Bad Port or Bad Hardware? (Update: Confirmed slow CPU)
As Nintendo's first high definition console, Wii U will join the neverending, nothing-really-proven debate between the PS3 and the Xbox 360 over which console's visuals for whatever multiplatform game are superior. Some people are convinced it's a bad port, others are convinced it proves inferior hardware.
It doesn't sound like Mass Effect 3 or Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge are the best candidates to show off the new console's graphical capabilities. 1Up, in its review of Mass Effect 3, said the game "seems a lot less visually stable," than the Xbox 360 version, with choppy frame rate, "rougher" animation and even worse audio in the game's spoken dialogue. (Jason Schreier, in his time with the game so far, hasn't noticed any hardware issues with the Mass Effect 3 visuals. Here's a video of him testing out the game's Wii U features.)
NeoGAF has almost unanimously judged this to be a lazy port courtesy of Electronic Arts, with some expected moaning and groaning about third party development on Nintendo hardware. There may be some question as to how well the Wii U's hardware can handle ports of something developed for another console.
1Up didn't seem to think it was a lazy job. "There was some actual thought put into this port, which is always nice to see," 1Up said in its review, although it was praising the integration of the GamePad and the unique details and features it brings to this game.
IGN says Ninja Gaiden 3 isn't going to win a beauty pageant, either. "Razor's Edge is arguably uglier than its cousins," its review says, citing "bland textures and a bad case of the 'jaggies.'" However, its framerate remains smooth. 1Up said Ninja Gaiden 3 can hang with either the 360 or PS3 "until too many things start happening at once." That reviewer noted some bad frameskip, but it wasn't predictable and its source wasn't easily identifiable.
We're not reviewing either title but we will be providing impressions, with video, of Ninja Gaiden 3 soon. And we'll keep our eyes peeled in our playthroughs. But it's not like this issue is going to be settled based reviews of launch-window ports.
I think most of us predicted this, with such a poor CPU.
Edit: 4A has confirmed the WiiU has a slow CPU.
Nintendo’s Wii U is out in the US and with reports coming in that it is struggling in a number of areas, many are claiming its third party games aren’t quite up to the visual standard of their Xbox 360 and PS3 cousins.
That the Wii U struggles to render games (that run perfectly on the Xbox 360 and the PS3) is a worrying trend for Nintendo. In fact, some games currently scheduled for release on the 360, PS3 and PC won’t be heading to the Wii U at all because of the differences in processing power.
One of these titles will be 4A Games’ Metro: Last Light. Chief technical officer, Oles Shishkovtsov, explains why Metro’s sequel won’t be appearing.
“[The] Wii U has a horrible, slow CPU,” said Shishkovtsov to NowGamer.
Even his colleage, Huw Beynon, confirmed there would not be a Wii U version of Metro: Last Light, and couldn't justify the effort required to bring a comparable version to the Wii U.
“We had an early look at it, we thought we could probably do it, but in terms of the impact we would make on the overall quality of the game – potentially to its detriment – we just figured it wasn’t worth pursuing at this time. It’s something we might return to. I really couldn’t make any promises, though.”
Despite Nintendo’s console offering Metro: Last Light new experiences to its players with it dual screens, when asked Benyon was adamant that the Wii U would ever seen Metro: Last Light when asked directly.
“We had an initial look at the Wii U, but given the size of the team and compared to where we were last time, just developing for the Playstation 3 is a significant addition.”