Recently, there have been whispers that Nintendo will be transitioning to AMD processors for their next generation system, the currently codenamed NX, which is set to release sometime next year. AMD provides the graphics cards for all of the current consoles, including the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and the Wii U, but in the Wii U, the CPU that runs the user interface and all thing non-game related is an IBM Power7 chip that only gets about 1.23 Ghz. If Nintendo were to make this switch, it would mean that it could potentially rival that of the PS4 and Xbox One.
An executive at AMD said that the company is currently working on a third custom CPU/GPU, which hints that it might just be for Nintendo’s NX. The first two she was referring to were the PS4 chip and the Xbox One chip. AMD has been struggling recently, mostly due to the rise of Nvidia and their domination of the PC market, but the company has been furiously making deals with console makers to get their chips in systems.
The Wii U was somewhat criticized for it’s lack of graphical competence, comparing more equally with the PS3 and Xbox 360 rather than the PS4 and XbOne. The first party developers at Nintendo would not necessarily use the extra processing power that would come with an AMD chip, because they make games like Super Smash Brothers and Super Mario 3D World, which are amazing, but are not extremely taxing on a graphics card. The upside to this deal would be the ability for third party developers and publishers (i.e.: Ubisoft, Square Enix, EA, Activision) to put more of their games on the system. This would mean that people could buy the Nintendo console and get Zelda, Mario, and Kirby games, but also be able to get Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Tomb Raider games without having to buy another console. That has been one of the Wii U’s biggest issues, and maybe, just maybe, the NX will be the big, bad next-gen console Nintendo fans want.