Nintendo released the official Wii U specs after its E3 presentation on Tuesday but it was missing details on the kind of processing and graphics horsepower we should expect for Nintendo’s new console. That didn’t last for long though as the Wii U’s devkit specs were leaked just hours later.
The leaked specs come from the appropriately named VGLeaks and points to a three-core PowerPC processor from IBM. For comparison, the Xbox 360 also has a three-core PowerPC processor running at 3.2 GHz. It is currently unknown what speed the Wii U is running at.
Meanwhile, the GPU is of the newer AMD Radeon 7000 family which is both surprising and good news. We had expected it to be of the 6000 series so this means more power than expected. It sounds like most games will be 720p though as it supports 4x MSAA at that resolution or just straight 1080p.
Update: As Eugene points out in the comments below, this is a R7xx series. Our tired eyes added an extra ‘x’ which made us think this is the Radeon 7000 series. Instead, this makes the Wii U GPU a 4000 series which is two generations newer than the GPU that the Xbox 360 uses is based on but also three generations from what is currently available for the PC.
The Wii U devkit is running with 3 GB of according to the leak but we should expect half that amount for the retail release. 512 MB of flash memory is currently reserved for the operating system while another 8 GB is reserved for game and application storage.
The complete list of specs is below. Keep in mind that these specs are subject to change though on top of being a rumor.
Main Application Processor
- PowerPC architecture.
- Three cores (fully coherent).
- 3MB aggregate L2 Cache size.
- core 0: 512 KB
- core 1: 2048 KB
- core 2: 512 KB
- Write gatherer per core.
- Locked (L1d) cache DMA per core.
- Up to 3GB of main memory (CAT-DEVs only). Note: retail machine will have half devkit memory
- Please note that the quantity of memory available from the Cafe SDK and Operating System may vary.
Graphics and Video
- Modern unified shader architecture.
- 32MB high-bandwidth eDRAM, supports 720p 4x MSAA or 1080p rendering in a single pass.
- HDMI and component video outputs.
- Unified shader architecture executes vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
- Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
- Read from multi-sample surfaces in the shader
- 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
- High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
- Indexed cube map arrays
- 8 render targets
- Independent blend modes per render target
- Pixel coverage sample masking
- Hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
- Early Z test and Fast Z Clear
- Lossless Z & stencil compression
- 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes
- sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
- Tessellation unit
- Stream out support
- Compute shader support
- GX2 is a 3D graphics API for the Nintendo Wii U system (also known as Cafe). The API is designed to be as efficient as GX(1) from the Nintendo GameCube and Wii systems. Current features are modeled after OpenGL and the AMD r7xx series of graphics processors. Wii U’s graphics processor is referred to as GPU7.
Sound and Audio
- Dedicated 120MHz audio DSP.
- Support for 6 channel discrete uncompressed audio (via HDMI).
- 2 channel audio for the Cafe DRC controller.
- Monaural audio for the Cafe Remote controller.
- 802.11 b/g/n Wifi.
- 2 x USB 2.0 host controllers x 2 ports each.
- SDCard Slot.
- 512MB SLC NAND for System.
- 8GB MLC NAND for Applications.
Host PC Bridge
- Dedicated Cafe-to-host PC bridge hardware.
- Allows File System emulation by host PC.
- Provides interface for debugger and logging to host PC.
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