Nintendo didn’t exactly swing for the fences with processing power when it made the Wii, and despite being bashed as a more “casual” console, it still met with huge success. Well it seems time for round two, because console hacker Hecktor Martin, also known as Macarn, has been tweeting that he clocked the Wii-U’s processor at only 1.24 GHz compared to 3.0 GHz on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
While it’s been theorized and predicted for weeks, only now do we actually have hard numbers. It’s important not to look directly at the number though, there are other things to take into consideration like cores and cache. While the Wii-U is inferior, it is not as drastic as the plain numbers would suggest.
According to Macarn, the Wii-U’s “Starbuck” processor is simply an updated version of the Wii’s triple-core processor with more cache, which still puts it well below the other consoles. All in all, this isn’t much of a surprise, as despite criticism, the Wii has done very well, and Nintendo is already rocking the boat enough. The question is whether fans will stomach the slower speeds when playing some of the AAA titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Nintendo is unlikely to ever confirm this data, but simply going off size and heat concerns, the Wii-U was unlikely to match it’s rivals, even if it’s a few years younger. Only time will tell if the Wii-U has staying power. When games start to come out for the next generation of consoles, the Wii-U will suddenly be very far behind, will asymmetrical gaming quirks be enough? It seems less likely than with motion control, and I believe fans will be shying away from the system in a few years when Wii-U versions of games will have to be severely stripped down.