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Iwata: Next Nintendo handheld and console to share same hardware architecture

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http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/130131/05.html

 

As you might already know from some newspaper reports, we will reorganize our development divisions next month for the first time in nine years. Two divisions which have independently developed handheld devices and home consoles will be united to form the Integrated Research & Development Division, which will be headed by Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director.

 

Last year we also started a project to integrate the architecture for our future platforms. What we mean by integrating platforms is not integrating handhelds devices and home consoles to make only one machine. What we are aiming at is to integrate the architecture to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform. They will also work to avoid software lineup shortages or software development delays which tend to happen just after the launch of new hardware.

Some time ago it was technologically impossible to have the same architecture for handheld devices and home consoles and what we did was therefore reasonable. Although it has not been long since we began to integrate the architecture and this will have no short-term result, we believe that it will provide a great benefit to our platform business in the long run. I am covering this topic as today is our Corporate Management Policy Briefing.

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) in Japan. Nintendo is in the unique position being possibly the only Japanese corporation which has been dedicated to the platform business for millions of consumers worldwide for 30 years. Our strong point is to offer integrally-designed hardware, systems and software. In order to sustain competitive edges for our platforms, it has become more and more important for us to smoothly transition between platforms which tends to cause a lot of trouble due to the scale and complexity of these transitions.

 

In this sense, our efforts to integrate platforms will have enormous implications.

 

Today we told you about our short-term plan for the operating profit we are aiming at for the next fiscal year and a mid-and-long term plan for our development structure to keep our platforms competitive in the market for a long time.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Unique hardware, but same underlying architecture. They can run the same game code and use the same assets but the hardware itself would be differentiated between console and handheld still.

 

Well then, there's no excuse to not have cross platform VC support then! :D

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Hmm when reading that though I got the impression that all of this won't fully come into effect until the next generation, which of course is good news for the long-term but bad news if they aren't going to provide cross platform VC titles between the 3DS and Wii U. :hmm:

 

It's a feature that people want now... but still, this is good news and at least in the meantime we will have more Nintendo classics being released on the Wii U VC so at least we will finally be able to play the likes of F-Zero and Super Metroid on the small screen thanks to the gamepad. :D

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Sounds like a bad idea to me. Having big similarities between a console and handheld - especially the ability to use the same code and assets - will mean that the handheld will likely get lots of console ports instead of unique games.

 

While this is great for people who just own the handheld, for people who own both it will seem like there is a big lack of games on the handheld.

 

This is the Vita's biggest problem.

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Sounds like a bad idea to me. Having big similarities between a console and handheld - especially the ability to use the same code and assets - will mean that the handheld will likely get lots of console ports instead of unique games.

 

While this is great for people who just own the handheld, for people who own both it will seem like there is a big lack of games on the handheld.

 

This is the Vita's biggest problem.

Or, knowing the state of the industry in their homestead, the console will get more handheld ports

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As far as Nintendo's own games are concerned, they'll no doubt still be making games that take full advantage of everything that their individual pieces of hardware can offer in each of their games and taylor each experience to their respective form of play. It's just that they can worry less about asset production now that they can just reuse their code/engines/art assets across both future platforms.

 

3rd parties on the other hand will no doubt be thankful for the ability to put their handheld games on the big screen without any extra cost or effort. It would go a long ways towards bulking up the library for their console.

 

They'll still be a market that wants taylored experiences for each device and Nintendo will fulfill that for sure. 3rd parties that don't want to see their games tank will be wise enough not to make a console game for a handheld (and vice versa)

 

Of course, western developers will still not give two shits though...

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Or, knowing the state of the industry in their homestead, the console will get more handheld ports
They should be too very different gaming experiences.

 

Handheld games shouldn't belong on a home console, and home console games shouldn't belong on the home console.

 

This is something Nintendo have so far always got right, and where as @Cube says, the Vita has largely failed.

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They should be too very different gaming experiences.

 

Handheld games shouldn't belong on a home console, and home console games shouldn't belong on the home console.

 

This is something Nintendo have so far always got right, and where as @Cube says, the Vita has largely failed.

