Developing Consoles Games Is Expensive; Here’s What Nintendo Plan To Do About It

By Ishaan . January 30, 2013 . 8:46pm

Nintendo are collaborating heavily with third-party developers and publishers to create games for the Wii U. PlatinumGames are working on Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101, TT Games on Lego City Undercover, Namco Bandai on Super Smash Bros. and Atlus on a Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem crossover RPG.


In a recent Nintendo Direct presentation, company president, Satoru Iwata, said that other such collaborations are underway as well. The reason Nintendo are going out of their way to do these collaborations, he explained in a financial results briefing this evening, is that game development costs are on the rise, and it’s becoming harder for companies to develop exclusive games for a single console.


“As the developing cost of games for home consoles has been high, it has been very difficult for third-party developers to take a risk by developing games only for one home video game console,” Iwata said. “We therefore have had various discussions with software developers for the projects.”


He added later: “We are willing to actively cooperate with software developers to produce something new beyond the traditional licensing business. We believe that this is possible because Nintendo is not only a platform holder but has a powerful in-house software development team.”


In addition to these collaborations, Iwata adds that Nintendo also plan to make it easier for independent developers to create Wii U games using web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript and Unity. Nintendo will demonstrate their efforts to bring these technologies to Wii U at GDC.


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  • kylehyde

    This sounds like a good plan. They shorten the development times, they gain the trust of the third party studios and everybody is happy. I hope that this includes small studios like wayforward technologies, I really want to see a 2D metroid made by them.

    • Solomon_Kano

      WayForward making a 2D Metroid for 3DS would be about the best thing I can imagine for the series.

      • I badger them all the time via email. They still won’t tell me what they are working on next :P

        Their community manager is super nice.

  • riceisnice

    Powerful in-house software developer team? Oho, they are too modest.

    • Anon-non

      I think when they mean ‘powerful’ they mean. y’know, creative-powerful, not super-HD-graphics-pow-wow-look-at-the-wall-texture-powerful. Probably. I’m just guessing.

      • Suicunesol

        Maybe both. >_> Because, you know, I’m sure Nintendo is capable of making some awe-inspiring grass.

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s what Retro’s been working on all this time, actually.

          Grass U

          • No, they’re clearly making Wii-t U.

    • Minos

      Modesty has never been a caracteric of the winners.

  • Shaun Huseman

    I actually am really liking Nintendo’s philosophy with gaming. Im tired of the whole mobile phone/casual gaming is going to take over. If it does, I’ll be gaming a lot less. Im not going to pay for watered down trash over real games.

  • Just a thought, Nintendo + Tecmo + Ntreev = Pangya x Mario Golf.

    • puchinri

      That would be awesome. ♥v♥

  • lovely stuff, unity is becoming a fast growing engine and I think Nintendo is moving in the right direction supporting third parties

  • Aren’t they doing enough to reduce the costs for developers already?

    I mean, they release fairly outdated console hardware in late 2012 and oversatisfy the market with more and more handhelds anyway.

    Add to that the fact that Nintendo’s own franchises are making babysteps as well… and you can’t really agree that their in-house teams are all that powerful. I mean, come on, how long has it taken them to polish Pokemon? And those Zelda remakes surely aren’t the pinaccle of development either.

    • what you are saying is totally correct.Just imagine If the industry was moving at nintendo’s

      • Innovation….innovation everywhere.

    • Anon-non

      Hmm. I don’t agree entirely. The development cost isn’t that dependent on hardware. Even if the Wii U is rumoured to be less powerful than the next Sony or MS consoles, it’s still not that big of a gap, especially since computers already outpower whatever home console is coming out. Graphical advancement is going logarithmic. I wouldn’t be surprised that we’d have to wait 3 or 4 generations to see the same graphical jump we saw from the XBOX to the 360. The cost of development in this scenario refers to the security of exclusive software. I think it boils down to “We’ll pay for some of your budget, but make the game exclusive *wink-wink*”

      I can imagine dozens, maybe hundreds of games waiting to be developed by smaller companies, but no budget to do so, because no company has faith in them. But Nintendo is giving them all benefit of the doubt. Bayonetta 2 was one of them. No one wanted them, not Sega, MS, Sony and surprisingly Capcom, so Nintendo took care of them. And even if the others did, Platinum wouldn’t do a great job under the scheduling stress they’d be put under by the bigwigs just to meet the launch window. Platinum explicitly mentioned in the last interview with Iwata that one of the reasons they stuck with Nintendo is that they never pressured them to speed things up just to meet deadlines. After all, that’s how Nintendo develop their own games, too.

      And two handhelds (unless you’re including phones and tablets) doesn’t really qualify as ‘oversaturation’. Also, I believe whether or not Nintendo’s franchises are going stale or not is highly subjective. While some see recurring themes and core gameplay as ‘old’ and ‘recycled’, others only look at newer elements added to each and every game in existing franchises to freshen them up, though critical and fan reception seem to point towards the latter argument. ;););)

      Besides, it’s not that Nintendo can’t (in this case, Pokemon) polish games up, it’s that they never had a reason to. Pokemon going 3D is just a cosmetic improvement. With all the flash and glitter, it’s still the same core gameplay with new mechanics that even til this day appeal to new players. And it’s still too early to judge Wind Waker’s remake, isn’t it? Especially from literally seconds of footage. ;)

  • puchinri

    That’s really great~. I feel Iwata has expressed this sentiment a few times before, and it’s nice to realize/see how they’re implementing it. It’s really fantastic to see a company/dev going so far to work with others.

