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NX dev kit software is shipping now - for console & handheld (WSJ)
News reported by 
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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I wonder if it is still true that Nintendo makes money on hardware? It has never seemed to be true for the Wii U, and the 3DS had to drop price very quickly early on. Perhaps there's a slight profit now.

Nintendo may not sell at a massive loss and get into the bloodthirstiest parts of the console wars, but I don't believe they see the hardware as the moneymaker - just a way to innovate and to make space for their own creativity. I'm sure I remember even in the Yamauchi era there was talk that they wish everyone could have their hardware for free, so they were able to buy games. If buying either an NX handheld or an NX console opens up the whole library to everyone that's a much bigger deal than earning a few bucks on two hardware sales.

It's all about that userbase.

Posted by 
 on: 10/23/15, 17:21:44
I guess hybrid was the wrong word, since I also think that there will be multiple consoles.

Posted by 
 on: 10/23/15, 17:33:53

Yea Wii U sold at a loss at least to start, but they definitely see some hardware as moneymakers. They made a tidy profit on the Wii itself and considering how many of those sold, that was a lot of money for them. No company would pass that kind of cash flow up if they can get away it. Don't forget they also cleaned up on other hardware like Wiimotes, nunchucks, motion plus dongles. And they still use proprietary chargers for their handhelds so you gotta think they see even those as money makers too or else they would go with micro USB.

There's also the issue of diversification. Imagine if they sold just one platform and it bombed. They wouldn't have anything else to keep them afloat, like the 3DS has helped them stay profitable despite the Wii U's struggles. They seem to be diversifying more with amiibo and licensing their stuff out more (theme parks, possibly movies) so maybe that would make it easier to go with one hybrid but it still seems risky.

Posted by 
 on: 10/23/15, 17:51:20
Jargon said:
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.

But consider that the games themselves are much more expensive to develop now that Nintendo has gone full HD. Miyamoto has said as much. And when the games cost more to make and sell far less then their predecessors (like MK8 and Smash 4 did), then they're already not making as much money off software than they did in the Wii/DS salad days.

Even if the NX isn't as powerful as the PS4/Xbone, the $$$ and manpower needed to make HD console games isn't going to change. You're right, though. It would be more efficient to just make DLC, since you don't have to start from square one.

Posted by 
 on: 10/23/15, 20:12:51
Well I doubt the hardware would be just one SKU. I'm not sure if anyone is saying that. That could definitely bite them in the ass.

NX is already confirmed to be a "platform", so if anything there'd be even more form factors than usual.

The issue with several form factors is allocation. It'd suck if by default they make less home NX systems because they figure the GO version will sell more (I'm guessing it will). We could face supply constraints. Lookit amiibo. Imagine that with their consoles.

Yeah budget is also a serious concern. It's no wonder Nintendo wanted to stick to SD gaming. One of the reasons I resent third parties so much was them pissing and moaning about development costs, yet rushing straight to the systems which yet again raised the very costs they bitched about!! Wii U was a way out, a way to keep game development cheaper, and they were coming off the Wii which sold gang busters!! Why the fuck didn't they just back the Wii U with actual games?! The thing woulda sold better if it wasn't fucking ignored by third parties! Everyone could have come out looking good if they backed the Wii U. But nooooooo, TEH GRAFIX come first!!
Would it have hurt them to design games around a system a bit more powerful than last gen? It's GAMES, not GRAPHICS that developers should be striving to make.

Turd parties barely bothered with Wii and bothered even less with Wii U.

Posted by 
 on: 10/23/15, 21:39:19  - Edited by 
 on: 10/23/15, 21:46:32
carlosrox said:

Turd parties barely bothered with Wii

I wouldn't say that. Wii had so many good exclusives last gen.

Posted by 
 on: 10/24/15, 23:16:59

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 04:17:53  - Edited by 
 on: 10/26/15, 04:18:21
They still didn't put as much effort as they could have.

I don't deny the Wii had amazing games.

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 07:37:16
Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Nintendo makes a super powerful console --> The price point won't attract the mass market and hardware is sold at a loss.
Nintendo makes a console that has dated tech --> Developers provide subpar ports or no support at all.

