Valve says Wii U 'fits better' with its tech

Portal 2 maker says HD graphics capabilities make Nintendo's new console much more appealing.

by

When the Wii U was announced at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this month, it attracted the attention of such developers as Gearbox and id Software. Now, another celebrated US independent developer is expressing its interest in the console, which has drawn attention for its high-definition graphics and LCD-touch-screen-equipped controller.

Valve might be cooking up a Wii U game sometime in the future.

"Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation," Valve Corporation president and cofounder Gabe Newell told Joystiq. "It sort of fits better into the scalability in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance, so I think it'll be a lot easier for us to fit it into our scalability model... Now it's a lot easier to look at Wii U and have it fit within that framework."

Newell's comments came shortly after he gave a keynote speech at the Games for Change Festival. There, he also announced that Portal 2 has already shipped 3 million units just over a month after its mid-May launch. According to the gaming blog, the executive also used his presentation to discuss the difference--or lack thereof--between educational games and regular games. The event was also the site of a keynote address from former Vice President Al Gore.

Discussion

95 comments
bigbadonion
bigbadonion

Wii u is quite interesting. all the developers.. or most seem to love it. Yet most core gamers hate it lol. If Nintendo gave it a different name opinions would be very different. The more I read about developers opinions on it the more interested i get. But no ones mind should be made up yet really. My first impression was "omg not another wii *rolls eyes* but the people who actually have experience of making games on it seem to think differently. I guess we'll see in the next few years. I'm never an early adopter of any console. The only console i've ever owned from day 1 was Dreamcast because it looked incredibly promising, heh yeah.... the less said about that decision the better.

diggyman
diggyman

The developers are speaking. Wii U has potential. The problem is that core gamers still have the taste Wii in their mouths (haha funny) and are too fondly reminded of that when they look at or hear about this. I hope that stigma changes soon. Maybe make the console black to give it a more serious look.

Ka-BaMf
Ka-BaMf

Hopefully ValvE goes Sony's way because they have a better outlook than Nintendo. I'd also like to see Half-Life for PS VITA, that would be amazing.

woolysockofdoom
woolysockofdoom

This comment is comparing the Wii U with the Wii, not like he's comparing it to the other consoles.

Ka-BaMf
Ka-BaMf

Valve I beg you don't waste your greatness.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Valve on baord?! Ohhhhh be-jesus. That may have well just got me interested in Nintendo's console.. I'll see...

Pandemic-7
Pandemic-7

"Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation," hmm, particularly interesting coming from a person with deep knowledge of specs and developing software. I imagine he's saying that even at the outset of dev kits the wii U is quite more powerful than current consoles. we shall see. If not the wii U will be loaded with tons of shovel ware and a lack of killer app titles, much like it's predecessor. I'm definitely rooting for the Big N's new console, if they can deliver than it just means more great games to play.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@DanielL5583 I think it's important to note that I don't exactly disagree with you. My main point is that the WiiU is likely a decent candidate for what the Source engine currently has to offer, it just doesn't seem to be a catalyst for the future of Valve's efforts. Though (and equally importantly), the WiiU, just as well as any platform, could benefit from a good update to the source engine. Perhaps a new engine altogether (it's Valve we're talking about, after all).

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@parrot_of_adun Maybe 'drastically' wasn't the best way to put it. Maybe 'further' would be a better word to describe it. Funnily enough, I have to run Portal 2 on lowest setting on my PC (because of how demanding graphically the game is) and it still looks amazing.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@DanielL5583 Oh definitely. I'm just saying that the metric by which this understanding is achieved is somewhat odd (the WiiU part, specifically). There has been a good deal of talk in the PC world about the age of source and how it needs a successor, and I do think it needs one, I just don't think the WiiU is the system to demand it.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@parrot_of_adun Come to think of it, you might be right there. Even so, the engine may need a little more of a tweak to boost Source's capabilities.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@DanielL5583 While it may be true that Source is showing it's age, I think you're really overestimating the technical capabilities of the WiiU. Valve is primarily a PC dev, after all. They're already catering to those with the highest expectations (as visuals are concerned).

