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[GP] The Wii U -- What's an R700 and why does it matter?

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So we’ve all heard the rumors about Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console, and how it’s going to be some strange tablet-y thing with a touchscreen and analog sticks and a microwave and a cat. Or something. It’s all very interesting and strange and I don’t really care because it’s going to be obsolete the minute you finish the next Zelda title. Here’s why.

The rumor mill started saying early on that the Wii U would use an AMD/ATI Radeon R700 GPU, and it’s been all but confirmed by Nintendo. But what does that mean? What is an R700 GPU?

http://blog.gamersportal.com/2012/04/the-wii-u-gpu/
post #2 of 144
Lower-mid range?

I wouldn't even consider 4 a 4850 to be anywhere near "mid-range"

It is "Very Low" range.
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post #3 of 144
What a strange decision.
post #4 of 144
If I recall a 4870 can just about keep up with one of our 540s, and almost match the 550Ti in some games. Still not an especially fast card.
post #5 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVGA Phaedrus View Post

If I recall a 4870 can just about keep up with one of our 540s, and almost match the 550Ti in some games. Still not an especially fast card.

There's no guarantee Nintendo is using a 4870 in there. In fact, I'd be willing to be they're using one of the lower-end R700 parts.
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post #6 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkilbride View Post

Lower-mid range?
I wouldn't even consider 4 a 4850 to be anywhere near "mid-range"
It is "Very Low" range.

Well in its defense, it was mid-high range... 3 years ago I believe.
     
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post #7 of 144
I think it would be a negative thing if the Wii U was near the same graphics level as the PS4/720.

First of all, we must assume that the Wii U will be cheaper than the 720/PS4, that's almost a given. It's also safe to assume that Nintendo wants to turn a profit on hardware, whereas Sony/MS are probably shooting towards breaking even at launch (vs taking a loss, as was the case in last gen). While Nintendo could probably go and fit in a GPU 1/2 as powerful as the PS4 if they tacked on another $5-$10 to the build cost, what would that get them? Cruddy ports, that's what it would get them; chopped down versions of PS4/720 games that play badly, look ugly, and lag. This would be very bad for the platform.

Alternatively, if Nintendo were to put in a GPU too weak to handle any ports, 3rd parties would develop exclusively for the Wii U, and hopefully then take advantage of the gimmicks and gadgets that it has attached.

In that respect, the R700 isn't a bad choice. For one, it's a very solid architecture. It's also going to be very cheap. In addition, it's probably too weak to handle ports from the "other" side (which is probably a + in Nintendo's eyes). Now, if they were to go use a 4200, that would be terrible, but I'm more inclined to believe we'll be seeing a 4650 or similar. I also wouldn't be surprised if there were modern tweaks to the chip like much faster and larger banks of GDDR.

Remember, the Wii was absolutely horrible graphics wise, and it sold 50% more boxes than the 360 or ps3.
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post #8 of 144
I always thought the WII-U would run about graphically what the PS3 and current X360 run at. They are just trying to make a new WII. Low cost (cheap selling) with a gadget / gimmick everyone wants to try. I really tought they were going to support 3rd part titles well this time. But if the next Sony and MS are 6 times that no developer will care.

Please let this not be true.
 
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post #9 of 144
It's unfortunate they didn't go for more beefy hardware, but I don't see much of a problem. Console games are still pretty easy on the eyes (heck, a handful of Wii games look great given the hardware and resolution), and now we'll be getting Nintendo games at that level. Will they be the best looking games out there? Probably not, but Mario, Zelda, Metroid,etc. at ~720p will be gorgeous.

My only concern is multiplatform support; whether or not developers will be willing/able to scale down Durango, Orbis and PC titles for the Wii U.
post #10 of 144
At this point I guess incompatible ports was the only reason Nintendo wanted to go with such low end hardware. It's easy to develop for, cheap, and would deliver the picture quality Nintendo assumes is "good enough" for their demographic. So really at this point Nintendo just wants an exclusive system and nothing more.
There were also notes on lack of Gamecube support (despite very similar architectures) and lack of HD scaling for existing Wii games. This is just annoying as these features can be added very easily especially through an emulator like Dolphin but even more simplified due to the PowerPC architectures and ATi graphics.

Looks like I should hang on to the Dolphin emulator indefinitely.
Edited by IvantheDugtrio - 4/16/12 at 1:57am
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