    Then again, I think Nintendo usually does try to be accommodating on cost factors to all parties (devs and consumers).

  • All hail overlord Iwata!

    • Swear your eternal allegiance or suffer from no 3rd party JP support for a month.

      • I lol’d allowed when I saw this.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Smart. Ninty’s stepping into this next-gen business in a big way. They’re already showing forward thinking into their systems beyond Wii U and I think this approach to 3rd party exclusives will help them cultivate some lasting relationships. At least I hope it does, because this is the biggest reach on part of any of our 3 platform holders.

    • With regard to collaborations, I’m kind of glad how proud Nintendo are of their Japanese roots. Microsoft had a short-lived honeymoon with Japan, but there’s been nothing on that front of late. Sony never even tried, aside from maybe White Knight Chronicles. Nintendo, on the other hand, have been working with a lot of Japanese companies and/or bringing their games over or helping market them in the west.

      I love western-developed games, but it’s nice to know that at least one of the big three is still willing to push Japanese games. It also helps that it’s the one with the most marketing know-how.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Agreed. Though I’m inclined to believe this is spurred by Nintendo being the last of the big 3 to really need to push Japanese games like this.

        Sony gets support of Japanese games without asking thanks to the likes of Namdai and Konami making them their go to system, so they don’t feel pressure to really shine any spotlight on that. They had, have, and will have that support. Microsoft has shown that they don’t care, and they’re content with having the west in their pocket. But Nintendo’s always gotten by on their own two feet, no Japanese devs, no western devs, just Nintendo. So to me this feels like both a celebration of the position Ninty feels quality Japanese games have on the world stage, in addition to the reproval of the notion that they don’t care about their relationship with 3rd parties.

        I like games from everywhere, but Japan started it for me so it’s good to see Ninty show this kind of support for them.

        • Sony gets support of Japanese games without asking thanks to the likes of Namdai and Konami making them their go to system, so they don’t feel pressure to really shine any spotlight on that. They had, have, and will have that support.

          I really don’t know if they should be taking that for granted. After three failed (or near-failed) systems in a row, I can’t imagine that a lot of Japanese publishers have faith in Sony. The PS3 and PSP’s very rough starts and now the Vita’s fumbling can’t be doing a whole lot to instill confidence.

          That said, yeah, I agree fully that Nintendo are doing it partly out of need. It also builds relationships with developers for them. My point was more that they could also simply collaborate with a western developer on some random FPS that would likely sell better worldwide than a lot of these games will. (like Bayonetta 2 or SMT x FE)

          • J_Joestar

            Really, one of the major reasons for the strong support PS3 and 360 get is because it is just so much easier to release a game on one and port it to the other. It is like releasing 2 games on different systems with less development costs.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Ah, ok. I get you on Nintendo then.

            As for Sony… they definitely shouldn’t take it for granted, but I think they’ve got some time before the support of Japanese devs wavers significantly enough for them to take note — on console. The Vita and PSP’s stumbling is only hurting the Vita, for the time being.

            They have a few bits of insurance on consoles, still. Nintendo’s lack of a blu-ray drive in the Wii U and Namdai still very much being focused on the crossover between their anime and game audiences at least guarantees Sony another gen of focus from them. Kojima is Konami’s biggest asset and his work will keep coming to Sony platforms for the foreseeable future. Capcom has long since abandoned any kind of majority affiliation with anybody. Ninty has MH from them, but that’s about all they’ve given them. In Japan, you still need a Sony system if you want any of Capcom’s other franchises. And Square Enix… well, Luminous tells us who they bet the farm on. I think Sony doesn’t need to worry about the big guys yet, on console. They do, however, look poised to lose the smaller names that support them. That becomes a question of when, though.

            The clock is ticking, but Sony and Nintendo are still too different in what their platforms offer a publisher or developer for me to believe we’ll see too many of them losing all hope and leaving Sony’s consoles. Sony isn’t actively doing anything to keep them, but they have yet to do anything to push them away on that front either. That indifference is going to hurt them later, with Nintendo having just told us that they’re looking to court devs to the system by helping out to decrease the cost to them, but we’ll see how Sony responds. I’m expecting nothing.

          • Great post. Yeah, I agree that Sony are in no immediate danger of suddenly losing all support on the console side, especially from Namco Bandai.

            However, from what we’ve seen, third-party publishers use a “follow the leader” approach, in that they tend to develop games for consoles which have the genre leader on them.

            The reason PS3 was able to do horribly for the first three years of its life and still get Japanese support is because FFXIII was always going to be on PS3. It was announced day and date with the console at E3 and the two were synonymous for quite some time. PS4 may not have that advantage. Final Fantasy hasn’t been as strong in Japan of late and I could easily see Monolith Soft’s new X game being a genre leader in its own right.

            Capcom, and Square, I think we’ll see… neither one is a company that really does exclusives any more, but they are doing exclusives with Nintendo. So I think how things go on that front is more dependent on Nintendo. Will they try to lock down “genre leaders” from Capcom and Square that pave the way for more multiplatform support?

            That would be a smart tactic. However, they seem to prefer development collaborations with mid-sized companies for Wii U and locking down heavy-hitters on 3DS instead. They haven’t shown any signs of locking down big-time console exclusives yet, which is the real X-factor in Japan.

