News Article

Nintendo Reinforcing Western Development for Wii's Successor

Posted by Trevor Chan

Despite what some might think, Nintendo can't do everything by itself

Nintendo has a number of things to get right with the successor to the Wii, or else it risks facing more competition from its rivals than it needs to.

Aside from setting a new paradigm in video gaming, Nintendo will have to build on the momentum that the launch of the 3DS has created, and if that's not enough to juggle, the company will have to satisfy gamers by producing top-quality games and software for its various platforms. Accomplishing all this is no easy task, despite Nintendo's experience in the industry.

As Nintendo's president and CEO Satoru Iwata gave his presentation at the recent Financial Earnings Briefing, he noted that times have changed and if the company is to achieve success with its next home console, the system will have to provide games that will appeal to people across all major regional markets:

... there was an era in the past, which was until the time of PlayStation 2, when games made in Japan sold well all over the world. However, I think that, over the past three or four years, the presence of Japanese software developers has become relatively small. Nintendo is doing what overseas software developers do not do, so Nintendo's software is selling relatively well also in foreign countries, but for the software oriented to enthusiastic game players, such as "Call of Duty," the ones created by overseas developers are more mainstream in the overseas markets.

Iwata is also aware that the visual presentation in modern video games is becoming more photo-realistic, and so this probably accounts for western gamers preferring software developed outside of Japan.

Of course, Nintendo will continue to run a business by creating Nintendo-like games, but we will not be able to meet the various tastes of consumers by only doing this, so I feel that it will become necessary to reinforce the development resources in the foreign countries.

Nintendo often portrays itself as an entity that needs little outside influence, but with the differences in technical specs between the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, there's undoubtedly an element of restriction with what developers can produce on the Wii. With the Wii's successor, things might be a little different according to Iwata who seems to be hinting that the new console will make it easier for developers express themselves the way they intend to:

Wii is good in some areas but not in others, so especially for games like "Call of Duty," the Wii version sold pretty well, but the unit sales were very different from the versions of other platforms, and I assume that one of the reasons is the issue with the graphical representations which you mentioned before, and also, the consumers who like that kind of game will have other platforms at home as well, which led to this result. Of course, we would like to cooperate with software developers for Wii's successor, and as I am repeatedly saying, I don't believe Nintendo can carry out everything alone. I am saying that we are responsible for building up the market, but I don't think that Nintendo can maintain the market alone; We are aiming for creating a situation where software publishers will be willing to cooperate.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (52)

Ryno

#1

Ryno said:

"We are aiming for creating a situation where software publishers will be willing to cooperate."

Iwatasan, how about you all cooperate with each other instead of making everyone cooperate with you.

Hokori

#2

Hokori said:

:| Im scared now. I can see what is good in that but I can see a huge mistake as well

dizzy_boy

#6

dizzy_boy said:

to be honest nintendo may have resurected the video game industry. but it seems latley, they are the ones who have been nailing the coffin shut with their stance on 3rd parties.
with this news, i hope they are deffinitly setting things straight with a console that every 3rd party is capable of bringing good games too, regardless of what tricks nintendo up their sleeves.
nintendo are the last of the old school hardware developers left, so they need to keep hold of their market share with more 3rd party support, or i think the games industry will eventually collapse if nintendo goes.

Henmii

#7

Henmii said:

It's good to hear that they finally realize they can't do it alone. I not only want to play Nintendo titles, but also very good third-party titles (on a Nintendo console). If this means third-party's won't skip Nintendo consoles anymore, that would be awesome!!

TKOWL

#8

TKOWL said:

Bin Laden is dead and Nintendo is good to 3rd parties? Are you sure this day isn't an illusion?

Monsti

#9

Monsti said:

I don't know....I'm really not a call of duty player or would concider myself "hardcore" or anything, but it just sounds like Nintendo is really as out of touch with the current generation of gamers as many people say. I like their stuff (except the fact that they often force me to use motion controls) but all these quotes sound like the 40 year old dad who's been told he's not cool anymore and now he goes on websites to find out how them young kids talk. "You know what I means, dowg. Lol"

Henmii

#10

Henmii said:

Be happy that they are aware of the misstakes they made in the past. Hopefully they learn from that. Hopefully it leads to a awesome future!

thebluelight1

#11

thebluelight1 said:

what are people worried about? getting big western developers to actively support a new system can't be a bad thing surely? I mean I don't care about Call of Duty games but if the system can have a full featured version and not a dumbed down version because of the system specifications that's surely good for Nintendo?