I completely agree.

 

HOWEVER, while it's a great strategy that Nintendo has done, it's one that has made western third parties pause in deciding whether or not to do it. By providing the same tools and architecture, they can do whatever they please

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I completely agree.

 

HOWEVER, while it's a great strategy that Nintendo has done, it's one that has made western third parties pause in deciding whether or not to do it. By providing the same tools and architecture, they can do whatever they please

I just think Nintendo need to be really careful.

 

It's ok to give developers choices and options (although they seemingly weren't interested in giving them a second analogue stick on the 3DS! :p)... but it's the console strategy that 3rd parties seem to follow.

 

The Wii U has all the controller inputs developers would ever need, and yet third parties are already using the GamePad as an excuse for not bring their games to the console. "If we did, we'd want to make it a custom experience for Wii U owners, and we haven't got the resources to currently do that".

 

Nintendo's strategy for the Wii U is the GamePad, and in some ways it's already hurting them.

 

Likewise the Vita offers everything that Nintendo are now looking into, and yet it isn't a strategy that has worked for Sony. If it was something developers were interested in the console would be a huge success, but it isn't. Developers want to be looking to spend less on handheld games, when games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope can do the job for them, not home console budget games. Handhelds should be about unique experiences.

 

You shouldn't be giving developers an easy out through a poorly conceived vision for your consoles.

 

I just think Nintendo are disillusioned if they think it's the right path to go down. But hey, maybe that is the Nintendo of today.

Edited by Retro_Link

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I wish the gaming industry would just go for standardization already... The "main consoles" should all be cross compatible. This model is fucking terrible for us consumers. :(

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Like Cube said, I only hope this doesn't go the PSP/Vita's way.

 

home console games shouldn't belong on the home console.

 

I don't know what to believe anymore, either! :cry:

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Or, knowing the state of the industry in their homestead, the console will get more handheld ports

 

We can finally have a proper Pokémon game on the home console! :yay:

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I wish the gaming industry would just go for standardization already... The "main consoles" should all be cross compatible. This model is fucking terrible for us consumers. :(

 

I agree for the most part. Everyone gets the best version of a game (because theres only one) and devs have 100 percent userbase to sell to.

Meanwhile, the consumer gets access to 100 percent of the games release with just one console.

 

Resources arent wasted on ports and devs can focus on finishing one game and beginning another.

 

The only, ONLY thing I'd miss would be unique UI's and online services. I'd hate for something like Xbox Live or its ad-riddled UI to become some sort of industry standard.

 

I suppose I'd miss fanboy wars too :heh:

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The only, ONLY thing I'd miss would be unique UI's and online services. I'd hate for something like Xbox Live or its ad-riddled UI to become some sort of industry standard.

 

Whilst online play itself would have to be standardized, there would be nothing stopping manufacturers adding their own custom firmware to provide unique functionality as long it ran totally seperate to the games themeselves. Much like every DVD player has its own set of options and interface but they all play DVDs the same once you hit play.

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I wish the gaming industry would just go for standardization already... The "main consoles" should all be cross compatible. This model is fucking terrible for us consumers. :(

 

Why is it?

 

You slap down the cash for your CHOSEN console and buy games, you're fully aware of what you're buying and what kind of support it'll get. Nobody is holding you at gunpoint and forcing you to buy anything. This recurring dream of a single platform is absolutely stupid, after 20 years if hearing such nonsense I am still surprised at how often I hear it.

 

Competing hardware is simply great; it lowers prices and increases innovation. Consumers win.

 

Each hardware manufacturere earns cash from licensing their platform to third parties, they re-invest that back into exclusive titles - a big win for consumers.

 

If you want Uncharted buy a PS3, if you want Mario buy Nintendo. Halo? Buy an Xbox. If you want an open platform where there are no restrictions on what you can play buy a PC gaming rig.

 

____________

 

Nintendo have little option to better coordinate their devices and this is clearly a step I'm the right direction. The entire consumer electronics market is morphing from a platform-centric business to ecosystem-centric one, software available across devices.

