This week Nintendo gave us a further look at their white tablet of tricks, the Wii U, which will be making it’s way to gamers this coming holiday season. Opinion is still somewhat divided on the new console with some of us (mainly me) seeing it as another gimmicky nail in the Japanese company’s platform making coffin, while others are quite excited about waving a rectangle in front of their emotional display unit (or face if you prefer) to kill zombies.
Time will soon tell of the Wii U’s success or failure, but with at least a 12 month lead on it’s competitors the ball is in Nintendo’s court. So, just what bits of wires and circuit boards are in this new shiney piece of kit then? Although the developers have been somewhat tight lipped about this, a leaked document has appeared from E3 which found it’s way to the web via VGleaks, the details of which have also been confirmed by industry insider NeoGAF. The report suggests that Nintendo have gone for a lot of RAM and little on the hard drive front.
After checking with my monkey brethren who understand all these futuristic whizzbangs and geospirals the specs suggest that of the 3 Gig o’RAM, 1 Gig will be used for gaming. This is around double of what the current Sony and Microsoft consoles use. Impressive, yet the fly in the ointment here is the hard drive space which is said to be around 8 Gig in total with extra space provided through the SD card slot.
Here are the full specs in full:
Main Application Processor
Three cores (fully coherent).
3MB aggregate L2 Cache size.
core 0: 512 KB
core 1: 2048 KB
core 2: 512 KB
Write gatherer per core.
Locked (L1d) cache DMA per core.
Up to 3GB of main memory (CAT-DEVs only). Note: retail machine will have half devkit memory
Please note that the quantity of memory available from the Cafe SDK and Operating System may vary.
Graphics and Video
Modern unified shader architecture.
32MB high-bandwidth eDRAM, supports 720p 4x MSAA or 1080p rendering in a single pass.
HDMI and component video outputs.
Unified shader architecture executes vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
Read from multi-sample surfaces in the shader
128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
Indexed cube map arrays
8 render targets
Independent blend modes per render target
Pixel coverage sample masking
Hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
Early Z test and Fast Z Clear
Lossless Z & stencil compression
2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes
sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
Stream out support
Compute shader support
GX2 is a 3D graphics API for the Nintendo Wii U system (also known as Cafe). The API is designed to be as efficient as GX(1) from the Nintendo GameCube and Wii systems. Current features are modeled after OpenGL and the AMD r7xx series of graphics processors. Wii U’s graphics processor is referred to as GPU7.
Sound and Audio
Dedicated 120MHz audio DSP.
Support for 6 channel discrete uncompressed audio (via HDMI).
2 channel audio for the Cafe DRC controller.
Monaural audio for the Cafe Remote controller.
802.11 b/g/n Wifi.
2 x USB 2.0 host controllers x 2 ports each.
512MB SLC NAND for System.
8GB MLC NAND for Applications.
Host PC Bridge
Dedicated Cafe-to-host PC bridge hardware.
Allows File System emulation by host PC.
Provides interface for debugger and logging to host PC.