Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console isn't due for release for another year, but we are already seeing some early rumors about the hardware we can expect.
Wii U Daily says it has talked to a developer with access to the new console, who claims that the device will use a 45 nm, PowerPC-based 3 GHz processor with four cores. The source claims that the Wii U's processor is "very similar" to the Xbox 360 processor.
Additionally, the console may get 768 MB of DRAM that is embedded with the CPU, but shared between the CPU and GPU. The GPU appears to be a 40 nm AMD design. As we Wii U Daily mentions, these specs were previously shown to developers by Nintendo, so there is no surprise besides the fact that these may be the final specs. Nintendo has always focused much more on the game experience than on the hardware, but it is somewhat obvious that the Wii U will have to be much more powerful than the current Wii to enable gamers to move up to HD gaming.
Nintendo reportedly sold more than 500,000 Wiis during the Black Friday weekend and scored its best launch into the Christmas shopping season since the console's launch in 2006. However, total sales for November were estimated to be down by about 17 percent to about 1.5 million units. In contrast, Microsoft was able to sell about 900,000 Xbox 360s as well as 750,000 Kinect sensors during the Black Friday weekend. Total Xbox 360 unit sales for the month were 1.44 million. Given the Xbox 360's age, those numbers are impressive, but there are plenty of people who believe that many of those 900,000 Xbox 360s went into households with Wiis and consumers who were looking for an upgrade of their Nintendo device. There is a good chance that Microsoft is already chewing off Nintendo's user base.
Sony, by the way, sold about 750,000 PS3, according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.