Everyone knows that technical specs of the Wii are no match
for those of Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 – a point which Nintendo isn’t even
trying to hide. On paper, the Wii doesn’t match up with the technology of the
current generation – and Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment
division, recently went on to say that Wii wouldn’t even match up to one of the
“The video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself
is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line
components [that] aren't actually that interesting,” Bach said in an eWeek interview. “They don't have the
graphics horsepower that even Xbox 1 had.”
Bach’s comments meant no disrespect to Nintendo, as he
stressed heavily his admiration for the rival company’s innovation and even
predicts success for the Wii. What has raised a few eyebrows, however, is his comment
that the Wii wouldn’t even be able to produce graphics that we saw from the
original Xbox – a system released five years ahead of the Wii.
J. Allard-dreadlock-pusher N'Gai Croal of Newsweek sought to test the validity of
Bach’s claim and polled a couple third party developers for
their anonymous comments. One of the original Xbox’s greatest strengths was
its NVIDIA GPU’s programmable shader capability – something that the Wii’s ATI
GPU does not have.
“The Wii's GPU has fixed functions for vertex, lighting, and
pixel operations,” said one of the developers. “All 'programmable shaders'
means is that the code you write for the shader gets run on the vertex and
pixel hardware of the GPU. This is how it works on the high-end ATI and Nvidia
GPU parts. The Wii is an older fixed function design where you have lots of
operations but the pipelines are not programmable in the sense of downloading
shader code to run [on them].”
Even without programmable pixel shaders, the fixed functions
of the Wii are able to do a pretty good job, said another programmer. “Almost
all the shader effects on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 can be reproduced on the Wii by
re-implementing them with the fixed function hardware of the Wii's GPU. Most
games just port the effect over. A few teams have gone as far as making a
shader-to-Wii conversion tool. It reads the shader code and generates the fixed
function code necessary to achieve the same result. Keep in mind that the Wii's
GPU is not as fast or feature rich as the Xbox 360 or PS3, but that doesn't
mean you can't get very close results.”
quote: Let's face it; you can line up Forza 2 (XBOX 360) next to GT4 (PS2), running on the same standard definition TVs with stereo sound, and the graphical/audio differences will be small.
quote: Nintendo actually IS sitting on 8 billion in free cash. As in money in the bank
quote: The controller is completely revolutionary
quote: Nintendo hasn't had a technologically superior console since the SNES.
quote: 1) When people are done playing games like Zelda and Metroid, after they complete the game, they will be left thinking "my eyes are sore from that glittering upscaled 480p mess, imagine how much more awesome this game would be in HD".
quote: I know that a modded xbox 1 can't handle high def video whatsoever.