News Article

Iwata Looking To Emulate iOS And Android With A Common Platform For Future Nintendo Hardware

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Handheld and Home Console Divisions to "Become Like Brothers"

Last week's Corporate Management Policy and Third Quarter Financial Results Briefing Q&A session has just been translated into English, which allows us non-Japanese speakers to find out the inner workings of Satoru Iwata's brain. One topic which cropped up is the way in which Nintendo handles its hardware platforms; currently, the Wii U and 3DS are separate entities with little in common from a tech or software perspective. Iwata has hinted that this may not be the case for much longer.

The Nintendo president picks up on the advantages of having hardware which can "absorb" the characteristics and specs of other pieces of Nintendo tech — such as the way in which the Wii was based on the architecture of its direct predecessor, the GameCube. This speeds up the development process and prevents the software shortages which impacted the launches of both the 3DS and Wii U:

Currently it requires a huge amount of effort to port Wii software to Nintendo 3DS because not only their resolutions but also the methods of software development are entirely different. The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U. If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms. Also, as technological advances took place at such a dramatic rate, and we were forced to choose the best technologies for video games under cost restrictions, each time we developed a new platform, we always ended up developing a system that was completely different from its predecessor.

The only exception was when we went from Nintendo GameCube to Wii. Though the controller changed completely, the actual computer and graphics chips were developed very smoothly as they were very similar to those of Nintendo GameCube, but all the other systems required ground-up effort. However, I think that we no longer need this kind of effort under the current circumstances. In this perspective, while we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture. It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately. When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems.

Interestingly, Iwata also cited Apple's iOS and Google's Android as platforms he wants to emulate with future Nintendo systems. He admitted that he still did not know if Nintendo's next console would be an "all in one" solution — as has been mooted — or if the company could take the opposite route (like Apple and Android) and release many different hardware variants, all running the same basic operating system and all therefore able to play the same games:

I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform. To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models.

The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples. Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment. However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future.

It's certainly an interesting concept; a Nintendo OS which can run on multiple hardware configurations and promises widespread compatibility, therefore allowing you to upgrade as time goes on without losing access to older software. It also ties in with Nintendo's plans to create a more robust, account-based user system — another element of Apple and Google's software which Nintendo would do well to replicate.

What do you think about Iwata's comments? Does this mean the rumours of an sole Nintendo system in the future — as opposed to a home console and a handheld — are not going to happen? Could we see Nintendo adopt Apple's strategy, and produce several different pieces of hardware which all run on the same software, but occupy different places in the market? Let us know your predictions — and your thoughts on Iwata's responses — by posting something below.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (96)

unrandomsam

#2

unrandomsam said:

They could do that immediately by releasing a Wii U with no drive and everything built in to the gamepad. (Obviously not without the risk of destroying the 3DS though).

Transdude1996

#3

Transdude1996 said:

"The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U."

I guess Kid Icarus and Luigi's Mansion could be coming to the Wii U.

AJ_Lethal

#4

AJ_Lethal said:

@unrandomsam
"They could do that immediately by releasing a Wii U with no drive and everything built in to the gamepad. (Obviously not without the risk of destroying the 3DS though)."

Please tell me who is your drug dealer. I want to try his stuff.

OT: Sounds like a kick-ass idea to unite platforms for game developement. It's a win-win situation.

Sockymon

#6

Sockymon said:

A single hand held system, with a docking station for when you want to play on the TV. That would do me just fine.

AJ_Lethal

#8

AJ_Lethal said:

@Savino Not exactly: there might be a home console and a handlheld after the Wii U and the 3DS, but the architechture between the two will be quite similar.

Savino

#10

Savino said:

@AJ_Lethal Agree... But yet I think that rumour very Nintendo, if you know what I mean and something that I really would like to see!

crazycrazydave

#11

crazycrazydave said:

This sounds like good news to me. In fact, this was what should have been done in the transition between Wii and Wii U.

Haywired

#13

Haywired said:

@Sockymon
Yeah, I'm really liking the idea of a single Nintendo handheld that can connect to the TV (either through an HDMI cable or a wireless dongle) and act as a home console. I mean, the next Nintendo handheld is going to have the sort of power that Nintendo seems reluctant to want to go beyond, so why bother with the traditional home console power race if it isn't working for them anymore.

