Iwata on integrating handheld/console teams, next system will "absorb the Wii U architecture adequately", more - Nintendo Everything

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Iwata on integrating handheld/console teams, next system will “absorb the Wii U architecture adequately”, more

Posted on February 3, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

Satoru Iwata delivered some incredibly insightful comments as to what Nintendo has planned for its future hardware during an investor briefing Q&A last week.

As many of you know, Nintendo combined its console and handheld teams in 2013. Thanks to “vast technological advances, it became possible to achieve a fair degree of architectural integration.”

Iwata says that the integration of the two teams can help overcome some technical difficulties. He mentioned, as an example, that it currently takes “a huge amount of effort” to port Wii games to 3DS, and 3DS titles to Wii U. “If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms,” he said.

Integrating the console and handheld teams will also allow Nintendo to avoid situations in which it previously “ended up developing a system that was completely different from its predecessor.” Aside from the transition from GameCube to Wii, “all the other systems required ground-up effort.”

Iwata left a tease as for what’s to come, stating:

In this perspective, while we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture. It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately. When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems.

Be sure to head past the break for Iwata’s comments in full, as there’s quite a bit more he shared that would be silly to summarize further.

Last year Nintendo reorganized its R&D divisions and integrated the handheld device and home console development teams into one division under Mr. Takeda. Previously, our handheld video game devices and home video game consoles had to be developed separately as the technological requirements of each system, whether it was battery-powered or connected to a power supply, differed greatly, leading to completely different architectures and, hence, divergent methods of software development. However, because of vast technological advances, it became possible to achieve a fair degree of architectural integration. We discussed this point, and we ultimately concluded that it was the right time to integrate the two teams.

For example, currently it requires a huge amount of effort to port Wii software to Nintendo 3DS because not only their resolutions but also the methods of software development are entirely different. The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U. If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms. Also, as technological advances took place at such a dramatic rate, and we were forced to choose the best technologies for video games under cost restrictions, each time we developed a new platform, we always ended up developing a system that was completely different from its predecessor. The only exception was when we went from Nintendo GameCube to Wii. Though the controller changed completely, the actual computer and graphics chips were developed very smoothly as they were very similar to those of Nintendo GameCube, but all the other systems required ground-up effort. However, I think that we no longer need this kind of effort under the current circumstances. In this perspective, while we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture. It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately. When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems.

Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform. To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples. Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment. However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future.

Source

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  • ezquimacore
    • sonicfan1373

      lol 😀

    • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

      yes, but given these are only rumored raw specs, I believe the actual results for when Nintendo actually announces Terminal and Fusion for certain will be GREATER than what those documents detail if you ask me.

      • D2K

        I would take any spec reports with a mountain of salt. I remember that when the spec of the Wii U were first leaked it was rumored to have a Power7 Quad-Core with 4GB of RAM and a ATI Radeon 4570 GPU . Of course the Wii U has a Tri-Core PowerPC750 and 2GB of RAM and a ATI Radeon 6670 GPU. It’s still a beast in terms of specs when you actually break it down, but not as beasty as the Power7 would have been.

        • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

          That’s why I said given these are only rumored specs.

    • SecretX

      Yeah no new console. “Fusion” rumor was correct but it was actually development group.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    This can only mean good news. Whether their consoles have great graphics or not, I will always buy their systems because they have great experiences that can’t be had anywhere else.

    • Rowdy

      Same here! I’ve been a fan since I was 3 years old back in the NES days, and will continue to be a Nintendo fan through each new generation of consoles/handhelds and games that they release 🙂

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        Been a fan since the GameCube days though I could’ve started during N64 cycle actually. Nothing can sway my passion for Nintendo now 😉 Wii U will go down to be a great system, even if the sales aren’t there to justify it, as all that matters is the games and the fun they provide.

        • Rowdy

          You said it! Nintendo will continue to provide excellent gaming experiences for many years to come, and I (along with other fans) will be there along for the ride!

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            Till the day I die 🙂

    • Mark

      Indeed, the Nintendo sub par experience for a high price tag can’t be found anywhere else.

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        No one cares what you think

        • Mark

          Of course you don’t, blind Nintendo shiteaters are the worst.

          I like my 3DS, but WiiU is an utter flop, not debatable. Regret buying it.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            what would you know? you just admitted you are one yourself since you have 3DS. Wii U will take longer to impress than 3DS-patience grasshopper

          • Mark

            Having Nintendo products doesn’t make one a shiteater, being blind to the failures and shortcomings is kiddo. Learn to differentiate.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            If you did, you would’ve regretted getting a 3DS but you didn’t. You sir just contradicted yourself.

          • Mark

            Are you illiterate or just playing stupid?

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            which sounds more realistic to YOU?

          • Mark

            Yeah, i’ll just go with both.

            You done yet?

