As we finally approach the Nintendo NX’s long-awaited reveal this month, we are proud to share the final part of our developer interview series focused on the NX. This is perhaps the most telling interview we’ve published yet, and it rounds up the final info we have from our source, an indie Nintendo dev with an NX dev kit (more on his background in part 1 of the series) before the big reveal.
We confirm and deny rumors, discuss what the NX will be, talk about Nintendo’s development cycle, and why Nintendo has taken so long to reveal the NX.
We also talk about the little-known Nintendo Kinect and talk more about Nintendo’s tech, and speculate on Mario games the NX will have.
Our Final Stab at the Rumor Mill
First off, I ask my source about the “Nintendo Duo” name rumor.
I thought it would seem likely, since there was a recent developer conference, which my source confirmed in our last article.
Yep, I saw it ^^
I guess every ‘leak’ with pixellated or removed stuff is a fake.
I for one would think “Nintendo Duo” would be a nice name.
But like someone said… “If it is true, then they missed out on calling it: “Nintenduo”.
I like the name too. But it is kinda hard to say. NintenDo Duo.
So it appears that this name is not the real name.
NX = Nintendo Cross?
NX would be Nintendo 10 then? Or does it just stand for Nintendo Cross? I would think Nintendo Cross. That makes the most sense.
Of course. Yeah.
Um… You never thought about that aspect? Then… Um…Oops? ^^
So it looks like our source is stating that like previous rumors, the NX will be a cross-platform system.
What Does Cross-Platform Mean?
I inquire if this could mean cross platform, as in Nintendo games being on PlayStation.
Hm, cross platform. I hope that doesn’t mean like Nintendo games on PS4. But NX games working on Wii U and vice versa makes some sense to me.
Hiroshi Yamauchi and Satoru Iwata would rotate in their graves 😄
Super Mario Sonyshine.
I don’t see Wii U doing it, though, because they’re stopping manufacturing for the Wii U.
I know, we all prefer playing Animal Crossing on PC with HTC Vive ^^
Wii U is sooo 2012… Why are you even talking bout it? Man… Nobody even knows [for sure] if the next Zelda will be on it ^^
So all I can see is it being multiple devices. But all NX platform.
What? You mean like… a home console… and a handheld? What a weird idea? Why should Nintendo ever do something like that? 😄
That’s what they’ve always done.
It’s obvious our source is being sarcastic here. He is hinting at something.
Whoa… that is what we call… making hype.
“WOW NX IS SO NEW AND AWESOME AND TOTALLY DIFFERENT TO HAVING A WII U AND A 3DS XD”
And Miyamoto said several times that they are currently working on an OS that works on any system no matter if handheld or console… so developers can create one game very easily ported to both.
But hey, it is the internet…. if it is over 6 months old… people forget about it ^^
I read a few interviews with him saying that… but because it was silly dev blah blah, nobody noticed it as important.
There are also a few technical announcements where Nintendo said that they wanted to use it…. but people just forgot about it.
This is interesting to me. We have heard Iwata talk about this at length during the 2013 and 2014 investor’s meetings. But initially, I don’t recall Miyamoto stating this.
Publicly? Not just for the developer community?
No, I never read all the dev logs and dev forums within the Nintendo community… Sometimes it is funny because devs can also be sooo stupid haha, but for the most part it’s just boooring 😄
Sure enough, I went and checked, and here’s what I found:
Miyamoto clearly states here, in agreement with Iwata, that they would like to make a platform where you can play the same games on both platforms; handheld and console. He also said he would think about cross-buy.
It appears more likely than ever that the NX will adopt this strategy, and become like iOS or Android. The same software will work across all form factors, and when you buy it for one, you buy it for all. It’s based on your account (Iwata also stated this. Read part 1 of our interview for this.)
My source went on:
I found it interesting that the Nintendo of Europe guy just said, that it could be that NX will not be available for every developer that early… because they would not be able to handle all the support things with unfinished dev tools and so on…. in my experience it takes about 1.5 years AFTER release before the tools and everything are working properly ^^ So maybe the majority of devs will be closed out for some time…
Maybe he also said that because most just want to get a Nintendo dev license just to read all the technical things…. Need to say that some info goes into details – and some are just lies (or very outdated?) 😄
No idea why ^^
I ask him how games can be finished and released within the first year, if the dev tools aren’t finished until 1.5 years into the console’s life cycle.
