Nintendo recently posted a presentation for Japanese audiences that shows off the unique characteristics of the Wii U system. At one point during the video we get one of the better comparisons between Wii and Wii U graphics capabilities.
I know it sounds obvious but the Wii U is considerably more powerful than the Wii. Duh, I know. But it’s still nice to be reminded of how big of an upgrade it is. I often find it mind boggling that people who call the Wii U a “Wii 1.5″ are so bad at math and can’t understand why that comment is horribly inaccurate.
The image above was taken from an official Nintendo video and it showcases the differences between New Super Mario Bros Wii and New Super Mario Bros U in terms of visuals.
NSMBU has been accused of looking a bit uninspired in the past, some saying they thought it looked like the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros. While those people could be right if they were referring to just the art style, we can see that there are also some distinct differences visually.
New Super Mario Bros U is more clear (obviously) and has much improved character models. The backgrounds look significantly better as well. New Super Mario Bros U runs at 720p native (though the Wii U might upscale it to 1080p) and at 60fps.
I think the debate of whether the Wii U is next-gen is a silly one, because it has all the qualifications of a next-gen console with it’s increase in raw horsepower over current consoles. If there was any doubt to this we can see that it is a gigantic leap over the Wii, even if that wasn’t a very hard task to accomplish.
Take note that the Wii had a paltry 88MB RAM while the Wii U has 1GB for games, 2GB total. If we’re only counting the memory available to games the Wii U has a 912MB increase over the Wii. For reference the Xbox 360 had a 448MB RAM increase over the original Xbox.
I’m sure the debate of whether the Wii U is next-gen will rage on until after the Wii U’s successor hits the market. But as we can see with this Mario comparison the Wii U is a considerable step up from the Wii. I suppose Nintendo is now truly playing with (HD) power.