Developing on the Wii U, inside story

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Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:08 pm

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digit ... side-story

This is insanity. I'm a programmer and if a dev tool took a few minutes gathering variables every time I *CLICKED* on the code, I'd throw the machineout the window.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:04 am

Wow, that's a pretty harsh article, and for good reasons. I didn't realize the development scene was so bad, but combined with the lukewarm reception of the WiiU, it makes a lot of sense. Nintendo is in a really tough spot for sure. :(
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:13 pm

I can see the ff. reasons why Wii U is going to have a hard time:

1. The Xbone and PS4 are very similar, simplifying game development for both consoles.


2. it's like the chicken and the egg thing: Nobody will develop games for Wii U if there aren't many units sold, and Nintendo can't sell many units if gamers think there are few hit titles for the console.

3. As the article says, the SDKs and tool chains Nintendo is supplying devs is/was sorely lacking.

4. PS4 and Xbone both have much more powerful hardware underneath, as world+dog knows by now.

Jeez. Given how Nintendo is a veteran in the world of game consoles one would think they're past these teething problems. Perhaps if we were talking about a new entrant then I'd understand. But ... Nintendo? The creator of the successful NES, SNES, N64, and more recently, the Wii? Why did they bungle up so badly with their latest?
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:26 pm

I seem to recall that the Wii was the easiest console to code for (between the PS3 and Xbox 360). But regardless, Nintendo has to know that having easy development tools is crucial to bringing devs on board.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:30 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:I seem to recall that the Wii was the easiest console to code for (between the PS3 and Xbox 360). But regardless, Nintendo has to know that having easy development tools is crucial to bringing devs on board.

You probably didn't need to do anything with multiple cores or even managing a lot of assets, considering how much weaker than the PS3 or 360 it was. Heh.

I don't believe Nintendo actually knows anything when it comes to current tech.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:39 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:I seem to recall that the Wii was the easiest console to code for (between the PS3 and Xbox 360). But regardless, Nintendo has to know that having easy development tools is crucial to bringing devs on board.


True but for the wrong reasons, lol. It took many less people-hours developing for a single core non-HD system. And compared to developing for the likes of the Cell, too.

I heard the 360 was great to develop on and Microsofts tools were awesome. Sony upped their dev tool game (well, bought someone out) midway into the consoles life, and are now pretty good on the PS4 too.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:48 pm

ronch wrote:Jeez. Given how Nintendo is a veteran in the world of game consoles one would think they're past these teething problems. Perhaps if we were talking about a new entrant then I'd understand. But ... Nintendo? The creator of the successful NES, SNES, N64, and more recently, the Wii? Why did they bungle up so badly with their latest?


Nintendo's schtick for the past few consoles & handhelds has been to make systems cheap enough that they can make a profit on the hardware, and use some gimmick (a second touch screen on the DS, the motion controls on the Wii, 3D on the 3DS) to compete against the more powerful hardware the competition is selling. The problem this time around is that they picked a crappy gimmick. If the Wii U was selling well developers would fight through the BS and make games for it.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:23 pm

Melvar wrote:If the Wii U was selling well developers would fight through the BS and make games for it.


Yup. Like the PS2, it was very hard to extract maximal hardware performance from and the dev tools sucked as well, but it sold so well developers basically had to.

The Wii was an exception, for being so much weaker than the other two that some games just couldn't run on it (imagine how much they would have to crap down Skyrim to run on the Wii :lol: )
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:26 pm

Do you guys think they may bring back the olden style 4 year console generation for this? It may piss a few million fans off, who probably expected 6-7 years, but if it continues to post below-Gamecube numbers...I dunno.


First things first though, they need marketshare to make developers deal with it, $199 Nintendo, $199. Sure, people make the argument that price cuts didn't save the gamecube, but it sure would have been worse off without them.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:17 pm

The Wii U isn't going to have a long cycle. It really needs to be about $99 and the controller is just too expensive for that.

Three of Nintendo's last four consoles have not done nearly as well as they hoped. The N64 sold 30 million units vs 104 million for the PS1. The Gamecube sold 20 million vs 157 million for the PS2. The Wii knocked it out of the park, selling 100 million vs 80 million each for the 360 and PS3. The Wii U has sold less than 5 million, and will be lucky to match the Gamecube by the end of its run. The PS4 has probably already outsold it, and the XBOne isn't far behind.

They'll never admit it before a press release announcing it, but Nintendo may get out of the console market. Probably not without trying one more time, but if the Wii U continues to be an unmitigated disaster and their next system doesn't set the world on fire like the Wii did they may decide that their software division can't prop up the hardware anymore.


As for the 4 year cycle, it really would be better for the customers to not scrape those last couple of years out of decrepit old hardware. The PS4 & XBOne are pretty decent right now, but if their cycle lasts as long as the last generation they won't be replaced until 2020, and that's too long.
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Re: Developing on the Wii U, inside story

Postposted on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:50 pm

GHS tools for debugging a video game? I have to admit I lol'ed, as only a GHS user can.

Nintendo's problems are a result of the decision to focus on low-resource "family" games and in-house franchises. Even during the NES/SNES heyday they had issues dealing with third-party developers.
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