He tells me:
Okay, I need to explain: A system and dev tools and libraries are created and will get updated ALL THE TIME… Guidelines are changing like crazy every few weeks within the first about 1.5 years when a new system arrives ^^
For example, on Wii we tried to follow every update… we finally had to stop after we used to implement the HOME Menu and eManual about 4 different ways within a few months 😄
And first, the eManual had to be implemented in the rom… then it had to be a different file… then it was just something online…. and the HOME Menu… first implemented in-game… then implemented as an external library within the game… then excluded from the game by accessing it through the system 😄
The same fun with 3DS haha.
Also… most dev tools and so are in Japanese… because translation needs a few months and software changes are too tight in the timeline…
For release titles… Nintendo often helps a lot! And on final check [of the game], they oversee many bugs… many of their own guidelines just to have the titles out in time ^^
I comment on how that must be hard to work with and that they seem to change things frequently.
It appears Nintendo will step in if needed to help get a developer’s games out on time.
He goes on:
On 3DS it was funny too for me….
Me: “I want to include AntiAliasing… and 3D… and use the Nintendo own tools [NintendoWare]”
They: “Um AntiAliasing… heard of that… but it was excluded with the last version and is no longer supported … but one of the support guys just presented how it was made with the old library and he says it is still there but with no more documentation.”
Woo-hoo…. so it ended up with ME and one SUPPORT GUY trying together to program AntiAliasing using the NintendoWare’s current version 😄
It was hard work – but finally we succeeded ^^
Nintendo check… step in…. there are thousands of guidelines… and the testers (and there are different testers for different things) often just TEST…without thinking or understanding WHY that guideline is there…. for example… with every check in US and Europe and the updates again, I had huge discussions about stereoscopic 3D… there are strict guidelines from Nintendo and with [my 3DS game] I sh*t on them because I wanted a more immersive experience on 3DS… using my own research I had with stereoscopic 3D training and a doctor and so on. Finally they had to step in… discussing it with experts… and I had to subscribe that I have full responsibility for eventual complaints regarding 3D effects.
It ended up that people totally loved the 3D and 3D options ^^
Did I mention that game development is hard work? ^^
The NX Reveal – Why Have We Waited So Long?
Finally, regarding the NX reveal, I ask him:
Regarding the new platform, what do you think is making Nintendo take so long to reveal the NX? Do you think it’s just not ready to show yet? Or just a marketing strategy to show it later?
I would think a marketing strategy, but it doesn’t seem wise to reveal it so close to the system’s launch in March.
Interestingly, he says the reason is it just wasn’t ready to reveal yet:
Nintendo would have shown the NX if they were ready…. currently they are in a hurry with localizing all the titles to show… all the system specific things…
Everything needs to be named and there are a lot of titles that have to be finished… You need to know that Nintendo is now finishing games to be able to release them next year… and once a game is nearly finished, they can capture material and set it up for every country and every language…
NX is a new generation… not like PS4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio…
And a new generation means LOT OF WORK … and they worked on NX games for so many years… (because many of them had been planned to be Wii U games) so there’s a holy sh*t amount of work to do now.
Ah, I see. That makes a lot of sense. But does it worry you that it is less than 6 months before launch without an announcement yet?
I do not worry…
I just remember Reggie saying: “We are NOT working on a new Game Boy”
1 month later: “This is the new Game Boy Advance SP – it will be released next month!” 😄
I think… it is better to show some finished games… and a perfect system… instead of just rushing things… especially when it is better to let people try out all things.
Our source elaborates:
It is all cutting edge so the hardware is just finished RIGHT NOW… so Nintendo will prepare everything to let people touch it to understand it
Like I always try to tell people: Touching is good! (the old Slogan for Nintendo DS)
While people just want a PS4 Pro from Nintendo… Nintendo is doing what they always do… Innovating…bringing new ideas… new feelings… new ways about how to bring games to people and how to earn money with games ^^
Very excited about it and it just takes time ^^
On the announcement not taking place yet:
Um… I do not see NX as not announced yet… they announced it already… they just didn’t show anything finished ^^
That’s a good point. But he gets my reasoning.
People just want to be upset… I do not feel that way… today people just love to be upset about something… make a great hype… or destroy a developer or two… like No Man’s Sky … and I see it like people destroyed the NX in all the forums … with that anti-Nintendo hype, Nintendo just had to move away from the E3 2016 reveal as it was planned and told to devs.
I tell him people are just getting worried because Nintendo hasn’t shown anything yet. But I understand if it’s not ready yet.
They had to think about the best way to communicate the system as something great… and I guess it is just better to release [sooner] it so all people can touch it [and experience it themselves].
