Oh that headline... it's probably making the blood within the veins of the Xbox and PlayStation fanboys boil at higher degrees than what it takes to solidify the contents of an egg. If you thought the Wii U was “underpowered” and “weak”, you've been following the wrong MisterX, in fact, you should be following Mister 'N'.
News recently broke that the Wii U exclusive, Sonic Boom, required an enhanced and upgraded version of the CryEngine 3 – one of the most technically advanced software design engines on the world market – in order to handle what the team at Big Red Button are bringing to the table for Sonic Boom on the Wii U.
Nintendo Enthusiast grabbed the details from a preview on the Official Nintendo Magazine website, where Sega of America producer, Stephen Frost (cool name, by the way), stated that the team decided to go with the CryEngine 3 because it was associated with a lot of lush looking environments and visually distinctive greenery for games that use the engine, sayng...
"You associate CryEngine with lush, tropical, beachy things. These are also things with which Sonic is associated, so they work together."
However, most shocking, the CryEngine 3 wasn't quite up to par for what the Wii U is capable of. What was most surprising came from Big Red Button's CEO and former Naughty Dog alumni, Bob Rafai, who stated that...
"We worked in close contact with [CryEngine creator] Crytek in Germany," ..."and the team there is pretty excited about that as well. In the end, it was simply the right choice for the project."
So what sort of changes did they have to make to the CryEngine 3 in order to enhance it to fit the Wii U's beefy requirements? Well, it was the one thing the CryEngine is missing as a native feature: split-screen.
The team had to build – from the ground-up – the ability for the engine to render two images at the same time on the television screen and on the Wii U's gamepad.
I'm sure the team at Big Red Button will put to use the Wii U's exemplary secret sauce, helping bring to life the sort of Sonic game that PlayStation and Xbox fans can only dream to play one day. And some day, they might actually be able to play it... just not on the Xbox One or PS4.
This also further goes to show that all that wailing and moaning by EA about the Wii U being crap is actually worse than David Fincher throwing a tantrum over not getting $10 million to have Christian Bale play a billionaire version of himself in 15 years.
More than anything, this is a poor showing of publishers and developers who abandoned the Wii U because the architecture prevented them from doing lazy ports. It's obvious the Wii U could make prime use of engines such as Unreal Engine 4 or Frostbite 3, but the fact studios can't spend a filthy few days porting buggy games to the Wii U like Rob Ford grabbing a $20 hooker and $200 worth of coke on a taxpayer's getaway weekend, is what's keeping a lot of games off the Wii U... for better or for worse.
Thankfully, Big Red Button and Sega know what it takes to make the Wii U tick and we'll be seeing the Wii U tick like Usain Bolt sprinting across the finish line when Sonic Boom launches later this year. Hopefully Ubisoft is following suit with their release of Watch Dogs.