Who knows, his words here indicate that that may not happen in that particular form, but all these possibilities sound exciting.

Zyph

#14

Zyph said:

They're still thinking about portables and home consoles separately. They need that unique separation. What I think what he meant was that they're planning to unify some core architectures so that they can communicate more robustly and reliably with one another. Same goes for their future consoles which will be a breeze to port over to.

If the transition of games will just be "OS-based" level like with Apple and Google then the actual development on a hardware-based level will become a bit difficult. Since the optimizations will actually come from the hardware themselves.

But that's just me.

Rococoman

#15

Rococoman said:

The all-in-one gamepad is reason number one why I am not buying the Wii u in its current form. I feel very confident that a Nintendo tablet will soon come out, featuring HDMI out for TV play.

hiptanaka

#18

hiptanaka said:

If Nintendo Fusion was to be true, they wouldn't need a "common platform", since there would only be one product.

AVahne

#19

AVahne said:

I'm loving this direction. Go for it Nintendo.
Though, I hope this doesn't mean that they'll get rid of physical game media completely.

warlocknem

#20

warlocknem said:

I'm not a huge follower of Apple these days. The only device of their's that I own right now is an iphone 4 but hearing that Nintendo wants to adopt their way of doing things is something I can actually get behind.

Gioku

#21

Gioku said:

Very, very interesting... but I kinda like the solidity of my 3DS, where I know it's not gonna get replaced for a few years still... I don't want them to start releasing new consoles every year! :O

hiptanaka

#22

hiptanaka said:

@Goiku

Don't worry. They started restructuring their hardware teams recently. There will probably be many years before they release a new platform.

unrandomsam

#23

unrandomsam said:

@warlocknem Depends when Nintendo adopted DLC they only adopted the worst parts. (No GoTY editions which are the good thing about it). The 5 devices with one set of games is the good bit but Nintendo is making download play progressively more useless over time. (Starfox and Mario Party being the only exceptions). I suspect Nintendo will go for the bits that benefits anybody (Them / Devs / Publishers) except the customer.

TruenoGT

#24

TruenoGT said:

This is ideal and would be a first for dedicated gaming devices. If Nintendo had a gaming OS that ran on portables and home consoles and also featured some level of backwards compatibility (via emulation or otherwise), that would be killer. IMO this is even better than one physical system that does it all... While you may need multiple devices, this is a better solution than one device which compromises the performance for battery life or portability for controller ergonomics. This type of system could natively allow a seamless transition of game sessions between home and portable gaming devices. This has kind of been on one-off basis with separate versions of certain games (e.g. Monster Hunter 3), but it's always clunky and requires a lot of work on the developers part. Having native infrastructure to the whole platform for this scheme would be AWESOME.

GuSolarFlare

#25

GuSolarFlare said:

hope it means that fusion trash(I don't like that idea at all) because the only other reason I can think for doing this would be making ports easily and I don't want Nintendo porting games too often(too many ports make a game lose value too easily a multiplatform game will always be remembered as "that game I could easily get to play on anything" or "that game that released a million times and I got sick of it" instead of a unique experience)

Bliquid

#26

Bliquid said:

They don't even know how to make their online work properly and they have struggles developing HD games, and now they think they can handle the development of an OS from the ground up?
Yeah, sure.
Iwata, do you know why iOS works?
Because i buy games ONCE.
Start by getting THIS right, then talk about an entire ecosystem.

Gerbwmu

#29

Gerbwmu said:

I thought it was a mistake not having a DS/3DS slot on the Wii U. Not being a huge tech head this answers some of my questions why they didn't opt to go that route.

On a side note I'd like to see them develope or work with someone on an amplifier for the gamepad so I can get some more range for off tv play. My lead paint old walls kill the signal.....

ted-k

#30

ted-k said:

yes. give me just one console that's both fully portable and home console, please!

adeceku

#31

adeceku said:

I don't want to have the same games in both handheld and console, just look at the vita eww.

LostHeaven

#32

LostHeaven said:

Emulating Apple's vision with iOS would be very advantageous to both Nintendo and its consumers. The first step has been made, albeit in a very shy manner, by unifying Wii U and 3DS accounts through the NNID. This is really something that can only be done when designing hardware from scratch, so here's looking forward to the next consoles.

