With the official announcement of the Wii U only days away, it might seem that leaked specs are unneeded. However, gamers in the age of the internet certainly want to know details as soon as possible. So, here is the latest rumor about what hardware the Wii U will be packing.
Today's leaked specs come courtesy of the VGleaks website, which cites an anonymous source. It claims the info is from Nintendo's developer website, but please take all of this info with several handfulls of salt.
The VGleaks specs show the Wii U coming with and "Espresso" CPU that has "three enhanced Broadway cores." The GPU is a "GPU7" AMD Radeon HD processor. It will have 8 GB of internal storage, but will support SD cards and external hard drives through its four USB ports. The video output supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i through HDMI, D-Terminal, component video, RGB, S-Video, and AV cords.
One area that is holding back current consoles from moving toward better graphics and larger worlds is their memory. The Xbox 360 has only 512 MB of RAM. While the PlayStation 3 has the same amount, that console's architecture splits the memory into two 256 MB chunks that are separately usable by the CPU and GPU. This is rumored to be the reason that the latest Skyrim DLC may never make it to the PS3.
The VGleaks specs for the Wii U put that system's RAM at 1 GB, presumably shared. This isn't likely to be as much RAM as the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles will have, but it doubles the Xbox 360's RAM and should give developers plenty of resources to work with.
One big caveat to throw in at this point is that a leaked VPD search last week shows that there will be three different versions of the Wii U to purchase. It seems inconceivable that the $249 version will have the exact same hardware as the $349 version. It's likely that the VGleaks specs, if true, represent the base system specs and that higher-priced Wii U's will have a larger hard drive. That, or extra accessories such as a second Wii U GamePad are included with more expensive versions.
These leaked specs would put Nintendo's Wii U slightly above current consoles in terms of power, though probably a bit under what Microsoft and Sony have planned for the next generation. All of this meaningless speculation will be put to the test on Thursday, September 13 when Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage at the Wii U announcement event in New York.