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NX dev kit software is shipping now - for console & handheld (WSJ)
News reported by 
Editor
October 16, 2015, 16:23:16
 
From the Wall Street Journal based on 'sources':

"TOKYO— Nintendo Co. has begun distributing a software development kit for its new NX videogame platform, people familiar with the matter said, suggesting the company is on track to introduce the product as early as next year.

The kit is used by third-party software developers to modify existing games for the platform or create new ones. Videogame console makers such as Nintendo like to have popular game titles ready when they start selling new devices.

Nintendo’s current flagship products are the Wii U, a console typically used in the living room, and the portable 3DS device. Both have been out for several years, leading analysts to predict that the Kyoto-based entertainment powerhouse will move fairly swiftly to bring out the NX.

“We are increasingly of the idea that Nintendo might launch the NX in 2016 because of the softness of 3DS and Wii U,” said David Gibson, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities.

A Nintendo spokeswoman said the company plans to disclose details of NX next year.

Square Enix Co. said in July that it planned to make the latest version of its blockbuster role-playing game Dragon Quest for the NX. That version, called Dragon Quest XI, is also planned for the 3DS and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4.

The exact shape of the NX hardware isn’t yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.

Nintendo’s former president, Satoru Iwata, said in March that NX “is a platform dedicated for videogames.” Mr. Iwata died in July, and his post was assumed in September by Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who served as one of Mr. Iwata’s top lieutenants at Nintendo.

Mr. Kimishima is expected to carry forward the strategy of Mr. Iwata, a legendary figure for many videogame fans. In the months before his death, Mr. Iwata laid out plans to put Nintendo characters in games for mobile devices under a partnership with DeNA Co. and made a deal with amusement park operator Universal Parks & Resorts, which is part of Comcast Corp.

“Nintendo is no longer just a traditional videogame company,” said industry veteran Hirokazu Hamamura, a director at Kadokawa Dwango Corp., which publishes magazines about videogames."

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Posted: 10/16/15, 16:23:16    
 
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@GameDadGrant Yeah, GBA and GCN were released within the same year, though several months apart. That's as close as they have come in the past.

If both console and handheld run the same software, then they have good reason to release them both at the same time.


Posted by 
 on: 10/17/15, 21:26:32
@anon_mastermind
It would have to be software BC I think. They can't have another system within a system thing again, it's too expensive. Or, rereleased/remastered games. So many people didn't get to enjoy Wii U games and there are many who'd rebuy them with changes.

@GameDadGrant
I was talking about Stephen who quite clearly bit your old colors.

@anon_mastermind
It's gotta be 2016. 2017 is way too far off. They can't lose money for that long.


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 00:38:43
@anon_mastermind
Y'know, needing to maintain backwards compatibility could really hurt Nintendo, since it would compromise the system's efficiency (especially considering the cross-platform strategy). And BC, though awesome, hasn't really done them any favors, comercially-speaking.

But I'm sure they'll at least have an NX "Perfect Edition" of Smash and Splatoon (and probably Mario Kart and Super Mario Maker). Maybe even at or near launch.

This news is pretty exciting. Hopefully, the NX home console is at least a bit more powerful than the PS4. That strategy didn't work too well for the Wii U, but, honestly, will there even BE a next round of traditional consoles from Sony and MS? It's possible that this gen will last a very long time. A system slightly above parity with the competition will enable it to get ports of all of those exciting new-gen games, like... um...

uh...


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 02:31:43
@carlosrox

I stand by my statement.


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 04:15:07
Anand said:
@anon_mastermind
Y'know, needing to maintain backwards compatibility could really hurt Nintendo, since it would compromise the system's efficiency (especially considering the cross-platform strategy). And BC, though awesome, hasn't really done them any favors, comercially-speaking.
I agree with this.

I'd love BC, but not at the expense of NX being a better system. I feel the same way about the PS4...it sucks that it's not backwards compatible, but ultimately the PS4 is a better console by not sticking to the PS3 architecture. At the very least, I'd hope that backwards compatibility isn't a pressing concern with respect to the NX's system design. If they can find a way to do it, great, but getting the most out of NX software should be the primary objective.