AJ_Lethal

#34

AJ_Lethal said:

@Bliquid

"It's certainly an interesting concept; a Nintendo OS which can run on multiple hardware configurations and promises widespread compatibility, therefore allowing you to upgrade as time goes on without losing access to older software. It also ties in with Nintendo's plans to create a more robust, account-based user system — another element of Apple and Google's software which Nintendo would do well to replicate."

Selective reading too much?

triforcepower73

#36

triforcepower73 said:

My question is will there be any reason for people to own both home and handheld consoles now? The reason I own a 3DS and a Wii U is because the 3DS has more "portable-type" games on it and the Wii U has long "sit down and play for hours" games. If both consoles have the same operating system, does that mean they'll have similar hardware as well? I hope this doesn't end up like the Vita.

GuSolarFlare

#37

GuSolarFlare said:

@unrandomsam well to me it looks to be the same architecture and OS not the exactly same hardware so for example if they did this for Home Console and Hendheld the people with the handheld would get the short end of the deal because handhels aren't as powerful as home consoles making the home console "all powerful" being able to play games for both itself and handheld and the handhelds would have less variety locked within their own specific library unless ports happened....

BakaKnight

#38

BakaKnight said:

The concept of more devices of different kind sound a little confused honestly... I definitly prefer to wait to hear more about it before judging it, but I honestly like Nintendo's hardwares' systems in the number they are: an handheld and a home console.

On the other hand a "Nintendo OS" sounds perfect as idea. It would make easier to users to deal with their Nintendo products and allow devellopers to easy plan projects for Nintendo's systems, making easy for them to consider both games for home console and Handheld; and let's not forget the possibility to easy start prebuilding of launch-day games, avoiding the typical lack of games new consoles usually suffers at release.

Mainer82

#39

Mainer82 said:

I'm not sure what he is trying to say but I hope that they do just put games on other platforms, that would kill the quality of the game out there. Just stick to the consoles.

rjejr

#40

rjejr said:

Wow, so man people jumping at the greatness of this when there are so many negatives. But I guess that's my job.

1. Apple has separate home and handheld software - iOS and Mac OSX. Which is exactly what Nintendo has now. They are already emulating Apple it that regard. What thye ned is an ID system that connect sth ehardware like an Apple ID - the networking, not the dual OS.
2. Microsoft tried to put their Win 8 software on both tablets and desktops. See how well that worked out - people hate it on both. That's what Iwata is talking about - he uses Apples name but he wants to copy a failed Microsoft attempt at convergence. Not good.
3. Sony tried to bring alot of home games to it's handhelds. People don't buy their handheld. Having both a home and handheld system THAT PLAY THE SAME GAMES - means people are going to buy EITHER your home o rhandheld console, not both.

So yes, what he says sounds good on the surface, but when you look at it carefully similar ideas have been tried before and are full of flaws. The best idea is 1 system - a portable home console, or a handheld that plugs into the tv - 3DS Wii. A system you can take w/ you or play w/ others on your tv w/ surround sound.

He might be talking about that - but if he is still talking about 2 separate pieces of hardware that both play the same games the home console is going to sell like the Wii U again. Apple has completely separate home and away (for now), if he only wants to copy iOS then he shouldn't be using Apple as an example.

warlocknem

#41

warlocknem said:

A dedicated console for the gamers, a smaller downgraded handheld version of said console for gamers on the go, small low efficiency learning tablets with apps directed toward children or who ever wants to be taught something, and "nonwearable" devices that cater to Nintendo's new "QoL" way of thought all running on a universal Nintendo O.S. and unified Nintendo I.D. account system. I can see it working out rather well.

AJ_Lethal

#42

AJ_Lethal said:

@rjejr Not so fast, bucko:
1-iOS is a derivative of OSX; that's why you can get and run iOS apps in your Mac.
2-Also, people does not like Windows 8 because the UI is messy. Not to mention Android and iOS has the tablet market cornered.
3-Yeah, that's a somewhat valid concern, but that does not mean they will make the same game for 2 platforms. Instead, it could make developement easier since they would need just 1 engine to run various games.

