Wii U Architecture | A Practical Analysis

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
Introduction:
To me, one of the most amazing threads on GAF in a technical sense were the threads about Wii U's hardware. The back-and-forth on whether Latte was 176 Gigaflops or 352, whether it had 320 cores or 160..

I am talking about these. Sit back and have a read:
Rodrigo, otherwise known as Flipacholas, has a site called Copetti where this console and many others analyzed on a scholar-level (You can buy the articles as EBooks!). Instead of console wars, now you can point to straight facts (and with examples to boot!)

The most recent entry at time of writing is the Wii U, and it goes into full detail of every aspect of the console, including how it can stream HD content to the Gamepad, how Espresso works, how the 2 GB DDR3 is utilized and so forth.

Includes various graphs bringing out the full pipeline of any given console.

Well worth a read!

Link: Wii U Architecture | A Practical Analysis

Other consoles analyzed:

Upcoming articles:
### Next articles

- Nintendo 3DS
- Sony PSVita

### Retro consoles / In-between the next articles

- Panasonic 3DO
- Atari Jag
- Atari 2600
- WonderSwan
- Mega Drive add-ons (MegaCD and 32x)

#### Personal computers repackaged as consoles

- Apple Pippin
- Atari XEGS
- Amiga CD32

### Modern consoles / More research needed

- Sony PlayStation 4
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Nintendo Switch
 

cireza

Member
For me, their best HD console and the last time we actually saw Nintendo on par with the competition, at least for a few years, technically speaking.

Great ideas, services, manuals on Gamepad, some games made great use of the Gamepad. Full backward-compatibility with Wii, a huge selection of Nintendo games from previous consoles available on the shop etc...

Definitely the last time we see a console from Nintendo being that consumer friendly !
 
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Underrated console.

For me Wii is the worst console of Nintendo.
I think the Wii U would have truly shined if they not only enabled GameCube upscale GameCube support (imagine 1080p smash melee natively), the use of Wii U controllers on Wii games, and a bit more 3rd party support this would have truly seperated it from the competition and more importantly done BC well before it was cool from Xbox
 

DarkestHour

Banned
Underrated console.

For me Wii is the worst console of Nintendo.

Fully agreed. While I did not care for the gimmick of the gamepad making the system largely inoperable unless you paid the hefty price to replace it, the console was fantastic and such a better device than the Wii which was incredibly underpowered for its time.
 

nush

Member
I think the Wii U would have truly shined if they not only enabled GameCube upscale GameCube support (imagine 1080p smash melee natively), the use of Wii U controllers on Wii games, and a bit more 3rd party support this would have truly seperated it from the competition and more importantly done BC well before it was cool from Xbox

Their messaging was wrong right out of the gate. PS2 had got backwards compatibility right, 360 was a solid but imperfect 2nd place. Gamecube was an also ran in it's generation and Wii U had backwards compatability with the (Subjectively) winner of the previous gen.
 

radewagon

Member
The WiiU was a neat system. While there were a fair share of problems, the biggest one was simply that it was a mid-gen release that didn't offer enough of an improvement for current PS360 users nor did it offer enough to the Wii userbase (a very strange userbase). It wasn't really for anyone except enthusiasts. Honestly, outside of a few titles, there weren't enough compelling exclusives to convince people to buy the confusing piece of kit.

If it weren't for Lego City Undercover, Bayonetta 2, and Hyrule Warriors, I would have skipped it. And none of those were developed by Nintendo. :messenger_neutral:
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Only Nintendo home console I never bought since I got my first one with the N64. It just never interested me much. I was afraid I'd have to get one to play BotW, which I was not gonna miss for any reason, but luckily that crisis was averted. And pretty much all other interesting games from it have since been ported over to the Switch, so I have zero regrets.

For me, their best HD console and the last time we actually saw Nintendo on par with the competition, at least for a few years, technically speaking.

Great ideas, services, manuals on Gamepad, some games made great use of the Gamepad. Full backward-compatibility with Wii, a huge selection of Nintendo games from previous consoles available on the shop etc...

Definitely the last time we see a console from Nintendo being that consumer friendly !

Well, one year. It was released in 2012, and was then thoroughly outdated the following year when the new generation kicked off.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
Nintendo land was great and couldn’t be done on any other system. Miiverse was so fun in the early days seeing people’s awesome drawings. And the streaming tech was truly impressive. Lag free 720p gaming was awesome.

Other than that…. Nothing else really used the gamepad in interesting ways. It was mostly just used for maps and inventory management.
 

