I happen to be a big fan of all things Nintendo. Some might call me fanatical, others might call me obsessed. I like to imagine myself as "measured" in my approach to checking the 7 links i have in my Google Chrome bookmarks bar all pointing to WiiU information sites 10 times a day each. Its a lifestyle, and the internet has made it much easier to access information the moment its leaked, rumored, lied about or confirmed compared to 15 years ago when i was neck-deep in N64 Gamer magazine. I'm genuine enough of a gamer to appreciate what the other consoles are doing, heck if i had the money i'd own them too. But Nintendo have my heart (and a good portion of my soul probably) and as such i'd like to start a series of fortnightly or monthly articles updated with the latest information on the WiiU, whether rumored, confirmed, or just plain lies.
On the software side of things, the launch window is looking stronger than any other console launch in living memory. Hardcore gamers are going to have a field day with all that will be available and many wallets will cry out in agony. Lets go through a list of what may or may not be available in and around the launch window.
Not confirmed for Wii U but more than likely coming out at the end of the year anyway. Take Two Interactive has been quoted as saying they are "Looking at it very seriously" for WiiU.
Miyamoto has been pretty vocal in his enjoyment working on this game. Nintendo now know better than to launch a console without a first party title (looking at you 3DS), so seeing this at launch is an almost certainty.
Confirmed for launch.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing 2:
Has been hinted at a few times in the last months for multiplatform release. No official announcement. Given the success of the first one on Wii it seems an absolute given.
Ninja Gaiden 3:
Confirmed for launch.
Lego City Stories:
Confirmed exclusive to WiiU and 3DS and late-2012/launch release.
Batman Arkham City:
Confirmed for WiiU with late-2012/launch release.
Aliens: Colonial Marines:
Confirmed for WiiU and launching in Spring 2012 in Aus. 360/Ps3/PC versions will likely come out first making the WiiU version effectively a launch certainty.
Eternal Darkness 2:
Lots of pure speculation for this title. Nintendo renewed the rights to Eternal Darkness in 2010, then in 2011, Silcon Knights revealed there were working on something they've done before and "everyone wants to see again". Take it as it sounds.
Killer Freaks From Outer Space:
Confirmed WiiU exclusive with no official release date. The game has tongues wagging with the ability of 1 player with a Wiimote or Classic Controller playing the game FPS style on the main screen, while the player with the WiiU controller gets a top-down view and is the person spawning enemies strategically.
Metro: Last Light:
Confirmed for WiiU but delayed until early 2012
Confirmed for WiiU with a vague "2012" release date.
Confirmed for a WiiU version, with no release date or much more information than that.
Assassins Creed 3:
While this game in particular hasn't been confirmed for WiiU, Ubisoft has announced they are bringing an Assassins Creed game to the WiiU. Whether thats AC3 or not is pure speculation, but they do launch about the same time.
Dragon Quest X:
Confirmed as a Dragon Quest Online MMO with cross-platform play between Wii and WiiU users. Currently penciled in for a 2012 release. A monthly subscription plan hasn't been confirmed or denied.
On the Hardware side of the fence, most of the confirmed specs and information can be googled but 3 things remain a mystery; Cpu, Gpu and RAM specifications. IBM has been quoted as saying they using an all-new Power-based CPU at 45nm with the "same processor technology found in the Watson CPUs". The 'Watson' CPU is a Power-7 IBM chip that even in its lowest spec runs at 2.4ghz in a quad-core configuration and they're significantly more powerful than the "Cell" CPU that powers the Ps3. How Nintendos custom Power-7 chip stacks up to a real 'Watson' is anyones guess at this point, but its certainly looking very promising.
Gpu wise its looking to be packing an ATI R770-based GPU, the same ones found in the HD4850/4870/4890. These chips are very good graphics chips. They are a couple of generations old now with the ATI 7000 series being available to, but in saying that, graphics-card technology hasn't advanced considerably in the last couple of years since the 4000 series. My computer packs a HD4890 and i have no problems even running Crysis: Warhead and Skyrim maxed out and smoothly. Console GPUs are different though, with the ancient 7800GTX in the PS3 still pumping out amazing visuals even today. An R770 chip is again, a very significant leap in power over the Ps3 chip. Dropping a 7800GTX in a PC these days won't run any thing available on the Ps3, so putting something as good as a R770-based GPU in the WiiU will see it run rings around the Ps3/360 and compete well with the next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Developers have had some very interesting quotes regarding WiiU hardware:
"WiiU is just alot more powerful than current HD consoles it does 1080p very easy."
"WiiU devkits are very powerful,the specs are very good"
"We had the game at the same level as high end pc version in a matter of days and a few lines of code got the game up and running on tablet in 5 mins."
"It will do things current HD consoles simply cant do its going to be a powerful box."
Valve/EA want there digital services on WiiU, with EA wanting exclusivity, says alot about the power, with EA boss recently going to see nintendo about full specs then all of a sudden EA want exclusivity? Interesting.
Anonymous insider: "Tech demo's not possible on ps3/360."
Thanks for joining me in Episode 1 of my little rumor series. I have such a need to vent this information and i thought it would be a good way to get all the information in 1 spot for everyone to see, then update it fortnightly-monthly. So stay tuned for the next rumors update, which will probably get a little more frequent the closer we get to E3. I've also set up my name as a tag in these articles so people can find them again fairly easily