Stuffgamer1

#12

Stuffgamer1 said:

If this does in fact simply mean better third party support, it's great. If it means Nintendo has any intention whatsoever of entering the mainstream ultra-realism game market, it sucks. I like Nintendo because of what they are...try to change too much in the wrong ways, and that could all go up in smoke.

Henmii

#15

Henmii said:

"If it means Nintendo has any intention whatsoever of entering the mainstream ultra-realism game market, it sucks"

Whatever Nintendo does, they won't ditch the colorful, cartoony worlds of Mario, Kirby and Donkey kong completely. I am sure about that!

Hokori

#16

Hokori said:

@14 too much for me any way I hate realism in games after all my former name was Otaku and I do love anime style graphics, which is what Nintendo does best.... for Video Games that is

pixelman

#17

pixelman said:

Other M had a lot of other problems besides looking real. :P

Anyway yeah, I hope Nintendo doesn't get into the ultra-realism thing, and I doubt they will. I wouldn't mind seeing more polygons in Zelda though. :3

The_Fox

#18

The_Fox said:

@Otak
You didn't like the Prime games I take it then?

To the point at hand, I see no reason for Nintendo not to dabble in the more realistic approach from time to time. That doesn't mean they'd have to embrace some fundamental shift for every franchise.

Wheels2050

#19

Wheels2050 said:

From the sounds of it, Nintendo will still do their thing - it's just that, alongside Nintendo's first party titles, there will be a greater range of third party games, including some like Call of Duty that won't be stripped-down versions.

Everyone wins, as far as I can see.

Molotov

#20

Molotov said:

Nintendo Investing In More Shares In Core Companies? Nintendo Prioritizing In Online Services? Nintendo Caring Again About The Nerds? Cant See Nothing Wrong With That

Hokori

#21

Hokori said:

@18 Prime was just right :) Last gen was perfect for games on all platforms in graphic wise

jerryo

#22

jerryo said:

"Wii is good in some areas but not in others, so especially for games like "Call of Duty," the Wii version sold pretty well, but the unit sales were very different from the versions of other platforms, and I assume that one of the reasons is the issue with the graphical representations which you mentioned before, and also, the consumers who like that kind of game will have other platforms at home as well, which led to this result. Of course, we would like to cooperate with software developers for Wii's successor, and as I am repeatedly saying, I don't believe Nintendo can carry out everything alone. I am saying that we are responsible for building up the market, but I don't think that Nintendo can maintain the market alone; We are aiming for creating a situation where software publishers will be willing to cooperate."

this is a very frank statement! no sony conniving fox would ever dare to say these words!

Glade

#23

Glade said:

I find the wii to be alright but people will think dofferently. However If they wanna take a bite out of other people's games they need to step up on their online capabilities as well as their third party support. Still I'm sure Nintendo will create a near perfect balance between the games we diehard nintendo fans will all love without stepping way out of the box. Core series like Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, Kirby and many others should stay with the same art style but with minor improvements so that they will appeal to true nintendo fans. I'm sure most of us aren't interested in seeing every detail in Bowzer's body or in Hyrule's landscape. When they do that it takes away the nintendo feel to the game. Ultra realism should be for Call of Duty, The GTA5 and all the other "hardcore" games which people just luv to buy.... Let the nintendo ones stay colourful K?

Glade

#24

Glade said:

Let's hope the Wii Striim, I refuse to call it feel btw until I see a reason why, Will be the system to bring everything together. When stuff like that happens They'll be the King of the Gaming Industry :D
Jk JK....

1080ike

#25

1080ike said:

@8: No. The entire day was all in your mind. Now close your eyes and go to sleep. You'll wake up to cold, hard reality tomorrow.

