How much more powerful is the Wii U compared to the 360/PS3?
It's a little bit more powerful. No one knows for sure exactly how much, but based on what little info there is, and based on the opinions I've heard from tech heads who know their stuff, I can give a good guess.
The CPU is about as powerful as the 360's CPU, maybe a bit more or less depending on the situation. The GPU is slightly more powerful than what was in the PS3 and Xbox 360, probably 50% better at an absolute maximum (measuring GFLOPS), but some claim it's about on the same level. It's got 4x as much RAM as the PS3 and 360 (2x as much available for games), and although it has lower bandwidth figures than the PS3/360, supposedly memory performance is quite good in real-world situations. The CPU has a lot of cache space, which boosts memory performance, and the GPU has a whopping 38MB of embedded RAM, which gives the GPU a ton of bandwidth to work with and will allow the Wii U to clearly outpace the PS3/360 as developers become more adept at using it.
"Darwin gave us sensory organs for a purpose" -my friend, demonstrating his understanding of evolution
Only an idiot would think that the Wii U is "less than equal" to the PS360.
Power is difficult to determine because it doesn't map to a completely linear scale. A system can be more powerful in one way but less powerful in another, so how would you describe the two system's performance differences in that case?
Personally I would estimate that the Wii U would be somewhere in the ballpark of 50% more capable overall for games than the PS3 and possibly the Xbox 360 would be, with quite a bit of variation between individual functions/components. At the very least, it has a much more powerful and capable GPU than what the PS3 had (which was lackluster even when the system released), but then so did the Xbox 360. Other aspects are more of a tradeoff: it has more RAM, but the RAM bandwidth is slower and has poor streaming/loading performance; it has a larger cache for the CPU and GPU, but the actual CPU throughput is lower and the L2 caches are segmented while the GPU's access to it isn't dedicated like the Xbox 360's was, etc. In terms of performance and capabilities, particularly with visual quality, there's probably a bigger gap between the Xbox 360 and PS3 than there is between the Xbox 360 and Wii U.
Oh, and 1080p isn't standard on the system. Elements like that impose a static resource reduction, so there will never be a time or piece of hardware that will simply be able to run at a specific resolution or framerate for "free". It will always require a decrease in the resources available for other aspects.
"I could give you a list of our technical specs, I believe you would like that; but I won't for a simple reason. They really don't matter." -Iwata
Which he said a couple years before the Wii was released. And looking at how many games the Wii missed out on and how many games were worse on the console because of its specs, it seems he was entirely incorrect. Plus, if specs didn't matter, why did they bother making the Wii U at all?
"Walking tanks must exist somewhere for there to be such attention to detail like this in mech sim." - IGN Steel Battalion review
It is roughly 15% more powerful than the PS3.
I want to move to a nice, quaint house in the suburbs with the T-Mobile girl and make lots of babies with her.
It is roughly 15% more powerful than the PS3.
Buying These: Mario 3D World, WWHD, SSB4, SSB4, MK8, Watch Dogs, CoD: Ghosts, Pokemon Y, Zelda: ALBW, X
May Buy These: PS4, Infamous: SS, Destiny, ESO
It is roughly 150% more powerful than the PS3.
You were missing a digit, so I fix't it for you.
http://lazerlight.x10.mx/ - Lazer Light Studios - Home of the MM2 PTC project
If you like analogies;
the PS360 are nails, and developers have gotten quite used to use hammers to get these nails to work.
the WiiU is a screw, and developers are still trying to hammer it while complaining that it doesn't work as well as with a nail; while the developers who found their screwdrivers praising it for its potential.
It's impossible to simply compare a made-up concept like "power" between consoles.....
The WiiU has more potential than the PS360, but its hardware is different so developers don't really like it; the PS3 had the same situation, but developers adapted and now the can use it.
When I want realistic graphics, I take a break from gaming and look at reality......
Power is only one part of the equation. The most important factor is skill. Powerful hardware is wasted if you don't know how to use it, which I would argue most developers don't. The general approach most studios have towards development is to brute strength their way through it, which is why they're always pushing for stronger hardware with identical architectures.
I don't care how hard some people try to hate on Nintendo, when it comes to design and getting the most out of hardware, they are the undisputed masters. Look at Galaxy and Skyward Sword. They had no business being on a Gamecube 1.5. Look at Pikmin 3- a game that spent half of its development on the Wii. It looks incredible. Look at Wind Waker, a 10 year old game, and how incredible it looks with a simple resolution bump, new lighting, and some touch up work.
I dare say that the Wii U seems to be the most efficient game console ever made. There's more to hardware than raw processing. I don't think anyone will be questioning Wii U's power when Zelda U and Mario U come rolling out. I'm not questioning it just after seeing Pikmin 3 and WW HD. Those titles tell me Nintendo knows what it's doing and I should be very excited to see what they have in store.
In terms of performance and capabilities, particularly with visual quality, there's probably a bigger gap between the Xbox 360 and PS3 than there is between the Xbox 360 and Wii U.
The mistake you're making is looking at current gen ports as an indication of what the system can do. It's reasonable to expect that a more powerful system should be able to yield a significantly better port, but this hasn't been true for Wii U for a number of different reasons.
One is that the system was rushed and incomplete at launch, with severely hampered dev kits to match. Iwata himself admitted this at an investor meeting:
"There is a timing of hit and miss before the functions can be used fully. We were not able to provide development kits that get out all the power of wiiu until mid of last year."
At the time of that statement, mid-last year was summer 2012- in other words, when all of the launch ports were already near complete. You can't look at these games as the ultimate indication of the Wii U's power. You can't even use them as an informal guess at the Wii U's power. Newer ports, like NFS or SC:Blacklist, have performed much better, with some of them becoming the definitive console versions.
Another problem is that 3rd parties aren't committing to good ports because it's too much extra work. Nearly all developers have assessed the Wii U as neither current or next gen, requiring its own approach for ports and engines rather than the same approaches used for the PS3/360 or PS4/One.
For a struggling system with a low install base, this is not an appealing prospect. We've already seen ports with severely reduced or missing features, and many have skipped the system altogether (RE6, MGS5) as a result of this. I simply don't trust 3rd parties to adapt to and push Wii U hardware until the sales turn around.
As you yourself pointed out, Wii U has 3x as much eDRAM on the GPU, which makes a huge difference in the framebuffer. Most of the 360/PS3 head to heads I've seen show nearly identical performance with the PS3 at a lower framerate and rendering within 50p less than the 360. That's a far cry from the resolution gaps between the Wii U (upcoming games at 1080p/first year games full 720p) and 360 (7th year games in sub-HD).
The eDRAM coupled with 3-4x as much DDR3 RAM (360 never had the full 500mb available), a better and newer GPU, and a more modern CPU with extra memory caches make a big difference compared to last gen. If anything, I'd say the gap is more similar to the Wii vs the Gamecube, which isn't a bad place to be considering how good the last gen still looks.
The 2014 games we've seen for Wii U already demonstrate a clear improvement over late in life 360 games. With X and Bayonetta 2 looking this good this early, it's a reasonable assumption that late Wii U games will qualify as a generational leap, even if only just.
Some sites say more some say less. Devs as a whole say it a turd. Fanboys here say it's someone else's fault beside Nintendo's and make excuse for it but taking devs and tech sites advice its on par basically.