We’ve heard nothing but great things about the Wii U lately, following positive impressions from Reggie Fils-Aime, Broken Rules and Team Ninja. Now Rayman creator Michel Ancel is praising the power of the Wii U system in his recent interview with Nintendo Power.
He explained that developer Ubisoft were surprised that they did not require constant optimisation when developing Rayman Legends on the brand new console.
“What surprises me with Wii U is that we don’t have many technical problems. It’s really running very well, in fact. We’re not obliged to constantly optimize things. Even on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions [of Origins], we had some fill-rate issues and things like that. So it’s partly us – we improved the engine – but I think the console is quite powerful. Surprisingly powerful. And there’ a lot of memory. You can really have huge textures, and it’s crazy because sometimes the graphic artist – we built our textures in very high-dentition. They could be used in a movie. Then we compress them, but sometimes they forget to do the compression and it still works! [Laughs] So yeah, it’s quite powerful. It’s hard sometimes when you’re one of the first developers because it’s up to you to come up with solutions to certain problems. But the core elements of the console are surprisingly powerful.
Recently, level designer Chris McEntee explained why Rayman Legends is exclusive to the console. He explained that the team did not want to give Xbox 360 and PS3 users “half of the experience” compared to the Wii U version, which plans to fully utilise all of the console’s unique features.
Ancel continues, stating that development is going easier with just the one console in mind.
“And because we’re developing for Wii U, we don’t have to worry about cross-platform optimization.
“We can push what the console can do; push it to its limits. And of course, we have a new lighting engine. In fact, the game engine for Origins was mostly just classic sprites in HD, but now we can light them and add shadows and all these things. So there is some technical innovation with the engine itself. “
The trailers for the game already look beautiful, but I’m eager to see these lighting effects in action on my TV.
The Wii U is releasing on November 18 in the US and November 30 in the UK, with Rayman Legends heading onto the system early next year.