Nintendo has announced that its Wii U gaming console will not feature a Blu-ray drive, and will instead stick to a proprietary disc format. Patent fees related to the technology are too high, the company explained. The Wii U will, however, compete with existing consoles in terms of hardware - it is equipped with a customized CPU from IBM and a GPU from AMD, and is rumored to be 50 percent faster than PS3 and Xbox 360.
Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata said in a recent investor Q&A event that enough people have already bought various devices capable of playing Blu-ray and DVD, and there's no need for such a functionality in the Wii U.
In terms of GPU, the Wii U is far from today's high-end PC standards, but it supports 1080p resolution and is said to offer more than other consoles already on the market. The new custom-designed 45-nanometer CPU comes courtesy of IBM, and reportedly makes for "extreme game play."
The white box will be equipped with a customized AMD Radeon GPU, apparently with a graphics chip similar to the one found in Radeon HD 4890, Japanese website GameWatch reports. It's a bit outdated, having been released in 2009, but still much better than those found in PS3 and Xbox 360. These details are yet to be confirmed.
Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with brokerage firm Sterne Agee, stated that some developers claim the Wii U is 50 percent faster than PS3 and Xbox 360.
The Nintendo Wii U (formerly referred to as the Wii HD) was unveiled last week during the E3 exhibition in Los Angeles. Its most distinctive aspect as of yet is the completely new touchscreen controller, which allows users to continue gaming even when the TV is turned off. The product is expected to be launched in 2012.