Nintendo ‘willing to invest’ to secure third-party support
July 7, 2011

It’s not a new concept to the industry; Microsoft reportedly paid $50 million for exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV DLC and were even accused of money-hatting Namco in order to secure the exclusivity of Tales of Vesperia, but paying for third-party content is not something that Nintendo has openly admitted to. Similarly, Jack Tretton – President of Sony Computer Entertainment of America – has, in the past, proudly proclaimed that Sony ‘don’t buy exclusivity’, whilst also taking a side swipe at Nintendo, who, in the eyes of Tretton, have a tendency to rely too heavily on first-party production.

While Tretton is world-renowned for talking from his arse, I do believe that particular comment holds some merit. It’s unlikely that Nintendo took his words to heart, but it’s no secret that criticism can be a compelling catalyst for creativity, and Nintendo’s relationships with third-parties have elicited criticisms abound. To what extent you believe their words or not aside, Nintendo have, since the Wii U’s reveal, been promising much-improved third-party support, suggesting they’re willing to learn from, and, more importantly, act upon, their shortcomings.

At a recent shareholders meeting, Satoru Iwata was questioned on the Wii’s frequent software droughts, and if Nintendo had plans in place to prevent a similar situation with the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS:

We think it very important to make several hits from the third-party software publishers within the first year from the release of the platform, while offering Nintendo software seamlessly. In order to achieve this goal, we have shared information about the new hardware with the software publishers earlier than we did previously and built a cooperative structure, and we are developing several titles in collaboration with these publishers. I cannot talk in detail about the names of the titles, or with which publishers we are currently collaborating, because we have not announced this information yet, but what we are aiming for with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U is, platforms which have much more software and a wider variety of software than the former Nintendo DS or Wii. Therefore, we are thinking of creating an environment where software from other companies will become hits.

Nintendo claims to have shared the hardware specs of the Wii U earlier than usual, but developers such as Bethesda have indicated that they ‘know nothing’ about its capabilities. To me, this is worrying. Huge, Western developers like Bethesda are of the precise ilk that Nintendo should be trying to get on board. Bethesda, BioWare, Infinity Ward, Rockstar, Valve, Crytek – names that core gamers recognise and respect, names that will sell, and names that will promote system sales. I don’t work for Nintendo, I have absolutely zero inside knowledge or sources at Nintendo, and I have never claimed to. In that sense, I also have absolutely no idea who Nintendo is courting and who they’re not, but if a studio as big as Bethesda has been left in the dark, then it doesn’t fill me with confidence.

After the initial excitement and positivity coming from select studios, promises of core IPs like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield heading to the Wii U were made by developers Ubisoft and EA, respectively, but their relationship with Nintendo was already fairly strong. So, what about those who are seemingly less inclined to develop for Nintendo’s latest console? What kind of Nincentive (sorry) will be offered to them? Money, of course!

Please understand that Nintendo is prepared to invest in order to make this a reality.

Problem solved? We shall see…

 – Rory



RUMOUR – Nintendo to make ‘major announcement’ this week
May 10, 2011

According to Games Maya, four of the industry’s big names will be holding retail meetings this week; Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and Sony will apparently be accompanied by ‘leaks from attending retailers’, and, in the case of Nintendo, a ‘major announcement’. The dates are as follows:

  • 5/11: Sony Computer Entertainment

  • 5/12: Nintendo

  • 5/13: Microsoft

  • 5/13: Sega

Could we finally hear something concrete about Project Café in the weeks running up to E3?

Source – Games Maya via andriasang

– Rory

Nintendo confirms date and time of E3 Keynote
May 9, 2011

The Nintendo Keynote date for E3 2011 has been announced, and rather unfortunately for my friend, it lands on his birthday. I’m sure he’ll understand. Nintendo will be delivering their 2011 press conference in the Nokia Theatre at 9am PST (That’s 5pm for us Brits) on Tuesday, 7th June, 2011.

The Japanese gaming giant is expected to show off a trove of 3DS and Wii titles, including Mario Kart 3DS, Super Mario 3DS, Animal Crossing 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There are also rumblings of an official North American announcement of Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story. Throw in a brand new home console, and this year’s E3 is looking pretty damn tasty for Nintendo fans.

We will be liveblogging the event to the best of our abilities. Excuse me one moment.

Hello? Yes, is that front desk? Yeah, I’ve just had a foreboding vision in which I got mercilessly run over by a bus on the way to College on the morning of Tuesday, June 6th…

– Rory

Sony in arrogant comment shocker
November 10, 2008

“Yes, we might take a bit longer sometimes to bring a product to market, but when we do, we bring you the most powerful gaming platform ever to hit – and it will be something that will around for a very long time. It’s (PS3) nowhere near even halfway through its lifecycle, and I could argue that some other competing formats are on their way down right now.” – Sony UKs managing director Ray Maguire

Last time I checked, Sony were in no position to be bragging; they have the worst selling console and the worst selling handheld of this generation.

Most powerful gaming platform? Again, correct us if we’re wrong, but the PlayStation 2 was weaker than both the GameCube and the Xbox.

The icing on the cake is that last comment. I guess you could argue the 360’s sales are slowing a little, but it’s hardly ‘on its way down’. And as for the Wii; well, it shows no signs of slowing.

–Rory, baffled–