Indeed, this is similar rhetoric that Miyamoto himself used for the Wii U.
In an interview with TIME in 2013, Miyamoto states:
First and foremost, I think, with Nintendo products what’s often most important is that people touch and play and interact with our products — once they do, they begin to truly understand what makes them great. I think the same can be said of Wii U.
So What Is The NX Again?
I speculate that this means the concept for NX may not be as simple as the Wii was either. And it may need to be experienced to be fully understood.
However, Nintendo has made it clear that it will avoid the Wii U’s downfalls by having a better communication strategy for the system, coming out with games more steadily, and also by being very “in sync with the times”. We’re also hearing from our source, as well as others, that the NX will have cutting-edge hardware, something the Wii U lacked.
And in a separate interview with TIME, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated:
As far as NX goes, I’ve said it’s different and obviously a new experience. If you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It’s difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform.”
I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.
So it appears that while the NX may be similar to Wii U in some ways, it will definitely not be the next version of it.
Later on, our source says he sees it as the evolution of the Wii U, but if so, it must be more of having second-screen functionality, though a departure from the GamePad’s concept.
We then remind him of the system’s release date.
And NX is confirmed to be releasing in March.
Yes… one thing you don’t understand is… WHAT IS NX … people are ONLY SPEAKING ABOUT ‘NX’ … the next gen system Nintendo will release…. but just forgetting that Nintendo might have MORE.
Handheld, Console, Hybrid?
Well a lot of us speculate it will be more than one system. Like a handheld and home console. So that could be the “more.”
Or maybe even more form factors. Like a smartphone type screen.
I like the idea of one platform for multiple devices. Like Android or iOS.
So let’s take that thought and think… what if… a handheld will come sooner than NX? Or thinking that the handheld will come in March and a console will come in Autumn?
I doubt it. Because it would kill the holiday 3DS sales. Right?
And Nintendo is planning to keep the 3DS running with new games through 2017.
People speculate the home console would be first. Because the Wii U has to be replaced. And 3DS is still doing fine.
Um no… Nintendo DS games have successfully been released without a problem after the Nintendo 3DS was there ^^
I tell him, that’s a good point. Nintendo would want to support the 3DS with more games after the NX releases, as they’ve always done that. The 3DS was backward compatible, though. And the NX may not be.
I remind him of the Wii U’s sinking ship, though, and how the Wii U would be the one in need of more immediate replacement with a home console, not a new portable, replacing the 3DS.
Our source says:
Um yes… Wii U has to be replaced through a home console. That is limited thinking 😄
Hmm… Is he saying the NX is not a traditional “home” console, then?
I see… if they moved Animal Crossing to next year then something might come this Holiday. But maybe… it is just a lie… or they just talked about Android versions ^^ … but we will all see… within the next weeks ^^
I guess October is the last month to announce some surprises for Xmas… isn’t it?
Yeah. I would think so. I find it hard to see how a handheld could replace the Wii U. But if it’s better, then by all means.
Xmas for 3DS … I wonder why Super Mario Maker 3DS is not there……
Because you are thinking of removing something..replacing something ^^ because you always have NX as a home system in mind ^^
There is the Eurogamer hybrid idea. But that is only one device. But that’s very plausible to me.
Our source then throws us another bone here.
What if… a new handheld… could take the role as a Wii U GamePad too? … 2-player modes with GamePad and new handheld on a traditional Wii U?
So… there are a lot of possibilities… don’t forget that Nintendo always connects everything of their hardware together ^^
Remember… they wanted to release the dongle for 3DS to be able to use it as GamePad… but refused it because of the low resolution of the 3DS screen
Our source’s statements here strongly suggest that the NX will have a streaming dongle for the handheld, as previously rumored before.
It also looks like he is suggesting that the handheld will be able to take the role the GamePad did on Wii U, but now it will be a fully portable, or possibly supplemental experience. He goes as far as to say that not only would it work on NX as on Wii U, but that it would be compatible with the Wii U, as well.
Right, right that’s true! I feel like with NX they will reach full connectivity.
Another thought… what if a new handheld… would not connect to Wii U BUT to the Wii U GamePad instead?
We know that the Nintendo 3DS renders a game twice for 3D … so 1 image could also easily be rendered and sent to a TV or Wii U GamePad… from a handheld… without any stationary console ^^
Here, he says that not only could a new handheld be compatible with a Wii U system, but a Wii U GamePad, as well.
