XType Plus Image

Details recently emerged for XType Plus, an arcade shooter with origins as a HTML5 browser game, which is on the way to the Wii U eShop. The original version of this title is technically playable for free via the Wii U web browser, yet performance can be choppy and underwhelming. This new entry will, like other HTML5-based games on the way, utilise the Nintendo Web Framework to avoid these limitations and deliver better experiences, while the developers can use tools simpler than those outside of the Framework.

XType Plus developer Dominic Szablewski is also the man behind PhobosLab, and is the creator of the Impact HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript engine, a tool that makes game creation in those codes easier. In an interview to be published later today Szablewski explains how the Nintendo Web Framework and his engine operates, and was keen to emphasize the benefits that it offers to those most familiar with web game design.

The NWF can provide a lot of features that a typical Web Browser can't. For instance, proper support for all kinds of controllers and other features unique to the Wii U.

You don't have to care that much about download size either. eShop games are only downloaded once, but a game played in the browser has to be downloaded each time again. This allows you to pack more stuff in your game.

Another important point is that NWF makes it easy to sell your game. The eShop provides a lot of exposure and buying a game there is painless for the customer.

Szablewski goes on to praise Nintendo's encouragement of this area of the development community, and was critical of the lack of equivalents on Sony and Microsoft's current systems.

If Sony or Microsoft have any ongoing efforts to support HTML5 games in some manner they're very good at hiding it.

I'm actually somewhat dumbfounded that they're not opening up more to indie developers. The indie gaming scene is huge and continuing to grow even more, yet it's still quite hard to get onto these platforms. Microsoft even made it much more difficult to start development for the XBox One than it was with the XBox 360. I have no idea why they're doing this.

We're seeing more Nintendo Web Framework projects emerge on a weekly basis at the moment, and it seems to be an aspect of the market that will bring a great deal of content in the year to come.

Be sure to check back later for the full interview, in which we learn more about XType Plus, the Impact engine and some remaining challenges and areas for improvement in Nintendo's download development infrastructure.