Keep in mind a few things before reading. The 360 when developers were developing for it they said it wasn't a whole lot better graphical wise than the Xbox. Also most of the Developers don't even have final dev kits so it most likely will improve.
Honestly think about Metroid Prime 2, Twilight princess, and RE4 if it is about 3 times more powerful it would pretty good. In fact some game some the 360 look worse than that. Also Nintendo has been hinting at this the entire time so I cant say it was unexpected. Also on a slightly related note.Readers are advised to make two notes before continuing with this article. The first is that developers are still working with incomplete Revolution hardware. Most studios are, in fact, developing on "GameCube-based kits," according to major software houses we spoke to, which have asked to remain anonymous. The second is that developers are still without final specifications for Revolution's ATI-developed graphics chip, codenamed Hollywood.
That stated, many third parties have been partially briefed by Nintendo representatives about the Revolution hardware, its overall horsepower, and the Big N's plan for the console. Based on the information studios have relayed to us, Revolution is truly poised to cater to an altogether different game market than either Microsoft or Sony with their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles respectively. Nintendo's machine will simply not deliver the same graphic horsepower as its competitors. Revolution is all about the controller and what it can do for gameplay experiences.
When Revolution was initially unveiled, a Nintendo executive said it would be "two-to-three times more powerful than GameCube." The company never commented on Revolution's horsepower again and we were later told that the initial statement was incorrect. However, according to development houses, that description accurately sums up Revolution's power.
"To be honest, it's not much more powerful than an Xbox. It's like a souped up Xbox," a major third party source revealed to us. "But it's the controller that makes the difference and the controller is really nice."
Nintendo has said all along that sheer horsepower has not been a priority with Revolution. Rather, the company hopes to make the console small, quiet and affordable. It is very likely for this reason that the Big N chose not to make Revolution compatible with the emerging 720p, 1080i and 1080p high-definition video resolutions, which are focuses for competing consoles.
Gamers holding out for Nintendo to reverse its stance on the HD front may be in for a disappointment. Revolution will not have the RAM capacity to store and display an abundant source of high-definition textures. Third parties have revealed to us that the console will top out with 128MBs of RAM, and possibly even less. One studio would not give us an exact figure, but did say, "The same as GameCube plus an extra 64MB of main RAM." That number is by comparison nearly triple the amount of memory in GameCube. However, it is a far cry from the 512MBs present in Xbox 360.
One studio we spoke to hinted at the possibility of accessing further Revolution RAM, but its comments were cryptic. "There is more RAM that you can use, but Nintendo is using that for general memory, like game saves and all sorts of other things. You could use it, but you can't rely on it." This comment seems to suggest that developers might be able to tap into Revolution's 512MBs of on-board Flash memory, but to our knowledge such a solution would be too slow to utilize in games.
Still, the studios we spoke with are still very intrigued by Revolution and are not ruling out the possibility of additional graphic horsepower. No developer that chatted with us had, or was willing to share, details on the console's GPU, Hollywood. One studio said: "As soon as we find out what it can do then we'll know if Revolution will just be like an Xbox or something a little more."
Asked if it was developing for Revolution, one major third party source said that it was well past the experimental stage and was evaluating what types of games might work on the platform. "We are looking at it quite differently. It's like another current generation platform for us. But it's such a nice controller that it opens up a lot of possibilities. It's very different and it's very precise."
Finally, quizzed about publishers' internal reaction to the device, a source responded: "People are interested, but they're still taking it all in at the moment. I'm sure [Nintendo is] going to get a fair amount of support. Probably a lot of people will initially look at existing franchises and whether or not they can kind of do customized versions for Revolution using most of the assets they've got. But whether they'll say, "Okay, let's do something completely original for it," that's the other question because it could be quite expensive to do that. Not as expensive as doing a PS3 or Xbox 360 game. But if you're a third party and you want to do cross platform, if you're doing a game on 360 you can do it on PS3 or PC using the same assets and that does make it a bit easier."
Nintendo has consistently downplayed the role of horsepower with Revolution, often saying that graphics have reached a "saturation point" in today's games. Nintendo bigwig Shigeru Miyamoto has suggested that players might not be able to tell the difference between the new Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and some high-definition games.
Asking a Nintendo executive for Revolution's official launch date will always yield exactly the same response, which is, simply, "2006." In the past, the Big N's president, Satoru Iwata, explained that the company could not afford to launch after Sony, whose PlayStation 3 could hit retail shelves in Japan as early as March 2006 by some reports. But late last year Nintendo seemed to collectively enable the possibility that Revolution could be last to debut, with execs instead saying that the machine was being positioned to a different market.
Nintendo will very likely reveal the official Revolution launch date to the public at the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2006 next May in Los Angeles, but developers have already been given a decidedly narrowed time frame. According to studios we spoke with under the condition of anonymity, Nintendo has told them that Revolution will debut in America "during the week of Thanksgiving 2006."
This isn't exactly a shocker. We would've pegged the machine to launch on November 18, 2006 -- the same as GameCube five years before it. But even so, it's the most concrete evidence yet of a November debut and it effectively quashes rumors of an early 2006 debut.
Sources we spoke with were unable to divulge whether or not Revolution would enjoy a global launch. However, previous on the record comments from Nintendo of Europe's Jim Merrick indicate that the company would like to release the console everywhere within 13 weeks of initial launch