Nintendo Are “Looking At” Bringing Unity To Nintendo 3DS

By Ishaan . March 20, 2014 . 11:00am

At GDC, Siliconera caught up with Nintendo’s Damon Baker, who is the Senior Manager of Marketing at Nintendo’s of America’s Licensing department. One of the questions we asked Baker is whether Nintendo have plans to bring the Unity engine to Nintendo 3DS.

 

Last year, Nintendo announced a partnership with Unity Technologies, through which the two companies created a Wii U-specific version of the widely used Unity engine, making it easier for developers to bring their games to the platform. To sweeten the deal for developers, Nintendo arranged it so that buying a Wii U development kit comes with a free copy of Unity as well.

 

As a result, a large number of indie games using Unity are in the pipeline for Wii U—alongside PC and other consoles—which will help fill a gap in the platform’s sparse library in the months to come.

 

Unfortunately, since Unity isn’t supported on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s portable system tends to be harder to port games to, often requiring 3DS-specific optimization. And while the Nintendo eShop for 3DS already has a fairly large library of exclusive games, it never hurts to accommodate more developers and make development easier, especially given the system’s install base of 42.74 million. With that in mind, we put the question to Baker: are there plans for Unity to come to 3DS?

 

“We’ve had those discussions and we are definitely looking at that,” Baker replied.

 

“Our priority was to get the Wii U build [of Unity] up and done and ready. Because we need a test environment for it, it’s taken a while for Unity to get finalized on Wii U, so that we can actually test against it. So that has been made available now and that is why we’ve got all of these [game] candidates waiting in the wings that are just going through the submission process at this point.”

 

“Now, we can move on to other platforms and see how we can make those compatible,” he continued, “either with Unity or with additional middleware providers as well.”

 

“So, 3DS is definitely an exciting platform for us, because we’ve got a huge install base, and we want to take advantage of that. We’ve got a lot of developers that want to take advantage of it. So, we’re working towards that as well. But nothing to announce at this time.”


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  • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

    Cool!

  • Nintendojitsu

    The indie revolution starts here!

  • ZnTxn

    And here comes the barrage of all slenderman/horror games! /sarcasm

    In all seriousness, this should make the WiiU/3ds more approachable to third parties and indies.

  • Shippoyasha

    I kind of hope they let the floodgates open but I doubt they will be that open toward some of the riskier content Japanese creators have been making on it. We’ll see.

  • Guest

    This opens a great possibilty for more independient developers, they can create games for this successful platform. The install base is big and there are good possibilities with the hardware, and even some unexplored genres 3DS owners might like, looking forward to this becoming a reality!

  • transferstudentx

    Bringing Unity To Nintendo 3DS systems = region free systems is it my fault that i misunderstood this ?

    • yomachaser

      Wait what? What does unity have with region locks?

      • http://resettears.wordpress.com/ Reset Tears

        Unity as in the general usage of the word, rather than the name of the game engine.
        If you don’t know names of game engines then the title of this article is confusing; at least it was for me.

        • yomachaser

          Oh okay that makes some sense.

    • kylehyde

      Sorry to say this, but is totally your fault

      • transferstudentx

        lol ok its my fault i got it you guys are way too bored to respond to this massage lol

  • yomachaser

    I hope this helps add more games to the catalog but the truth is many simply won’t ever come over because they can’t run on the 3ds’ meager specs.

    I pray they come with a high spec machine for it’s replacement.

    • ronin4life

      Indy games are rarely so intensive. 3DS can run most just fine.

    • tubers

      They can mostly scale them down anyway.

    • Guest

      Besides what everyone here said, why only think in ports?
      3DS is a successful platform, if this happens there can be new concepts for 3DS from the ground up.

  • Godmars

    They’ve been “looking into” for over a year?

    All I’m hearing is that they’re too arrogant, that the 3DS is doing well enough, that they don’t have to worry about. That when they do it will likely be too late.

    • Kouji Tamino

      Wow, nice projection there.

      • Godmars

        Projecting what? From whom?

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Wut? U think making something to work is as easy as pushing a button here?

      • Godmars

        i think that looking at is a different term than moving forward. That for all the of admission of having problems Nintendo hasn’t done much in the way of successfully solving them. That right now there isn’t really anything broken with the 3DS so they aren’t trying to change things.

    • yomachaser

      No it’s a huge technical challenge because the 3ds is super weak but since it is so successful they are still looking at how much they can and cannot squeeze into a pipeline for it.

      I would love to know what they would be too late for exactly.

  • Kolibri

    If we can deal with non-tactile versions of iPhone/Android games, I sign right now !

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    indie revolution 3DS, New Model confirmed

  • T-X

    Thought I read “Demon Baker” there for a sec….

  • CirnoLakes

    I’m excited about the potential this has for multiplatform releases.

    Though I’m sad to say, more so the idea of more 3DS games coming to other platforms. So much as games from other platforms coming to the 3DS.

    In either case, I’m sure we’re all happy for more multiplatform games. And more developers who want to make multiplatform games, because they’re easier to make and port. I really like what unity is doing to make porting an easy and inexpensive process that more developers are interested in.

  • Guest
  • Frankie

    Armillo is bad. I have played it at meetups. I do hope the other indie games do well for the Wii U though. Getting Unity was a good move, but they should try and get Unreal 4 as well. With the low pricing model and advantages over Unity, I can see indie devs using it.

  • Daniel Golightly

    Already beaten? 150+ indie games coming before next June. You’re out of your mind.

  • Shippoyasha

    There are some adult oriented experiences I have a hard time seeing land on any Big 3 company systems whether they are pure indies or not. Some because of their subject matter and some that are unlicensed fan works of an intellectual property.

  • Shippoyasha

    Yep. And a lot of fan games of other game/anime franchises

  • Frankie

    Have you seen Unreal 4? It is $20 a month and you get all the source code. Devs just pay 5% of what they sell the game for. And the new blue print language and no more unreal script, all C++, make it much more appealing.

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    3DS isn’t that powerful. It has some great built-in shaders that allow 3DS games to look beautiful when developers put the effort in, but as far as geometry is concerned, 3DS can’t do what Gamecube could. Not without some very, very heavy optimization anyway.

  • yomachaser

    Are you…drunk? The 3ds is a fun system with a great library but it is super weak on the technical side.

    Many of the games on my shield could never run on my 3ds, it simply lacks the ram to even try. Don’t confuse nice lighting effects for power.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Amen

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Yes, 3D is resource-intensive, but is also part of the system’s appeal, and most developers develop with it in mind. Even without 3D, though, the 3DS wouldn’t be capable of rendering large environments with bump-mapping like the Gamecube and Wii can. Not without frequent loading in between.

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