Koffeeking0407

#43

Koffeeking0407 said:

Wow I'm not quite sure what I make of this. I'm gonna mull it over for a week or so and post about it on my site.... I like iOS but I don't like it for the games. I hope this doesn't mean the future of Nintendo titles are watered down apps that can run on all hardware they put out. If that is the way I things I will become purely a retro gamer and not look back....or would that be not looking forward? Lol

Midayle

#44

Midayle said:

If Nintendo does do that, I might play play an iOS or Android game. Due to the monopolistic completion of cell phone companies in Canada, I have intentionally avoided getting a an iOS or Android device.

Hopefully the IOS and Android competition can bring the Nintendo eShop prices down to a level near Steam prices. (On Steam you can get a Sega Genesis game on sale for about 1 dollar).

turnmebackwards

#47

turnmebackwards said:

@64supermario
As a Wii U & 3DS owner all this talk online of a new Nintendo console rumored the Fusion is unsettling. I'm not willing to buy another handheld or console after such a short run.

Savino

#48

Savino said:

I guess people misunderstood the fusion concept (or maybe it was me) @rjejr and @AJ_Lethal!

But I guess e Fusion DS and the so called Fusion Terminal aren't the same console! As far as I get it, you will have the FDS for playing handheld games and the Terminal as a home console that uses the FDS as a control!

My guess is that you will play the FDS games on the Terminal, but not the oposite, since the costs to make a portable console would be too much, or the console would have to be too weak to match the portable!

Going a little but far, my guess is that you will have the choice to buy the FDS as a separated console, if you dont want to spend on the Terminal, buy the bundle, or the terminal alone, with a regular controller as option!

Wild guess.... But one can dream!

unrandomsam

#49

unrandomsam said:

@adeceku That is different to when the handheld is exactly the same. (Sega Nomad / Turbo Express / (Gamegear with Master Gear I suppose)).
If it was exactly the same as the Wii U off TV it would be totally fine.

goonow

#50

goonow said:

The handheld would have to be almost as powerful as the console. The same game but at a lower resolution. Android and ios are portable platforms. Is nintendo thinking of just having a portable platform?

goonow

#51

goonow said:

This gives credit to the nintendo fusion rumors. I still think the rumored specs of the consoles are unrealisticly powerful.

Bliquid

#52

Bliquid said:

@AJ_Lethal : my point is:
1) they are thinking it backwards.
2) "an interesting concept"?!? It's not a concept, it's what everyone else has been doing like norm for the past half generation.
To recap: they are still thinking if it may be a good idea when they should have done it ( the unified account) at the time of Wii.
I'm not reading selectively, i read it quite right: Nintendo keeps on talking and not doing. When i'll be able to play my games on different Nintendo platforms without opening the wallet everytime and with the proper selection ( still no SNES on 3DS has no excuses) will be the day i'll eat my hat.
I don't use hats, but shouldn't be a problem, that day is nit gonna cone anytime soon.

AJ_Lethal

#54

AJ_Lethal said:

@Bliquid
Still cherry-picking and jumping to conclusions? Let me give you the tl;dr version:

Future Nintendo consoles and handhelds will use a single platform coupled with an account-based system.

I know it's on really due time to get on that, but better later than never.

goonow

#55

goonow said:

@Savino even in the usual 6 year time line. The wii u is about 1.5 times more powerful than the ps3 but the fusion would be about 2.5 times as powerful as the ps4. It would be an even bigger jump than the wii u was. It would drive production costs through the roof for nintendo.

Luigi789

#56

Luigi789 said:

wait im confused so is Wii U going to improve or are they going to drop it for the fusion ?

Bliquid

#57

Bliquid said:

@AJ_Lethal : and again i say: do it, don't say it ( to Nintendo ofc, not you :p)
And allow me to say also that the situation WiiU is in is proof that late is late, period.
Cherry picking, you say? Nah, i just don't base my assumptions on one voice alone, especially when it comes from multinational firms.
You are free to believe them though. Faith is a good thing.

electrolite77

#58

electrolite77 said:

I agree this is the way forward but given they still haven't-in 2014-sorted out a unified Account system across existing hardware or managed N64 games on the Wii U I won't hold my breath.

mcusc5435

#60

mcusc5435 said:

My financial situation might be in trouble if they decide to release a few different hardware types like it's said in the article that it may be an option...I really like to collect Nintendo's hardware and collectibles and I'm sure buying multiple units would be quite expensive haha

Great_Gonzalez

#61

Great_Gonzalez said:

Yeah I don't like the sound of this I like the idea of my handhelds and consoles being totally different and having different games but I can't deny if the 2 platforms have similar internals so that developing games are easier for both platforms.

