An article at gamesindustry.biz from Steve Peterson quotes several developer sources who claim that the Wii U is not as powerful as the Xbox 360 and PS3. Peterson unpacks what this could mean for the console and discusses if the Wii tablet controller really puts the console at an advantage.
"No, it's not up to the same level as the PS3 or the 360. The graphics are just not as powerful," says one source.
"Yeah, that's true. It doesn't produce graphics as well as the PS3 or the 360. There aren't as many shaders, it's not as capable. Sure, some things are better, mostly as a result of it being a more modern design. But overall the Wii U just can't quite keep up,” says another.
The challenge for Nintendo is price. Firstly, the market isn't too keen on paying a high price for a console right now. Secondly, both Sony and Microsoft are at a place where they can continue to drop the prices for their consoles.
Nintendo hasn't mentioned anything about the Wii U's hardware capabilities. What they've been marketing is the unique gameplay experiences with the new tablet controller, of which buyers may only receive one of in the package (the controller presents another pricing challenge). But even then some critics are saying that Sony's PS Vita / PS3 pairing works better and has more going for it than the Wii U's tablet controller pairing.
So while the Wii U has HD graphics, its still not on par with current technology. And it seems Sony may have beaten them to the tablet controller idea, although the tablet controller is meant to provide unique experiences even within a game (such as seeing things from a different point of view etc.).
Batman: Arkham City on Wii U
Nintendo is going to need to work hard to market this one. Especially after Xbox's Kinect device. It may also look to do this through the release of some really nice titles.