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

"it's a lot easier to look at Wii U and have it fit within that framework." lol... U Wii fitting in "framework" isn't always easy... hehehe

RadPro
RadPro

@noble95x Infact if either the PS3 or XBOX360 came with 2 gigs of CPU RAM & 512 megs of GPU RAM at the time it would've probably boosted sales over the other because of much improved graphics, loading times (due to the system not having to shuffle files in & out of memory so much), etc.

RadPro
RadPro

@noble95x We're talking about $20 more for production costs here (It's probably even lower than that), do you really think consoles would've sold less with that small a difference in price, especially when you consider all the advantages? Memory is one of the cheapest hardware you can incorporate in a system, you don't have to do research, you don't have to find new ways to fight the heat it generates (like new CPU's & GPU's), it's easily installed and prices for it have been incredibly low for a very long time. So no I really don't think it would've made a difference in sales, especially when you consider all the benefits.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@MOwens9512 Yep. Graphics aren't everything, but overall performance, and power of the machine will certainly help. It seemed like most 3rd party, AA games were skipping the Wii, or getting watered down, simply because they couldn't compete, or perform as good as their PS3/360 counterparts. I'm very interested in the Wii U. I know the tech will probably be inferior to the next Xbox, but I'm actually happy with the way current Ps3/360 titles look, so I can't wait to see Mario,Zelda,Metroid, etc, in HD!

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Valve makes a good point about the graphics being a plus. Yes, I agree that graphics don't necessarily make or break a game, they are a useful storytelling tool when you need to really convey something visual, and the better looking the more comprehensive and immersive. It will help develops like Valve come forth with more mature content for Nintendo and broaden its fanbase, or at least that's what they are hoping it will do. In any event, making your games look better is never a bad thing, so long as you don't depend on the graphics as your meal ticket. Gotta have quality games.

noble95x
noble95x

@RadPro, so if the ps3 or 360 had atleast 2 gigs of ram, or even 1 gig. they would perform alot better? because of the hd textures and everything. but then if sony or microsoft put more ram in then it would have higher production costs and not sell as well. well i would still get it.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

One thing. If VALVe are going to use the Wii U, they will need to drastically upgrade their Source engine. Even though Portal 2 had amazing graphics, if it's to get any better there needs to be a further update to it.

RadPro
RadPro

@noble95x Yeah, I like to compare console systems or gaming PC's as the relay event in Track & Field. It only takes one slow runner to bog down whole team. It's the same for your CPU, GPU, amount of memory, etc. Console companies have always placed all their energy on processing & graphics power without thinking about giving them enough memory to make them really perform at their best. I mean it's not like they have to invent the wheel, the technology is right there at a cheap price. You can get 4 gigs of RAM for only $48 for the PC. Now imagine when console companies makes a high production deal with a company, the costs drop dramatically from that $48. I just don't get it.

obsequies
obsequies

I really think this new controller is bad news....come on nintendo...please dont die...you really should have welcomed 3d tvs and mixed that with kinect technology to get into a somewhat programmed hologram type of thing....is that even possible...mixing programmed 3d with kinect...thats kinda a hologram

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ KanyeTwitty Because they aren't "Hardcore" gamers, they're just gamers that think they know everything because their first system had a CD/DVD drive. A true "hardcore" gamer can find fun in a Leapster.

dstv
dstv

Wow HD graphics .....never seen those before .....*obvious sarcasm*

noble95x
noble95x

@RadPro, you know? i never thought of it that way.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@punkdsk8erdude I think he would have said "current generation" of hardware if he were referring to the PS3/360. I could be wrong though, but that's just what I think he meant.

