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Nintendo Plans To Make It Easier For Developers To Share Their Assets Between Platforms

Posted by Andy Green

Expanding developer capabilities with technology like Unity, JavaScript and HTML5

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently held a financial briefing with investors that wasn't exactly brimming with good news for the company. Iwata-san revealed that Nintendo recorded an operating loss of 5.85 billion Yen in the nine month period and spoke about a contracting video game market.

During the meeting Iwata revealed that the company has plans to expand developer capabilities in future hardware by using technology such as Unity, JavaScript and HTML5 - attracting a large mixture of developers who would like to make content for Nintendo's systems:

Thinking of diversion of web services, creation of prototypes and development of independent label games, it has become more important to expand the range of software developers.

Nintendo aims to create an environment where developers can use a broad range of tools to create great games and services. This development environment was used for the making of Wii Street U and some video-on-demand services. He went on to say that Nintendo would expand on this at the Games Developer Conference in March.

Iwata reaffirmed Nintendo's desire to reorganise its development divisions in February in which two separate divisions which worked on handheld and home systems independently will now be unifying as one single division:

What we are aiming at is to integrate the architecture to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform.

Nintendo hopes that by uniting the two departments software line-up shortages and development delays will become less frequent. Iwata says having the same architecture in both its handheld and home console machines was previously an impossibility - hence why the company hasn't done it sooner. He believes that, though the move won't bear much fruit in the short-term, it will have sizeable benefits in the long-run.

What do you think of Nintendo's plans? Let us know in the comments section below.


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User Comments (28)



Raylax said:

Definitely good to hear Nintendo making itself more accessible to indies.

[Disclaimer: I am not BenAV]



C-Olimar said:

"Big changes happening at Nintendo"

One of those being changing the colour of the logo from red to grey.



Wonder_Ideal said:

@Five-seveN - You can get good quality games on mobile devices even if they aren't your cup of tea. Please don't get this argument started. It has been done to death already.
Anyways, I wonder what type of new doors this will open for Nintendo. :-?



bezerker99 said:

I'm glad to see Nintendo actively doing something here. If being in two separate divisions creates (sometimes) delays in game development, it makes total sense to integrate them into one department - and all in one building. I'm hoping things start picking up for the industry soon.



NImH said:

@bezerker99 Me too...
Ya know, in all the years I've been a Nintendo fan, I have never seen so much change so quickly coming from the Nintendo brand. It has to be worth something to investors to see this. I think Nintendo is doing a great job adapting to the changing industry... but as we all know, they are not in the business of flip-flopping and trend-chasing. It's probably a pretty fine line they have to ride between just forsaking what made them great, and adapting to appease investors.



Kyloctopus said:

Unity? Does that mean we get games like Surgeon Simulator 2013 in the future? If so I can't wait for the future.



Zemus-DJ said:

Only thing I wish is that they would, with the while mii verse and all, make it so that if you own the VC game on the home console u could throw it on the 3ds as well till you wanna throw it back ect xD and for the love of all that is Aliens....stop the trinkling of VC bring like 5-10 each week from all old school systems



aaronsullivan said:

I'm guessing that the shared OS and code base won't be happening until the next batch of hardware. That has good potential and I'd guess the new SSB really brought the issue to a head.



Dauntless said:

Thats a big statement coming from a company that can't even get the WiiU and Wii to share their assets properly.



TreonsRealm said:

It's funny to hear the mainstream gaming press down on Nintendo so much lately but the Big N is positioning itself quite well for the next generation. They are actively seeking indie developers to bring their games to the eShop and have made it much easier than their competition. They are opening the hardware to a lot of different technologies to make the process easier. The Wii U will also be much cheaper to develop for than PS4 of XB720 and offers greater gameplay possibilities for more creative developers outside of just pretty graphics. I can potentially see a situation similar to the Nintendo DS where people rip on it early but once developers get a grasp on the possibilities of the hardware, we're gonna see some seriously cool and innovative stuff that will be much more affordable than the competition despite having "weaker" tech. The indie scene is truly dictating the future of the industry and Nintendo is positioned as the one "mainstream" system which welcomes those games.



ThreadShadow said:

And here we have it, the development of the "Nintendo Engine". Fully scalable from Wii U to 3DS and back. Incorporating licensed software tools as well as proprietary Nintendo toolsets.



EaZy_T said:

From the article: "in future hardware"...
I hope they aren't going to cut the 3DS & Wii U cycles short.



Kage_88 said:

Cool, It's nice to see that Iwata and Nintendo are being so proactive in adapting to the changing industry. I read once that Nintendo needs to be 'paranoid' and innovate constantly in order to maintain their standing within the market. It sounds crude, but I agree with that sentiment. They always, ALWAYS need to look to the future - even if it means making choices that are percieved as detrimental in the present (such as weaker hardware for the Wii U).



Araknie said:

International press (generalization): "OMG Nintendo is announcing new amazing games let's talk on about doing a third Yoshi game after 15 years is having a bad legacy, let's say that nobody wants to have a new 3D Mario. HerpDerpHerp. Let's ignore all the other stuff, blblblblbl!"

That's what it looks like to me.



C-Olimar said:

@EaZy_T I think they're keeping their options open - they have to in such an unpredictable industry. I wouldn't be surprised if they're already working on both console's successors.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Sounds good. I'd love being able to play some games on the Wii U and 3DS with the ability to sync my saves between these two.



Gameday said:

I get disappointed that it takes loss like so to make you get on your A game. Didnt Nintendo hear the crys and demands from the people. I mean come on now , this is the kinda stuff that needs to be day one period.

Oh nintendo.. I love you guys but stop being so late to the party !

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