IBM Confirms WII U Utilizes Power-Based CPU, Not Power 7

Apparently Nintendo's upcoming Wii U game console isn't powered by a Power 7 processor after all, as was previously believed to be the case. IBM took to Twitter to clarify that fact, while offering a somewhat vague clue as to what hardware the Wii U will be running.

"Wii U chip clarification: It's a 'Power-based microprocessor,'" @IBMWatson stated in a Twitter post.

Previous information seemed to suggest the Wii U would tap into IBM's Power 7 architecture, but IBM chalked that up to a miscommunication in a followup tweet.

"Pardon the error. It's a custom chip built on Power Architecture base," the company said.

Wii U

There have been rumors that the the Wii U's "Expresso" (codename) processor is essentially just a faster clocked version of the "Broadway" chip used in the first generation Wii console, which would explain why performance might stutter when there are several things happening on the screen all at once. This happened during a Wii U demo of Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper, in which the developer told Eurogamer that the slowdown in performance and reduced frame rates compared to previous Dynasty Warrior games is due to the Wii U's CPU.

"One of the weaknesses of the Wii U compared to PS3 and Xbox 360 is the CPU power is a little bit less," the developer explained. "So for games in the Warriors series, including Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi, when you have a lot of enemies coming at you at once, the performance tends to be affected because of the CPU."

The Wii U launches November 18 starting at $300 for the Basic version (white) and $350 for the Deluxe (black), which adds more storage (32GB versus 8GB), a gamepad stand, gamepad cradle, and console stand.
timaeus 2 years ago

Wow, so the Wii U is actually underpowered compared to 7 year old hardware? That's... sad.

TBallard 2 years ago

I wouldn't take the unnamed developer's word as gold. It could have been a non final / non launch cpu he was dealing with, or not clocked all the way or his software wasn't properly optimized. Nintendo has never been one to battle for the crown in the console hardware power race. Just have to wait and see what is actually in it and hopefully it won't be too big of a disappointment, their first HD console, I would really hope they put enough umph in it to power modern style HD games, that's what it's meant to do.

boo bees 2 years ago

That's funny. IBM states that they built a custom processor designed specifically for the Wii U and somehow the author of this article and the very first comment suggest that the system is somehow under-powered. I mean, IBM is known for producing under-powered processors (note the sarcasm).

Oh wait. That's right, let's take the word of some "unnamed" developer who was trying to explain why his game demo sucked. That's some mighty fine deductive skills there.

filfyphill 2 years ago

All that matters is it will be the best of the best for nintendo fans

AaronMcBroom 2 years ago

Guys, chill. Power7 IS a "Power-based microprocessor". Nintendo probably told IBM to keep it quiet, hence the clarification.

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