BUT I do not want to have the same games released on both cause that would ruin the whole point of a handheld.

jayclayx

#62

jayclayx said:

it doesn't meter if the fans are not agree with this Iwata statement but I glad to see that finally Nintendo is facing big changes for the next years, interesting indeed...

Inkling

#63

Inkling said:

Nintendo OS? Sounds interesting...
I hope they bring cross-platform games and chat, even if its just IM!

Well, I can dream, can't I? :P

WhiteTrashGuy

#64

WhiteTrashGuy said:

Nintendo sees the future and will adapt accordingly. Was really hoping they were going to use an unified OS for the 3DS and WiiU.

tripunktoj

#65

tripunktoj said:

I hope they don't go with several pieces of hardware, as a Nintendo collector I couldn't afford all of them while continuing to buy old and the newest games.

Savino

#66

Savino said:

@goonow Wii U could be a lot cheaper if wanst for the gamepad, something about 200 US$, or almost the price of a PS3!

In two years something 2.5x the power of the PS4 could be sold for the same price or a little more... And 2016 would be an excelent moment to grab those who didnt bought PSONE and want a powerfull console! (And 4 years for the wiiu could be little, but not outrageous!)

Goginho

#67

Goginho said:

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful :')
This is just what we need, and we'll be set for tomorrow. I never really looked at it that way, but that makes a lot of sense now. The leap from GC to Wii was minimal, and thus there were plenty games and sufficient content right from the start, coupled with the innovation ..and BOOM, you got a hit. The leap from Wii to Wii U is quite significant, thus we couldn't have gotten enough content from the get-go. The next leap is one that is not needed to be big, since we've inevitably reached our visualistic peak. Minor tweaks here and there, but nothing substantially massive so that devs have to go 'back to school' before actually producing stuff. This is perfect. This is just what's needed. Let this generation be a bit on the 'needs improvement' side, because the next one will be 'excellent' without a doubt.
This is what was missing from the start ..games. The Wii U simply needed games. So did the 3DS, but luckily they turned that around. 3rd party bailed on Nintendo, and so they were late themselves in bringing out games. It's picked up since and is slowly going up, but oh man ..next gen.....next gen, it's gonna be Mario, DK, Zelda, Pikmin, Starfox, Metroid...etc...etc.. :P all from the start (not necessarily all of those at once, but you get the idea).

And don't get me started on the handheld. Nintendo should never abandon one for the other, or merge the two concepts fully, but rather healthily and naturally integrate them with one another. The handheld should be in HD, 3D, with dual analogs at the very least, plus whatever extras. The home console should be very similar, and remain as it is now, with motion controls (as an option in most cases), GamePad, and and and...
Now, this does not mean that, whatever game we get on the home console, we should get on the handheld as well and vice versa. That would kind of be a waste imo.. Instead have maybe some games like that, with cross play and what not respectively, but have a lot of them be seperate games of each other, kinda like Smash 4, or how Zelda on Wii U is a completely different game than the Zeldas on 3DS. This should remain the way it is. If we get every game available for both platforms :/ ..that kinda beats the whole purpose and lowers the value imo. Games on a handheld should feel like to-go games for the most part, the way we ideally have it at the moment with many of the titles, such as Dark Moon, Between Worlds, amongst others. Games on consoles should be massive, in-depth, immersive experiences, that will fully engage the player/participant in a truly immense gaming session, respectively.
So for that part, the leap from the 3DS to the next handheld is still going to be one that is evidently substantial. The leap from the Wii U to the next home console is going to be much less apparent, and thus Nintendo can definitely use that to their advantage and redeem themselves of the Wii U's unfortunate and untimely humble beginnings.