Kid_A

#27

Kid_A said:

It's great to hear Iwata being so frank about the Wii's weaknesses, and their plans for the future. I think people think of Nintendo of being this ignorant, omnipresent company that's completely clueless about the current gaming landscape, but that's never been true. With the Wii, Nintendo jumped into territory that no other company had ever thought possible, let alone practical, and along the way they made some mistakes. Of course they made mistakes. And quite frankly, they earned them. With the Wii, they invented genres, captivated an incredibly vast audience and presented players with entirely new ways of experiencing games, and they did all this while keeping it affordable. I've always had a soft spot for the little white box and despite its shortcomings, it's still my favorite current-gen console.

Robo-goose

#28

Robo-goose said:

I'm hoping that this doesn't make Zelda more like Elder Scrolls and Fable when it comes to character development and moral codes.
If that happened, I wouldn't be able to bear it.

I'm not really worried about what will happen to Fire Emblem, because IS does nothing but improve that franchise.

motang

#29

motang said:

3rd party is key, no double about it and it seems like that's a ever growing sector that Nintendo really needs to strengthen.

jerryo

#30

jerryo said:

@28.
zelda and fable are two different games.i don't think what you fear will ever happen. Shigeru won't let that happen for as long as he lives. However i wish there were more like the first fable on wii. We are definitely on a good track.

really curious after all this rumour storm to see what nintendo has to offer!

Edwrd

#31

Edwrd said:

Having strong graphics display capability does not mean all games will be realistic style, it just means where it is preferred, then it can be done. It also means Nintendo gets the best of the cross platform games the other consoles get on top of its own exclusives With the higher graphic capability will afford wider range of styles for their own in house games too.

Some companies do great graphics as a selling point but they have lackluster game play. I think Nintendo is wise enough to not go down that path.

jaffa

#32

jaffa said:

:| kinda worried here I see a farely large mistake here

but on the bright side we'll probably have more First Person Shooters on the Wii 2 right?

he, he right? :}

dustin_g

#33

dustin_g said:

scooby doo vs. thomas the train vs. cars (mcqueen) would sell good for little kids

aaronsullivan

#34

aaronsullivan said:

Iwata said Nintendo games only bring a certain sized audience overseas and they will do their part but they also need to provide for games like Call of Duty and more photorealism from third parties. What is all this chatter here about photorealism in Nintendo published games. Iwata suggested nothing of the sort.

@1
Quote much? You simply omitted the sentence right above the one you quoted to make Iwata look bad. He says exactly what you think he should. "Of course, we would like to cooperate with software developers for Wii's successor..."

This is exactly what IGN and others have been suggesting and it's great news for the platform, IMO. Ports across platforms should be much easier for a couple years without the Wii's underperformance. Even if you don't like those types of games, we need a successful platform for Nintendo to keep making the games we love.

As a couple other people mentioned above, the only thing missing from Iwata's hints is anything about online support. Just leaving an opening for failure there, I guess.

Remarkable statements from this company, either way!

Cia

#37

Cia said:

Why are people worried? It doesn't make any sense. Didn't you understand the article. It just says that we get more games also from 3rd parties. Isn't it better to have more games and more variety?

deftheman

#38

deftheman said:

It sounds like they are creating an overpowered console so they can compete with the realistic visuals of the ps3? Well thats what i hear when i read this article ;) maybe its just wishfull thinking again, but the idea is great ;p

350 euro minimum for the new console though if not 400+ ^^

Go! Iwata Go! Iwata Go! Iwata Go! Iwata Goooooowowowowow

outrun2sp

#39

outrun2sp said:

They are finally admitting to mistakes, this is amazing. The first party titles are not enough to carry the machine anymore as once people have bought the zelda, mario, mario kart games there has been nothing else to buy.

Third party support is what the new nintendo machine needs to bring back the glory days of the snes and they do have an opportunity here I think to go in front of the other 2 machines if they do this right.

JimLad

#40

JimLad said:

Down with photo-realism!
Don't let it take over the industry, we will just have a bunch of simulators if that happens!
Also, good on Iwata for acknowledging Nintendo's mistakes.
Also also, I think Japanese devs need to focus more on platforming and adventure games since that is what they accel at. Maybe not so many RPGs.

rjejr

#41

rjejr said:

I don't care what he's saying, I'm just glad they're talking abut the Wii successor like it's a real thing and not just some "maybe when we get around to it" idea. Yes, I'm aware of their financial briefing tacked on page that was written by a 2nd grader.