 

Consumers should have a choice where they play games - on the bus, on the big screen, we, not platform holders should choose. I see no reason for the continued argument of "console and handheld games should be seperate" - who are we trying to kid? Home console games have appeared on handhelds for decades, we've just masked that fact. NES ports on Gameboy, Super Nes on GBA, N64 on DS... it happened.

 

I'm sure within the next generation Nintendo will adopt, despite Iwatas comments, a platform that encompasses both portable and home console - a single solution to both. GamePad with its own processing capabilities? We shall see...

Edited by david.dakota
Automerged Doublepost

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Why is it?

 

You slap down the cash for your CHOSEN console and buy games, you're fully aware of what you're buying and what kind of support it'll get. Nobody is holding you at gunpoint and forcing you to buy anything. This recurring dream of a single platform is absolutely stupid, after 20 years if hearing such nonsense I am still surprised at how often I hear it.

 

Competing hardware is simply great; it lowers prices and increases innovation. Consumers win.

 

Each hardware manufacturere earns cash from licensing their platform to third parties, they re-invest that back into exclusive titles - a big win for consumers.

 

If you want Uncharted buy a PS3, if you want Mario buy Nintendo. Halo? Buy an Xbox. If you want an open platform where there are no restrictions on what you can play buy a PC gaming rig.

 

iwBeZYuJoukMM.gif

 

As a business major, this was quite the hilarious read.

 

10/10, would read again.

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iwBeZYuJoukMM.gif

 

As a business major, this was quite the hilarious read.

 

10/10, would read again.

 

 

I dont get the argument of having single platforms, I consider it completely flawed and your picture of a pug doesn't help in convincing me otherwise. And I would spend a little more time on a business major. ::shrug:

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I dont get the argument of having single platforms, I consider it completely flawed and your picture of a pug doesn't help in convincing me otherwise. And I would spend a little more time on a business major. ::shrug:

 

Think about what you said. You're supporting you claim based on the rules of competition and the self regulating nature of markets, which is all fine and dandy, except, you're on the wrong side of the fence and you don't even realize it.

 

You're glorifying the virtues of competition on a fucking oligopoly? oO There is no direct competition happening... As it stands, the console gaming market is essentially entirely made up of paralel ventures. The competition you so rightfully praise praise as well as the innovation that accompanies it isn't happening in the console market precisely BECAUSE of the lack of standardization. Presently, the console gaming market is a shining textbook example of an oligopoly. With standardization you would go from 3 companies fighting for their stakes within the hardware gaming world to hundreds of them, which would then TRULY fuel competition and innovation. Therefore lowering prices and truly stimulating innovation. LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE PC/iOS/ANDROID MARKETS RIGHT NOW. Start comparing the prices of 2 year old Nintendo exclusives with the prices of 6 month old multi platform releases and you'll realize just how ludicrous what you're saying is. They dictate the trends, they dictate the rules. Videogames are the product we care about, not the consoles. They profit from the consoles, you don't. Under the present model, each console is a shackle (a tasty tasty shackle, but a shackle nonetheless)! With standardization, the console becomes completely secondary to the whole gaming scene... You spend less money buying better consoles which can play more games that cost less each.

 

Basically, what's happening here is either a clear cut case of you don't know what the hell you're talking about or you just didn't understand what I (we) meant by standardization.

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I don't know what to think of this. Is it leading to a convergence and standardisation? Possibly. Will it lead to replica/handheld versions of everything console? Quite possibly. Will it lead to integration of the handheld AND the console? Hopefully.

 

Honestly, I don't know what impact it'll have. It's so far off to that it's almost irrelevant as the market and tech will have evolved so much by then. I'd like to see more 3DS-WiiU integration(in a good way, though) and I'd like it if this means it's easier for devs to dev, or for Nintendo to help bring games across for devs(ie from another market such as they've said they'll do with 3DS, and possibly even helping to port other games - though that isnt so much down to this). I think it's another case of having to wait and see, really. As S.C.G said, people want this now - however many years down the line? Might be totally irrelevant.

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I like where you can play on Wii U and transfer your save over to the 3ds and carry on, that sounds awesome. I don't know if that's what they're going for with this but I hope it is.