          • ronin4life

            I think the 2 are synonomous. The console support will come in part from the Handheld support.
            In my mind, Monster Hunter 3U on WiiU is a perfect example of this, along with Capcom’s comments on their intention of WiiU support.

          • Solomon_Kano

            That’s a good point. With the divided response to XIII and the growing vitriol on part of Squenix’s “fans” with each new entry in that saga (on the internet, at least), I wonder if an announcement of FF XV for PS4 would even have the same impact. Do they follow Final Fantasy even though it’s wavering? Even though we still haven’t seen Versus? As you said, Monolith’s X game could have an impact on that as well.

            The thing about Capcom and Square Enix doing exclusives for Nintendo, is that they’re doing exclusives for Nintendo’s portables. It remains to be seen if they’ll do the same for Wii U. We could count MH3U, but that’s an enhanced port of a Wii/3DS game. I don’t think it was ever in doubt that that would be exclusive. As you said, Nintendo’s locking down the big names for 3DS support. We’ll see if they try for consoles as well.

          • Well, I don’t want to exaggerate FF’s decline, haha. It’s still Final Fantasy, and granted, while we do see a lot of vitriol on the Internet, it is the Internet. :P

            Who knows… maybe Versus will come out in 2013 or 2014, and along with another game in the future, will help give the brand some credibility again. I do think FF has declined but not so badly that it’s going to roll over for X or Tales or any other RPG series.

            But yeah… I don’t think anything will have quite the same impact as FFXIII or MGS4 again.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Oh no, I certainly don’t see FF rolling over, but it’s had lots of bad press lately. Bad press on that side, plus good press for competing games could lessen the formerly bombshell announcement of “FF__ is coming to console XYZ!”

            As you said, Versus can probably bring some of that back, but I’m calling that one MIA until we get a new trailer. Screenshots mean nothing anymore, Nomura’s gotta give us something meaty lol.

            I’ll have to disagree on nothing having the same impact as XIII or MGS4. I can see one, one game’s announcement having that kind of impact: Kingdom Hearts 3.

            For as much as people complain about the story, the “tons of spin-offs”, and what have you, the fact remains that there’s a good segment of people waiting for that. That includes people who’ve followed the whole series and people who haven’t. I can’t count the people I’ve spoken to who don’t even play games anymore, but have said they’d buy a KH3 on consoles, the people I’ve overheard talk about KH3, or the legions of people on the internet who bring it up. I don’t want to overstate the relevance of any of those, but I do think KH3 can be big.

          • Agreed on KH3. That probably is the last big one that Square have left after Versus. And we know it’s coming… eventually.

            I guess the question is, what platform will it be on? Will it be an exclusive? I can’t imagine that being viable.

            Also, in the case of KH, that decision isn’t Square’s to make alone. It’s Disney’s, too, and as we’ve seen of late, their gaming division isn’t doing so hot. I can’t see Disney seeing any benefit to making an exclusive Kingdom Hearts console game for any one platform.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I hadn’t thought of Disney’s say in the matter, but I’m of two minds on KH3’s exclusivity. On the one hand, KH3 on both Sony and Nintendo platforms makes sense. On the other, if the PS4 is the lead platform, what happens? They won’t gimp their golden goose. So do they make it PS4 and Xbox? It’ll be interesting to see.

          • Oh no. The Hood got to you!

          • Ah, your comment’s fixed now, haha.

            I think PS4/new Xbox is HIGHLY unlikely for KH3. In fact, I suspect KH3 won’t be on anything more powerful than PS3/360/Wii U.

            It just doesn’t make sense at this point, especially in Japan where consoles are more or less on a downward slope and they need the largest userbase they can get. IMO, the possibilities are: PS3/Wii U, PS3-exclusive, or PS3/PSV.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Sorry about that haha.

            I don’t know. I was thinking PS4/Xbox sounded crazy too but, unless the BBS/3D team gets reconsidered for the job, Nomura has previously talked about handling KH3 himself. Considering that he’s been involved with every game already, I felt that implied a more hands-on role like he had with KH/CoM/2. Looked at from that perspective, he won’t be free before this gen is up. Once he’s free, development will be another couple of years. We’re talking 2015 at the earliest. I don’t see Squenix putting that franchise on last-gen hardware two years in.

            If Nomura does hand the job to the very capable BBS/3D team, we’re looking at KH3 for PS3 and Wii U. PS3/Vita is less likely, but plausible. SE has put literally nothing on Vita post-launch. Lord of Apocalypse was it, and it was exactly the same as it was on PSP. Squenix doesn’t seem keen on the platform. Why do a Vita version when the Wii U will have overtaken it in sales by the time they’re ready to announce the game?

            I think PS3/Wii U is most likely, with PS3 alone a distant second. With KH1.5 being PS3 exclusive despite the series being more popular in the west, I don’t think 360 is in the picture at all. If it’s on more than one platform, it’ll be on Wii U. If they pick one, PS3.

      • Elvick

        Soul Sacrifice… Demon’s Souls (granted SCEA missed the boat on that one)…

        And I’d argue that MS has more marketing know how. You couldn’t escape Halo 3 when it was being advertised for instance. You couldn’t even go to a gas station without seeing the Mountain Dew (which was delicious) for it.

