The Wii-U is "BARELY" on par with the current gen systems specs wise...
A hacker has uncovered precise speeds for Wii U's CPU and GPU. But what does that mean?
Nintendo has often declined to get into specific details about the architecture powering its consoles. But that hasn't stopped the hacking community. Overnight a well-known hacker 'Marcan' revealed very precise details about the CPU and GPU powering Wii U, including some code names for various chips that clearly highlight why the system carried the codename 'Project Cafe' a year and a half ago.
Wii U has more in common with Wii (and by extension the GameCube) than current gen counterparts like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. To that end, Marcan notes that directly comparing clock speeds as apples to apples isn't entirely logical. Calling Wii U 'Espresso' CPU "similar to Wii's 'Broadway' [CPU]," Marcan broke down the chip as having three cores (compared to Wii's one), with each clocking at a very precise 1.243125GHz (compared to Wii's 729 MHz and GameCube's 485 MHz) and capable of running one thread of data at a time.
For reference, the 360 and PS3 CPUs run around 3.0 GHz, albeit carrying different core and thread capabilities. Eurogamer effectively called the difference a "wash," noting the 360 processes threads of information at approximately 1.6 GHz. Marcan also noted he thought Wii U's core design was "saner" compared to the 360 and PS3.
Meanwhile the GPU powering Wii U carries the codename 'Latte', and runs at a speed of 549.999755MHz. Wii's 'Hollywood' GPU clocked at 243 MHz, and the GameCube, 162 MHz. The Xbox 360 GPU speed is 550 MHz.
That's a lot of numbers, but it's safe to say that more and more evidence is placing Wii U alongside Xbox 360 and PS3 versus a drastic leap over the current generation. Developers are definitely coming to terms with what Nintendo's new system will be capable of, but it's also clear that Nintendo's divergent approach has once again focused on finding innovation in control and software versus attempting to compete in terms of raw power. As Marcan concluded, "...don't compare [Wii U] clock per clock with a 360 and claim it's much worse. It isn't."