In a post on NeoGAF, Ori and the Blind Forest Developer, Thomas Mahler expressed some frustration at his studio’s inability to get a devkit for Nintendo’s upcoming NX over perceptions that the hardware is seen as “the second coming” and a “secretive” nature that the developers at Nintendo hold over their product. To be fair, Mahler explains that this kind of thing tends to happen with every hardware developer, but one can’t help but notice the familiar pattern likely to continue into the NX’s launch. Nintendo will continue to struggle with 3rd party support.
Here’s the post in full.
This is actually THE singlest most annoying thing for every dev out there. We also talked to Nintendo and got absolutely nothing – I’ll never understand that. And just to be clear, it’s not just Nintendo, every hardware manufacturer is treating their devkits and their unreleased consoles like they’re the second coming and are insanely secretive about it to a stupid degree in todays time. It’s not even that the hardware isn’t finished (duh), but you could at least give me the goddamn specs, so we’d know what to build shit for!
What’s needed to sell hardware is goddamn good software. With Nintendo not having any devkits out there at this point and probably even wanting to sell it in 2016, I can already guarantee that they’ll just not have any software support, since nobody can just jumble games together in less than a year. I mean, you can, but it’ll be garbage.
The same is true for Engine Support – Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles WAAAAY ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be EASY for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn’t just only start at this point. I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally 2 years before release – Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone’s having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that’s happening anywhere and it’s just braindamaged.
Quick Take: This shouldn’t be seen as a direct shot at Nintendo, though it’s very easy to do so. Clearly they, like many other hardware manufacturers struggle to grasp to complexities of their own systems and don’t factor in the time it takes to adapt to be able to create something worth shipping to store shelves. It’s simply a matter of communication, which is the frustrating part for developers like Mahler. That’s not to say that Nintendo shouldn’t be proud of their product, but to ensure it’s success (which is certainly within reach) they need to do everything they can to make sure 3rd party developers can hit the ground running to make the NX as good as it can be.