        It’s just Nintendo has more blind brand loyalty with their IPs. So people will see it on a shelf and buy it for the fact it has Mario in the title. Not because their advertising is any better.

        Sony is terrible at marketing. No one can argue against that.

        • sandra10

          Folklore, Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke, and the CAMP games as well.

          It’s not that SCE(J) never tries to get Japanese games, it’s just that they didn’t find much to try to get. They’re more interested in high concept games and there aren’t too many great ideas coming from Japanese developers these days.

        • No, the difference is that MS are willing to spend more marketing dollars on Halo, whereas Nintendo have to spread their marketing budget across dozens of different games and genres, which was the reason for my comment.

          They know how to push Mario, but they also know how to push games like Style Savvy or Fire Emblem or Dragon Quest. People might buy Mario out of loyalty and/or comfort, but that’s literally the only one. Those other games aren’t easy sells and no other company as large as Nintendo even makes those kinds of games and brings them to the west.

          • Ben Sylvia

            I don’t know about anyone else, but for me personally I at least endeavor to give any 1st Party Nintendo game a chance.
            As long as I’m not getting meals out of a dumpster at the time XD

          • Elvick

            You’re saying Mario is the only one that people buy out of comfort? Really?

            Pokemon, Zelda… :/

            And, Sony; Tokyo Jungle, Gravity Rush, Patapon, LocoRoco, do I have to really continue? Never mind the other stuff they do and fund that no one else does. Heavy Rain, Journey, Flower, flOw, The Unfinished Swan, Papo & Yo.

            And Nintendo doesn’t make Dragon Quest. So I don’t know why you even brought it up.

          • ronin4life

            Because they marketed it for SE overseas. And Zelda isn’t really a big seller.
            Not to mention those games you listed aren’t exactly big names in the industry… in Sony’s stable perhaps. But they are small fry compared to bigger franchises people pay heavy attention to, like Fire Emblem or Monster Hunter. Those Nintendo backed titles aren’t as isolated, inexpensive or niche as those Sony listed ones, many of which required minimal localization effort.

          • What do Heavy Rain, Journey and all of those other games have to do with supporting third-parties in Japan?

            We were clearly talking about Japanese games from the very start of this discussion, so why are you constantly trying to throw the discussion off-the-rails? And again, third-party collaborations, not internal development. LocoRoco, Gravity Rush, Patapon etc. are all internal Sony projects.

            On the third-party side in Japan, Sony have done little to help themselves or developers. PS3 was hard to develop for and sold like crap for the first three years, which has caused a lot of third-parties in Japan a significant amount of trouble this generation around. The response was for most companies to go permanently multiplatform, which may not have happened otherwise.

            Microsoft did way more to help Japanese developers get started on HD development at the start of this generation than Sony did. They provided support and marketing to Capcom, Namco, Square etc. Mistwalker wouldn’t even exist without Microsoft. They’ve also supported a whole bunch of smaller companies like Cave, 5pb. and so on.

        • ronin4life

          “Blind brand loyalty” is a little harsh.

          And Sony dropping the ball on demon souls may be the perfect showcase of their behaivor this whole last gen; what was a great exclusive lost to arrogant behaivor. Monster Hunter was lost in the same way.

          Marketting has little to do with it. Uncharted was Marketed heavily in the us AND japan. Their attitude, lack of ubderstanding of market behaivor and trends and lack of willingness to work along side partners has far more relevence.

          • Elvick

            They didn’t lose Demon’s Souls. They own the IP. Ever notice how it’s not Demon’s Souls 2 and Demon’s Souls 3? O: SCEJ obviously saw something in it, which is why Japan Studio helped to develop it. And why Sony funded it’s development.

            SCEA and SCEE =/= Sony.

            Not like NoA is without it’s faults. Look at how much work we had to go through to get Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. The last two being pushed off to Xseed. Which is hardly that different than when Xseed took over bringing out Wild Arms for Sony, or when Atlus brought out Demon’s Souls.

            Sony is clearly fine with letting a 3rd party publisher bring over what they aren’t willing to do. Which is all we can ask for in the long run. With some other publishers, it’s them or nothing at all.

            Marketing has everything to do with it. Sony develops too much to advertise to the level of MS and Nintendo. And they don’t have the brand power that allows Nintendo to easily work within their more limited advertising budget compared to MS. Plus, Nintendo is overall better at marketing.

            Shove out any commercial with Pokemon and it’ll do well, even if it’s a spinoff. It doesn’t matter if the commercial is effective at telling what the game is. As long as the “It’s Pokemon” is clear as day, it’s good to go. Add in an actually good commercial, which is usually the case with Nintendo and it’s a clear cut case.

            Same can’t be said for Sly Cooper for instance. And if it gets any marketing at all, it will probably be stupid and focus on some guy in a racoon suit for 30 seconds while showing the game for 2 seconds.

            And they work with many partners. I don’t know what world you people live in. Santa Monica housed thatgamecompany and assisted them in developing all their games with Sony. And they’re doing the same with Giant Sparrow. They have had the pub fund, giving indie developers funds to bring their games to the PS3 (which are also usually out on PC, so it’s not like it’s that self serving).

            And they had Insomniac working exclusively for their platforms for *ages* and still making exclusive content. They worked with Sucker Punch, Media Molecule both of which they ended up aquiring. They work with Quantic Dream closely as well.

