Thursday, March 30, 2006

Revolution's Horsepower

Insiders stress that Revolution runs on an extension of the Gekko and Flipper architectures that powered GameCube, which is why studios who worked on GCN will have no problem making the transition to the new machine, they say. IBM's 'Broadway' CPU is clocked at 729MHz, according to updated Nintendo documentation. By comparison, GameCube's Gekko CPU ran at 485MHz. The original Xbox's CPU, admittedly a different architecture altogether, was clocked at 733MHz. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 runs three symmetrical cores at 3.2GHz.

Nintendo's Revolution console, as seen on-display at the Game Developers Conference 2006
Clearly, numbers don't mean everything, but on paper Revolution's CPU falls performance-wise somewhere well beyond GameCube and just shy of the original Xbox. However, it's important to remember that there is no way to accurately gauge the performance difference between GCN's PowerPC-based architecture and the the Intel-based CPU of Xbox. Further, even if we could, these numbers are only one part of the equation.

Revolution's ATI-provided 'Hollywood' GPU clocks in at 243MHz. By comparison, GameCube's GPU ran at 162MHz, while the GPU on the original Xbox was clocked at 233MHz. Sources we spoke with suggest that it is unlikely the GPU will feature any added shaders, as has been speculated.

'The 'Hollywood' is a large-scale integrated chip that includes the GPU, DSP, I/O bridge and 3MBs of texture memory,' a studio source told us.

The overall system memory numbers we reported last December have not greatly fluctuated, but new clarifications have surfaced. Revolution will operate using 24MBs of 'main' 1T-SRAM. It will additionally boast 64MBs of 'external' 1T-SRAM. That brings the total number of system RAM up to 88MBs, not including the 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. By comparison, GameCube featured 40MBs of RAM not counting the GPU's on-board 3MBs. The original Xbox included 64MBs total RAM. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 operate on 512MBs of RAM.

IGN: Revolution's Horsepower

Man I understand Nintendo acting like they are doing a totally different thing and to not compare them with Microsoft or Sony, but wow - when the hardware isnt even better than the original XBOX, what the heck does that say for the future of this platform? In 2 years would you still be happy with this, heck by that time your cell phone will probably equal this. This is troubling for sure if you ask me. If the Revo's controller is a flop, this console will die a horrible horrible death and be buried right beside VirtualBoy.


  1. Heres the deal.
    Look at the DS. The hardware is slightly outdate. BUT globally its kicking EVERY OTHER SYSTEMS ASSES in sales. Even the crapbox 360.
    Where nintendo is going to blow everyone away with the 360 is the fun factor and playability. I have about 3 times as many DS games as PSP games. Because its a fun ass system to play. I am not going to prejudge the Revolution either way, like I did with the DS. I was totally against it until I got my hot little hands on it, and it was love at first stroke.
    I think between first party titles and "revolutionary" game play nintendo is going to sell a monkey load of titles.

    And you should also look at the Gamecube. RE4 was about the best looking game that came out for ANY system. And the PS2 had shadows of the colussus. Both games completely blew away the best of the "far superior" x-box.

    Its all going to be in the hands of the developers. They can make fantasitic looking games with the hardware if they want.

  2. What RE4 the best looking console game? You havent played enough XBOX games then.

    It's true that the developers can make good looking games, but if they were already maxing out the GC hardware, they have very little room to improve in the Revo (which also I think Nintendo should officially change the name to).

    And it's not going to support HD either from what I hear. This console has an EXTREMELY short life-cycle and will probably be pulled off the shelves because it doesnt sell just like the Gamecube was (which Nintendo doesnt even make anymore because there is such a back-log of unpurchased systems).

    Also back in 2004, XBOX had sold almost 14million consoles worldwide. The DS just recently hit 13million sold. That and since it's cheaper I think has a lot to do with that too.

    It's not all about power, agreed, it's about potential and the only potential Nintendo has is in the controller (You have to keep your old Gamecube controllers to play your old 'cube games on it too). If it flops the system is dead.

  3. Japanese digital entertainment anaylizers Media Create have release hardware sales for the week of 3/20 to 3/26. Here's how it wen't down.

    # DSL: 119,986
    # NDS: 39,307
    # PS2: 34,169
    # PSP: 31,077
    # GBASP: 5,627
    # GBM: 4,883
    # GCN: 1,458
    # 360: 1,415
    # XBX: 108
    # GBA: 98

    Hmm. The game cube STILL outsells the xbox 360. Heck. Add in all 98 xboxs that sold last week and you still have barely are beating the GC sales wise. And wooo boy, DSlite and the DS are in a whole different ball park.

    I throw down the gauntlet here my friend. Name ONE xbox game that looked better then RE4 and also did not come out for the PC. For bonus points, did you even play RE4? If not its shame that you missed one of the best games of the year because of your nintendo hater banner you must fly.

  4. oh yeah..
    still outsold the xbox360 by 24 times. Crazy!

  5. Not to mention the DS is 3 times cheaper (and the PS2 is 2 times cheaper) than the 360.

    And Sony and DS are both native Japanese companies and Microsoft is not. Buying an electronic device from America would be about the same as the transition of Americans buying Hondas and Toyotas, painful and slow.

    I dont hate Nintendo at all, in fact I was with them up to the GC which was total garbage. So much in fact that they stopped making them. So what they are selling are ones that they made a long time ago because they dont make enough money to continue production on their flagship console. No Nintendo made their bed and will have to lie in it. When I plunk money down for a console I want to be playing it years from now with the games looking even more impressive (and RE4 does this with pre-rendered backgrounds, etc. get back to me when it has more than 8 poly's a frame so I can really interact with it.

    At any rate, other than my TV (which I bought off Scoot) I am glad that I have never given Sony any money. I didnt support a company that puts secret rootkits on peoples machines are tries to tie and limit consumers down to only their format for stuff.

    If you want to call me a hater, call me a Sony hater, which I am a proud one.

    I will buy the Nintendo Revo if there are any good games for it and if it has some long term potential.