Iwata: Nintendo console development should be like mobile

Iwata: Nintendo console development should be like mobile
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 4th 2014 at 12:32PM

Standardised programming between systems and generation leaps could increase amount of software on new hardware

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata wants handheld and console development to be more like iOS and Android.

Speaking during an investors Q&A, Iwata said developers on Apple and Android always had a common method of programming that would also work with a plethora of form factors and new iterations.

He compared this to console, where each generation of new hardware often required Nintendo to build completely new systems, and its teams had to learn how to make new games for that specific platform. It also meant titles from previous consoles would not cross over.

In future, Iwata said Nintendo, starting with the next generation, should ensure its consoles feature architectural similarities between each generation. He added he hoped this would also increase the amount of software for its platforms by third-parties and make it easier to port games between home consoles and handhelds.

"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," he said.

"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."

The statements come a year after Nintendo merged its console and handheld hardware teams, suggesting Nintendo has already begun reworking how it approaches its system architecture.