaning the big box used to develop games.
A complete guess, but this could be a built in hard-drive. Given the focus on downloads (including potentially 20GB+ retail game downloads), Nintendo might have just decided to bite the bullet and actually build-in a HDD. Don't know if that fits your definition of "original", though...

I think that's a good guess that it has something to do with the OS. Another possibility is that Nintendo has significantly reduced the OS's RAM footprint, opening more up for developers to use.
There's no reason why this would necessarily be tied to a dev-kit hardware upgrade, an SDK software update would do whenever it's ready. In fact, I very much doubt third parties will find out about OS features before we do, it doesn't make a difference to them making their games, and it's a source of leaks from Nintendo's perspective.
 
A complete guess, but this could be a built in hard-drive. Given the focus on downloads (including potentially 20GB+ retail game downloads), Nintendo might have just decided to bite the bullet and actually build-in a HDD. Don't know if that fits your definition of "original", though...
This news would make me a happy panda.
 
Am I the only one who can't ever understand what the hell ideaman is talking about. And I'm not referring to technical language.
Basically, final dev kits went out (late to some devs).
They are basically what is going to be in the retail unit.
There was a slight boost in performance.
There are some interesting features.
 
A complete guess, but this could be a built in hard-drive. Given the focus on downloads (including potentially 20GB+ retail game downloads), Nintendo might have just decided to bite the bullet and actually build-in a HDD. Don't know if that fits your definition of "original", though...
No way. I can't see nintendo seeing that as anything other than a massive unnecessary cost. They'd have to redesign the entire console in order to accommodate the thermal foot print and size of an HDD. The profit margin or loss is going to be razor thin on the Wii U as it is. I see them mandating USB 3.0 support as the bare minimum for externals before I see them putting in a built in HDD.
 
Oh and for the "original" bit, it's not the DRC, it's the dev kits, meaning the big box used to develop games.
Sudden appearance of USB 3 ports would be incredibly nice, given the recent debate in this thread about whether or not USB 2 drives would be fast enough.

Perhaps they come with a somewhat fleshed out (edit: I meant OS/Menu here) environment, or a bunch of social/network-related APIs.
 
No way. I can't see nintendo seeing that as anything other than a massive unnecessary cost. They'd have to redesign the entire console in order to accommodate the thermal foot print and size of an HDD. The profit margin or loss is going to be razor thin on the Wii U as it is. I see them mandating USB 3.0 support as the bare minimum for externals before I see them putting in a built in HDD.
I agree with you, sadly. But I'm skeptical they'll even support USB3.0/eSATA, which will lead to a big bottleneck for the current DD/DLC/install landscape, especially for dev's. If I was a dev consulting Nintendo on my studio's wants and desires, a mandatory (or optional SATA) built-in HDD in every box would be near the top of the list. It just adds a better consistency and value to the product, instead of needing to assume that X users will be running off DVD, Y users will be running of USB 2.0, Z users will be running possible 3.0, etc. Especially when we get into talking about loading DLC/DD games from these drives to run in conjunction with the stock DVD drive speeds.
 

IdeaMan

My source is my ass!
What i found interesting also was the time delay between Nintendo internal tests on these final dev kits (which happened at the very least in the first-half of February, maybe earlier), and their arrival in May.

And third-parties were warned by Nintendo since late february/march (so not long after these internal benchmarks) that they will receive them soon (before april).

So there has been a postponing of 1 month+, and it doesn't seems it was because of shipping problems from what i know. It could be more time spent for their assembly, but it shouldn't explain 5 or 6 weeks of lateness. It really looks like Nintendo have been keeping their tweaking/tests/changes on these dev kits for longer that they expected and that they noticed foreign studios. Maybe some late arrival of a finalized component also ?

This is a rather positive news about the hardware performances imo, considering the V4 dev kits were already quite competent (a question of perspective of course, read my other entries in thread 3 or 4 to know it).

TLDR: It seems Nintendo tweaked (& built + shipped) those final dev kits from at least late january/february to late april/may, and for 5 weeks more than what they planned. It's promising about their power (nothing huge though) and above all what they include, their features, etc.
 
No way. I can't see nintendo seeing that as anything other than a massive unnecessary cost. They'd have to redesign the entire console in order to accommodate the thermal foot print and size of an HDD. The profit margin or loss is going to be razor thin on the Wii U as it is. I see them mandating USB 3.0 support as the bare minimum for externals before I see them putting in a built in HDD.
Profit margins on downloadable software are much higher than retail, though. Such sales will be far higher if there's a HDD built-in vs sold separately, so if they expect the long-term benefits of those extra download sales to outweigh the costs of including hard-drives then they could go with it.

It's just a guess, though, to be honest I'd be pretty surprised if they went with it.
 
Rewatched snippets of E3 2006 again. URRGGGHHHH. Nothing will ever be that great again. Really, it's because of where I was in life. I was 13 when that happened and nowhere near as cynical as I am now. Seeing those games on screen was amazing, my mind was racing with possibilities. I don't think I'll ever be as hyped for something as I was for Wii. :p

Also BIG DAMN TRUCK needs to make a comeback.
 
Am I the only one who can't ever understand what the hell ideaman is talking about. And I'm not referring to technical language.
My understanding is hit-or-miss, depending on how hurried I am. I have to concentrate, so running around here at work and then ducking my head into the thread periodically doesn't help.
 
I agree with you, sadly. But I'm skeptical they'll even support USB3.0/eSATA, which will lead to a big bottleneck for the current DD/DLC/install landscape, especially for dev's. If I was a dev consulting Nintendo on my studio's wants and desires, a mandatory (or optional SATA) built-in HDD in every box would be near the top of the list. It just adds a better consistency and value to the product, instead of needing to assume that X users will be running off DVD, Y users will be running of USB 2.0, Z users will be running possible 3.0, etc. Especially when we get into talking about loading DLC/DD games from these drives to run in conjunction with the stock DVD drive speeds.
Someone more competent please correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the issues is that devs are going to have to design games for the lowest common denominator. If they're bottlenecked by USB 2.0 transfer speeds, they're never going to be able to make optimal use of that external HDD. So it doesn't matter even if they include USB 3.0 or eSATA if it isn't the baseline.

Profit margins on downloadable software are much higher than retail, though. Such sales will be far higher if there's a HDD built-in vs sold separately, so if they expect the long-term benefits of those extra download sales to outweigh the costs of including hard-drives then they could go with it.
I think they'll just bet on the built in internal flash memory + SD cards. It's a very nintendo-like thing to do.
 
Profit margins on downloadable software are much higher than retail, though. Such sales will be far higher if there's a HDD built-in vs sold separately, so if they expect the long-term benefits of those extra download sales to outweigh the costs of including hard-drives then they could go with it.

It's just a guess, though, to be honest I'd be pretty surprised if they went with it.
By offering a percentage of the the sales to the Brick and Mortar store do you think Nintendo can use that to keep heads at Gamestops cool after the introduction of full retail downloads.

Sorry if I sound stupid....
 
- One of the dev kit aspect (in comparison to the v4 ones) is... original
- Teasing part: besides possible improvement of the system power (slight to moderate though), there is at least one additional good news that come with them. It's not necessarily the obvious ones :p
Are you talking about the software side of things or about hardware?
 
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