The Secret Developers: Wii U - the inside story Must Read.

#1 Posted by jimmyfenix (3813 posts) -

I follow Digital Foundry on Eurogamer and this is a fantastic article showing the developers challenges of developing for the WII U and why many 3rd parties were not successful on the WII U. Here are a few snippets of the article

So a basic comparison/calculation makes the Wii U look, on paper at least, significantly slower than an Xbox 360 in terms of raw CPU.

Having worked on other hardware consoles, I suppose that we were rather spoilt by having mature toolchains that integrated nicely with our development environment. Wii U on the other hand seemed to be trying at every turn to make it difficult to compile and run any code. Nintendo had provided an integration of their development tools into Visual Studio - the de facto standard for development - but it didn't work, not even close.

After about a week of chasing we heard back from the support team that they had received an answer from Japan, which they emailed to us. The reply was in the form of a few sentences of very broken English that didn't really answer the question that we had asked in the first place. So we went back to them asking for clarification, which took another week or so to come back. After the second delay we asked why it was taking to long for replies to come back from Japan, were they very busy? The local support team said no, it's just that any questions had to be sent off for translation into Japanese, then sent to the developers, who replied and then the replies were translated back to English and sent back to us. With timezone differences and the delay in translating, this usually took a week !

At some point in this conversation we were informed that it was no good referencing Live and PSN as nobody in their development teams used those systems (!) so could we provide more detailed explanations for them

Thanks to hesido on Neogaf for the snippets Here is the link to the article. Many people attacked Bethesda softworks VP Pete Hines over comments on how Nintendo did not welcome 3rd parties with open arms to their platform. I think this article defends some of the comments Hines made but as many people have pointed out this strikes an eerie resemblance to the PS3 back in 2007.

Nintendo's 1st party will always be a great reason to buy a Nintendo product but the hopes of Western 3rd parties developers returning to the Wii U are very slim.

#2 Posted by BlackLagoon (1375 posts) -

I remember having discussions here on GB at the time leading up to release with people claiming that GPGPU would make the Wii U perfectly capable of running games made for the new Xbox and PlayStation, and well, it's interesting to see the author specifically call out that - noting that the Wii U's GPU is too weak and it's feature set is too out of date to make such ports possible.

#3 Posted by EuanDewar (4690 posts) -

Very cool read. The part about nintendo's dev teams not knowing what PSN and XBL are like cause they never used them is muchos interesting

#4 Posted by CrimsonAvenger (262 posts) -

That's really sad. I can't understand how such a major company is so woefully out of touch with reality. The fact that they don't know anything about PSN or XBL is just ridiculous. They can't expect to do well if they don't know their competitors products.

#5 Posted by Hailinel (23689 posts) -

That's really sad. I can't understand how such a major company is so woefully out of touch with reality. The fact that they don't know anything about PSN or XBL is just ridiculous. They can't expect to do well if they don't know their competitors products.

This is one anonymous developer's comment and may not reflect the whole story. When any story like this depends on the words of anonymous people with a very one-sided perspective, it's always best to take it with a grain of salt. That's not to say that Nintendo hasn't had its issues with its online service. That day one patch was massive, there have been glitches here and there that required patching, and other limitations. But I wouldn't trust the word of one guy saying that Nintendo's engineers were completely in the dark regarding PSN or XBL. Particularly when that guy is an anonymous figure with no evidence to back up that specific claim.

#6 Posted by Kidavenger (3487 posts) -

It blows my mind that they don't have anyone internally that is bilingual, a giant international company, no bilingual employees, madness.

#7 Posted by 5Figh (172 posts) -

Nintendo eh

#8 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4138 posts) -

So that Reggie stuff is all show?

#9 Posted by Hunter5024 (5511 posts) -

They should really have a bilingual person on their support staff. That seems like kind of a no brainer if you need to deal with people internationally so regularly.

#10 Posted by Slag (3919 posts) -

well I hope this isn't true or an isolated case, but if it is it's a pretty profound strategic mistake.

#11 Posted by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

It has been known for a very long time how poor Nintendo's third party support tends to be. Even writing that, there are any number of reasons why the response to this one developer was poor so I wouldn't put much into it.

#12 Posted by Sergio (2038 posts) -

Title is a bit misleading. It's more like the inside story of a third-party developer, not the Wii U. It's not as good as this article about the GameCube. You'll get why Nintendo hasn't been good with third-party developers from this.

#13 Posted by crithon (3059 posts) -

man this is always hard learning how difficult it is to work for nintendo as a 3rd party. Talking to a young girl artist, and she's so excited to work on a Wii U game development. So I just didn't break it for her because I thought her enthusiasm was heart warming.

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