Thursday, 21 April 2011 08:26

Wii2 specs seem to becoming clear

Written by David Stellmack

Likely close to on par with 360 & PS3
The big chase that we have been on for the past couple of days is an all out effort to try to learn more information on the hardware that will make up Nintendo’s Project Café, or the Wii2. From the shadows we have been able to get some answers, but some of it will have to wait till the office announcement at Nintendo’s E3 press conference.

From the whispers we hear, we expect the new Wii2 to be powered by an IBM Tri-core PowerPC CPU that we expect to be clocked at the same speed or slightly higher than the CPU in the Xbox 360. The GPU will be again powered by AMD and sourced from the ATI R700 family, featuring a shader unit version 4.1 support; and we expect GPU to have access to 512MB of RAM. A revised controller is rumored to feature an HD touch screen.

Depending on the exact clock speeds, we suspect that the Wii2 will have performance that is close to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 or maybe slightly better, but that is hard to say. We are expecting the use of 32nm and 40nm chips for Wii2. Despite a lot of talk about the possibility of the Wii2 using AMD’s Fusion technology, our sources tell us that it isn’t happening because it is simply just too expensive at this point.

The biggest question is storage, and that does not seem to be one that is going to be easy to answer. Sources say that Nintendo is at least resistant to adding a hard drive and we prefer to stick with flash memory, which means that talk of two slots to hold flash memory is possible; and these flash memory units will have a lot more in common with older generation SSDs as they will be large. Initial sizes are expected to be 64GB or 128GB to start with. We find the talk of large flash storage to be a load of bunk, as we just think no matter how Nintendo slices it that it will just be too expensive, and they will end up with a hard drive in the end as at least an option that users can purchase and add.

Expect no change on the disc front. It will continue to use DVD-ROM drive and we are told there is no chance that the Wii2 will offer Blu-ray support. This really isn’t a surprise when you think about it. Expect more details to come our direction as we get closer to E3 and we are able to flush things out a little more.

We are also told that it will arrive next year, but a release is more likely for April than March of 2012. From the latest that we are hearing, we don’t expect any new console from Microsoft or Sony before 2014; so Nintendo will be on their own with a console that is said to be not much more than equal to or better than the current generation offerings from Microsoft and Sony. Still, as one of our shadow dwellers said, it is still much better than what they have to work with today, which could lead to some very interesting releases from Nintendo for the platform.

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+13 #1 Boomstick777 2011-04-21 09:04
The new Wii HD with ATI R700 gpu (HD 4000 series) and IBM Tri-core PowerPC CPU, and a standard DVD-ROM drive. This new Wii HD be very VERY cheap to build, hope Nintendo don't rip off the consumer by pricing it much higher than the current Wii.

Will wait for the new Xbox 720 or PS4 personally, at least they will offer new better tech, and next gen games..
+7 #2 dicobalt 2011-04-21 09:41
All guesses. You can only wait to see on something like this.
+14 #3 Syferz 2011-04-21 10:18
R700? (net01 the french site that started all the rumors, never said it was the R700, it said if they had to guess, they would guess the R700 was the power behind the next console)

R700's 4870 is more expensive then the 5700/6700 series gpu (same card) as the memory bus is 256mbit instead of 128mbit, and the R700 is a 55nm chip unlike the 5700/6700.

Fusion Expensive? Next year AMD will be producing 32nm Trinity Fusion which is officially going to go up against the i3 cores at $120, in bulk Nintendo should be able to get them around $80, Wii's GPU/CPU chips cost them $43 at launch, Wii2 will launch at atleast $299, as the 3DS is already 249.99, leaving plenty of room for profit.
+23 #4 Syferz 2011-04-21 10:25
No blu-ray? Nintendo has worked with Panasonic and sharp very closely, both of which are part of the bluray association, so I don't understand why it makes sense that they wouldn't use blu-ray when they know it will just keep them from 3rd parties. The Wii DVD-Rom at launch cost $31, I am sure a Bluray drive isn't out of the question with it's drop in price.

On par with current gen consoles? How is the Wii's supposed R700 chip suppose to be slow enough for xbox360's ~x1900 chip? it's 4 ati generations behind!!! The PS3 runs a ~geforce 7700, both of these chips couldn't handle Llano's GPU which is a $120 dollar APU fusion chip, bulk estimated at $80... which has a 6550 inside with 400SP, thats only what? 3x as many as 360?
+5 #5 Syferz 2011-04-21 10:31
The Wii2 would seriously have to try to find such outdated parts, I mean, you can find Mobile GPU's that are approaching current gen, and will probably see them towards the end of next year, for AMD to not have a cheap enough GPU/CPU Fusion part for Nintendo to keep up with those consoles... Well you'd have to ignore the last 5 years worth of tech, Nintendo would literally have to be buying these chips at best buy's clearance tables 2 or 3 years ago to even match price/performance.

The Wii's components cost around $210 at launch, if they went for a flat $50 profit, they could build a trinity platform for 250, and sell the thing for 299, and even that is a low estimate of the price this thing will be. 349 is the current rumored price.
-32 #6 Warrior24_7 2011-04-21 10:33
I posted this $h!t two days ago! It doesn't need Blu-Ray. The 360, Wii #1, and PC don't have it, so why does the Wii HD need it? Its also DOO DOO filled.
+11 #7 Syferz 2011-04-21 10:53
Nintendo will need more room for HD graphics, Brawl for instance nearly filled up the entire dual layer DVD and only had 480P textures. If they really want to build a next gen console, they can do it with mainstream parts, bluray doesn't have to be the route, China kept HD-DVD's alive, and they went up to 51GB's which would be enough. Basically 33GB should be Nintendo's target for Media this gen, or nearly 4x dual layer DVD's capacity, which HD-DVD dual layers went up to 34GBs, thats what you call a match made in heaven.

Wii already used an Expensive DVD-ROM @ $31, with todays tech, that should grab them an HD media for around same price.
+10 #8 Exodite 2011-04-21 11:22
I really don't get the choice in hardware, unless it's by necessity to ensure backwards compatibility?

Something like cheap-end Llano chips would surely be the best choice now.
-7 #9 Super XP 2011-04-21 13:43
The new Wii2 to feature ATI's R700 family? LOL, I don't think so. The XBOX 360 is more than 6 years old. There's no way AMD will re-produce that old graphics tech. I can perhaps see a modded HD 5000 series at the very least.
+1 #10 Super XP 2011-04-21 13:44
Agreed. Toshiba's HD DVD would do the trick for both Wii2 and XBOX 720 IMO.

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