Wii U avoids RAM bottleneck, says Nano Assault dev

Monday, 5 November 2012 05:24 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nano Assault developer Shin’en Multimedia has given a few details of the Wii U’s hardware architecture, praising Nintendo’s solutions to a common problem.

Shin’en’s Manfred Linzner told Not Enough Shaders that the team was “amazed” by “how much code” the hardware could handle without slowdowns, even before optimisation.

“The performance problem of hardware nowadays is not clock speed but ram latency. Fortunately Nintendo took great efforts to ensure developers can really work around that typical bottleneck on Wii U,” he said.

“They put a lot of thought on how CPU, GPU, caches and memory controllers work together to amplify your code speed. For instance, with only some tiny changes we were able to optimize certain heavy load parts of the rendering pipeline to six times the original speed, and that was even without using any of the extra cores.

The developer said bottleneck apply to any hardware but Nintendo’s decisions as regards cache layout, ram latency and ram size prove an effective solution.

“Also Nintendo took care that other components like the Wii U GamePad screen streaming, or the built-in camera don’t put a burden on the CPU or GPU,” he added.

Linzner noted that the Wii U already has plenty of power, but said that it also has a lot of potential for optimising, meaning that in a few years time when developers really start exploring the console’s limits, we ought to see some impressive performance.

Shin’en’s next release is Nano Assault Neo, which is expected during the Wii U’s launch window.