Gearbox: Wii U Aliens: Colonial Marines visually the best

There's been a lot of debate and speculation on how games on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console will look compared to the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Some rumors claim that the Wii U either matches or is slightly ahead of Sony and Microsoft's current consoles in terms of its hardware specs. Now Eurogamer.net reports on claims from Gearbox Software that the Wii U version of its upcoming movie-based shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines is in fact better visually than other consoles.

Gearbox's senior producer Brian Burleson is quoted as saying that the Wii U is a "powerful, powerful machine." He added that, just in terms of visuals, the Wii U port will "be better" than the version that will be made for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Unfortunately, he couldn't go into any more detail, saying only that the Wii U has "more modern tech". He did admit that the Wii U port will allow the console's tablet controller to show a motion tracker, as seen in the movie Aliens, to be displayed on the controller's screen.

Nintendo is still staying mum on the Wii U's hardware specifications, at least until E3 in early June. A few days ago, a QA developer sent, and then deleted, a picture on his Twitter account that showed a slightly redesigned Wii U controller.

Source: Eurogamer | Image via Sega

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The Wii U is rumored to have an R770 GPU. It's roughly equal to the Radeon HD 4870 which came out in 2008 so sure it's better than the graphics that are in the Xbox360 which launched in 2005 and the PlayStation3 which launched in 2006 but when those systems launched they were competitive with the PC GPUs of their time, the Wii U isn't. If the Wii U launched in 2008 or even 2009 it would have be a pretty impressive system but it's just not now and while better than the PS3 or Xbox360 most people probably already have one or the other and unlike the usual jump from one generation to the next the Wii U is not several times more powerfull, it's probably not even twice. What that means is for the most parts Wii U will not get fully utilized by third parties and instead will just receive ports of PS3 and Xbox360 games with maybe a tweak here or there (such as some nifty thing for the pad controller). Even the pad controller is a bit disappointing since the system isn't really designed to support more than one. If you play with more than one person everyone else has to use the old Wii controllers. That wouldn't be a big deal but the pad controller is the big thing they are pushing that's cool about the system.

You do realize that if the R770(aka 4850/4870) rumor ends up true that that would put the Wii U's GPU in at 4 to 5 times the peak performance of the xbox 360 GPU, right? Which, if that GPU rumor ends up being true, would mean nintendo would have to go really far out of their way to pick a CPU that's beyond slow to pair up with that GPU to make the system "not even twice the power of the 360".

Blackhearted said,
You do realize that if the R770(aka 4850/4870) rumor ends up true that that would put the Wii U's GPU in at 4 to 5 times the peak performance of the xbox 360 GPU, right? Which, if that GPU rumor ends up being true, would mean nintendo would have to go really far out of their way to pick a CPU that's beyond slow to pair up with that GPU to make the system "not even twice the power of the 360".

Obviously we won't know anything for sure until we see some actual benchmarks but the Pixel Fill Rate of the Xbox360 is around 8 GigaPixels and the R770 is about 12-14 if I'm not mistaken (feel free to verify it's possible I did make a mistake). If that is the case though then I don't see where the 4 to 5 times comes from.

Asmodai said,
Even the pad controller is a bit disappointing since the system isn't really designed to support more than one.
Actually the system has been comfirmed to support 2 pads but Nintendo isn't sure how to price them.

Asmodai said,

Obviously we won't know anything for sure until we see some actual benchmarks but the Pixel Fill Rate of the Xbox360 is around 8 GigaPixels and the R770 is about 12-14 if I'm not mistaken (feel free to verify it's possible I did make a mistake). If that is the case though then I don't see where the 4 to 5 times comes from.

You don't judge a GPUs performance these days simply by its pixel fillrate. That method died out many years ago when shaders came heavily into use. Nowadays, since most games are rather shader heavy, it's the performance of the part of the chip that has all the shader units that is most important to determining how fast a chip is on its own. Pixel fillrate only has an sizable impact on performance of a chip if it's set too low for the chip in question(a great example of that is a radeon 5830). With that said, if i recall correctly the xbox 360 gpu is said to have a peak performance(on the shader units) of 240 gigaflops. The r770 tops out at 1200 gigaflops with the 4870. Hence where the "upto 5x the the peak performance" comes from.

By the way, the 360's gpu has a pixel fillrate of 4 gigapixels. You got that mixed up with the texture fillrate.

Blackhearted said,

You don't judge a GPUs performance these days simply by its pixel fillrate. That method died out many years ago when shaders came heavily into use. Nowadays, since most games are rather shader heavy, it's the performance of the part of the chip that has all the shader units that is most important to determining how fast a chip is on its own. Pixel fillrate only has an sizable impact on performance of a chip if it's set too low for the chip in question(a great example of that is a radeon 5830). With that said, if i recall correctly the xbox 360 gpu is said to have a peak performance(on the shader units) of 240 gigaflops. The r770 tops out at 1200 gigaflops with the 4870. Hence where the "upto 5x the the peak performance" comes from.

By the way, the 360's gpu has a pixel fillrate of 4 gigapixels. You got that mixed up with the texture fillrate.

I stand corrected on the pixel vs. texture fill rate. Like I said though we won't really know until there are benchmarks but from what I've been reading from places such as this:
http://www.gamespot.com/news/w...xbox-360-developers-6369675
and:
http://20thlevelmarketing.blog...xbox-360-vs-ps3-not-as.html
Is that it's not such a big jump. Maybe those are bad sources though and maybe you're right. We'll have to wait and see for sure but I try to keep up on console specs and such prior to their release and these are the types of things I'm hearing thus far.

"He did admit that the Wii U port will allow the console's tablet controller to show a motion tracker"
OH MY GOD!! That is freakin' genius!!

ahhell said,
"He did admit that the Wii U port will allow the console's tablet controller to show a motion tracker"
OH MY GOD!! That is freakin' genius!!

I was just thinking the same thing.... I can just imagine that motion tracker sound from Aliens in my head right now....

"Hudson: 12 meters.
Ripley: That's right outside the door. Hicks, Vasquez get back.
Hudson: Man, this is a big ****in' signal.
Hicks: How are we doing Vasquez, talk to me?
Vasquez: Almost there.
Vasquez: There right on us.
Hicks: Remember, short controlled bursts.
Hudson: 9 meters. 7. 6.
Ripley: That can't be; that's inside the room.
Hudson: It's reading right man, look!
Hicks: Then you're not reading *it* right.
Hudson: 5 meters, man. 4. What the hell? "