It seems feasible, if Nintendo was willing to implement it. Iwata said that the NX would adopt the architecture of Wii U, and the GamePad makes a great screen to play full games on, so it’s very feasible that the NX handheld could work with the GamePad in the same way. My objection would only be if Nintendo chooses to support the Wii U any longer. But it’s surely possible.
Our source continues:
I feel… that people are just not ready to think more in an evolutionary way of Wii U … because everyone just wants a PS4-Nintendo system… people are just mind-caged today…
And THAT’s the real challenge for Nintendo, I think… to break those barriers ._.
I agree. I’m all for Nintendo continuing that. I just hope they can sell the idea to consumers and developers.
But with development being easier, better communication/marketing, as well as more games for it, maybe they can do it this time.
The Wii U Was Hard To Develop For?! And NX Is Easier? WRONG. It’s All About The Sales.
I think people – non-developers – are totally understanding it wrong; what it means when someone says ‘it is easier to develop for’ 😄 What should that mean…
What does it mean for you? When someone says ‘it is easier to develop for NX’ I could not make any sense to players right now… but everyone says ‘Yeah that’s cool, finally it’s easier’ LOL Why do people say that?
I need to say: Wii U was the console with the EASIEST POSSIBLE way to compile a code for it
So from that standpoint, Wii U was much easier to develop for ^^
Just sayin… from dev side ^^
Hm, I see. But it did not sell well. And major studios didn’t want to develop for it
I guess just because the install base wasn’t big enough, then.
So maybe it is just a marketing issue and Nintendo not providing enough first party games for Wii U that caused sales to be low.
Um yes…Wii U problems… beginning with the name 😄
Haha, true. So developers saying it is complicated to develop for or the Wii U isn’t powerful enough like the PS4. They’re lying? Like Activision or the makers of Project Cars.
Who said that it is complicated to develop for Wii U? ^^
I need to say… all the ‘it is sooo much easier to develop for NX’ quotes are just fakes, you know ^^ …
No dev I know ever said or thought that til yet.
NOT WITH THAT JAPANESE CODE right now 😄
Yes, if someone said that, it just was not to say “low sales numbers”.
Haha, I can imagine. I’ve seen many developers who didn’t bring games to Wii U say that in interviews. Or that it wasn’t technically possible to bring the games to Wii U with good results. Like Project Cars.
But they still make Skylanders games for it.
There, you see it is all just about sales numbers.
Right. I would agree with that. Activision were excited about the Wii U’s GamePad features in the beginning. But then stopped after Ghosts came out. I think it was more about the sales than the performance.
Same with Ubisoft. Although Ubisoft is still bringing casual games like Let’s Dance 2017 to Wii and Wii U and NX, as well.
Hope For The NX
Finally, I tell my source that I hope NX is shown soon and shakes things up for the industry.
But I’m very unsure how they want to present it all so people can understand… Hm and for the business thing… I for one would wait just before the release
Others will steal/copy some ideas… of course… so Nintendo should wait with it so they don’t do it before Nintendo has the chance to prove it.
This resonates with a reason Miyamoto gave for not showing the NX at E3:
Normally we would’ve shown the NX at E3, but we didn’t. We’re worried about imitators if we release info too early.
I follow up:
How is it possible to steal or copy the ideas so quickly? Miyamoto did say this a few months ago.
But it took Sony a few years to copy the Wii with the PlayStation Move. And the same with Microsoft with the Kinect.
It is because NX is a concept… an idea… not only something hardware… Nintendo wants to try to save the videogame industry… they also might lose some money at first. But we will see…
The Nintendo Kinect
Yes, it took a while for Microsoft to take the Kinect idea from Nintendo.
Kinect was invented by Nintendo… also patented and had logos and everything (still on the internet) but Nintendo found it was too uncomfortable for players at home and not exactly enough for great playing… so they kicked the idea, sent or sold it to Microsoft and released motion controls in Wii style instead – as we do know it ^^
Hm just searching for that Kinect Nintendo Logo… I know it must be there on the Internet ^^ It was something with I guess 2 hands and Japanese signs ^^
I see. Haha Nintendo developed the idea? Wow, really interesting. I would say the Wii motion controls were a great idea. And definitely more reliable than the Kinect. Even though the Kinect is cool with its full body features.
I think Microsoft did a great job… the developer base is huge and Microsoft is open enough to let 3rd parties develop and enhance their tools ^^ but it is really a huge problem for kids to use it in their rooms… IMPOSSIBLE …
Okay, they then released it where you do not need to have 3m distance, but even that needed too much space.