LordOfChaos

Member
It's a little bit wild and crazy that Nintendo is technically the one who pushed the old PowerPC 750 probably the furthest it's been, I think it's the highest clocked one at 1.2Ghz, they added rudimentary multicore support for 3 cores (cores can't cache share like modern cores, it's just like three separate processors), and bigger caches than it's had.

Interesting choices, but the wrong ones, in their pursuit of backwards compatibility with the Wii they were still trading blows with the 7th gen right as that gen was ending and the 8th was coming out. The PS4 was vastly more powerful for 50 dollars more.

And then using half of 2GB of RAM for the OS. I think BoTW was the only game that had a mode that could tap into more because it had a longer delay in getting to the Wii U quick menu and back iirc.
 
Their messaging was wrong right out of the gate. PS2 had got backwards compatibility right, 360 was a solid but imperfect 2nd place. Gamecube was an also ran in it's generation and Wii U had backwards compatability with the (Subjectively) winner of the previous gen.
Similar to the Wii U with the switch now since the GameCube was an underperforming console if they had released GameCube titles on vc with enhancements it would have brought these games back to the forefront. Hell GameCube games with performance issues could have been cleaned up on the Wii U and remember at release the Wii U would have been the only console to do something like this. Would certainly be the console for retro gamers or people who want the largest libraries
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I always thought Wii U was like the Homer Simpson car of game consoles. They tried to do too many things at once and it ended up overpriced and confusing. Everybody had a different idea of what it should be and they tried to do it all:

- hardware BC with the original Wii
- bring the DS dual screen concept to consoles
- allow for Wii remote, Wii U gamepad, or traditional gamepad controls
- support off-screen play (meaning games can’t always count on having 2 screens)
- make it all consume ~ 60W and fit into the Wii “3 DVD cases” form factor

Then the price, the name, the timing, and the marketing were completely fucked.

- $100 more than the original Wii
- came out after the Wii casual gaming fad was history and the “Wii” brand was old and busted
- dumb ad campaign that urged you to “upgrade to a Wii U”, confusing the casuals as to whether it was a brand new console or an add-on or what

I had multiple (Wii-owning) friends ask me what a Wii U was after telling them I got one.
 

Drew1440

Member
They really should have abandoned that tablet controller and focused on improved motion controls. Carry on from the strong Wii wave.

I'm suprised they stuck the original wii GPU in there instead of software emulation, means you have the Wii U GPU just sitting there idle in vWill mode.
 

Hayabusa83

Member
I really enjoyed Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition for this system. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge was pretty good as well. With a few adjustments it can play the entire Gamecube library as well. Neat little system.
 

nordique

Member
I always thought Wii U was like the Homer Simpson car of game consoles. They tried to do too many things at once and it ended up overpriced and confusing. Everybody had a different idea of what it should be and they tried to do it all:

- hardware BC with the original Wii
- bring the DS dual screen concept to consoles
- allow for Wii remote, Wii U gamepad, or traditional gamepad controls
- support off-screen play (meaning games can’t always count on having 2 screens)
- make it all consume ~ 60W and fit into the Wii “3 DVD cases” form factor

Then the price, the name, the timing, and the marketing were completely fucked.

- $100 more than the original Wii
- came out after the Wii casual gaming fad was history and the “Wii” brand was old and busted
- dumb ad campaign that urged you to “upgrade to a Wii U”, confusing the casuals as to whether it was a brand new console or an add-on or what

I had multiple (Wii-owning) friends ask me what a Wii U was after telling them I got one.
To this day, multiple friends who are more on the casual but dedicated gamer spectrum in my life, my gf included, though the Switch was the new Nintendo system after the Wii

Most of them own a switch and the general consensus was “man it took Nintendo a really long time to release a new system after the Wii”

Zero knowledge of the Wii U’s existence
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
Shame the streaming tech never made it into anything else, it was so smooth.
Yeah, ok it's just 480p but it's the only tech with basically no lag on streaming. Miracast tech has some lag, Mirroscreen and Airplay are awful. I wonder why there is no equivalent in HD after 10years.
 
From memory and compared to X360 the GPU was OK (but still the weaker of the 3) but it was the CPU that was very very weak.

In the last face-offs in CPU demanding games (like Assassin's creed) there was a bigger gap between Wii U and PS3 than between PS3 and X360.
 

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
From memory and compared to X360 the GPU was OK (but still the weaker of the 3) but it was the CPU that was very very weak.

In the last face-offs in CPU demanding games (like Assassin's creed) there was a bigger gap between Wii U and PS3 than between PS3 and X360.
The CPU is indeed rather weak compared to PS360, but mem was larger and feature was better.
 
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