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.”