Nintendo Says Third Party Games Look Better on Wii U, Tech Analysts Disagree

Digital Foundry finds underperformance in side-by-side Black Ops II comparison

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout recently had a chat with Nintendo of America President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, about what makes Wii U special, and one of his claims was that third party games look better on Nintendo's console. Tech Analysts at Digital Foundry disagreed, citing underperformance in key areas of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II

 

In the clip below, Fils-Aime corrects Stout on Wii U's specs, and declares Wii U a much more "graphically intensive" console. 

 

 

The meat of Fils-Aime's assertion: "If you did side-by-side comparison, you would actually see that third party games like Call of Duty look dramatically better on our system." The aforementioned tech analysts at Digital Foundry didn't note a dramatic improvement on Wii U, putting its visuals just about on par with the Xbox 360 version.

 

While the visuals match up, Digital Foundry's real concern lies with Wii U's underperformance in other key areas. 

 

"The Wii U version matches the look of the Xbox 360 game and thus gives it an edge visually over the PlayStation 3 release, but unfortunately it comes up well short in terms of performance - an aspect that is all-important to the playability of a COD title. The frame-rate variance is such that the PS3 game feels generally smoother, while the 360 release feels like an entirely different game in the more demanding levels. Bearing in mind the commonalities in hardware design between Wii U and Xbox 360, we can't help but feel somewhat disappointed that Black Ops 2 under-performs so noticeably."

 

According to Digital Foundry's comparison, more ambitious levels bring performance down to unacceptably low levels. As the article concludes, "For the Wii U hardware to underperform to this extent on such a crucially important game doesn't look good for future prospects." On the bright side, the multiplayer seems to be running smoothly, and that's what the majority of players stick around for in Call of Duty games. 

 

Be sure to read the whole article if you're into the technical side of gaming. A lot of it isn't going to matter, or even be noticeable, to the general consumer, but it's interesting to see how Nintendo's console stacks up when it comes to such a major release. Anyone playing Black Ops II on Wii U?

 

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Joseph Luster is the Games and Web editor at Otaku USA Magazine. His blog can be found at subhumanzoids. Follow him on Twitter at @Moldilox.

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