Nintendo hasn’t being forthcoming about what's under the Wii U’s hood. So, as usually, gamers were left to do their own investigation.
Well, here's what we've discovered. As expected, the Wii U is more powerful than the 360 or PS3. There'll be no issues for the system to support visuals that are, at minimum, on par with what Microsoft and Sony has out on the market today. But with both companies rolling out next gen consoles very soon, we're not worried about how it stands today. Nintendo fans want to know how it'll compare to the consoles of tomorrow.
Here comes some technical jargon. The Wii U GPU core features 320 steam processors with 16 texture mapping units and 8 render output units. The final GPU is a close match to the AMD Radeon HD 4650/4670 video cards. However, the clock speed appears to be locked in at 550 MHz, which isn’t very impressive. This proves that the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony will, once again, run laps around Nintendo's hardware. Yet while it's speculated that the Wii U will have 1.5 times the raw shader power over the Xbox 360, don't expect to see any Zelda or Metroid titles in 1080p. 720p will have to be good enough.
The Wii U’s CPU is also a bit underwhelming. It’s a 1.2GHz tri-core processor derived from the Wii's Broadway chip. This makes it, essentially, an overclocked GameCube processor.
There's still a couple of unknown variables, but now we know what's under the Wii U’s bonnet. It is capable of running those 360 ports we saw at the system's launch. It won't, however, be capable of running a perfect port of any next-gen title.