So apparently, this is what graphics from a system that has "graphics not as powerful" as the Xbox 360 and PS3 is capable of doing on underclocked barely alpha dev kits. It amazes me that this kind of press can spread from one website who has no named source as their guide and has never had an exclusive on anything of relevance before two days ago. EPIC, Crytek, Gearbox and even bipolar Vigil have said that the Wii U is more powerful than the current HD consoles.
Back at E3 2011 Gearbox had this to say about still evolving Wii U tech:
"Right now we're still finding out what kind of final tech specs the Wii U is going to have," said Martel.
"We've got the [Aliens: Colonial Marines] engine running on the Wii U, and as far as the console goes, you're going to see textures at a resolution that you haven't seen on [the current] generation," said Martel.
Mike Capps & Mark Rein from EPIC Games have made several comments on the Wii U in the past year:
"At the launch event at E3, some of the products that you saw running on Wii U were based on Unreal Engine technology. So that kind of gives you an idea of where we are in that space. You can certainly use our engine on that platform – it's a natural fit from a technology perspective," Capps added. "It opens up some doors that weren't open before on current generation consoles because it is going to be a powerful box."
"Do you remember the Zelda demo they had on it? Would you not buy a Wii U just to play that? Of course you would," Rein said. "That's what Nintendo is all about. Their hardware is the software delivery service for their great content. That Zelda demo was gorgeous and we can do even more than that with Unreal Engine 3. I think it will do great."
Gearbox yesterday had more to share about the Wii U's power:
"Nintendo still has a lot to announce with their platform, and it's not up to us to go ahead of them," he told Joystiq. "I think it's a great platform and I'm really excited about it, particularly with this game, there's a lot of exciting opportunities like, 'Wow, my motion tracker is there, and I can move it like this!'" he said as he moved his arms side to side. "There's just so much cool stuff."
"There's a lot that we can do with that screen," Pitchford said. "It's a really cool system -- it's pretty powerful. I want to be careful, because I don't want to risk any sensitive information that Nintendo's not ready to share yet, but in our experience it's a great system. I think it's a really nice bridge to the next generation. I think people will be surprised. I don't know off the top of my head how many of the specs they've released, so I want to be very careful not to jump the gun, but we're very pleased with the hardware. And even since they gave us our first alpha kit, our very first 'pre-prototype' development hardware that they kind of let us play around with, they've done so many things to make the platform better. So it's getting better for us as developers."
It is also pretty common knowledge that in the tech demos shown above, the Wii U was producing some effects (the lighting for example) that were not possible on the current HD platforms. All this produced on dev kits that were hampered from needing to be underclocked to prevent overheating. When you also factor in the rather large power boost the kits got in January, Nintendo will truly have a Wii U system ready for E3 that will really surprise a lot of people with what it can do graphically (like what Mark Rein said earlier).
It's pretty sad how easily people and different websites (IGN & 1UP) can get caught up in anonymous talk from unknown sources. These type of things should not even be reported when official game developers have already made statements concerning the Wii U's power. It's just bad journalism and misinformation.
If you are a "Nintendo is doomed" kind of person, then you would be quick to believe anything negative about Nintendo's new console. However, regardless of who is a fanboy for what company or console, at the end of the day official statements are official statements, no matter how much faith you want to put in anonymous comments that seem to match your personal feelings and put you in a state of denial about the truth.