          • So sell it and move on. Why bother coming here and threadshitting?

          • Mark

            Dunno why my original reply was *moderated*

            but I had said that the idiot diehards who will swallow whatever Nintendo shovels out aren’t helping them to make the necessary changes.

          • PattonFiend

            The Wii U is in the mess because of people and media who do not even own the console tear it to shreds…

            You are a fool to think otherwise and obviously a sheeple…

          • Mark

            You dropped your tinfoil hat.

          • Rowdy

            Being hopeful about the Wii U does not make one a “shiteater.” Yes, the Wii U does have several areas for improvement, but that does not mean that everybody should dismiss the console and consider it a failure. You are not a “shiteater” for having your opinion, and neither are others that have a different opinion than yours.

          • Mark

            Its been over a year, 3rd parties have abandoned it, its only now getting first party games worth playing and the tablet is pretty useless apart from letting me play with the tv off and keeps the price of the console way too high.

          • Rowdy

            I agree that it has been over a year, and the Wii U has not yet had its “break-out moment.” True, some 3rd parties have abandoned the Wii U (EA, 2K Interactive), and some 3rd parties have reduced their support of the console. But I disagree that the situation is irreversible (Iwata mentioned at the Investor Q&A that he acknowledges that Nintendo has to build up the install base for the Wii U, and that Nintendo needs to lead that by having a more consistent 1st and 2nd party release schedule, and this is starting this month with DKC:TF, and other high profile games coming in the following months). Also, the GamePad is great for other uses apart from Off-TV play, and some games take advantage of that (ZombiU, Nintendo Land, Super Mario 3D World, LoZ: The WindWaker HD, Wonderful 101, etc.). As for the price, they are selling the console at a loss, and a price cut is not practical at this moment. Plus, it is cheaper out of the box when compared to the PS4 and XB1. Most of the cost of the Wii U is actually the GamePad, and until they can lower the production costs for the GamePad, the console won’t be able to be sold cheaper than it is right now.

          • Mark

            Maybe not impossible but definitely not easy, its very close to becoming another Gamecube or even Dreamcast situation. If Nintendo is going to keep the tablet included it has to bite the bullet and drop the price immensely to get units in homes. Because right now $300 is insane when for $100 more I can get a PS4

          • Rowdy

            I can see where your coming from, and know that some people see it the same way. But, like you said, it is not impossible, and I think that Iwata realizes that it is not an easy situation. Personally, I have faith that Nintendo can regain momentum for the Wii U and make it a better commercial success than both the GameCube and Dreamcast. I agree with Iwata that another price drop is not the way to go (at least right now, after all, Nintendo did cut the price for the Wii U last year); rather, the thing that Nintendo needs is better marketing (improved advertisement, and better information for potential consumers — Wii U is not an extension to the Wii, it is a successor), and a steadier release of 1st and 2nd party games.

          • PattonFiend

            Wow, Plex in 1080p is amazing, homebrew apps like wiicraft, ftpii, wiimc are all amazing, the internet browser is amazing, watching sports on NintendoTVii is amazing, playing off screen is amazing, being able to hook it up in your car for road trips (and tvless) is amazing, having it 100% backwards compatible and all of the Wii games on the GamePad is also amazing, VC is amazing… Hmm… If I didn’t know any better, playing games on the GamePad is a better experience than one could ever get on any other console…

            If I didn’t know any better, I would say that your Wii U needs a new owner so that it can get taken care of and played properly as to not go to waste, as it seemingly is by being in your possession…

      • Birches Leaves

        Feel better now? I do.

      • TalesOfBS

        Oh, you mad kid.

    • SecretX

      yeah but they’re not making a new console. they’re just trying to figure how to merge the games on their systems without wasting so much time on developing for each console.

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        yeah, I know, I was just stating I’ll never stop getting their consoles. Yes I know all that. Also, I finally sold my 3DS. Now I can use that money towards the A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL Bundle-but I’m also considering getting the Animal Crossing New Leaf bundle or even the Mario and Luigi:Dream Team bundle.

  • But what does really mean for us Wii U owners? Does it mean that the new system will be backwards compatible with the Wii U? Does it mean that my Wii U digital library of games will be available on the next system? Does it mean both? I think Iwata should be more clear so that Wii U owners can happily spend money knowing it won’t be wasted with next system, same with the money spent in the eShop.

  • gimmegimmekevin

    Please, let this mean they drop PowerPC.

    • TheChosen

      No, Loser! Consider this fact:

      Nintendo-games does not work without PowerPC. They simply do not work without specialized TEV-Shaders. They also need eDRAM for a POINT, dumbass! And the point for eDRAM (which is much faster than simply GDDR5) is- delivering high performance bandwith directly to the TEV-units.

  • Jimmy Boy

    So, this tells me they’re going to make a Switch Mini to be their next handheld…