In either case they'll need to spend more money to become the lead gaming company. Marketing money spent to attract/inform the mass market. Gaming money spent to cater towards 3rd party support. I feel like this isn't how Nintendo works but, should it be?

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 14:19:35

I think a very valid and reasonable question is WHY should it be?

There are certainly benefits to being the industry leader in sales. I would never deny that. But there are also big benefits to being profitable (aka not selling everything at a major loss) and running a successful company that isn't so concerned about competition that they make poor business choices. So looking at that WHY is super important, I think. We'd all love better 3rd party support, but is it worth the potential that Nintendo is out of the console business in a generation or two? Is it worth that risk? To me, no. I'd rather they continue creating a space in the industry that is different. I really believe without Nintendo we would only have more powerful versions of the PS1 each gen (same controller, too) and that's all. Nintendo pushes things. I'd rather see that, personally, than "1st place" in some pretend war.

I know "Blue Ocean Strategy" got a lot of flack, but I honestly see a lot of value in it.

So do you think it should be? What's your answer to the "WHY" question?

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 15:18:05
The discussion has expanded beyond the scope of this thread, but I expect we will get more insider information soon. Once people see software up and running on these dev kits more is bound to leak out.

Hopefully the kits are not limited to Japanese developers. I would imagine that considering Nintendo's positive NX buzz at E3, the kits went immediately into the hands of Western companies too.

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 16:30:29  - Edited by 
 on: 10/26/15, 16:36:08
I sure wouldn't mind another SNES. Technically no one else could pull that off, unless Nintendo went third party.

Posted by 
 on: 10/26/15, 20:01:24
@J.K. Riki I agree with your points here. Even though I don't like some of the ideas behind the Wii U, I'm still glad that it exists over Nintendo just making a system that's essentially another PlayStation or Xbox. I already have some trouble seeing the benefit of having two similar systems on the market, so I certainly see no value in having three similar systems. It may not always work out, but I still want Nintendo to continue trying different ideas. Fortunately, the early signs are that they're still trying to cook up something different with NX. I just hope that being different can remain a financial possibility.

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 00:10:43
J.K. Riki said:
I know "Blue Ocean Strategy" got a lot of flack, but I honestly see a lot of value in it.

So do you think it should be? What's your answer to the "WHY" question?

Did it really get flack? It resulted in the Wii and the DS, Nintendo's two best selling consoles of all time. They utterly cleaned up, money-wise. And we got some truly awesome games out of it.

If the price we pay for that is we don't get EA or Activision or Ubisofts latest multi-bajillion dollar eye searing collection of finely detailed polygons, then so be it. It shouldn't be of course. Third parties who are truly innovative and creative should be able to serve up some truly unique and memorable experiences within the parameters defined by Nintendo's hardware. The fact that for the most part that doesn't happen is not the failing of Nintendo- It's the failings of small-minded developers/publishers who can't look beyond 'MOAR POWAR'.

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 00:46:47
Pretty excited for next year. I'm really looking forward to Nintendo's next platform(s).

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 00:53:08

Well I guess when I say it got flack I mean from... random people on the internet... so maybe I should retract my statement. :)

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 03:45:16
I really wish Nintendo would make their own Steam. That'd be a good move. Just take very small percentages from it? Undercut MS and Sony's third party efforts by making a really attractive platform. Imagine every game ever that could run on the home or mobile NX. At this point Nintendo is the only one who could do this with a straight face. They should take advantage of their unique position in the game industry.

I'm not sure why Steam is the only platform that does that, have every game ever (most at least).

Why can't Nintendo or anyone else get all other third party games that are already released? I want my Dead Space 1-3 on NX. Mass Effect 1-3. Every Elder Scroll. Every Ys. Every Bioshock. Why isn't this happening?

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 20:45:10

The reason Steam can do that is because of Windows acting as a bridge between titles from decades ago and today. If you want old consoles games to run on a new console, you have to port them or emulate them.

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 20:55:34
Right. Installing Steam on a Mac doesn't make all those PC-only games magically compatible on Mac.

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 20:59:31
Then do up some Nintendo magic :)

Posted by 
 on: 10/27/15, 21:23:52
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