            Sony makes mistakes. Nintendo makes mistakes. MS makes mistakes. They all do. There’s little reason to ignore the faults of one, only to point out the same flaws that are shared in another.

          • ronin4life

            Okay, I’ll have to do this in pieces…@[email protected]
            Yes, they DID lose Demon souls. Why hasn’t there been a 2nd? there was: Dark Souls, which is a multi platform title. Sony owns the name only, because they gave the rest to from software. Why? because they didn’t think it would be successful, and wasn’t worth holding on to.

            In comparison, Nintendo still fully owns those rpgs you listed, which I think were always bound for the US anyway… the fact Nintendo was so willing to give it to them off the bat kind of shows this.

            And once again, I am not talking of 2nd party here: Nintendo has a slew of 2nd party collaborations of their own that easily match Sony. Unlike Sony, they also have heavy 3rd party relations; Level 5, Capcom, SE, Bamco and recently Atlus and Platinum games. All have had intertwined business with Nintendo beyond making exclusive games for their platform. Nintendo published Professor Layton in the west for years, and now Level 5 doesn’t need them to anymore. Bayonetta 2 was saved by Nintendo, Dragon Quest marketed by Nintendo, and perhaps most importantly is Capcom: Not only has Nintendo helped out with Monster Hunter over seas(Something sony actually impeeded) but Nintendo let Capcom develop a Legend of Zelda game for them… I believe multiple times.

            None of these companies are owned by Nintendo or deal only with Nintendo historically like your listed Sony studios. And that is the major difference in signifigance.

            And yes, they all make mistakes. Often, in any “competition”, it isn’t about who does the greatest things, but who makes the fewest and least stupid mistakes. And in my mind, one great mistake Sony and MS have been making for awhile now is thinking they haven’t been making as many as they are, while one only needs to read the comments made by Iwata to see how Nintendo is facing its problems and challenges head on while working to correct their misteps.

        • I buy nintendo because there’s usually more appealing stuff on their for me that isn’t always grittiness but still unique….and I like Kirby. Like really really like Kirby. Even with me saying that, the on home console I have for this generation at the moment is a PS3 and still working on getting a Wii. I have a chubby PSP and DS brick–both of which I am trying to upgrade through until I hit a Vita and a 3DS XL respectively–but that costs money which I unfortunately don’t have a ton of right now.

          And that’s not even to say that the PS3 hasn’t had some unique stuff on it, and they have been a lot more user friendly towards their indie developers and downloads than Nintendo and not as shoddy with their online service as the N or Microsoft (though they still beat the pants off of the other two with speed), a lot of the practices they have abide by this time around have done a grand deal in their favor, though when you’re still moving units to make money it doesn’t matter much until you’re not making as much money.

          Within the next 3-5 years, we will end up seeing
          Nintendo improving a great deal with how they have handled their business methods, and hopefully with them doing more collaborative work with developers big and small it will spread out and start getting other companies in the gaming industry to do the same. We as people enjoy entertainment, as the type of people we are we enjoy games, but at the same time we have to remember that this is a business, they have to earn money, at the same time they have to satisfy not just the consumers properly but the people that work within the business to bring the best quality services and products possible.

          Also, the NES, SNES, and Gameboy/GBA had some pretty good games while I was growing up, so that’s a thing.

      • When did Microsoft ever get along with Japan?

        Oh wait. [email protected]?

        • 1. They funded Mistwalker. That studio wouldn’t exist without their help and they developed two high-profile exclusives for the 360 (Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey).

          2. Dead Rising exclusivity from Capcom, since PS3 wasn’t on the scene at the time.

          3. Lots of support for Namco Bandai. Eternal Sonata + Tales of Vesperia exclusivity in the west. Without Microsoft’s help, Namco would have had a tough time preparing for HD development.

          4. Square Enix support. The Last Remnant. Infinite Undiscovery. FFXIII going multiplatform and remaining that way all throughout. FFXI going multiplatform to 360 as well.

          5. Supporting niche developers in Japan like 5pb and Cave.

          6. Support for Japanese developers making Kinect games.

      • ronin4life

        This comment by Iwata just screamed “good luck playing Bayonetta 2 anywhere else”more definitively than any other before.

        Monster Hunter too, for that matter.

    • I’ve always felt that Nintendo’s moves in the gaming space have been very calculated. I think that has primarily to do with the fact that they are first and foremost a game company, while the others do have other assets if their game divisions fail. Of course, should M or S lose said divisions they would be in rather dire straights, but I digress. I think the Wii U is going to be a serious competitor for the next PS and Xbox, as they are reportedly working with a level of tech above that of the current consumers to utilize. I mean, who actually has a tv capable of displaying in 4K?

      • Solomon_Kano

        The 4K stuff is still rumors, but I don’t think that’ll lose them any customers. Even in the rumors, 4K is there in addition to HDMI. That rumors most likely false though, as Kaz said 4K will probably take a whole decade to catch on.

        I do agree that the Wii U will be a competitor. Nintendo is bringing what Nintendo’s always brought: games. As it stands now, they’re looking to aggressively bring the Wii U exclusive content that easily could have sold elsewhere, but now will only sell for them. Bayonetta 2 was wanted by PS3 and 360 gamers. Now, if they really want it, they’ve got to pony up for a Wii U. People have been wondering what Hideki Kamiya’s been up to, well, that’s only on Wii U. Monster Hunter on consoles! Only on Wii U. If Nintendo keeps at that, they’re going to be tough to challenge.

