Blitz: Forget The Specs, Wii U Is Getting Developers Excited
Posted by Damien McFerran
UK studio speaks out on Wii U tech specs, and why they're irrelevant
Blitz Game Studios has spoken exclusively to Eurogamer.net about the forthcoming Wii U console, and has addressed some of the irksome issues regarding the technical specifications of the machine.
With many Nintendo-hating nay-sayers pointing out that the Wii U is only capable of matching the Xbox 360 and PS3 - two machines that are coming to the end of their respective life cycles - Blitz Games Studios' design director John Nash made it clear that from a developer's perspective, the power of a platform is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
It's very easy for people to get hung up on hardware specs and technical specs. It's great to have a massive processor that's got a graphics pipeline that uses DX11, but what people need to focus on particularly for games going forward, is, what kind of experience can you build in the space of possibility afforded by the hardware in terms of features? Not in clock cycles. Does it connect out to the internet well? Does it connect to mobile well? How does it connect to your other friends and involve them in that experience? That's where games are moving forwards.
Nintendo's approach is to say, we're going to package that other screen with the console straight out of the box so there's nothing to worry about and the developers have a stable platform, whereas maybe the other platform holders are saying, maybe we're going to involve other devices. That will bring another set of problems. Sony and Microsoft will go toe to toe again as they have done on this rev. They will do the same on the next one. Nintendo are doing something different.
It's not about beating everyone else in a surface shader processing clock speed war. That's not what they're about. They're about saying, we've got this great roster of IP, all these great characters, how do we build a piece of cost-effective hardware - they're a business, they've got to make profit - that will allow our players, our very loyal Nintendo players, to interact with this IP and great worlds and characters in a new way?
If you think about the Wii U in that light, suddenly it makes a huge amount of sense. Suddenly we're going to be able to explore the world of Zelda and Mario in a new way with our friends. And that's the rationale behind that platform. It's not a gunning war in terms of hardware. As soon as you do that, you start to think about the games in a different way. You start to get excited about what it affords you as a game designer, and players should get very excited about it as well.
The feature is a fantastic read, so be sure to check it out.