Wii Remotes and the Evolution of Nintendo Tech
I show him this patent:
Looks kinda like Kinect. But filed recently. Could be for NX possibly.
Companies make a hundred patents a month ^^
A friend of mine is working for Bosch and they have some patents every day =O
Sooo much paper work… but he is in the development group ^^ luckily
Wow. Okay. Maybe not a big deal then.
The images on that forum remind me on New 3DS. It uses the same system to recognize the eyes’ positions.
I note that the New 3DS has IR.
It uses the IR lamp on the top to light the eyes … the black part of it gets totally WHITE… it looks like the points when a Wii Remote watches the sensor bar ^^ … Just turns the eyes into IR lights ^^
So the New 3DS can capture the 120 frames for the head tracking ^^
Wii Remote captured 300 frames per second… just to have that accurate cursor on screen ^^
But they gave up that system… in Skyward Sword it was replaced through Accelerometer/Gyroscope Cursor ._.
Yeah. The Wii Motion Plus. It’s much more accurate.
Yeah, Wii Remote has great power too… and sound processor ^^ also has the ability to send back audio and process recording… But in the last version they removed the microphone jack… no idea why… in the version before (with ZL and ZR left/right of the D Pad) it still had it
And you don’t need to point at the sensor bar.
Ooh. I’ve never seen a Wii Remote with a jack.
You don’t need the sensor bar, but it is horrible… not accurate… it is not like pointing… no 300 frames/second pointing ._. Gyros are just soooo slooow still
There are some very old Wii advertisement images where they use that Wii Remote 😄
Well they made it work well for Skyward Sword and I enjoyed it.
It is like the Mario Kart Wii U ad where they use the DevKit GamePad and everyone thinks it is something for NX 😄
Haha, oh right. I remember in a developer video in the Nintendo Direct, they used a retail GamePad, though. For the Mario Kart 8 time trial footage.
Of course… Devs are prohibited to show dev hardware ^^ … maybe Nintendo at that time wasn’t sure about the final design of the GamePad… they made it bigger 2 times… okay after they turned it into that kind of controller… before it was square shaped without buttons.
Yeah. For the ad right?
Hm? No in design… exists in reality. But about the ad… I know you know the image with the blurry GamePad… that’s just a Dev GamePad ^^
You can google for old Wii U dev kits then you see it ^^ was much smaller, thinner border and so ^^
Okay I see. So you mean the dev kits.
They then made it bigger… and for the final version, bigger again.
Okay. Yeah. I remember how it looked at E3 2011.
Really thin and with circle pads for sticks.
As I played it before the release at E3, the GamePad had soft buttons!!! The feeling just was sooo awesome … So next gen ^^ …
But I guess it was just too expensive… I was disappointed, as I had my hands on the released GamePad and it had that regular buttons… nothing soft.
There was also a huge change to the released GamePad
Oh and L/R had been changed to digital
Okay. Yeah. Super Mario Sunshine wouldn’t work well on the Wii U’s digital triggers, sadly.
Yes – true ._.
I hope they make it for NX. Or a sequel. Provided NX has analog triggers, I suppose.
Yesssss.. Super Mario Sunshine NX as launch title
Want it ^^
I would love that!
A Mario game is rumored to launch with NX now.
Yes… wow… how surprising would it be… *cough* … And people are always so stupid like “WHAT GREAT NEWS!” 😄
I wouldn’t doubt it. New Nintendo consoles always launch with Mario.
Oh Really? 😄
How many Mario Games did we get on Wii U? 2? 3? ^^
2, not counting Captain Toad:
Super Mario 3D World New Super Mario Bros. U
Hopefully more for NX. But I prefer quality over quantity, of course.
So… what does Nintendo have in the works?
Maybe Super Mario Sunshine 2?
Of course Super Mario Galaxy 3, Super Mario 3D World 2, and some New Super Mario Bros. 2D title… Or let’s call it Super Mario Maker NX ^^
I think it is nice to have 2D and 3D Marios… because different people prefer different game styles ^^
And a real 3D Mario plays totally different to a 2D one ^^
Yes, I agree. Miyamoto said they were working on a new 3D Mario and it may be ready to show at next E3.
Hm… Paper Mario Color Splash … also a Mario game? Did you see the Super Mario Bros. 3 level in it? ^^
Of course I did! It looks great!
So that’s it, folks!
What do you think? Are you as excited as ever about the Nintendo Cross (err… the NX)? Leave us a comment below!
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