Wii U not much more powerful than Vita,… wait no that’s wrong
Tyrone Rodriguez, the man behind The Binding of Isaac, is catching a lot of flack from gamers for some disparaging comments he made about Nintendo’s Wii U console on Twitter today. To clarify, earlier Rodriguez tweeted that he wasn’t sure if the Binding of Isaac expansion, Afterbirth, would release on Wii U, 3DS and Vita due to performance issues.
This led many fans to question why he would be having issues getting Isaac’s DLC expansion to run on the Wii U, which is leagues ahead of the 3DS/Vita in terms of raw horsepower. He followed up that tweeted with this one:
Stop lying to yourself, the Wii U is not much more powerful than a PS Vita
— Tyrone Rodriguez (@tyronerodriguez) November 20, 2015
Wow. I’m no game developer but I can’t help but question Rodriguez’s logic behind this statement. Before we get into why this is a bad PR move for him and Nicalis as a whole, let’s do some math.
The PS Vita’s CPU is a quad core ARM with an unconfirmed clock speed around 444Mhz, if hackers are to be believed. In addition to that, the system’s GPU can do 51Gflops and the handheld has 512MB RAM.
Compare that to the Wii U’s triple core IBM PowerPC CPU, which runs at 1.24Ghz, 2GB of system RAM (1GB available for games), 176Gflop GPU and 32MB eDRAM. You can see how the Vita, at least on paper, isn’t in the same league as Nintendo’s home console. Even if the Wii U is much weaker than your average PC or PS4/XB1, its still a lot more powerful than the Vita.
Let’s get into why this was a foolish comment by Rodriguez. He’s openly bashing a major platform and console maker for the sake of,…what? He doesn’t need to say the Wii U is “not much more powerful” than the Vita. All he had to say was that Nintendo’s home console wasn’t powerful enough to run his game’s expansion how he wants it to run.
Sure, fans would still call bullshit on this since Binding of Isaac isn’t exactly a cutting edge game, but saying the Wii U couldn’t run it to his standards and leaving it at that wouldn’t be throwing dirt on a small but loyal Wii U fanbase.
All he’s doing is making people want to avoid his games and that’s a shame. The Binding of Isaac Rebirth is one of the best indie games I’ve played this generation. Its already hard enough for the game to get new players due to its difficulty, reiligious themes and the growing resentment towards indie games in the console space from fans who want nothing but AAA experiences. Why add any more hurdles for a stellar game that deserves as much attention as it can get?
Will it cost more to port the DLC to Wii U than it will earn for Rodriguez? Maybe and that’s likely the real reason Rodriguez is considering not releasing Afterbirth on Wii U, Vita or 3DS. If so, he should just say it. Again, that would piss off some fans but if it doesn’t make financial sense for a small developer its hard to blame them. No need to throw shade at any of these devices.
Simply put, Tyrone Rodriguez needed someone from Nicalis’s PR team to stop him before tweeting this out. It makes him look like a poor developer who can’t get his relatively simple game to run on hardware that by all means it should run well on. People would be disappointed if he didn’t bring Afterbirth to Wii U, 3DS and Vita but now they’ll be disappointed and angry. Unlike Bethesda, which can seemingly get away with unoptimized releases due to the sheer quality of other aspects of their games, Rodriguez can’t afford to gain a reputation for having trouble with how his games run.