As for naming convention, I can't imagine what the next systems will be called. I would suggest dropping the 'Wii' terminology, and go with something ..less cheesy, I guess. Something more ..dramatic, unexpecting, and memorable. 'Wii' was perfect for one generation.
For the handheld, however, I don't really know how they could go from here. The next system will most likely still be in 3D and have dual screens (hopefully), but they'd have to come up with an according name, one that doesn't repeat the mistake of the 'Wii U'. We'll have to wait and see :P ..hopefully Nintendo are smart enough and realize to not make same errors more than once or twice at the very maximum.

In the meantime, I'm gonna continue playing the great games we have and are getting soon :)

c1pher_c0mplet

#68

c1pher_c0mplet said:

I think it's ridiculous that it takes Nintendo running into trouble to realize brainless concepts such as these. Hopefully this little fit of trouble spurns Iwata & Co. on a ---> keyword: CONTINUOUS path of growth and experimentation instead of simply trying to fix the here 'n now (which, in my opinion, is what Nintendo tends to do).

jjmesa16

#69

jjmesa16 said:

Before they were cousins once removed but know that they have "unified accounts" they are more like cousins. Still a lot of work to be done with Nintendo Network ID.

jjmesa16

#70

jjmesa16 said:

@Goginho Name it the 4DS. You fill up a water tank before you play and it sprays you. Lol. I remember back to the development of the Wii, which was then called the Revolution. It'd be cool to see a name like that again although I'm not sure any console will be as revolutionary (pun intended) as the Wii was.

ted-k

#71

ted-k said:

why are some people reading into this that Nintendo is on the verge of releasing new hardware with a new os? I'm assuming this is still at least 3 or 4 years down the road.

Goginho

#72

Goginho said:

@jjmesa16 haha lol :D
Yea, I was thinking they go back to the more standard naming conventions, like 'The Nintendo Revolution'.
"Whachya doing Bob?" "Oh nothing, just playin' some Revolution" :P lol ..although, you're right, the Wii was the perfect revolution, and unless Nintendo come up with the next big thing, like hologram, virtual reality gaming or something, it wouldn't be justified to use that name.
On the other hand, I would like to see them revert back to the more basic 'old-school' names, such as "Super Nintendo". That was like the perfect name a gaming console could have. It's simple, it's memorable, and it's effective. Right away you associate something amazing, awesome, great, super when they hear that. The name 'Wii U' doesn't give its console that same oomph, which is unfortunate because it's a really great system with massive potential.
I trust they won't make that same mistake, even though it's not really a mistake to begin with imo, but that's how the cookie crumbles and consumers just didn't seem to get it.

DamoAdmin

#73

Damo said:

@rjejr He's not talking about iOS and Mac OS - he's just talking about iOS, which runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Air and iPad Mini. That's the point that Iwata is trying to make - Apple has several different pieces of hardware which all share the same OS.

Zombie_Barioth

#74

Zombie_Barioth said:

So basically, Iwata wants to cut down on as much work as possible when switching between and developing for their different platforms. What they want is a PC or Mobile like environment.

Thats all well and good but why wait? Why save improvements like unified accounts, which they know a lot of people want and can do now, for new hardware? They've had the same amount of time to work on it as anyone else. Its like they purposefully hold off on doing things simply because its "already been done" so theres no hurry on it, they'd rather focus on something "new" now and get the rest working later. They're trying to think two steps ahead without thinking about the ones leading up to them.

SMW

#75

SMW said:

Sounds about right considering they combined their handheld and console divisions not too long ago.

Slapshot

#77

Slapshot said:

Personally, I think Nintendo would be better off sticking to a sole console - preferably portable - going forward, instead of focusing on two (or more) consoles that share the same OS.

Now, if Nintendo does indeed go with a home and portable console going forward, sharing an OS would be a very smart thing for it to do. While the Vita has a low install base, it has a very high attachment rate with owners purchasing a lot of games. Many of these games are cross-buy games with the PS3, which shows that this type of scenario does indeed work.

Artwark

#78

Artwark said:

@ROBLOGNICK You do know that he's responsible for the DS and Wii sales right?

I hope this is something that will suit everyone Nintendo......because I don't know how this will work out......:|

Vincent294

#79

Vincent294 said:

I've wanted this to happen. Great to see Iwata's willing to get w/ the times & move ahead all at the same time to pull Nintendo out of its slump.

rjejr

#80

rjejr said:

@AJ_Lethal - "Instead, it could make developement easier since they would need just 1 engine to run various games."

