Report: Wii U CPU Clocked At Just 1.24GHz, Hacked Already?

According to reports coming via a certain Twitter user, the Wii U has already been “hacked” open and the finer details of its CPU, including a surprisingly low clock speed, have been leaked.

The codenames are listed: the CPU is known as Espresso, the GPU as Latte. But it’s the CPU speed that’s going to cause the headlines, apparently running at just 1.243 GHz, consisting of 3 PowerPC 750-type cores.


For reference, this is already behind (just in terms of raw numbers) the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The latter console reportedly has a tri-core 3.2 GHz processor, for example.

The GPU core is clocked at 550Mhz. That’s about level with the PS3 and 360.

If this is all true, then the current ports on the Wii U that run at nearly the same sort of fidelity and frame-rate as their PS3 and 360 counterparts do is actually quite remarkable. The Wii brand has never been about raw power, though, of course, but ports of PS4 and 720 games might be rare…

“It doesn’t involve leaks, it involves Wii U hacks” reported the hacker responsible for the news.

The Wii U releases in Europe tomorrow, priced at roughly £250 for the basic pack, and approximately £300 for the Premium pack.



  1. I know that Nintendo had success with the Wii but once the next Xbox and PS are out the Wii U is going to get left behind. I think Nintendo rode the success train with the Wii but it will be difficult for them to repeat that again.

  2. Truly unimportant (the clock speeds) for most people. When it comes down to it, people will buy it on the strength of it’s games (and/or gimmick of a second screen). However, if there is such disparity between the next gen consoles then devs will think twice about lowering the bar so far on any given title. Then again, people buying the Wii U aren’t going to be hardcore gamers without a Sony or Microsoft offering so it once again becomes a little redundant. Maybe. Possibly. Feasibly. Per chance. Meh! :-)

    • Christ. I’m more vague than a fortune teller!

      • Yes, but at least we get the gist of what your talking about. And you make us chuckle. And you don’t charge us for services (not these ones anyway)

      • That sort of talk will get you a special discount for Christmas.

  3. What the hell!!! They are charging £250 for 1.243ghz of power…… (thinking).

    Well I suppose it is balanced, what with a good amount of RAM. And the controller technology is good, but how does this fit in with the generation. Sure its a fantastic idea to almost refit current technology in brand new way, but once we have ps4 Wii U will just be like the Wii surely; obsolete where the main stream FPS and RPG games are concerned.

    Now I just can’t work out what the Wii U is. Is it next gen or what? If it is I can only see it working with a lower price tag so as to fit in to the market. Also if PS4 comes out and does something similar with Vita then…

  4. Most people that buy the Wii U won’t even know what CPU stands for, let alone care what it’s specs are. They’ll just judge the console from the gameplay and games, if they cared about graphics and power, the Wii would have flopped even more than Vita.

  5. Number of cores and clock speed alone don’t really paint a clear picture. The WIi U CPU is built on a newer chip architecture which makes a huge difference on it’s own. You also have to take clock rate and width of the CPU’s data bus, the latency of the memory, and the cache architecture into consideration.
    The same applies to the GPU.

    • Very true, but it doesn’t fill you with confidence being that low.

  6. In almost all cases Android devices have faster clock speeds than Apple devices, but Apple devices have always been at least as capable, if not far more capable.

    Clocks speeds are just a single brick in a whole wall of bricks of what drives performance, even at similar specs to the PS360 it would have some performance advantages through not being aging tech.
    Also, things like its 32MB eDRAM in comparison to the PS3’s complete lack of eDRAM and the Xbox 360’s 10MB, will enable the Wii U to process & store the next frame in advance of it needing to be displayed, this will come in very handy along with its double RAM.

    Of course next-gen consoles will blow it out of the water performance-wise when they’re out, but PCs around now blow them out of the water already & they aren’t even out yet, but they’ll still sell, so that shows performance isn’t the be all & end all, never mind an almost irrelevant clock speed.

    This will live or die by how second-screen gaming draws people in & the experiences they get from it. From a local multi-player point of view, some of Nintendoland’s games showcases that certainly could work & ZombiU & next year’s Aliens: Colonial Marines show how it can be used in games better suited to the core – Then there’s the safety net of Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter & Pokemon which just eat cash, should Nintendo ever need any.

  7. I suppose thats how they have kept prices down. To be honest I’m not too fussed by this. Realistically the WiiU was never likely to compete with the PS4/XBox720. It wasn’t the focus of the original Wii and was unlikely to be the case in this new gen either.
    Providing it has its own list of cracking exclusives (both casual and hardcore) and is able to run them in beautiful HD I’ll be happy.

  8. all this tech talk usually goes right over my head, faster is better in theory, that’s usually the case with pc anyway, but talented developers that can make the most of the hardware can do amazing things even on less powerful machines.

    i mean, look at something like Xenoblade on the Wii.
    massive areas, no pop up, seemingly endless draw distance and no loading within the areas, only when you enter a new area.
    and some of the areas are phenomenally huge.

    anyway, my point is, whatever hardware they’ve got in there, so long as it’s reasonably decent, will enable suitably talented devs to produce great software.

    and hey, look at Kris’s, simplicity is king, article, you don’t need realistic physics, advanced ai and billions of polygons to make a great game.

  9. I’d like to know why people don’t compare the PS360 to a top end PC and bad mouth it like they do with the Wii and Wii U when being compared to the PS360/nex-gen.
    IMO theres no point in trying to compare the Wii U and the nex-gen PS and Xbox because they are completely different machines. Nintendo is the min-van thats used for picking up groceries and dropping the kids off at football practice, whereas the Next gen machines are sports cars used to race. The PC is still the rocket ships, but if people were so concerned about power over experience everyone would be a PC gamer.

    • Ah, because when the 360 and PS3 first launched, the PC was leaps and bounds ahead on graphics. The Wii (and Wii U) are very far behind with graphics compared hence the thought about how it’ll look when the new Xbox and PS4 appear. Still, I don’t really mind. As long as the game is good that’s fine with me.

      • ARGH! *wasn’t leaps and bounds ahead

        Durp! :-)

  10. The WiiU’s hardware is very different from the 360 and PS3, but not necessarily in a bad way. Just different.

    With CPUs the most important thing to remember that CPUs are NEVER comparable on a clock to clock basis unless they come from the same family of CPU. So don’t ever dream of comparing the 1.2Ghz Wii U CPU with the 3.2Ghz Xenon unless you specifically know what each clock is worth and can draw accurate conclusions.
    It’s called the “Megahertz Myth” for a reason.

    Similarly the GPU is not easily comparable with those in the PS3 or 360, because since then we have the GPGPU revolution which has turned GPUs into completely different beasts.

    Next stop RAM. Here is something I wasn’t expecting. You have 2GB of RAM, yes, but rather than the ultra-fast GPU specific RAM we see in the 360 and PS3, you have 2GB of plain old DDR3 which is overall half the speed. To compensate for this the GPU has a large cache of eDRAM built on board and the CPU has a smaller lump too. I find this interesting, because it seems to tie up all of the loose ends of the design in my head.

    We have a CPU which isn’t exactly blazingly fast and a GPU which is fairly mid-range both with dedicated and rather large caches of high speed DRAM. That does all the grunt work, and then the DDR3 isn’t as much of a bottleneck to these particular components.

    It’s a very clever way of wrapped up a system which is targetted quite low, but should still pack a good punch. It all depends on how high Sony and MS shoot with their next consoles whether the WiiU is again relegated to being an also-ran for “hardcore” titles, as the Wii was.

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