 

My guess is that using the same assets they can make different games in a short time - new super mario bros U and 2 made on the same engine thus making them quicker to develop? That's what I got from this anyway :p

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Sounds like a bad idea to me. Having big similarities between a console and handheld - especially the ability to use the same code and assets - will mean that the handheld will likely get lots of console ports instead of unique games.

 

While this is great for people who just own the handheld, for people who own both it will seem like there is a big lack of games on the handheld.

 

This is the Vita's biggest problem.

 

Its a good point, the Vita and PSP both suffered from getting console style games or ports of exisitng games and they both died prematurely because of it. I think its a good idea to have the same basic scalable architecture but i dont want to see the same resident evil (for example) on both machines, rather id like to see two seperate games that slot into each other and reward the user for playing both. Dont get me wrong, there is a definite case for having Streetfighter or Monsterhunter work the same way accross both platforms, but does anyone really want to play Final Fantasy or Persona on a handheld instead of a big screen?

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I like where you can play on Wii U and transfer your save over to the 3ds and carry on, that sounds awesome. I don't know if that's what they're going for with this but I hope it is.

 

My guess is that using the same assets they can make different games in a short time - new super mario bros U and 2 made on the same engine thus making them quicker to develop? That's what I got from this anyway :p

 

I do a heck load of travelling to and from work and am uber excited about Monster Hunter 3 because of this ability, so I really hope it's something Nintendo are looking to intergrate into their next products (if not more Wii U/3DS offerings), for me this is the future, let's hope Nintendo agree, or that MH3 does well enough to make them notice!

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This is win-win in my opinion. Console gaming now needs to meet people's busier lifestyles and should be portable.

Portable gaming has continued to evolve to where we see games that would have been console experiences only a few years back. (luigi's Mansion could be a recent example).

The 'smaller' games on portables also have a home as a console game due to their built in shops and the quick-burst nature of portable games can find audiences on any platform.

 

I don't see the problem. Infact, it makes total sense as Nitnendo aren't getting massive third party support so need to leverage what they develop.

If I could sit down and play Kid Icarus on Wii U or play New Super Mario bros. U on my 3DS when at lunch at work - that's great. It's still Nintendo gaming and it's probably going to result in more games for both platforms.

Edited by tapedeck

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Personally, I find this fascinating, and also have a very good feeling about it.

 

We have got to the point where handheld graphics look (to all intents and purposes) as good as that of consoles. The main difference is that they aren't as powerful in actual terms because they need to be smaller and are rendering to a lower resolution (even if the PPI is good).

 

Many have pointed out that game engines will be more scaleable from now on, with the suggestion that the Wii U will be able to run Orbis/Durango games, even if they don't have all the graphical detail. It is even more likely that Orbis and Durango will have that relationship with the PC, as apparently they share the same architecture. With this in mind, try to imagine the next Nintendo handheld and console. The handheld will probably run games that look as good as the Wii U, even if they aren't actually 720p. The next Nintendo console will presumably be similar to Orbis/Durango. How likely is it that it'll run games that wouldn't work on the handheld?

 

We have got to the point where handheld games can ape their console counterparts very well. No need for "Phantom Hourglass"-type solutions (hopefully controls will fully catch up next). Nintendo must have a huge dilemma over which games (or even series) to put on handheld and which on consoles. If they can make a game that works on both, that will be a huge relief on their resources.

 

I know a lot of people think handheld games should be very different, but I'll leave you with this thought: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is arguably the greatest handheld game ever made. It was not designed in travelling-friendly chapters, or to be bite-sized. It was meant to be as close to the console experience as they could manage at the time. There was nothing half-hearted about Link's Awakening. They went all-out to create as good a game as possible - one that just happened to be on the Game Boy. By doing this they succeeded in creating an absolute classic - one that is still probably the best thing you can buy on the eShop.

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Without meaning to deviate too much from the point; what do you mean by "Phantom Hourglass"-type solutions?

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Without meaning to deviate too much from the point; what do you mean by "Phantom Hourglass"-type solutions?

Solve a puzzle by closing the DS

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