Dec 15th, 2012

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry series goes in-depth into the technical aspect of gaming, where they analyze the technology behind the games, the consoles, etc. They’ve already analyzed the Wii U plenty of times — for example, they originally found out that the Wii U GamePad latency was actually faster than the standard HDTV.

This time, they take a look at one of Wii U’s launch games: Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge, and compare it to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. You check out the complete analysis here, and the videos below. As they conclude (and as the videos show), the difference between the three platforms is minimal. Of course, gameplay wise, the Wii U edition has full Gamepad support, plus lots of gameplay tweaks, the inclusion of extra content and so on. This obviously makes the Wii U version the superior one, all technical stuff aside.

local_offer    ninja gaiden 3  Nintendo  technology  wii u  
  • Linskarmo

    I really can’t tell much difference between the versions. I think the Wii U one looks slightly clearer, but they’re pretty close.

    • NkoSekirei

       the good thing is that were getting 2 new characters momiji and kasumi for the wii u version thats awsome

  • I think the topmost video is fake. At 49 seconds it shows XBOX buttons on the left, and PS3 buttons on the right, no wii U buttons


      lol. looks like you were right. it was taken off. :p

  • Torstein Grindvik

    Why does the Wii U have a lower framerate than the 360 and ps3 generally?

    • Noah Mazzola

      If you mean from Ports to the system, that’s a given. They’re ports. But every game utilized the right way will be 60fps.

    • ECM

      When moving code from one machine to another you generally have to optimize the hell out of it because it’s been written to work on a specific architecture.

      This is exactly why early PS3 stuff was a trainwreck compared to 360: everything was written to cater to the strengths and weaknesses of the 360, while ignoring all the strengths (e.g. vector units) of the PS3, so you get a straight port that only uses a fraction of what the ported to console offers–in these cases, everyone is just dumping their CPU code (AI, physics, etc.) onto the Us CPU while ignoring the GPUs extended functionality which could take most of that load.

      (Please note the preceding has been over-simplified to get the point across.)

      • he is right in the case of a gpgpu the cpu would actually only be used to process only a few calculations perhaps only the physics or Ai or both depending on the game and how the dev’s want go about optimization. everything else like textures, shaders, environment lighting, polys, etc. would be processed by the gpu.

  • Paul Hughes

    Wii U looks good for getting that game up and running for launch. I’m sure we’ll see the Wii U looking good with age, as the GPGPU gets used better.

    • NkoSekirei

       thats wat i been saying to trolls that the third party developers havent tapped the full power of the system yet maybe not till next year and they said in their own words wii u is at least 80 to 100 percent more powerful then current gen which well see in 2013

      • RoadyMike

         Exactly.If memory serves me right,the games for the PS3 and 360 didn’t look that much,or sometimes none at all,better than their predecessors
        Also,I remember developers complaining about the PS3’s CPU or architecture(I don’t remember that part much)But after about a year or so,after the devs got used to the hardware,they delivered amazing looking games which you can clearly see with The Last of Us for PS3 and when you compare Halo 3 to Reach or Halo 4
        All devs have to do is work more deeply with the Wii Us hardware,take it to its limit,to see what its truely capable of

    • Nicholas Gatewood

      The only good thing about its GPU doubling as a “GPGPU” is that it can handle processing tasks to make up for the Wii U’s horrifically weak CPU, which is only about as powerful as one of the 360’s CPU cores overall. That takes away from its ability to be used as a GPU though, it’s not smart to use some of your limited GPU resources on processing tasks. It’s still too weak to handle much more than 720p visuals anyways, I’d honestly say that with the PS3’s Cell processor fully-optimized the PS3 is much more powerful than the Wii U; the 360 isn’t that far off, either.

      The Wii U is not powerful, games will not look much better than current PS3 exclusives in a few years- and any slight improvements would be because general devtools(for the creation of art assets, etc) had advanced by then. Reggie Fils-Aime made Nintendo’s stance on hardware clear: “Hardware doesn’t matter, specs don’t matter.” The only reason I’d EVER recommend picking up the Wii U over a next-gen PS4 or Xbox 720 is if the person loves the heck out of the tablet controller, but I personally don’t care for it at all even though it ate half the hardware production budget of the system. The Wii U WOULD cost around $200 if it weren’t for that controller, considering they cut costs with things like bluray licensing fees and proper hard drive support.

      Overall I just really wish they hadn’t gone with that tablet controller, they could’ve either made the Wii U a beast or made it really, really cheap on day one if they weren’t desperately trying their hardest to repeat the Wii’s success based on gimmickry. Oh well, hopefully next time they’ll do better.

  • uPadWatcher

    Overall, the Wii U version ULTIMATELY has the Razor’s Edge!  Special thanks to Nintendo and Team Ninja!!!!

    • Enigma

       Well yeah the game is so much older than the previous version, they needed to add extra content to justify a purchase.

  • I’d say the Wii U version has better textures, clear visuals, tessellation looks great and over it just looks better on Wii U despite the Framedrop. 


  • Hard to see which one looks better, obviously wiiu again has to deal with framedrops a lot, but on the 2nd video especially the last parts (helicopter and park scenes) look a lot sharper and clearer on the wiiu. I recall when ps360 came out during the first year of launch most games hardly looked better then ps2/xbox games, Wiiu seems to have little to no problem to compete with PS360 graphics on this generation of games, I’m sure it’ll turn out well soon enough.

    • Enigma

       “I recall when ps360 came out during the first year of launch most
      games hardly looked better then ps2/xbox games, Wiiu seems to have
      little to no problem to compete with PS360 graphics on this generation
      of games, I’m sure it’ll turn out well soon enough”


      Seriously, know what you are saying before you say it. The hardware on the Wii U isn’t really any better than the PS3’s and 360’s. Remember those articles on how horrible the Wii U CPU is? So many devs complained about it.

