Nintendo eyes up smartphone devs for Wii U

Nintendo eyes up smartphone devs for Wii U
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

May 7th 2013 at 12:40PM

Console giant continues push for third-party developers through web and mobile technologies

Nintendo is hoping to bring a wave of smartphone apps to the Wii U by modifying the console to support them, according to a report.

Company sources speaking to The Japan Times claimed that the console giant is providing conversion software to developers so that smartphone games can be ported to the Wii U, which is currently struggling somewhat for third-party support.

During a recent financial briefing Q&A, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said it hoped to attract a plethora of developers through its new HTML5 development framework.

He said that the number of developers who could use web technologies such as HTML5 and Javascript was 100 times larger than the number of dedicated console developers.

Iwata added that since its framework’s GDC reveal in March, Nintendo had received hundreds of inquiries about its tools, which he said would also help the console giant to “significantly reduce development challenges”. The company is also betting big on developers using the Unity engine to create more games for the console.

“The number of developers who can use versatile web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript is probably more than 100 times larger than that of the current software developers for dedicated gaming machines,” he said.

“We would like them to create software for our console. 'Wii Street U powered by Google' was actually developed by a very compact team whose core members had never developed games for dedicated gaming machines. As I have already mentioned, the application has been and will be updated constantly by a small development team, which means that the development environment has enabled us to significantly reduce development challenges.

“Since our announcement at GDC, we have received inquiries about it from hundreds of new development companies and individuals. We believe there will be something novel and fascinating from their development work, thereby expanding the range of the software available for Wii U.”