        They already have guaranteed sales from Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros., etc. They know that. So now they’re looking to attract people who aren’t swayed by those names. And, speaking as someone who’s last Nintendo home console was the N64, they’re doing a damn good job of it. E3 is going to be a crucible for MS and Sony.

        • Exactly, it’ll be like that exclusivity deal between Nintendo and 3rd parties back when the NES was out, and Sega was hurting big-time because of that.

    • ronin4life

      In my mind, Nintendo and pc with steam have already set up a kill box for any other consoles for the forseeable future.

      With sony/ms having few exclusive 1st party games and nearly all their 3rd party titles shared between themselves and what is becoming a superior set-up on pc, this plants them inbetween 2 extremes; Nintendo full of exclusives and Pc-Steam full of incredible benefits(and exclusives as well)

      • Solomon_Kano

        MS has few first-party exclusives. The only thing Sony has is first-party exclusives. In the west, these exclusives are the only thing keeping them in competition with MS. In Japan, their exclusives and all the multiplatform games a western consumer might pick for 360, are only available on PS3. That relationship will most likely continue into the next gen.

        I don’t think it’s so cut and dry a victory for Nintendo, at this point. Microsoft is a question mark because they only have Halo and Gears of War, neither of which win them points outside of the US and Europe. Moving forward Sony still has the support of Japan’s big publishers, first-party titles that sell in the west, and multiplatform games for a Japanese audience that’s shunned the 360 or to be used in addition to their own games to entice consumers in the west.

        Nintendo can come out on top, but they aren’t a sure-fire winner just yet. They’ve got lots of big plans for the Wii U, but we need to see them put into motion. Right now, we don’t have many locked-down titles for Wii U for 2013. They’ve given us some long-term bullet points that will definitely sell for them, but we don’t know how far off most of these are. Smash Bros., Mario, Zelda, and Mario Kart guarantee the Wii U sells. But that’s been the case with all Nintendo platforms. This new initiative towards 3rd-parties also does nothing but help them sell more.

        Without knowing the next-gen plans for Sony and MS though, I’m reluctant to just declare Nintendo king of the hill. We know they’re doing and will do well. But we don’t know what anybody else has up their sleeves yet. I think we should wait to see how E3 goes before we get that far ahead.

        As for Steam and PC… well, PC’s had exclusives since the beginning and Steam’s been around since before the PS3/360/Wii. The console game market exists because people wanted simplicity. The average consumer wants to hook their system up to the TV and play, not have to worry about upgrading parts, installing drivers, and so on and so forth. If the Steambox really takes off, then PC may become a factor. As it stands now though, there’s no reason to believe PC and Steam are a threat to anybody in the console space. Steam’s been around for two gens with no effect so far so, pending an amazing turn-around on part of the Steambox, I don’t see that changing now. PC has been around since before consoles, has always had more games than consoles, and has always had more benefits than consoles. In spite of this Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft have all managed to carve out significant space to call their own in the consumer games market at one point or another.

        Until we hear that the Steamboxes are all <$300, streamline upgrading, and packing an incredible marketing campaign, I don't see them being a factor in future consoles chances.

        • ronin4life

          The reason I see PC as a major factor is that I have seen many commentors declare their newly found love for the steam platform. PC gaming isn’t what it was during the early wii/360 years: pc rigs are cheaper, steam offers much better deals and incentives and most people will buy a pc for other things anyway. In my mind, the ease of use barrier is already severly broken even without steam box.

          As for Nintendo’s King of the Hill status, I do agree… but I feel I have enough to go on to predict potential patterns with a degree of certaintity. Both Capcom SE have been known to have potentially major games planned for wiiu, Bandai namco is in the bag due to SSB and other devs are taking note or already on board in the background. While the nature of 3ds support is a totally different beast, I still think there is definetly some transitioning between the two platforms in regard to support, especially due to the partnerships coming out of it. And I feel The Vita can very well be having an impact on Sony in the same way.

          Some western devs haven’t been keeping it a secret that they are working torwards next gen, but Japanese devs? They have said very little about anyone but Nintendo and wiiu. While that means little in the grand scheme of things, I do think it is worth noting.

          • Solomon_Kano

            You do have a point, things have changed on PC. But simplicity is still the rule of the day.

            Apple has a vicegrip on the smartphone and tablet markets for a reason. They take away the “bother” of customization, in favor of a simple, controlled ecosystem. You can’t upgrade memory, you can’t set everything up exactly how you please, but these devices sell in excess of their competitors by a vast margin. Perhaps, there may be differences in ease of use from what it once was on PC, but the fact remains that consoles are still easier to use. Apple’s dominance proves that consumers are willing to give up choice for things like simplicity and aesthetic. The majority of consumers are interested in simplicity from their technology, that’s why most people don’t own gaming-ready rigs to start with.

            If PC has already made the changes it needed to, then what changes its relationship to consoles moving into next gen? The price has already come down, there have always been exclusives, and Steam is better than anything else already. So what changes?

