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Nintendo pushed Wii U to the limits with Mario Kart 8, but still think they can do more

Coming from an EDGE interview with director Kosuke Yabuki...

Our aim was to create a game that used HD graphics and played at a smooth 60fps. We pushed Wii U’s capabilities to their limits to achieve this. [But] I think it still has a lot of potential left, and I suspect there are more ways to make use of its capabilities that we haven’t even imagined.

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38 total comments (View all)
User avatar
11 May 2014 19:33

MrAwesome23 wrote:
ridleysaria wrote: it would be pretty sad if Mario Kart 8 is the best the Wii U hardware can offer.


Odd. Because it still looks better than everything I currently own for PS4 (Outlast, AC4, Ground Zeroes, Second Son) with the exception of those beautiful particle effects in Second Son. Sometimes I drain Neon just to ogle it.


Yeah, OK. You may like the art or something in Mario Kart more, but on a technical level, it is not better looking than those games. Not to say art doesn't go a long way.
User avatar
11 May 2014 19:49

ridleysaria wrote:I think it would be better to say that the programmers pushed their skills to the limit. I hope so at least, because it would be pretty sad if Mario Kart 8 is the best the Wii U hardware can offer. It's a beautiful looking game, especially since it's running 60fps, but I expect better. People can improve their skills, the hardware is set in stone.


Nope, clearly this is a true confirmation that the Wii U power is essentially two Wiis taped together.

Internet Truth.
User avatar
11 May 2014 20:05

I guess a way to interpret is that they were able to push the limits for Mario Kart, but the potential they mention can be translated in getting even more impressive results with a different art style or a different approach due to the things they learned when developing MK8. However, it is pretty much just PR talk.
No Avatar
11 May 2014 20:51

@FunShaundi

Yeah... that's not how it works buddy. If we were playing technical card we might as well say Super Mario on my gaming rig looks better than anything on the PS4 and One because "technically speaking" it is better.

No.. just no. There's a reason why people said PS3 and 360 games looked worse than XBOX and PS2 games at first. The developers weren't used to the hardware and didn't know how to use it to produce the better graphics yet. So it's no surprise if Wii U games at the moment actually look better than PS4 and One games. Saying that someone is wrong because of technical levels is a pathetic argument.
User avatar
11 May 2014 21:15

I'm more then confident they'll figure out ways to get more and more out of the Wii U. The architectural design is very different then anything else ever to hit the market meaning they'll be exploring what it can do for its entire lifespan and people will likely continue to well beyond its shelf life.

Anyways, E3 will be very interesting and quite awesome. I'm genuinely excited for this E3, which is not something I can say about the previous one.
User avatar
11 May 2014 22:01

It really does show. I honestly think that Mario Kart 8 looks a LOT better than pretty much any current gen game.
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11 May 2014 22:08

FunShaundi wrote:
MrAwesome23 wrote:
ridleysaria wrote: it would be pretty sad if Mario Kart 8 is the best the Wii U hardware can offer.


Odd. Because it still looks better than everything I currently own for PS4 (Outlast, AC4, Ground Zeroes, Second Son) with the exception of those beautiful particle effects in Second Son. Sometimes I drain Neon just to ogle it.


Yeah, OK. You may like the art or something in Mario Kart more, but on a technical level, it is not better looking than those games. Not to say art doesn't go a long way.


Don't be stupid. Something looking better has nothing to do with tech. Aesthetics can be any combination of elements to create something gorgeous. I didn't say it was pushing more complex hardware. I stated it looked better, and it does. Ground Zeroes is the only one coming even close in visuals and you can tell it's last gen skeleton is holding certain aspects of it back. We already know what's under the hood of the Wii U, so comments like Ridley's are just boring and antagonistic for the **** of it. It's not a mystery.

However, we're in an age where when you look at crap like The Last of Us, as compared to InFamous Second Son, you're splitting hairs in what "looks better". Even better resolutions do not inherently make it "look better". This isn't 480p to 1080p anymore. This isn't the difference between Cloud looking like Legos and Squall having fingers. These are minuscule improvements. Out of my Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 not a single person has been impressed with any technical improvements in any of them. Not gamers, not outsiders. The closest I've heard to anyone being wowed is how many zombies are on screen for Dead Rising 3 and to be fair, it's kind of ugly.

Yes. Mario Kart 8 looks better than anything else available on the systems currently. That doesn't validate Wii U, that doesn't fix its faults, that doesn't mean diddly freaking squat it's just a testament to how wonderful the game looks and to how it can't be "sad" when it's still beating the competition.

