Wii U expanding third-party dev range with HTML5

Wii U expanding third-party dev range with HTML5
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 31st 2013 at 1:13PM

Console giant to showcase its efforts to increase number of software developers at GDC 2013

Nintendo is focused on expanding its range of software developers through web technologies and coding platforms such as HTML5, JavaScript and Unity, company CEO Satoru Iwata has said.

Speaking during the console giant’s quarterly financial results briefing, Iwata said that with the large investment it takes to make big games, the diversion of web tech and the rise of indie developers, it was important for Nintendo to adapt to attract as many third-party developers as possible.

He said that Nintendo would reveal its plans to expand the number of software developers through the tech at GDC in March.

Iwata also stated that a number of Wii U services had been developed through web browsing engines, such as Wii Street U, which allows users to access Google Maps through their Wii U, some video on demand services, Miiverse and Nintendo TVii.

He added that using such applications meant Nintendo was able to release a number of services quicker than previous platforms and also use less development resources.

“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,” said Iwata, referring to Wii Street U.

“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.

“At GDC (Game Developers Conference) to be held in March, we will show you some of our efforts to expand the range of software developers. They will include the development environment used for "Wii Street U" and some VOD services, where you can develop the Wii U software using web technologies like HTML5 and JavaScript and Unity, a cross-platform video game engine used by many users.”