Wii U a "really cool stop-gap" Gearbox

Between this generation and the next.

The Wii U as a "really cool stop-gap" between this generation and the next generation of consoles.

That's the verdict of Duke Nukem Forever developer Gearbox, which described the Wii U as a "really smart" move by Nintendo.

"Right now we're still finding out what kind of final tech specs the Wii U is going to have," Gearbox Software co-founder and chief creative officer Brian Martel told IGN.

"But we like the system a lot; we think it's going to be a really cool stop-gap in between this generation and the next generation. We think it's really smart of Nintendo, and the fact that as a platform it's a lot more capable for hardcore first-person shooter-style gaming for us that's fantastic."

Nintendo is yet to finalise the Wii U's innards, but the next generation of Wii U prototype hardware is being sent to developers this month.

When those kits arrive, there will be "more information" about unknown aspects such as raw machine power and online capabilities.

Sega's initial, "very early doors" reaction to Wii U is that "we're finding it to be quite powerful", Sega Europe MD of development Gary Dunn explained to Eurogamer last month.

Whether that means more powerful than PS3 and 360 - the billion dollar question - Dunn wouldn't specify. "It's too early to call," he said. "It's different."

Microsoft is rumoured to be preparing a 2012 reveal for its next Xbox. Last week rumours emerged that Sony was preparing to launch a PlayStation 4 next year.

At E3 last month programming legend John Carmack told Eurogamer the next Xbox and the PlayStation 4 will be ten times as powerful as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and that both would launch "in a couple of years".

Wii U hardware demo

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