News Article

Nintendo Originally Intended Steel Diver to Surface on DSiWare

Posted by James Newton

Jumped to retail to increase depth

Recent 3DS release Steel Diver has had a long, long road to release: starting out as a DS demo back in 2004, the title eventually wound up on 3DS, but it could have been released much earlier if its original course had been followed.

A recent Iwata Asks article focuses on the 3DS sub title, with producer Tadashi Sugiyama revealing the original intention to release the game on DSiWare:

We began by making the game DSiWare, but we thought it had more potential to be something even bigger, so we decided to make it packaged Nintendo DS software for sale in shops. To that end, we began considering the addition of other modes.

That wasn't the only big change the game went through: originally Takaya Imamura wanted the game set in a very different universe to its current incarnation:

I thought it would be fine to set the game in a flashy, glittery world like—and I'm not kidding—a submarine version of Mario Kart. But Sugiyama-san said, "No".

Eventually the game was fleshed out to its full form without a homing blue shell in sight. You can read more about the game in our Steel Diver review.


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User Comments (36)



Tate24 said:

Still dont think worth £40 pound though.

£15 max ill wait in till drops in price:-)



Cipher said:

I'm looking forward to trying it out once the price drops. Would have been a perfect Nintendo 3DSWare title, though.



Xkhaoz said:

Yeah, I could see what that'd be like. Personally, Ninty should of kept it in even longer and it a premier launch title for the eShop



warioswoods said:

Would this have been better as DSiWare?

No, certainly not. The beautiful 3D visuals, with the mini-aquarium feel, have a lot to do with the fun of piloting your little toy sub via the controls on the bottom screen. The periscope mode is also one of the most impressive ways to introduce the 3DS to a friend, and wouldn't have been possible on the DSi.

The unfortunate part of the game's reception is that most reviewers either ignored or only gave a very brief acknowledgment of the surprisingly deep strategy mode, Steel Commander. Miyamoto makes clear in this interview that the strategy mode was very important to him personally, and the most significant gameplay change from the DSiWare version to the 3DS.



zionich said:

The only thing I liked was the multiplayer , single player didn't do it for me .



pixelman said:

warioswoods makes me want to buy this game, despite all of the negative criticism I've been seeing. Maybe when it drops in price. :3



Algorhythm said:

I knew it!!! It totally feels like a downloadable title, being so light on content. Shame on you Nintendo. (Wags finger disappointingly.)



Hardy83 said:

The funny part is when he says they thought it had more potential to be something even bigger.

It's funny because they forgot to add the stuff called content to MAKE it bigger. Instead it's officially a 3D converted DSiWare game milked at full price for retail.

Honestly though, they were probably working on it, and then the alarms rang and they had to rush the 3DS out and so they just ported it quickly. And it couldn't be 3DSware because. lol yeah you know why.



FonistofCruxis said:

Thats not surprising, seeing as its so lacking in content. They should've released it as a 3DSware launch title.



blackknight77 said:

This game is not as light on content as people make it out to be. There is plenty to do. I'm happy with the way the game turned out.

I hope Nintendo provides a demo of this game on the e-shop because I think it will help get a more attention.



WolfRamHeart said:

Well, this explains a lot. I mean it is a good game but it really is lacking in content. I paid $20 for my copy on eBay and I think that really should have been the maximum asking price for this title. I've paid less money for downloadable games with way more content than this on XBLA and PSN.



PSICOffee said:

I once played a $2 iphone game for 10 hours straight (texting of the bread). I want at least that amount of game time for this one. I'm still interested in this game for when I most likely get a 3DS, but I want the price to come down. That guy saying "mayday!" says it exactly the same way everytime from what I've seen and it got annoying really fast.



shinesprite said:

@warioswoods "Mini-aquarium feel" you say. If they added an aquarium mode where you could either watch or shoot down marine life as a toy sub, then I'd be in for sure! The awards system could even add new species to your tank! This could even lead to street-pass level sharing. Add all of that, and Steel Diver would've been an epic launch game!



warioswoods said:

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually took the "A little bit of..." formula and offered slimmed-down portions of this game on 3DSWare.



Kyloctopus said:

Depth? I don't think so.
I have seen a lot more downloadable games with more content than steel diver from both nintendo and third parties.
Nintendo thought since there is not much variety with the 3ds launch titles Steel diver would sell well.
I feel a couple games are similar to that. (flingsmash and Wii sports resort's Wii motion plus and remote plus) (link's crossbow training)



pikku said:

I actually realy want this game, just don't want to pay $40 for it. If it goes down to about twenty or something I'll get it right away for sure.



SwerdMurd said:

i guess that explains the awe-inducing lack of content in the 40-dollar wannabe system-seller.



warioswoods said:

@22, others

Please don't conflate "depth" with "content"; these are entirely different measurements.

The depth of a game refers primarily to its complexity, or how rewarding it is to replay and attempt to master. A deep game is one where the mechanics of play are such that you can invest a good deal of time before even approaching monotony, for there is always room to improve your performance or better grasp the proper techniques.

Content just means more things: more levels, worlds, etc. Content is a linear and quantitative concept, not one of quality. A game can have a ton of content (200 levels) but be completely devoid of depth (all use the same basic mechanics and ideas). A game can likewise have great depth (Tetris) but minimal content (Tetris).

Everyone understands that Steel Diver is relatively low on content. It is not, however, low on depth. It greatly rewards replay, and mastering it requires a great deal of thought, technique, and strategy.



TLink9 said:

What nintendo is trying to say is, ya basically all of our 3ds games are ports.



Henmii said:

"Nintendo Originally Intended Steel Diver to Surface on DSiWare"

They should have done that, but Nintendo was greedy again!



Vinsanity said:

This game would've been more exciting if it had half the flash and fun of Mario Kart. Looks like this Sugiyama guy has a thing or two to learn from Miyamoto. Not like Miyamoto's a legend or anything, you moron.



Traxx said:

This is no news. Its known for ages SD was intended to be released as a download game.



tweet75 said:

i hope nintendo does not do this again. Its kind of an insult to fans. I like to hear nintendo turned a game card game into a dsi ware game with lots of great content

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