That said, this is about the next Wii being comparable in graphics power to other systems so 3rd party developers don't skip their system. And I'm sorry, but better graphics are better. Not photo-realistic better, but non-washed out pixelated mess better, like Nintendo first party games compared to almost everything else on the Wii. (Monster Hunter Tri was good though, but it could look so much better.) Watch a 1990's cartoon vs. a 1960's cartoon.

MeloMan

#42

MeloMan said:

It would be... impressive... if Nintendo finally breaks it's own mold that it's been in since it broke into the videogame console business. What I've wanted Nintendo to understand for years is that they can still be the innovative, trailblazing, do-their-own-thing company they've always been, but you can't "make" 3rd parties develop what you want them to develop, or, what they "ought" to develop-- as a 1st party company, I feel it's it's your ethical and competitive obligation to provide all tools necessary for a dev, and if they so choose to create a Nintendo-like product, then so be it, and if they want to go a different direction, then let them do so, but don't sell the people short who support your system. All we need to do is look at the Wii right now-- it's not hated by everyone, but those that love Nintendo and want to work on their system are stunted at what they can achieve and it's not fair to them.

Bottom line: If what I'm reading above is right from Iwata-san, then this could be the greatest of days to come ever known from Nintendo and quite bad news for it's hardware competitors... who WOULDN'T want to develop on a Nintendo console that everyone can enjoy "for once?" I'm not holding my breath though, because talk is a dime a dozen...

GamersCorner

#44

GamersCorner said:

Nintendo might finally be embracing third party developers but will it be reciprocal? That'll all depend on how well the new Nintendo console sells at launch. If it does poorly Nintendo may be left stuck in a similar situation to the one they are in now.

Ristar42

#45

Ristar42 said:

I'm kinda with Otak here. I like Japanese style games.

I have no interest in Call of Duty - The worry is with region locking the increased difficulty of importing games without also importing a second console, I might not get to play the games I want.

Hopefully Nintendo will find a balance.

komicturtle

#46

komicturtle said:

I'm just hoping they don't focus on games with hairy muscular men (as in make a new IP that blends in with all the other games on the other consoles- you know which particularly). I don't want Mario looking 'realistic' or even Pokémon. I'm sure they won't have 'photorealistic' games in reference to the series I mentioned prior. Zelda and Metroid could work with that approach. Just don't lose the look of the lovable characters and I'll be fine with anything.

As for Call of Duty and whatnot- it's not something I care about at all. And I'd hope Nintendo will make sure their system isn't flooded with First-Person Shooters just like how the 360 is mostly plagued by that.

And also keep shovelware crap away that has plagued the Wii.

NintyMan

#47

NintyMan said:

I'm loving how Iwata has been honest about Nintendo's shortcomings recently. That puts him in a better position than the divisive Tretton. I agree that Nintendo needs to be on better terms with third-party developers, but I also believe that they wouldn't make Mario "real" like many of you all are fearing. Miyamoto would have none of that. Nintendo's always been about creating games that appeal to everyone and not one particular age group. Besides, it would be scandalous if they did such a radical thing. I don't care about Call Of Duty since I never played it, but it's nice that Nintendo acknowledges its existance rather than to snub it. I believe they'll seriously get it right with the next home console. When they get serious, they do things, good things.

MeloMan

#48

MeloMan said:

That's true NIntyFan, I also respect how they are giving props to games that do very well besides their own flagship titles of Mario and Zelda, because the gaming world is much bigger than JUST Nintendo. We'll see what happens in the next season of of "Nintendo vs. 3rd Parties".

Capt_N

#49

Capt_N said:

The next console needs to be powerful for embracing those 3rd parties that love high graphics.

thesignpainter

#51

thesignpainter said:

there was a problem with
TPP's? i didn't notice. sonic colors, just dance, golden eye,
monster hunter tri, disney epic mickey, conduit 2, de blob 1&2 gasp.

CerealKiller062

#52

CerealKiller062 said:

The Wii had stripped down versions of Call of Duty because the software developers decided to "port" the same HD version to the wii. Instead they should've recreated the engine so that it can make the game look fantastic. I mean look at Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime, Conduit. All perfectly good looking games because the engine was made to run on a Wii.

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