Wednesday, June 23, 2010
3DS more powerful than Wii?
(3DS is rendering the above trailer in real-time)
In technical terms, no the 3DS is not more powerful than the Wii. What about these amazing graphics it's able to produce seemingly so easily compared to the Wii? Well it was revealed that the 3DS is using a new graphics card called the PICA200 which is using a newer form of OpenGL ES 1.1 being used with mobile devices. What this graphics card can do is use a lot of the same graphically effects of the next-gen consoles with very little power consumption. The PICA200 GPU has "fixed" shaders/normal mapping already built inside so the developer just needs to program what shader they want to use and it will do it on the fly.
With the Wii and Gamecube, Nintendo made them with the developer in mind as well. The TEV was made to give the developer more flexibility to create there own kind of graphics the way they wanted. They could develop their own shading and mapping techniques to really made unique looking games. This was demonstrated much better in the Gamecube's life span since developers in this generation don't seem to care to try to make a game on the Wii that really uses it's power to the full. This is why we still continue to see flat, plain looking games to this day. The Wii can do the shaders and Normal Mapping that we are seeing but it is too late in the lifespan of the Wii for the majority of game developers to give a rat's ass about what it can do and just make games designed to give them a quick buck instead.
Why didn't Nintendo incorporate something like the PICA200 GPU in the Wii instead of the TEV? Well, simply the technology wasn't ready yet by the time the Wii was released. The 3DS graphics card is made to make lazy developers more excited to make games that have great graphics since the system will pretty much do the job for them. It's a shame that this is what game development has come to but at the same time it's good that Nintendo didn't sit back and do nothing to address the problem that has been going on for 4 years on the Wii. I look for Nintendo's next console to have a similar graphics card on a larger scale.