Besides, if this is "sad" I'd like to know why gamers are so ****ing happy with low-end PCs that are almost just as obsolete as Wii U is in the grand scheme of the technical world. I'll enjoy them, and the new access to new games, but technically speaking, good God they are underpowered as well.
User avatar
11 May 2014 22:57

I can believe this statement
It's probably not pushing it as much when it's played single player but pushing everything that happens on screen with all the visual effects, polygons, textures, lighting, animation, etc at at 60fps in 2 player split screen and 30fps in 3 and 4 player spit screen I can see that's where it's really pushing the Wii U hard
User avatar
11 May 2014 23:08

There will be Wii U titles far more gorgeous than MK8, take that to the bank.
User avatar
11 May 2014 23:41

Devil_Rising wrote:There will be Wii U titles far more gorgeous than MK8, take that to the bank.

I honestly think X looks better at a technical level than Mario Kart, just because of the expansive environment (it's a beast to properly render) and how much pandemonium can be on screen at once with all of the mechs and flying bullets. That's not to diminish what Mario Kart does however. Both of those are great and it's only the start of what we'll see in the future.
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11 May 2014 23:50

@Fred Duck

You'd know if you've ever programmed, well, anything.
User avatar
12 May 2014 01:17

MrAwesome23 wrote:We already know what's under the hood of the Wii U, so comments like Ridley's are just boring and antagonistic for the **** of it.


Don't be stupid. I was saying that I expect to see games that look better than Mario Kart 8 because the Wii U should be capable of more. It would be sad if they've reached the limits of the hardware already.

Devil_Rising wrote:There will be Wii U titles far more gorgeous than MK8, take that to the bank.


This.
User avatar
12 May 2014 01:33

Slightly off-topic, but I have read it here on this site and in other website comment sections that some people think that X1 and PS4 will hit it's peak early because developers are already familiar with x86 development. I'm wondering if there is any truth to that? How quickly are we gonna reach the limit of these consoles since developers already know how to take advantage of the architecture? Or will it be a case of developers becoming more and more efficient with x86 so everything will still continue to improve even if the consoles are used to their max?
User avatar
12 May 2014 01:37

I'm sure all systems have their own manner of quirks, strengths and weaknesses that can be discovered and taken advantage of for many years to come.

I hate when they say a game is "pushing the system to the limits", especially this early on. I think they believe it sounds good to say it, like look how amazing this game is, but it's really selling short the capabilities of the hardware.
User avatar
12 May 2014 01:51

Zelda will inevitably look better, so I'm not really worried about the limits talk. I can't wait to see the bigger more single-player focused, more ambitious 3D Mario though! It's gonna look amazing! And before you quote me, I can dream dammit! :cry:
User avatar
12 May 2014 02:01

Mario Kart 8 sure is gorgeous. And I can't wait to play it. It looks so smooth and pretty in trailers, so it outa look even better in person~

And I'm sure they will make games that are plenty better than than MK8, graphical-vice. I expect Zelda U to be extremely gorgeous.

I don't really care in what way they say this, it's just things you say.
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Anonymous
12 May 2014 03:00

Classic game development, squeeze all you can out of a system. Then find a way to squeeze a little more. I love it.
User avatar
12 May 2014 03:08

Ummm...If these are the limits, then we have a huge problem!
User avatar
12 May 2014 03:20

Chased wrote:Ummm...If these are the limits, then we have a huge problem!

As I stated in a previous post you get all the visual splendor of Mario Kart 8's single player experience split into four quadrants of your TV screen at 30fps same with 3 player local co-op and 2 player gives you all the visual splendor of the single player experience running at a smooth 60fps

I'm pretty sure that is pushing the Wii U to it's limits
User avatar
12 May 2014 07:34

Shaanyboi wrote:
Fred Duck wrote:How does one push a machine to its limits yet still believe more potential remains?

lol it's such a silly way to hype your machine's tech.


Not at all... It sounds like they feel they reached the machines limit doing what they know of the hardware, but feel if they experiment more they can get more out of it.

The memory sub system (32mb EDRAM) can be used in many different ways, following what Shin'en have said about it.

Sounds like Nintendo is still experimenting with it and feel there's an even better way to use it to improve performance.

It's also why most 3rd party ports aren't so hot on Wii U, as you have to take advantage of that EDRAM to get any decent performance out of it. Just going with the standard 2gb of system memory is only a fraction of the bandwidth of the EDRAM, but the main memory being easiest route to develop on most third parties choose to ignore that EDRAM.

