Is the Wii U ‘Hardcore’ Enough? Simply Put, Yes.
The Wii U is not meant to be an exclusively ‘hardcore’ system, rather, it is meant to appeal to all types of gamers. Casual gamers? Check. They’re more than well-represented and will be well-taken care of by Nintendo. Long-standing Nintendo enthusiasts? Check. Nintendo will try their hardest to bring all their cherished franchises to the next generation. But Nintendo also wants to compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360. And even if they can’t win over the fussiest of those gamers, they would still like to provide enough to sway the gamers who are a little less loyal to Sony and Microsoft. The type of gamer who doesn’t buy a console for its name or its manufacturer’s name but for what game experiences it offers him.
From what we saw yesterday, it is quite apparent that the Wii U is truly a talented, multi-faceted system, capable of providing many different types of experiences. Until now we would have only known about its many options for controller inputs, be it the classic controller (which looks like a clone of the Xbox 360 controller), the Wii-mote and nunchuck, or the new GamePad. But now we also know that it will be a social entertainment hub, with clever new ways of integrating social engagement into the traditional television, movie, and gaming experiences.
But using a multi-faceted approach doesn’t always ensure excellence in every department. Sometimes it can turn into spreading oneself thin. So, with what we’ve seen so far, is the Wii U going to have enough clout to win over gamers from a PS3 or Xbox 360 background? In my opinion, the answer is yes.
First let’s look at system specs. First off is the onboard system memory, or RAM, which has been unveiled at a figure of 2GB. 1GB will be dedicated to the games and the other 1GB will be entirely for the OS. What’s remarkable about this is when you look at the competition. The PS3 and Xbox 360 each have 512MB of RAM for both the games and OS together (They allocate those resources to CPU and GPU differently from each other, though.) Approximately 50MB of the PS3 RAM is dedicated to the Operating System and 32MB of the Xbox 360 goes to the OS. So, it turns out that the Wii U has more than double the amount of RAM for games and a whopping 20 times more RAM for the OS. Another comparison would be to the 3DS, which allocates 96MB of RAM to games and 32MB to everything else going on for the system. And, a final comparison is to smartphones, which manage to run their many apps and games with 1GB of RAM entirely working for the OS. Essentially, the GamePad is the equivalent of a smartphone operating system for a much cheaper price.
Bottom line is, the Wii U has enough RAM to run laps around the other consoles. Other specs were also quite encouraging. The Wii U’s optical Blu-Ray discs are capable of holding 25GB, meaning we will never suffer from multi-disc games again. The read speed is 22.5MB/s in comparison to the PS3′s 9MB/s, meaning that Wii U owners won’t have to worry about load times.
The flash memory is either 8GB for the basic Wii U and 32GB for the Deluxe. More than enough to last you. And if you ever feel crowded for space, just plug in any size hard drive you’d like via the USB port.
Obviously, the Wii U doesn’t have to worry for a while when it comes to internal specs.
What about games? Bayonetta 2, Black Ops 2, Mass Effect 3, Batman Arkham City, Darksiders 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, ZombiU, and many others ensure that Wii U adopters will never lack for popular ‘hardcore’ games across the market.
It has never been a better time to be a Nintendo fan.