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 04:20:15
@Anand@TheBigG753

That's particularly the case with all the controllers and peripherals and such that will have to be compatible if they want to make it backwards compatible.

If they are going for a more traditional controller this time around, I'd like to see them make sure that it has all features necessary to add Gamecube games to the Virtual Console library. That way, anyone who wants to play Gamecube and older systems can have all the staples in one place on the NX (hopefully without having to repay for them if they already have them on Wii U). And anyone who wants to play the more motion control focused library can keep their Wii U hooked up and play all the Wii and Wii U games there (and Nintendo would hopefully keep the Wii "VC" going on Wii U).


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 04:41:59
Apparently Microsoft claims that BC was their #1 requested feature for the Xbone when they revealed that little update.

At a guess there's probably more people that care about BC than some may think.


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 08:41:01
I really appreciate BC and hope it's somehow possible, but I won't get bent out of shape if it isn't.

I'm so excited to see this thing unveiled. Even at this age, there's always something exciting about new Nintendo hardware, because you just know that it's going to be something interesting. Hopefully it resonates with consumers and developers this time.


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 12:00:09
Yeah, be pragmatic, drop the BC. (Nintendo fans usually hold onto their old systems anyway.)

Also, don't bundle anything expensive with the console, just a regular controller. Keep it fairly capable and really competitively priced. Allow the Wii U Gamepad & the new handheld to work with the NX. That's the players' best option for 2nd screen gameplay or user content, eg. controlling Super Mario Maker Deluxe.

Release Remasters of Smash and Kart early, and get a new Splatoon in development ASAP. Make every handheld and console game playable on either hardware. And we're away...


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 13:36:24  - Edited by 
 on: 10/18/15, 13:37:12
I wouldn't care so much about BC unless it was Gamecube BC, because those are the games I'd really like to play again. So, instead, maybe we could get some digital releases of the big ones (Sunshine, Chibi Robo, Monkey Ball [if possible]) and then I'd be totally on board the "No BC" bandwagon.

I'd also be fine if Sony only had PS2 BC in future systems and not any of the other playstations. :P


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 17:12:19
@Infinitywave

Well, hopefully not a regular controller...

That patent about clickable scrollwheel shoulder buttons... those are the kind of cool new features I want!


Posted by 
 on: 10/18/15, 20:19:35
To speculate is something I really enjoy doing. I especially liked it when the Wii was announced and we had no clue how the new motion controls would work.

I think it'd be neat if the NX console and NX handheld were both just as powerful as the Wii U. Hear me out...

So both, the console and handheld, could play Wii U games at home or on the go but there's more. If the handheld is inserted into a sleeve/port that's on the console, the two are married and become one system. Two Wii U's duct taped together. When this happens "next gen" games can be played for the system.

I know a lot of time and effort goes into porting games for different platforms. What if the specs between the two systems are identical or at least proportional? Could Nintendo have a SDK that easily ports a game from a console version to a portable version? I understand that current ports are more than just saving textures in a different resolution and adjusting the polygon count on models. I just think it'd be easier to automate that kind of porting if the specs between the two systems were similar or identical.

So you'd have Wii U BC, Wii U on the go, and games that can be easily/automatically ported. Wouldn't this make the consumer AND game makers happy?


Posted by 
 on: 10/19/15, 17:03:31
@Abdooooo

Well, some consumers will never be happy. They will want BOTH the halfsie systems to be as powerful as they could be together, and do nothing but complain. It's a cool idea, though.

Question for those in the know: Why do video game console makers not just make hardware that can essentially have PC games ported directly with zero issue? I know it's tricky in terms of creating hardware that will last 6-10 years and all, but PC games are mostly scale-able, yes? So even if in 6 years the PC ports are at the low-end of the spectrum, you're still going to wind up with 1000 more games than this proprietary crap that is hard to develop for, right?