OK, got to give you that one. Shorter game development time would certainly be a plus. Not saying there aren't benefits to the plan - just that I wold like to see some actual benefits before I consider the Wii U saved. Which is my 1 and only concern right now.

FJOJR

#82

FJOJR said:

I think what Nintendo is trying to do is create an operating system that makes it easy for both the handheld and console transitions in the future so they aren't developing a new architecture from the ground up every generation but instead are just building on a solid foundation when new hardware is available. I still believe they'll be 1-handheld, 1-console a generation only that we won't have them and developers on a long lull while they figure out the new hardware. Like Iwata said about the Wii to GameCube transition.

kereke12

#83

kereke12 said:

Finally he gets it now, See what he needs to do is do what Sony did with there Playstation's

StarDust4Ever

#85

StarDust4Ever said:

Well, for the first time in years, Nintendo might as well have to dump B/C for next (9th) generation. Nintendo has been using ARM tech since GBA and PowerPC tech since Game Cube. Power architechture, at least for consumer use, is slowly becoming obsolete since MacOS abandoned it in favor of x86 starting with Intel Macs circa 2006. x86, while powerful, is not suited for low power applications, so ARM is the way to go. I truly believe that 8th generation may be the last to support pysical media. All current 8th gen consoles including PS4, Xbone, Wii-U, 3DS, Vita, support downloads of retail games so there is no reason to believe that physical media will still be relavent next generation. Disc drives are expensive and failure prone.

ARM architecture is fast approaching the performance of x86, and eventually may supplant it's use in general purpose computing.

I believe a reasonable form factor would be a three tier system. In the middle teir a "slim" gamepad with capacitive touch screen and buttons on the sides; think ipad with buttons. Dual circle pads would be used instead of thumbsticks to reduce the profile, making if fit in briefcases. An HDMI port connects it to an optional external display, as well as optional PRO controllers with built in touch pad. The high teir console version could be a set top box combined with the new Pro controllers. The low teir with ultimate portability in mind is basically the next DS. 3D support is dropped, sadly. The lower and middle teir devices have built in DS/3DS support via cart slot as well as download from eShop. The middle teir tablet device displays both DS screens on a single larger display just like the 2DS currently does, or alternately use the TV as external top display.

The top teir device uses an external power supply, heat sink, and fans to yeild high def performance power over the smaller teirs. Owners of multiple devices could use a sync tool to share save data between devices in order to continue saved games on any version of the device. Software developers use the same workflow to develop on all devices simultaneously, to match the performance of the target device, for instance high-def vs low def texture paks, and enhanced render settings for higher teir console version.

Because the fusion system is not backwards compatible with Wii/Wii-U, Nintendo release a cost-reduced Wii-U console and continue support via eShop.

To cater to the current tablet market, Nintendo licenses a wide variety of productivity and personal media plauback software to tout the device as more than just gaming. This will encourage people to choose Nintendo over Android or iOS due to better gaming experience (play better games with real buttons).

ROBLOGNICK

#86

ROBLOGNICK said:

@Artwark Of course I am! Both of those systems were released before Android and iOS operating systems ruled the mobile OS market. Heck even before they existed!

ajcismo

#87

ajcismo said:

The mind is still boggled that the handheld and console departments were so separate for so long. My dream of a huge iTunes-like Nintendo digital online store with their entire back catalog available and ready to play on whatever system I want inches closer to reality.

rjejr

#88

rjejr said:

@Savino - I re-read your post 3 times but I was a little confused by all the terminology. (Not your fault, Iwata seems big on words and small on action at the moment.)

I think you are sort of saying what I've been saying though - put the Gamepad's connection chip into the 3DS (should have been placed in the 2DS which was made to be kept in homes b/c it doesnt fold) and let the 2/3DS work as a 2nd Gamepad or Pro controller (it has almost all the same inputs except TVii) and let the 2/3DS stream it's games thru the Wii U to the tv screen and sound system.

I know you and Nintendo are talking about the next gen but I think they can do it sooner w/ the next handheld linked to Wii U in a year or 2 and then the Wii Us successor in 3 or 4 years. Like how Sony had the Vita have some connection to the PS3 but more to the PS4.

