Well out of the blue arrives into everyone’s world with some information if falsified to hoax people it is an incredibly well thought out, researched and time consuming con. A person by the name of TapionVsLink has created a blog and contacted many media sources with their information.

GPGPU Neural Network Diagram

GPGPU Neural Network Diagram

They claim that the Wii GPU is in fact a GPGPU, this is the first instance in which I have come across GPGPU’s all of the associated tech is quite baffling to me.

An excerpt from the associated PDF document found on the blog states  (all quoted text is that the work of TapionVsLink);

Wii developers and studios are the ones to blame as Factor 5 had stated before, since they have no intention into squeezing the Wii system sine that would force them into learning new stuff like special programming for GPGPU, which differs a little from normal GPU, and since Microsoft and Sony’s console systems follow the same path in past consoles did in order into bringing up nice graphics, adding more horse power mainly in the CPU department and the main RAM, as well as the bandwidth, to keep up with the GPU requirements, they prefer to choose the easy path and develop in an Integrated Graphics environment instead of the Dedicated Graphics Environment offered in the Wii thus saving time development. On the other hand, maybe developer and studios are lazier than we thought and even ignore what the Wii really is, and even not taking into account that the use basic development kits, those Nintendo gave up for free before the E3 and the Nintendo Wii system was finalized.

The PDF makes for interesting reading, his arguments are strong and factually backed up. I haven’t read all of the 35 pages the PDF is, I’m not even near half way through but I thought it would be good to bring to my relative small audience asap so as you all can make up your own decisions on the information.

BUT my hesitance with this info is that, the Wii is 3 years old now, why is it that this is only coming up now. Even more so my biggest problem with it is that this is letting us know that the Wii is a LOT more advanced that we first thought, its a LOT more future proof than we thought…
So with all the bad mouthing a lot of developers have done why haven’t Nintendo at any time made these naysayers feel small and offer full disclosure on the Wii’s abilities? Why haven’t they shown off a high stakes, high cost project that shows the Wii at its intended GPGPU limits, are they ok with letting the Wii pass into generations past not known for what it could have done?

This all will make for an interesting debate, I hope that people in the know will have a back and forth discussion on the feasibility of this conclusion.


Well a source that I trust has come forth with the following information on this ‘GPGPU’ claim;

The source is extremely misleading. The Wii doesn’t have a GPGPU in the traditional sense. While the Hollywood DOES have two processors, the main one is used for rendering, and the smaller one is dedicated to the IOS system. So all of the networking and things like WiiConnect24 use this processor indepndently from the main CPU and GPU, and thus, can function in the background without taking power away from the main CPU.

I’m sure the main Homebrewers already knew about this, as well as any other developer working on wii. It is not practical to use Hollywood’s ‘GPGPU’ in games, as the hardware functions are already designated.

Well there we have a somewhat confirmation and rebuttal in one, the information from TapionVsLink is correct to a degree but in practice not applied in the same effect. Again I state it would be interesting to get an even more in depth explanation in layman’s terms from an expert, then again it would be better if Nintendo came straight with full disclosure on the console and its abilities through design.

Update 2

Indy83, a trusted poster at IGN forums has commented on this information with the following, this guy has a degree in computer science so out of most people he would have a better idea of what’s being said and what his own personal knowledge of the system is:

Everything he says is more or less on the level.

Although I wouldnt call it a ‘secret’.

THe wii, and the gamecube before it were designed to be cheap, effective, space saving, and fast multi pass rendering systems, and part of that is indeed having the gpu combined with the cpu for the tev’s effects to have a much broader range, it wouldnt be too far of a stretch too imagaine the gpu crunching some numbers normally tasked to the cpu when they work so closely together (Since, the gpu on the wiis features would be rather limited as its fixed function… kinda sorta… not so much as the gamecube), so, calling it a gpgpu could be very easy to argue as correct. Never thought about it like that before.

The flipper line (And by extension this includes hollywood) is a pretty dang unique architecture, in many ways, its a lot more advanced than the programmable shaders of its contemporary time. Its main problem, of course, was the fact that programmable shaders could implement recent changes in technology, while the flippers fixed function effects could not be changed, just tweaked and warped to try and attain similar results.

The more expensive bit seems to be slightly misleading. While the wii’s unique architecture, and demand for proficency and efficency make it a rather difficult system to utilize, and its lack of horsepower means you cant simply power through sloppy middleware products…

That explanation seems like it was written for higher end machines like pc’s, games designed to be output in much higher resolutions, which are always exponentially more expensive.

In support of this threads information, it should be known that excite truck uses displacement maps, 1. to shape the poly details on the vehicle bodies and 2. To create the dynamic damage that occurs during crashes.