I guess I ask because I miss the PS2 days when we got LOTS of interesting games. These days it seems like each console has a handful (if that) of interesting stuff, but the libraries are tiny by comparison to the ol' PS2. I want more Katamari-level originality, dang it, but it would be very nice to have the next Just Cause game ported to the NX with no issue on the development side, encouraging the developer to release it on the NX because why not?


Posted by 
 on: 10/19/15, 20:48:52
Anand said:
@anon_mastermind

But I'm sure they'll at least have an NX "Perfect Edition" of Smash and Splatoon (and probably Mario Kart and Super Mario Maker). Maybe even at or near launch.


I would be ok with this, as long as my save data transferred over and I could get a discount if I owned the Wii U version.


Posted by 
 on: 10/19/15, 21:01:37
@anon_mastermind
Well, the save data should be a lock, at least!

@Jargon
To me, the peripherals are the easiest thing to make backwards compatible. They're just bluetooth, right? I think it's utter horseshit that the 360 and PS3 controllers aren't compatible with the Xbone and PS4. It's not something that I consciously considered when purchasing the console, but it's pretty freaking awesome that I was already set up for five player multiplayer on Day 1 of the Wii U at no additional cost.

Really, though, I wonder if the NX will spell out the death of the Wiimote. That would be kind of sad.

Having a new controller with innovative features (and shipping one in the box) could be cool, too, but I'd still like them to retain backwards compatibility for party games.

Also, what the hell are they going to do with the Gamepad? Maybe retain support, but also allow the NX portable to be used? Honestly, there are so many ways that they can go. Like in the pre-Wii period, there are just too many variables for accurate speculation.


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 02:12:37  - Edited by 
 on: 10/22/15, 02:14:15
@Abdooooo I don't think anything requiring people to buy two separate platforms to get the full power is ever a good idea. The market for that would be a fraction by default, so few developers would bother developing for it.


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 04:37:30
@Zero
I'm thinking of it as if the console version always includes the mobile version. I dunno, just a thought!


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 05:49:37
@Zero

The games could be scaleable. Few people have PCs with the power to run games on the best settings, but developers still make it possible.


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 05:56:47
Man I really have no idea what to expect from NX at this point. We don't even know what form factor it'll be. For all we know all this could be for their new handheld.

I sure hope they get the ball rolling very early 2016. Thank god that's only about 2 months away now. E3 would be an unbearable wait.


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 09:37:37
J.K. Riki said:
@Abdooooo

Well, some consumers will never be happy. They will want BOTH the halfsie systems to be as powerful as they could be together, and do nothing but complain. It's a cool idea, though.

Question for those in the know: Why do video game console makers not just make hardware that can essentially have PC games ported directly with zero issue? I know it's tricky in terms of creating hardware that will last 6-10 years and all, but PC games are mostly scale-able, yes? So even if in 6 years the PC ports are at the low-end of the spectrum, you're still going to wind up with 1000 more games than this proprietary crap that is hard to develop for, right?

I guess I ask because I miss the PS2 days when we got LOTS of interesting games. These days it seems like each console has a handful (if that) of interesting stuff, but the libraries are tiny by comparison to the ol' PS2. I want more Katamari-level originality, dang it, but it would be very nice to have the next Just Cause game ported to the NX with no issue on the development side, encouraging the developer to release it on the NX because why not?

It is purely sales numbers/audience. PS2 was the undisputed top seller (and followed after another top seller). PS2 hardware was a really difficult to work with. It was, perhaps, the furthest of the three consoles at the time from standard PC architecture. PS2 also had the specific audience/demographics that a lot of developers were looking for. So no, it wasn't easy to port from PC/to PC with PS2. They just budgeted to have it done.

So is it a good idea to make it easy to port to/from PC? Absolutely. But that isn't the whole story. Plenty of the standard PC architecture is wasted when compared to consoles--which focus on, essentially, one main thing.

It also isn't necessary to make a console/handheld proportional in power by any easy number. So long as they run on the same system and can receive the same calls from the software, the final capabilities don't have to be related by some easy ratio or something. It is literally as simple as having a variable: isOnConsole = {do this} Else {do this}.


Posted by 
 on: 10/22/15, 14:16:15
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