      The gaming industry learns. The 360 and PS3 were the first gaming consoles to have multiple cores, so the devs had to go throw a learning curve with multi-threading. Now, the gaming world has greater skill, so they are able to meet the graphical standard that the current gen games demand, and thus apply this skill to the newly released Wii U. The hardware on the Wii U isn’t really any different from the 360’s, or a PC’s. It’s all pretty similar. They are all just computers at the core.

      I really don’t feel like explaining this any more fluently, too tired.

      • YoG99

        You sir are not a dev to say such things. You can’t compare 2005-2006 architectures with 2012 architecture. It’s not about the clock speed, it’s about the instructions set and this is what devs need to get used to.

      • Theiz Zzee

        You are sadly mistaken. Technology 6 and 7 years ago is vastly different even if, based on the same architecture. Each console has their own architecture even if, more closely related than another console. Adjustments have to be made when switching from one to the other no matter which one you switch from and to. If, only if, it was as easy as you say lol.

      • There is a BIG difference between the hardware of the WiiU and PS360. PS360 games are based on the CPU, WiiU will do most of the work  with the gpGPU, please do your research before making a statement like you did, I too am not a developer, but at least I did my research on the difference between the hardware. Come back when you did your research, and then correct me. If developers follow the guidelines given by Nintendo, they’ll be able to do things a lot better.

        It won’t happen over night, on that part you ARE right, on the PS360 it took time to get used to the multicores and multithreads, the very same thing happens again now with the WiiU and it’s gpGPU. Most likely Sony and Microsoft will follow in the footsteps of the WiiU and they too will add a gpGPU, and a much smaller CPU, which is a “standard” these days.

        You can not just copy/paste coding from a cpu which is 6 years old to a cpu which is about a year old. Especially not if the cpu’s task is just for the os mostly, not for the games (which is the gpGPU on the WiiU) It’s not microsoft word.

        I shall no longer do any explaining on this either, you stick with your thoughts if you will, me and many others stick with their own thoughts and facts as they are nowadays.

      • Enigma

         Yes, all computer architecture is different, and learning how to use different kinds of computers architecture is significant, DEPENDING on the electronics. I never said that no kinds of adjustments had to be made, but they are rather minimal. The reason that the jump in graphical quality from the early PS3 to late PS3 life cycle was so large was because of the jump to multiple CPU cores and HD gaming. There is no such jump present in the transition to the Wii U from the 360/PS3, just a more modern GPU, which is of minimal importance here. It’s not hard to scale a game to many different computer architectures. PC games do it all the time, easily. Ever heard of medium, high, and even ultra-high settings on PC games? The games are extremely scalable for all computers of even the oldest ages.

        There is not a big difference between the hardware of the Wii U and PS3/360. There will not be this huge jump in graphical prowess with the Wii U like the PS3/360. There might be a small one, but that is all. People don’t understand the technicalities behind game development, and automatically assume that because the Wii U is new, the games are going to represent a lack of understanding of the console’s graphical potential. That is quite simply not the case.

        • So we are on the same line afterall, I also never said the difference between WiiU and PS360 will be massive like the jump from PS2/Xbox to PS360. All I said was that “IF” the developers would follow the guidelines, it could have been a lot better, I did not say it could be graphically a lot better, graphically it could have been a bit better yes, but the coding has simply been set to the WiiU which doesn’t work that way, it needs some work to make it work properly.

          Namingly the framedrop on the WiiU could have been far less if coded properly. Which is not the case, in the time to come the games will get a bit better, but Pixar style, no that won’t happen, and probably won’t happen in the “next” gen either, maybe in the “next next” gen it might be possible but not now.

          I am not expecting a jump with the WiiU as the jump to PS360, because that simply won’t happen, sadly the sony and microsoft fanboys do expect that this will happen on the PS4/orbis and Xbox720/xbox but they will be dissapointed. It’ll be a bit better in time but it will not be a huge leap.

          Are we on one line again now? And yes I know coding can be scalled a lot, played World of Warcaft for over 6 years, at first I played it all on low and some medium, but with the new videocard I played it all on Ultra, and that is a Huge difference, but that difference we will not see on WiiU/PS4/Xbox720 nor am I expecting that to happen.

      • greg brown

         I don’t think you understand dude, the tech Wii U uses is different.  Sure the 3 cores of the Wiiu aren’t anything special, but thats not what they are going to rely on.  You need to understand that not everything is about CPU.  You are probably one that thinks that you need a 32 megapixel camera to shoot pictures of 4×6 size. Over kill!!!! You need to learn about the new ways tech works not everythign relies on your old beliefs.

        • For the last fucking time, the Wii U does not use technology that is different!!

          • They just use different technology *Trollface.jpg*

  • Destiny64

    che rottame di console.   

  • I know one thing, when the next Xbox and PS4 comes out, Nintendo fans and Nintendo won’t be making graphic comparisons then, it will be back to being “about the games!”  Then again, buy the time they arrive, Nintendo will close up shop.

    • Oh really. So tell me what the specs are for the non-excent consoles then?… I thought so.

      Sony and Microsoft won’t make a big enough leap to even bruse the Wii U, I expect that the PS4 to be the only good looking console out of the bunch but the next xbox is looking to be more weaker if not toned down in the graphics department.

      Wii U will still have good looking graphics even when the next xbox and PS4 is released.

    • J_Joestar

       It is about the games, and the only reason that people are really bothering to make comparisons is because Nintendo Bashers try to make a big deal about the U not being leaps and bounds more graphically powerful than the P360.