"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."
Nintendo's position seems to be 1) improve appeal for 3rd parties, 2) boost the installed base to generate support, 3) more joint initiatives.
July Shareholders meeting:
“I will not share details on NX today but with regard to the launch of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U not necessarily having progressed well and not acquiring sufficient support from software publishers, we intend to offer NX through a Nintendo-like solution. Thank you for understanding that we are making various considerations and preparations in order to avoid what happened with the previous generations.
On a different note, I believe the standard for software publishers in selecting what hardware to provide their games for is the installed base after all. The larger the installed base or the more it is believed that the installed base will largely expand, there is an aspect that more software publishers are likely to join in.
On the other hand, Nintendo is collaborating with various software publishers. At E3, which was held in the U.S. and is the largest trade show in the video game industry, we received many proposals for joint initiatives. In addition, Japanese software publishers have close relationships with our licensing department on a regular basis. As for collaborations with software publishers or their games, please consider that there are various ongoing projects below the surface."
@Cubed777 Also back when PS2 released PC was sort of dead. Ok ok, PC fans will argue it wasn't, but this was before it was getting most of the big console games. The markets were a bit more separate back then.
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?
The "interesting games" are on PC & mobile these days as they're both primarily digital distribution platforms with open doors for independent developers who can scale game sizes and set their own prices, completely circumventing traditional Big Publisher gatekeepers.
The "interesting games" are on PC & mobile these days
I don't think much of anywhere is getting PS2 style games anymore. There are a ton of neat indie games sort of filling the void, but I miss those mid-budget games and some big budget more unique stuff. Especially if you prefer Japanese style games options have shrunk a bit.
PC is definitely leading with indie games but the consoles and handhelds have done pretty well in that arena lately too. I'm honestly surprised how many big indie games Wii U gets considering how mainstream publisher support is basically non-existent right now.
I think iOS shares the same issue that both the PS2 & Wii had. HUGE consumer base = TONS of shovelware.
But much like the console counterparts, iOS has a healthy library of meaty, "gamer-games". Of course one wouldn't have the slightest clue of this when all you see are adverts for Candy Crush and Game of War. Though the App Store is actually getting better with discovery with front page sections dedicated to Best New Games, Popular Games, Pay Once & Play (no F2P/IAP), etc.
I'd say iOS' strong suit for meaty games is the adventure/rpg category. It's also getting a TON of indies that you would traditionally see on console digital services like XBLA (Geometry Wars, Transistor, Dust: ET, This War of Mine, Don't Starve, etc.).
You'd be shocked by how many full-sized games are on the iOS platform. It's matured incredibly over the past couple years.
I have to agree with Zero here. There ARE some very interesting things on mobile/indie-PC, but none feel at all like the old PS2/Gamecube-weird-but-deep game experience.
Now, some of that may be that I'm playing on a 5 inch screen (never going to feel the same to me as a TV) but beyond that I find really great games... that fall way short. They are either needlessly complicated, or simple with no lasting depth.
The best example of what I'm looking for that has ever appeared on a mobile device is Plants vs. Zombies. It had fun, simple gameplay, but introduced new elements (gradually) and was beatable. So many freaking mobile games are unbeatable. They have no end, or if they do it's "more levels coming soon!" I don't want more levels. I want a complete, FINAL game, which - at the end - gives me a sense of having gone on a full journey.
It also doesn't help that I vastly prefer a controller to Mouse or Touchscreen. I just do. The DS-with-stylus is okay, too.
Well the original point was that both PC & mobile are at the forefront of creativity & diversity in the gaming space due in large part to the inherent nature of the platforms (digital delivery coupled with self-publishing & dynamic pricing models).
Neither ignorance to library selection or personal tastes in general have much to do with that.
I mean, just playing it strictly by a numbers makes it a bit of a no-brainer anyway. What does Steam have, like 6 thousand games on offer by most recent accounts? Don't even get started on the iOS storefront. Their latest count was 1.5 million Apps (though I don't know the split between Games & Other). That's some crazy numbers right there.
Yeah but numbers alone are meaningless. Very few of the iOS apps are really deep, engaging experiences. I'll give you that it has a lot of fun for 20 minutes at the bus stop type games but it just doesn't have that solid of a library for anyone looking for more.
Anyway this is an NX thread so... whatever. My only real point is that the iOS is a poor substitute for what was lost from the PS2 era, which doesn't have much to do with the NX either.
@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.
More than anything, remasters would be pivotal buffers, so Nintendo could have game releases for periods that wouldn't otherwise have them.
I don't think the Wii U ever really recovered from the delays of Pikmin and Rayman. That first-year drought was just too devastating. And if their inability to get something like Star Fox out is any indication, Nintendo's development time woes aren't going to go away any time soon.
Unless Nintendo really wants a repeat of that with the NX, they'd do best to have a contingency plan in the event of major game delays.
@SuperL If NX is really a handheld/home console hybrid, with all of Nintendo's devs focusing on building one shared library, then droughts may be much less frequent. Or, dare to dream, possibly even non-existent.
@carlosrox I dunno. It seems like a win to me. Bigger userbase, lack of 'wasted' development effort, a wider spread of games due to being able to satisfy franchise fans with one entry, rather than two... It keeps both the Mustaches AND the Grants of the world happy!
Maybe they'd lose the extra handful of sales of the same VC game across multiple platforms?
Since Nintendo traditionally makes money on hardware, they would definitely lose out on some money from people like most of us who buy both the handhelds and consoles. That's one of the reasons why I've been of the opinion that they're more likely to release multiple devices with a shared library than just one hybrid (plus affordability, power constraints of a handheld, etc.).
As far as software goes, it's also risky because one Mario Kart, no matter how popular, probably isn't going to sell as well the combined sales of a really popular handheld version, like Mario Kart DS, and a very popular console version, like Mario Kart Wii.. But the hope would be that they could use the resources required to make two versions and use those more efficiently. Have some people who would otherwise be making a new version make DLC, which is a great money maker, and the others make a completely different game which might diversify the lineup and bring more people into this system.
Certainly, from a third party perspective, combining the platforms and making the userbase bigger is a win win, since I don't think there are really any examples of third party franchises that had huge hits on handheld and console at the same time. Of course, it only works if the userbase actually is there and third party developer might look at recent 3DS and Wii U sales and say that even a combined Nintendo userbase wouldn't be worth the effort.
This whole NX thing has become a bit of a wish-fulfillment center for everybody. It's curious to see what exactly everybody wants from the next Nintendo hardware. What everybody seems to always miss with Nintendo, though, is that they are the only video game company that still actively targets children. So, which of the features discussed also make sense to a system that will have young children as a target demographic? I couldn't say, myself, but I think price will be critical. As Jargon's mentioned already, Nintendo often has the nerve to want to make money on hardware, so if that's the case, I really wonder how many of these rumors can be true. I'm super excited to find out, though, that's for sure!