            As for Nintendo, if we’re going to look at this based on pattern, then what do we have to indicate that Capcom and SE’s potential Wii U exclusives will remain such? Capcom’s “exclusive” 3DS RE game just jumped ship and Final Fantasy is now on 360 and PS3. Pattern tells us that neither is in the business of maintaining exclusivity. There’s another thing to take into account: if the PS4 and next Xbox really do outmatch the Wii U’s power by a wide enough margin, we return to the situation we have this gen with multiplatform games on PS4/Xbox being Capcom’s focus. They’ll continue to support the 3DS and they won’t ignore the Wii U, but that scenario is still possible. And pattern shows it’s likely, if the Wii U does lag behind in that regard. Square Enix has been a staunch supporter of portables period, with the 3DS replacing the PSP for them. On console, they have no allegiance. They’re tougher to pin.

            While Namco Bandai is assisting with Smash Bros. that says nothing of how they as a publisher will approach the next gen. They are very much concerned with the anime market, and that market is very much centered on the PS3. With the Wii U already not including blu-ray and the PS4 guaranteed to, it can be expected that the PS4 will see the same audience. Maybe not in the same magnitude, but that is where Namdai’s primary consumer will be.

            Regarding Japanese devs and next gen, that front’s just been quiet in general. Capcom is on board the Wii U, Nintendo’s devs are on board, Tecmo Koei is on board. Square Enix, Namdai, and Konami are still playing the waiting game while they continue to support the PS3/360. NIS is still on PS3, Platinum can go either way, Level-5 is focusing on 3DS rather than any console, and others are still on PSP even. Atlus is on Wii U because Nintendo is co-developing the game, thus it’s an easier investment for them. P5 is still for PS3 (and possibly 360) and SMT IV is on 3DS, so nobody can tell what their plans are.

            In truth, most Japanese devs just aren’t talking about moving on at all. To Wii U or otherwise. Tri-Ace has developed a next-gen engine, so we know they have plans to move. Square Enix has Luminous, which the Wii U likely won’t support since it’s in line with the 360 and PS3 which don’t support Luminous. Konami has Fox, so they have plans for next gen. Everybody else is either staying where they’re at or keeping quiet. Why is it that Capcom, one of the largest Japanese publishers and easily the most globally-minded, hasn’t commented on next-gen at all? I don’t think it’s because they aren’t preparing, but because there’s nothing to be announced. Devs can’t start talking next-gen games when we don’t have next-gen consoles.

            One way or the other, the rest of this year should clue us in on some things regarding next gen. I’m definitely interested in seeing if we’re right about any of what we’re saying, or if it ends up completely different. Good talk.

      • I wouldn’t call it a “kill box” in the least. For a consumer, yes, PC + Nintendo looks like a winning combination because you get the best of both worlds, with the omission of a few exclusives from Microsoft and Sony that will never be on PC.

        But for Nintendo themselves, they’re hardly a “killbox” to anyone. Third-party support for the Wii U is mostly non-existent in the west, while all major Japanese support thus far is in the form of collaborations.

        • ronin4life

          I think those collaborations will have a lasting effect… and my Killbox statement was more about the coming market pressure, intentional or not, that I see MS and Sony stepping into, based on everyones repective behaivor.

          Western Devs seem to dislike Exclusivity, Nintendo currently controls the Japanese market(and can nearly all but clinch it with the WiiU if they make good use of their headstart and Sony doesn’t work to maintain its support) and PC has started to become a sort of rising star… I think MS and Sony have their work cut out for them.

          • Nintendo controls the Japanese portable market, but nothing whatsoever has suggested that they control anything on the Wii U third-party support front, outside of the announced and unannounced collaborations.

  • Go2hell66

    has everyone completely abandoned flash?
    atm moment i’d kill for a device with flash support

    • zero254

      There are tons of android tablets that work with flash games just fine.

      And if you don’t like android you can run a pure linux setup on some portable devices. Same goes for home ones.

      Honestly though flash is slow and resource hogging in the cpu department these days.

  • Good move, Nintendo. Let’s see if it works out.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    So we’re getting some news on indie games on Nintendo systems at GDC? Fantastic, I’ve loved what I’ve bought so far. Iwata also said there’s news on big third parties, do we know when that’s supposed to happen?

  • Pockystix

    keep them RPGs coming~

    you’re on a roll~

  • miyamoto

    That Wii U Gamepad: curse or a blessing?

    • sd28

      bit of both really

  • Jon

    Finally, someone doing something about the rising video game costs.

  • Göran Isacson

    Maybe I’m just being dumb today, but I’m not really getting how they’re combatting higher development costs here. Are they helping out smaller companies with money and manpower? Or are they changing something inside their machines that will make it easier to make games for them?

    • J_Joestar

      they are basically supplementing the development cost with either cash support or manpower.

      • Göran Isacson

        I see. A risky gamble that I hope works out for them, since it probably means they will have to take a cut if the games sell well AND take the hit if they don’t.

  • Isn’t the WiiU’s web browser already pretty good with HTML5 support? You could probably start making games for it already– of course not natively.

  • Locklear93

    As little as I generally like Nintendo, this is precisely the kind of thing Sony needs to be doing to help draw third parties to the Vita.

    • I believe PlayStation Mobile is their attempt at doing that, at least on the indie side.

      • Locklear93

        Indie games are great. I love ’em. They’re not system sellers though, and that’s what the Vita so desperately needs right now.


    This is what SCE should have done for Japanese developers on the PS3, alas…

  • Tianyu Wei

    Isn’t this the exact same thing what Microsoft did with their x360… Paying for exclusives… but less “straight” or “evil” cuz they are Nintendo…

    • J_Joestar

      there is a slight difference in that Nintendo isn’t just throwing cash but manpower as well.

