GDC 13: Nintendo supports HTML5 with web framework for Wii U

GDC 13: Nintendo supports HTML5 with web framework for Wii U
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 27th 2013 at 10:50PM

New development environment to support app creation using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS

Nintendo has revealed a new Nintendo Web Framework to support the development of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS apps on the Wii U.

The framework, based on WebKit technologies, also supports the Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote controllers and JavaScript extensions such as video playback.

Speaking at GDC 2013, Nintendo claimed that that the toolset for apps would reduce development times and allow for the easy creation of apps through using common web technologies.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stated in January that the console giant was focused on expanding its range of software developers through web tech and coding platforms such as HTML5, JavaScript and Unity, given the rise of indie developers and diversion of web tech.

When discussing Wii Street U, a version of Google Streeview made specifically for the console, Iwata said: "By the way, this service has been developed by a small team mostly using web technologies based on HTML5, not the so-called native codes only for Wii U applications.

“Both Miiverse and Nintendo TVii have been created as web applications utilising browsing engines. The Wii U console is powerful enough to smoothly run such applications as developed in this way without writing any specific programs. We have been able to deploy various services for this console with less in-house development resources in a more timely manner than our previous platforms.

“Now is the time the development of video games for dedicated platforms requires a vast investment. Thinking of diversion of web services, creation of prototypes and development of independent label games, it has become more important to expand the range of software developers."

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