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A new rumor points to the potential power of the Wii U

Image used with permission by copyright holder

We still don’t know the exact date when the Wii U will descend upon us, but Nintendo’s next offering–and the first console in the next generation of gaming–is stepping ever closer to reality…if the reports and leaks are to be believed.

It is tough to keep a secret when your technology is semi-dependent on numerous third-party developers. Earlier in the year, EA claimed that the Wii U would be at least as powerful as the Xbox 360 and PS3, and possibly up to 50-percent more powerful. Yet through it all, Nintendo has remained mum on what to expect from its next offering.

That’s OK though, we have the internet.

According to a source that spoke with Wii U Daily, the Wii U is being tested with the following specs under the hood:

  • Quad Core, 3 GHz PowerPC-based 45nm CPU
  • 768 MB of DRAM “embedded” with the CPU, and shared between CPU and GPU
  • Unknown, 40nm ATI-based GPU

While this should be considered a rumor—as all news about the Wii U should be classified as a rumor until Nintendo decides to officially release info–it is in keeping with what we’ve been hearing. With one exception. It is worth noting the insane amount of eDRAM listed, which means that it is either a typo, a confirmation that the source is wrong, or that the Wii U is going to be so powerful that it may become sentient and try to take over the world.

The article also notes that the “Quad Core, 3 GHz PowerPC-based 45nm CPU“ is very close to the Xbox 360 and PS3–which is true as both run 3.2 GHz processors, although the architecture is very different and a direct comparison is pointless until we have all the details. The source also claims that the Nintendo has been testing two versions, one with 768 MB of DRAM, and the other with 1 GB.

With the exception of the memory listed, it sounds fairly close to the rumors we heard earlier in the year which claimed that the Wii U would be roughly 50-percent more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360, lending a bit of credence to the source. The Wii U will also support 1080p graphics and Nintendo has confirmed that it is investigating the possibility of 3D compatibility.

The thing that really stands out though is the mention of the possibility of 1 GB eDRAM. To put that in perspective, the Xbox 360 has 10 MB of eDRAM, while the PS3 does not use any. Embedded DRAM is becoming more and more common in both the gaming industry and for computing processors in general, but even the brand new POWER7 processor from IBM that was released just last year only features 32 MB of eDRAM.

That shouldn’t invalidate the rest of the rumor though, as it is far more likely that the Wii U will have some amount of eDRAM, but the 768 MB or 1 GB RAM is referring to more traditional memory. The Xbox 360 has 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM, while the PS3 uses 256 MB. If the 768 MB is correct, that would be in keeping with the “50-percent more powerful” statement.

But for now it is all just rumor and innuendo, and we may have a long wait before us until we have solid details from Nintendo.  

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Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
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