I'm still impressed with the frame rate in these first party games. I wish more devs would put in this kind of effort on the system (but completely understand the business decision just to dirty port something and move on)
No Avatar
12 May 2014 08:34

LSF22 wrote:Slightly off-topic, but I have read it here on this site and in other website comment sections that some people think that X1 and PS4 will hit it's peak early because developers are already familiar with x86 development. I'm wondering if there is any truth to that? How quickly are we gonna reach the limit of these consoles since developers already know how to take advantage of the architecture? Or will it be a case of developers becoming more and more efficient with x86 so everything will still continue to improve even if the consoles are used to their max?


Developers have proven themselves to be anything but efficient. If they hit ceilings it's because they forgot to pace themselves or because they lack lateral thinking, not because of the hardware.
User avatar
12 May 2014 09:12

Seems like an odd way to put it... "We pushed it to the limit but there's still more"? Maybe it would be more appropiate to say that the developers pushed to their skill limits.

Anyways, MK8 looks great that's for sure, but I find that to be subjective since there are some other games that I find more impresive.
No Avatar
12 May 2014 11:21

NeroSuferoth wrote:Seems like an odd way to put it... "We pushed it to the limit but there's still more"? Maybe it would be more appropiate to say that the developers pushed to their skill limits.

Anyways, MK8 looks great that's for sure, but I find that to be subjective since there are some other games that I find more impresive.


The limits of the hardware, most likely. As with most software, Nintendo can still refine and optimize code to use the hardware even more efficiently. In this case, "more" doesn't mean "push harder." It means write better code.
User avatar
12 May 2014 17:23

Mango_Magician wrote:Zelda will inevitably look better, so I'm not really worried about the limits talk. I can't wait to see the bigger more single-player focused, more ambitious 3D Mario though! It's gonna look amazing! And before you quote me, I can dream dammit! :cry:



People also need to keep in mind that Nintendo said Mario 64, their N64 LAUNCH game, was already pushing the hardware to it's limits. And yet look how many far better looking games came along.
User avatar
12 May 2014 18:16

MDX wrote:So the big question is, 60fps at 1080p?


Not to be a jerk but we have known this game was 720p/60fps since it's reveal in June 2013.

LSF22 wrote:Slightly off-topic, but I have read it here on this site and in other website comment sections that some people think that X1 and PS4 will hit it's peak early because developers are already familiar with x86 development. I'm wondering if there is any truth to that? How quickly are we gonna reach the limit of these consoles since developers already know how to take advantage of the architecture? Or will it be a case of developers becoming more and more efficient with x86 so everything will still continue to improve even if the consoles are used to their max?


There is no such thing as squeezing anything out of the x86. This architecture is the most inefficient processors ever created. The reason why they became so popular in the 80's because they were dirt cheap and you could afford to buy a fast enough processor to brute force what you needed to do. RISC processors were outperforming them at half the clock speed. I say this as PC gamer who have always built x86 computers. It's just the reality with x86.

Over the last 3 decades, developers already learned just about everything they could possibly know about these CPU's. The only system of the two with somewhat possible growth will be the xBone because of its memory system.

Previous console generations always used non-standard architectures. It was a constant education of learning for developers so games continued to improve drastically over time. We just won't see that kind of growth with the PS4/xBone.

What's even worse is these jaguar processors are really terrible. 8 cores sounds like a cool buzz word bullet point in marketing for these systems until you begin to look at the cores. They are no more special then the cores in your smartphone or tablet. Besides the low clock speed, they are terrible at doing floating point operations, which will mean the GPU will have to take time to pick up the slack of the CPU, taking up valuable graphic processing cycles to handle the loss load from the CPU's.

I see the dual shockers and NeoGAF group claiming that the PS4 is like 3.2 teraflops because of something John Carmack said about the PS3/x360 generation, but it doesn't apply to the PS4/xBone generation. It's simply the land of delusion at these sites. The ps4 and xBone are locked hardware, there is no secret sauce that will magically make them more powerful over time like we saw in previous generations. These systems already use a low level API, so mantle won't be doing them any good when it's ready.



Wii U is a Power PC based with a unique memory system, so I would expect there to still be some depth to be explored. I'm already impressed for what it can do for only "being on par" with the 360 according to the trolls..... But can't find a single game on either of my brothers ps3 or x360 that looks better than MK8, and the Wii U runs it at 60fps

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