    • Let’s leave the idiotic comments out of these discussions please.

  • Looks like they’re trying to do what MS did this gen and just throw a bunch of money at third party devs. It wouldn’t get under my skin so much if their console wasn’t so underpowered and region locked.

    • ronin4life

      Microsoft still is litterally throwing money. Sony too.

      Nintendo are building billateral partnerships that benefit everyone, not just the pubs and platform holders.

      • Solomon_Kano

        I don’t know about Sony throwing money. They’ve been in the red for far too long to let their games division have spent this gen paying for games. Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter, the biggest third-party exclusives on console and portables, both made the jump to multiplatform or other platforms entirely. Sony’s in the business of praying their own games sell or counting on third-parties to sell for themselves, not spending more money than necessary. If they were throwing money the Vita wouldn’t be drowning, still.

        MS, definitely. The timed exclusive games, timed exclusive DLC, jumping on publishing digital games so they remain exclusive to XBLA, etc.

        You’re right on Ninty, though.

        • ronin4life

          Sony has had buckets of permanetly exclusive dlc for the past year or 2. And that is what I mean: instead of working with pubs and companies outside their circle, they are too busy bidding on exclusive content for Multi platform games.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Really? Interesting. The only exclusive DLC I can really think of is from EA and Ubisoft, the other exclusive DLC I can think of is for exclusive games.

            More than big publishers though, Sony’s spent this gen cultivating relationships with smaller developers to bring content to PSN. I don’t think we can accurately call that “their circle”. While they may not be funding further developments from the likes of TK, or Atlus, or what have you, I think they’ve done right by stepping in for the likes of thatgamecompany, Minority, Giant Sparrow, and others.

            Sony’s Pub Fund is the best thing any of the 3 have done for developers this gen. It’s a help to developers and it’s also a help to expanding the realm of possibility for the digital distribution market on consoles altogether, not just on Playstation. Hell, thanks to their funding Journey, thatgamecompany is now large enough to make multiplatform games. I think there’s honest value in what Sony’s done in that space, even if it doesn’t get us Bayonetta 2 or SMT x FE.

          • ronin4life

            The only thing I can think to add to this point of duscussion is Sony isn’t exactly special or alone in its outreach to small and indy companies, though there contributions are certainly great the last few years. Steam has started to foster greater support, and Nintendo has taken great strides with its eshop by removing barriers still exsitant on Sony and MS platform(s).

            In my opinion, Nintendo has started to take pretty great steps to furthering development of a wide array of games from multiple sources big and small and everywhere in between. Further(and this is just straight up personal interpretation coming from me) They don’t seem as picky as Sony in choosing specific teams to offer support.

            Anyway, all these discussions have been great, and have give me quite a bit more to consider. I am greatly interested in seeing how things progress in the industry…looks like things are bound to get really interesing real soon. ^0^/

            Thanks for the discussions!

          • Solomon_Kano

            Anytime. It’s always good to have a discussion like this with people who know what they’re talking about and don’t fly off the handle.

      • Elvick

        Because supporting developers like thatgamecompany doesn’t benefit everyone. Or the industry as a whole.

        Or Quantic Dream… nope. Not at all. More mainstream b/s amirite?

        • ronin4life

          If QD is the Heavy rain company, then I respectfully lol. While not “mainstream”, a movie masquerading as a game in my mind isn’t exactly ground breaking or original.
          (though that is just my thoughts on the matter, and would feel quite stupid were I wrong about who QD is…>.>)

          Besides, I am talking completely 3rd party companies, not 2nd party or locked in 3rd party. Sony isn’t exactly alone in its 2nd party spread in quantity, quality or originality, let alone ahead. But in regards to companies like Capcom, or even smaller companies like Level 5? They haven’t been all too supportive, more concerened with exclusive dlc than original games. More concerened over all with what they can have for themselves and not what may be best overall, and that has been their stance all gen.

          It led them to losing Demon Souls. It led them to losing Monster Hunter. Insomniac. Some could argue that pimping out the ps3 was a move in arrogance that put off devs, losing them GTA and FF from the last gen… and now, instead of working with the industry to fix their problems, they focus on a couple studios and buy up dlc.

    • Not quite. Microsoft bought off exclusives that they didn’t necessarily have a hand in developing. They simply paid for their development and marketing and published them. A lot of what Nintendo’s doing is co-development deals (or in the case of Bayonetta, rescuing dead projects).

  • Yuriangels

    just as long I get to see more jrpgs come to american. I’ll be happy!!

  • Ulicies

    Wow. I literally read this entire discussion, and you guys had some really long posts, but it was an interesting read. Kudos.

  • Ricardo C

    As long as NoA will localize Fatal Frame games I’ll be happy since I dont use Nintendo consoles for any other game series except for Fatal Frame. Not even other Nintendo console games except for Pandora’s Tower got to me. The Japanese versions of Fatal Frame are nice and all but it would be much much nicer if other people who dont understand one nick of Japanese to enjoy them too! I assume Spirit Camera (Fatal Frame spin off) was only localized because it used the AR feature to it’s advantage and that was it!

  • Zenthos

    Are they saying anyone can develop their own indie game, or do they have to pay an expensive fee just to get content out there? They should just add linux if they want to make life easier for anyone.

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