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artphotodude's picture
Joined: 2015 Apr 28
Nintendo Wii U - PPC's Swan-Song...

At some point, x86 (and more precisely AMD64) got GOOD. After the crap that CISC had been up to about Core 2 Duo, not sure how it happened, but it did. I am typing this on a Dell laptop running a humble (but current) i3 that runs about twice as fast as my MDD-Dual 1.42, and while I'm running Linux rather than Windows, I can't pretend it isn't impressive.

BUT for literally YEARS, it was the PPC that made Apple, and also Nintendo great. As we look at both XBox One and PS4 going to AMD, and the Big 'N's new "Switch" going to ARM-based hardware, it is worth keeping an eye out for a sale on what may be the last Non-NASA based use of the PPC chipset.

The Wii U is a special triple-core G3-based CPU (combined with excellent GPU), that supersedes The PS3 and XBox 360 visually on virtually every title, and represents what might be the end of NIntendo's eccentric, quirky and fun approach to hardware that began with the GameCube.

The fact that it's G3 cpu can compete so well against the PS3/360's G5-based processors is a tribute to the architecture's roots. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and AMAZINGLY spry Web-Surfing point to what Apple could have done in a PowerBook/iBook, had they stayed with PPC. Beyond hardware, however, the eccentricity of it's soul also comes across in the plethora of amazing Indie-Titles that must be played, to be believed!

For the first time since the SNES, there is innovation on a Nintendo platform, sitting peacefully along-side the company's own safe, obsessively perfected titles. While it wasn't to all 3rd party Dev's liking, it worked like a charm for a lot of little Devs with something new to say.

While my MDD, is still the daily-driver (uh, computer) for most of my tasks, the lack of commercial, web-video support has been a drag, but now, a lovely little PPC Grandchild sits beside it to supplement, these things that other, more sensible tech-makers couldn't be bothered to care about - FUN.

For me, this isn't simply the grandchild of the GameCube, but also, a sillier, plastic-based Apple that designed products to inspire, not to become obsolete - as quickly as possible.

Sadly for Nintendo's Switch, it looks lile they have now caught "Aluminum Poisoning" from Apple.


kataetheweirdo's picture
Joined: 2009 Apr 10

Even Nintendo themselves didn't use the PPC much during the second half of the Wii U's lifespan. Their software relied a good chunk on the ARM architecture, actually.

PPC will still live on in workstations and embedded solutions, but it's important that you also help out with any efforts to PPC emulation. Dolphin may be very advanced, but Sheepshaver and QEMU are in dire need of help. If you know how to code, then look into any of the emulators soon because I know that Macs only have so long before they die.

artphotodude's picture
Joined: 2015 Apr 28

Are you talking about bit-swapping? According to Cameron Kaiser (TenFourFox), PPC and ARM are largely incompatible. I suspect they were coding for ARM and then Compiling for PPC.

Bolkonskij's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

I think the remaining Amiga community still produces PPC hardware such as the X1000 and X5000. See here:

It's just not cheap to have that. I think a complete new system is something like 2.000 Euros or something...

WhosIt.There's picture
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

The real Amiga died years ago - it had specific graphics and sound chips that made it what it was. Incompetence in Commodore's management killed it and the whole company. What you've got now is really just a bog-standard PC (albeit using PPC instead of Intel / AMD / ARM) pretending to be an Amiga, and even worse is the awful rubbish (both "planned" and sold) pretending to be Commodore. Sad

YYsMG's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 19

G3‽ Seriously?

Does that mean the Wii and the Cube were G3s too?

Knez's picture
Joined: 2010 Feb 11

The GameCube and Wii uses a PowerPC750 with some added instructions, so pretty much what apple branded as the "G3".