Rumor: Wii U GPU was downgraded to 176Gflops UPDATE: Debunked

UPDATE: This rumor has been officially debunked by Shin’en as they’ve confirmed that their Wii U devkits actually got faster over time with no downgrades.

ORIGINAL STORY: A report stemming from NeoGAF user bgassassin supposedly points to the Wii U’s GPU being “downgraded” at some point in development before release last year. The rumor here is that devkits were over-heating and Nintendo scaled the GPU down a bit. It is important to note that bgassassin has been known to have this sort of inside information in the past.

It should be noted that NeoGAF mods do not allow users to post rumor threads like this unless they can prove that they have some inside knowledge and sources and they’ve verified that this user’s sources. He says that this news, when combined with a die shot of the system’s GPU, points at it having 160 ALUs, 8 TMUs, and 8 ROPs. That would put the console’s GPU performance at a base of 176Glops at a clock speed of 550Mhz.

We all knew the Wii U wouldn’t be nearly on par with next-gen consoles so these numbers shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years. While I’d still classify this as a rumor the user it is coming from has been known to get inside information in the past and it was verified by the mods so it does appear to have some legitimacy to it.

Also the Wii U uses new architecture so just because we have some relative knowledge of how many Gflops the GPU is or its clock speed doesn’t mean that’s the limit of its potential. These things are complicated and basing your thoughts off how big certain numbers are isn’t the way to go.

The idea that Nintendo opted for a smaller system case over a more powerful GPU will upset some gamers. I’m personally fine with it as there are tons of great looking Wii U games out and coming out soon. Monolith’s X and Super Mario 3D World look terrific if you ask me.

What do you think about this Wii U rumor? Let us know in the comments below.