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

portal would be crazy if they really used the tablet in the right way. here's the deal: he says, ""Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation" mentioning graphics capabilities, CPU & GPU. Now, many commenters on here think he is referring to the Wii U being an update over the Wii which would be an obvious remark. But what is the "previous generation?" The Wii? Or is he referring to the Ps3/360? Because if so, he's basically saying that the Wii U is a lot more powerful than the PS3/360, and makes me very hopeful because no one has said much about this yet and is my biggest question. I know that many may say to me right now that he said previous generation, and if he was referring to ps3/360 he would've said current generation, but i'm not so certain. because let's face it, saying that the wii u is a significant update over wii/gcube/ps2/xbox, is absolutely an obvious and quite frankly dumb thing to say and report on. I'm going to be a little more optimistic here, and hope he's talking about 360/PS3.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

That is a no-brainer. The Wii was the last console I picked up. I did like it, but it just seemed like a slightly upgraded Gamecube, with tacked on motion controls, so I waited until more of their respective first party games released. It will do so much better in HD, without major companies avoiding it because their game has to be watered down. The only thing is , what are they going to do when Microsoft and Sony bring their new units to the party?

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

uhh... why do so many people like the Wii-U, the controller is a piece of crap, almost as bad as the original Wii is. I'll stick will a game console like my PS3, which has controllers that actually make since, and work all games. Nintendo I use to like you guys, I even have a gamecube and a N64 still, but you uys have gone downhill since the Wii. disappointing...

TheLemonGelati
TheLemonGelati

Seems like everyone is starting to see the possibilities. I would love to see new ideas that could be implemented by these developers on the new system.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

I'm not so sure about the name yet... Wii U. It sounds like you're saying 'whew!' Or maybe one could just call it the U... Oh well, as long as it has an HD Zelda and Smash Bros. I'm good.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

If anything, I would love to see Valve developing an exclusive title that takes advantage of the feature set of the Wii U than simply a port of their existing games.

newbie4lyfe
newbie4lyfe

tim schafer should work in nintendo! nintendo should make his games! and metanet software's.

ronnet
ronnet

I can see Valve making a new version of Portal for the Wii U. I'm sure some developers will also bring some other core titles to the Wii U. But I can't help but wonder what market Nintendo is going for here. Anyone who was interested in core gaming would already have bought a 360/PS3/PC so why purchase a Wii U to replay these? So the Wii U is there to keep Nintendo's current consumers interested in Nintendo products but I'm not feeling this two screen thing. It seems very much like a gimmick, even more so then the original Wii and I don't see casual gamers picking it over Kinect full body gaming either. So when the next generation starts Nintendo will once again be with a console with outdated specs and this time a gimmick that is much less revolutionary.

newbie4lyfe
newbie4lyfe

development times will be longer and bigger :D for wii u exclusives :D

King-gamer
King-gamer

I can imagine a Portal game with two screens. Totally gonna make the game's puzzles even more complicated than ever! I like the challenge.

newbie4lyfe
newbie4lyfe

should the brutal legend's planned, but canceled series be finished on the wii u's disc? wii u disc, i heard was 25gb. nintendo licensing? rts and wii u?

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Now Nintendo fans can join the epic wait for Episode 3.

Lallin92
Lallin92

Left 4 dead 3 on the wii u. Now that would be awesome!

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

sorry to say it, but i think gabe newell is full of crap. in 07 he said the xbox was more appealing for its software, and we got the orange box and left 4 dead. years later he was basing microsoft and came to e3 saying sony has the best hardware, now nintendo. i swear, he makes great games, but i wish he would just stop with the crap and just support all 4 (pc is a console too!) equally instead of jumping ship like a journeyman athlete.

DarknautXXX
DarknautXXX

Hell yes! Here's hoping for an updated Orange Box with HL2: Episode 3

vadicta
vadicta

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ManHooYin
ManHooYin

if you think about it valve can probably make some kinda crazy f**Ked up Portal game using the Wii U. Seriously just imagine it.

plaintomato
plaintomato

Headline: "Wii U better than old Wii". This is news? That's about as obvious as "Involvement of Celebrity Has-Been Politician undermines Legitimacy of Games for Change Festival; Implies Change You Can't Count On".

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I think if anyone can make a good use of the Wii U's hardware, it'd be Valve. Still, I do consider myself a PC gamer, and I've been waiting for hl2 episode 3 for what seems like forever, so I'd like them to finish what they started before hopping onto a new project.