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Rumour: Nintendo Handing Out Free Dev Kits To Generate Interest In Wii U

Posted by Damien McFerran

Last gasp or forward-thinking?

Wii U dev kits usually cost around $5,000, but it would appear that Nintendo is forgoing that fee in order to kick-start interest in the system amongst the development community.

The rumour has been triggered by Destructoid's Jonathan Holmes, who tweeted the following:

More support from devs would certainly help the system at the moment. Hopefully this will lead to some interesting indie projects for the eShop, as well as full-price retail releases.

[via twitter.com, actiontrip.com]

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User Comments (51)

snax007

#5

snax007 said:

They are clearly getting desperate will poor sales and developers dropping the platform.

seronja

#6

seronja said:

that is great... might be a loss for now, but it will probably pick up profits soon... the next gen is just around the corner, so this was a right move from the big N.

ajmetz

#10

ajmetz said:

Oh - Zyph beat me to it - that was the site I went through last year, when I had a question about Wii U development.

Schprocket

#11

Schprocket said:

Hmmmm... a dev-kit, eh?
I could get one and add game-programming to my list of things I haven't yet started :)

I'm thinking of something along the lines of Whack-a-mole but using the Wii mote and instead of moles, Trip Hawkins keeps popping out of the ground...

Azooooz

#14

Azooooz said:

$5,000 is like a pocket change for Nintendo, unless they give it for every developer around the world. :p

cornishlee

#15

cornishlee said:

Rumours? Is that all that gets reported these days? Even if true, $5,000 is nothing for Nintendo or for major developers but I can see it being a very worthwhile offer for small developers - worthwhile on both sides.

GameLord08

#16

GameLord08 said:

Assuming this is true, it seems a tad desperate - even for a loss that'd benefit Nintendo in the long run. Furthermore, I can really only see this generating interest among indie developers for the most part (especially since the dev-kits are a mere $5,000), which is definitely not Nintendo's lapse right now. It's looking to be a bit of a misfired tactic, to be honest.

In my opinion, it only confirms the suspicion that Nintendo still hasn't devised a strategy for the Wii U with third-party developers. The company seems to be flailing aimlessly right now.

kdognumba1

#17

kdognumba1 said:

I personally think hardware companies should be courting the devs like this as the more games on there system the more software sales, consumer interest, and hardware sales. Whether this is true or not though, I'm just glad to hear Nintendo is doing the opposite of what they did with the Wii and DS and they're courting the small devs. So many smaller games are on the way and I'm very excited.

MAB

#18

MAB said:

Yeah mine was delivered yesterday and I have already started porting Chakan HD... The title screen will be available free of charge on the eshop next week then all levels will be DLC at $10.98 a pop ;)

Haxonberik

#20

Haxonberik said:

For me, it sounds like a good idea, it would put debs closer to the Wii U and eventually it will pay off with new games and bigger third party support.

Haxonberik

#22

Haxonberik said:

Of course the dev must have some way of demonstrating it can actually deliver something.

TotalHenshin

#24

TotalHenshin said:

It sounds desperate to me. Those saying that more games, regardless of quality, is always better are ignoring what your local game store is piled with in the Wii section. Someone could compare the e-Shop to the AppStore (which has plenty of low-quality titles), but the WiiU e-Shop is so structurally different from the AppStore, in that e-Shop devs are quite dependent on Nintendo giving promotion and home-page space for their games, while the AppStore has more of a DIY attitude. Nintendo wants quality games on the e-Shop, as do we. I'm not supporting draconian regulations, but I don't want to see Marshmallow Cookie Maker on the homepage.

BakaKnight

#25

BakaKnight said:

Nintendo always stated to be ready to help third parties and developpers making games.

Give a dev kit for free to a small developers with a great idea would just be a logical part of that offered "help".

Technically Nintendo even moved as publisher for some developers and in those case I doubt they had to pay the kit, right? XP

russellohh

#26

russellohh said:

@Zyph PS3 DevKits started at $10,000. Full kits cost up to $21,000. $5,000 doesn't seem like a lot to me at all.

GiftedGimp

#27

GiftedGimp said:

I brought thus up on the forum a couple days ago, as was hoping NL could find a bit more information on the matter.
Reading through the various Tweets, It seems that it was something Nintendo were giving at least some devs free kits for some time.
Still would like to know if the dev kits are only being given to small 'bedroom' indie devs, or any dev including those normally associated with bigger game releases.

rjejr

#28

rjejr said:

Nintendo should give dev kits to it's own employees. The reason the WiiU isn't selling well isnt' b/c of the lack of eShop games from indie developers, the WiiU isn't selling well b/c Pikmin 3 isn't ready yet, and the next Smash Bros., Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy haven't even been officially announced yet.

Dpullam

#29

Dpullam said:

This seems like a pretty smart idea to get Wii U interest flowing again. We shall see if it is actually effective in the long run.

mch

#30

mch said:

I dont believe the value of 5'000 USD for the dev-kit, and even if it isn't to much for a company like Nintendo (which does not even have any depts) and it might pay out grand.

2Sang

#31

2Sang said:

@rjejr THIS nintendo, THIS
Super meat boy or some mediocre eshop game isn't gonna make me buy a wii u, Pikmin 3 and Smash Bros. will.

SpaceApe

#32

SpaceApe said:

Desperation setting in but it is a smart move. The Wii U getting the short end of the stick for sure because it is less powerful than the PS4 and new Xbox.

SuperMinusWorld

#33

SuperMinusWorld said:

Very forward thinking on Nintendo's part. I applaud them. That's one thing Sony cannot and will not provide for indie devs, and that's a free dev kit.

zionich

#34

zionich said:

I like how when Nintendo does somthing that is a good business move to open up gates the previously closed they get called desperate. I <3 hypocrites.

JavierYHL

#35

JavierYHL said:

hmm...will be buying my third party games on ps4...just need some first party games for wii u...its collecting dust now...

SCAR392

#37

SCAR392 said:

This isn't desperate, and it won't lead to junk on the eShop. I heard this was part of their plan way before doom and gloom speculation.
Nintendo doesn't let junk on to their eShop like Apple does on the app store.
They wouldn't even let Toki Tori 2 on there at first, and even the 'bad' version was probably better than anything on the Apple app store.

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#38

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

By the time I'm done with school the Wii U will be 3 years old. Hopefully I can create a game for the system before they move on to the next home console! I definitely want to create handheld titles for Nintendo, but the Wii U would be lovely to work with.

Ernest_The_Crab

#40

Ernest_The_Crab said:

Really doubt this is "desperate". Nintendo hasn't had any trouble staying afloat, mostly on their own before.

If anything, it's just them jumping the gun again like with the 3DS. Due to the difference in development time and life cycles with portables and home consoles they obviously have to use a different strategy.

Capt_N

#42

Capt_N said:

Rumor taken as always: grain of salt. Although I won't count out the possibility of this being true, either.

KAHN

#48

KAHN said:

so, where can we get these dev kits? how are they attainable?

Kirk

#49

Kirk said:

I'm sure it's only the already very popular and successful devs that Nintendo would absolutely want too see on their system, the ones who have extremely successful/popular either normal or indie games, that are getting free kits however.

Jukilum

#50

Jukilum said:

@SCAR392 Whoopee, more ignorant hating on the AppStore. That aside, from the accounts I've read it was Two Tribes that decided that their game wasn't good enough yet, not Nintendo.

@DarkEdi Development costs for games like they make are much higher than any devkit. I don't think that is a barrier for them.

Henmii

#51

Henmii said:

Sounds a bit desperate! But if it leads to some cool games, it's okay!!

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