Home Gaming I hope you’re not waiting for Project Cars on Wii U

I hope you’re not waiting for Project Cars on Wii U

2 min read


Project Cars is one of the best looking games of the generation so far, giving gamers a realistic enough experience that they can even smell the petrol fumes. It’s out now, on all of the promised platforms other than Nintendo’s Wii U. To be honest, I found it surprising that they’d even planned a Wii U version, given the system’s relative lack of power and the fact that the game’s ideally meant to run at 60fps. The Wii U version may end up being cancelled.

Why? Well, because it runs like ass at the moment. According to Slightly Mad Studio’s Ian Bell, The Wii U version is running at 720p at the moment. That’s not really the problem. The big problem is that it runs at that resolution at a paltry 23 frame per second. That’s really not ideal for anything.

In a series of brutally candid posts on the Project Cars forum (via Nintendo Insider), Bell said they were having trouble with the Wii U version.

“I can’t say too much but we’re awaiting E3 with baited breath. Don’t read wrongly into that… OK I’ll come clean. At the moment we’re running at about 23FPS on the WiiU. We’re awaiting/hoping for more of a hardware announcement at E3…

“Honestly, unless we really cut the looks back I think we’re looking to Nintendo’s next console. 720p yes. I suppose if they don’t announce something at E3 or soon after we will have a go at it.

“We could reach a fairly solid 30FPS but it might take a hell of a lot of work. On the other hand, about halfway through us finishing, Nintendo might announce a new console (I have zero knowledge on this BTW but I’ve heard ‘rumours’). Our work might just be the best thing that ever hit that new console in the driving sim genre.

“So we’re playing a waiting game at the moment and yes, economics do come in to it.”

They’re hoping that Nintendo announces newer, more powerful hardware at E3 so that they can move production there. The other option is to make the game look worse, to target a manageable 30fps.

With Nintendo already saying they’re not announcing new hardware at E3, the chances of us –or Slightly Mad – seeing Nintendo’s “NX” this year are slim to none. About the same as Project Cars ever actually being released for Wii U, I reckon.

Last Updated: May 25, 2015


  1. Hammersteyn

    May 25, 2015 at 17:20

    Maybe they can make Project Karts on Wii U?


    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      May 25, 2015 at 17:33

      Even the karts in project cars will struggle on a wii U… But funny you should mention that…


  2. Tiberian_Fiend

    May 25, 2015 at 17:32

    This game is too demanding for a last-gen console.


  3. Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

    May 25, 2015 at 18:03

    How they even thought they would do that on Wii U is beyond me.


  4. Alice

    May 25, 2015 at 21:16

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  5. Admiral Chief's Adventure

    May 26, 2015 at 08:14



  6. Travis

    May 26, 2015 at 08:15

    Given how it has horrible performance on top of the line GPUs such as the R9 290x, it’s not surprising. They can’t make a game engine run well on top of the line hardware, it’s not tough to see that it wouldn’t run on a Wii U. I don’t knock the Wii U, I knock the pathetic dev. Boycotting the game. It’s the only natural thing to do.


    • FoxOneZA

      May 26, 2015 at 09:35

      As someone described the game on another thread, it’s like GT5 all over again.


    • Wesley Fick

      May 26, 2015 at 10:51

      Nah, blame AMD for their poor driver performance in the game. They also don’t yet have a Crossfire profile for it that is optimised, but that should be fixed in Catalyst 15.5 beta.

      For the Wii U version, I’m guessing the CPU Physx calculations just don’t run very well on the Power architecture. They might have to drop something else like rain effects or some lighting to make the 30fps cut, and even then some dips into the low 20s will be expected if you start at the back of the grid with all weather effects and eye candy turned on.


      • Travis

        May 26, 2015 at 11:06

        The fact is that the developer wasn’t caring enough that they didn’t make it work with the hardware, as it sat. It shouldn’t take AMD making a new driver to make the game run. That’s just extra R&D funding that they don’t have, and shouldn’t have to spend! I blame Nvidia and the dev. As I should, as they both are to blame here. Nvidia for a crappy proprietary API and the dev for using it.

        The Power architecture is vastly superior. But again, proprietary software, running horribly like it always does! Think about it. What’s the common problem. Low FPS on different hardware. That means bad software.


        • Wesley Fick

          May 26, 2015 at 12:27

          Lets look at this from a different angle – Project Cars runs pretty well on AMD hardware already, and low-end stuff at that – see the Xbox One and PS4. A lot of the visuals are achieved through the use of GPGPU and vendor-agnostic solutions like CPU Physx for handling the car’s suspension and body collisions. The drivers for the console hardware get updated literally every month to improve the performance of the SDK.

          Now on the desktop side, AMD’s driver teams are busy with getting things ready for Fiji, Carrizo, GCN 2.0 and the future Zen architecture. They haven’t submitted a driver for WHQL for months because there’s possibly not enough time for them to do it and then sit on their hands waiting for a response from Microsoft – they have other fish to fry. Project Cars and Witcher 3 were both launched this month and in the month prior, Catalyst 15.4 was released into beta – AMD’s driver rollout model didn’t sync for these games. It was their mistake to make and that’s why there is now a 15.5 beta to make up for it.

          On the subject of proprietary APIs, there is only CPU Physx, and its possible that Slightly Mad missed out on the offer that Nvidia extended to developers to use their CPU Physx engine under a new license which opens up the source code for inspection and optimisation. Again, time was the key here, and if they were to re-code their game with a new, slightly custom CPU Physx setup, it would have set development back again and they would have to reschedule the launch.

          As for Power being superior to x86, I’d say it depends on the hardware in use. The Wii U uses pretty low-spec hardware in any case and Project Cars is one of the most visually demanding racers I’ve seen in a while.


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