I'ld still rather have 1 console for both to save money and have a more steady stream of games. I'ld pay $300 for a portable that output to my tv then buy $50 Pro controllers that link up to the main portable for multiplayer on the tv, just like I have to now. Of course 2 or more people each owning their own $300 portable could do multiplayer w/o a tv.

We have three 3DS in my house and 1 Wii U. I'ld rather buy a $25 adaptor for each 3DS (plugs into the 3DS game slot and contains the Gamepad chip) than have to buy three $100 Gamepads for multiplayer on our Wii U.

Gimmemorecoinz

#89

Gimmemorecoinz said:

Seems like they just want to do something similar like make all the hardware run a similar firmware or something.
That way games can be backwards compatible with newer systems.
I'm kind of worried Nintendo is going to turn into the next major OS producer.
Then they would become more focused on OS implementation and less focused on game standards and quality.
le sigh
I've seen Nintendo churn out wayyy too many "ports" of older games. And not enough unique entertaining titles the last year.

rjejr

#90

rjejr said:

@Damo - I know the point he was trying to make - but his point was wrong.

MS would be a better example w/ Win 8 b/c it does run on laptops, tablets, phones and home PCs. And more or less X1. But nobody wants to use MS, and certainly not Win 8, as something to aspire to. Saying Apple is unified b/c SOME parts are unified but you leave out half the company is not a very good example. It's actually what Nintendo IS doing now - 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS all run the same software, like iOS, and lets just forget about Wii U, like the "hobby" Apple TV.

Oh, and you forgot Apple TV. Its ok though, everybody does :-)

So I'm quite aware of the point he was trying to make, everybody wants to be a great comeback story like Apple, but he was doing it wrong. I honestly feel bad for Iwata, he's in a tough spot, doesnt seem to have any answers currently under way, so hes just saying what sounds good for some future improvements. Like a politician caught w/ his pants down.

DamoAdmin

#91

Damo said:

@rjejr I actually think Iwata's comments are very positive and he has the right idea in bringing up Apple - you keep mentioning MS but at the end of the day, the failure of MS' whole Windows thing has more to do with the way the company handled it than anything else.

Apple (and Android - he mentioned that as well) is actually the best example to use here. Android is inside handhelds, tablets, phones and even set-top consoles, all of which offer different hardware configurations and therefore offer something unique to a wide range of users. I'd love to see Nintendo adopt this stance; I love the fact that all of my Android devices use the same sign-in details, and the fact that I can download a game I bought three years ago onto my latest Android-powered device. If Nintendo followed the same approach, then it would certainly make things more appealing to me, at least.

rjejr

#92

rjejr said:

For those who think it's too soon for something substantial to be happening with the hardware:

DS - Nov 2004
DSi - Nov 2008 (4 years after DS) added cameras and wi-fi internet access

3DS - Mar 2011
3DS U? - Mar 2015? 4 years later, great time for 3DS U w/ Wii U connectivity, both as a Wii U controller and for streaming games to the Wii U. It already has internet connectivity so it doesnt need an "i"

andreoni79

#93

andreoni79 said:

(Negativity Alert!)
This means that maybe their next handeld will have a qHD screen and enough power to run a downgraded Wii U game, so we can play the same game on two consoles. Just pay the $ 20 extra for each game...
And do we wanna talk about the wonderful WiiU OS?

rjejr

#94

rjejr said:

@Damo - I agree w/ android more than Apple. though it's funny b/c android is an OS and Apple is a company like Google, who also has Chrome OS for netbooks, but enough already. I think Win 8 failed b/c nobody wanted a touchscreen on their desktop. Do you use Win 8? Closing apps by pointing at the top middle of the screen and dragging it down? That's worse than the Paperclip. Thank goodness 8.1 came out right after I bought my new PC so I never see the interface formerly known as Metro.

Nintendo will do something good. The hybrid is coming. They gave the Wii a 2nd screen w/ the Wii U and gave the 3DS a Gamepad like design w/ the 2DS. There will be a lot of other companies having their "Kodak moment" before its their turn. I'll leave Iwata - and not totally his fault translations - alone.

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