One popular suggestion for Nintendo in the future is to have a unified platform—that is, a platform that you can both take with you and hook up to your television. This would allow games made for mobile and home console to exist on one platform, and give a Nintendo console essentially twice as much, if not more, yearly content. Nintendo does a great job between both platforms, and would only do better if they were together. Shigeru Miyamoto agrees, and has some ideas to add.
It should be noted Shigeru Miyamoto is more referencing the ability for a game to be played on both platforms, rather than one or the other. This means he still foresees a two platform future, but a much more unified development cycle.
Miyamoto: So, certainly if you look at the show floor, currently the games are designed for the systems they’re running on. There are games that in a way take advantage of being on a higher-spec machine that plays on a TV and there are games that are designed to play better on a portable machine. But certainly we’ve gotten to an age where the technology has advanced and it’s become more and more possible to have a similar experience running on a lower-spec system. And even within the Wii U itself we have the Virtual Console, which sort of is an exhibit of how you can have one type of play that is at a higher-spec level and another type of play at a lower-spec level as well. So certainly I think there is possibility in that area in the future.
So, this is a bit of a tangent, but five years ago I think the industry was at a point where many game developers felt that, if they weren’t creating games for the highest-spec machine, then they weren’t going to get work, that the business would go away.
But over the last five years we’ve seen that the range of devices that they develop for has expanded, so they’re able to decide if they want to create something that is very high spec type of game or something that is for a lower-spec device. So I just think it’s good to see the freedom of choice that developers now have.
What I can say is, certainly, within Nintendo the fact that our development environment for our home console is different from the development environment for our portable system is certainly an area of stress or challenge for the development teams. So as we move forward, we’re going to look at what we can do to unify the two development environments.
So, particularly with digital downloads now and the idea that you’re downloading the right to play a game, that opens up the ability to have multiple platform digital downloads where you can download on one and download on another. Certainly from a development standpoint there is some challenge to it, because if you have two devices that have different specs and you’re being told to design in a way that the game runs on both devices, then that can be challenging for the developer—but if you have a more unified development environment and you’re able to make one game that runs on both systems instead of having to make a game for each system, that’s an area of opportunity for us.
Totilo: It’s good to hear you say that, by the way. It’s not really a question, but Super Mario Bros. 3 had just been released on Virtual Console in the States on 3DS and Wii U on the same day. You had to pay for it for each download. You couldn’t get it for free [on the other platform]…
Miyamoto: Ohhh. That’s right. I’m sorry. [laughter]
Totilo: Maybe you guys can do that differently next time.
Miyamoto: I’ll think about it.