Metro: Last Light developer 4A Games made some unflattering comments about Nintendo’s new Wii U console after confirming that it wouldn’t bring its shooter to that machine. “Wii U has a horrible, slow CPU,” said 4A Games’ chief technology officer Oles Shishkovtsov.
THQ press relations representative Huw Benyon, who works directly with 4A Games on the Metro series moved to clarify those statements on Thursday to try and counter the negative reactions to Shishkovstov’s statements.
“[There] was one comment made by Oles the programmer, the guy who built the engine,” said Benyon to Eurogamer, “[Metro: Last Light] is a very CPU intensive game. I think it’s been verified by plenty of other sources… that the CPU on Wii U on the face of it isn’t as fast as some of the other consoles out there. Lots of developers are finding ways to get around that because of other interesting parts of the platform.”
“[Maybe] his opinion is that it’s not as easy for the way that the 4A engine’s been built as is the others. [We] could probably get around that. We could probably get Metro to run on an iPad if we wanted, or on pretty much anything… But I understand that there’s a real appetite in the media at the moment because the Wii U is a hot topic to spam some stories that are going to attract a lot of links if they present it in a certain way.”
Shishkovtsov’s statements, contrary to Benyon’s justifications, were sensational not because they were so vitriolic but because they were far more candid than most comments from individuals within the games industry. Video game professionals in publishing and development are typical reserved when speaking publicly so as not to offend partners. It’s unusual to see honest statements from those individuals when they’re dissatisfied.
Shishkovtsov’s statements came after a number of other game developers expressed dissatisfaction with the Nintendo Wii U’s architecture. Battlefield 3 designer Gustav Halling of DICE said on Twitter on Thursday, “I don’t actually know what makes it slow, but enough ‘tech’ people I trust in the world are saying the same things [as Shishkovtsvo.]”
The Wii U’s power has been in question since the console first debuted. After showing off a number of games, including Metro: Last Light, in a demo reel at E3 2011, Nintendo said that those demos weren’t representative of the Wii U’s actual power which would be comparable but not identical to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.