Developer support for Nintendo’s new Wii U will be absolutely key to its success. We know Ubisoft are on-board in a big way as are a host of other studios and publishers to a seemingly, so far at least, lesser degree.
While the big three all now have dual-screen setups for their consoles the key difference for Wii U developers is that they know that every Wii U console with have an accompanying GamePad. That’s an important factor for them to consider when allocating development resource to secondary screen features.
It is likely that there could be a trickle-down effect in that once dual screen features have been developed for the Wii U and it becomes simply a porting exercise to include them on other platforms they may start appearing. The key factor in that though will be how effectively the PS3 and 360 can stream a second channel of video data to an accompanying handheld when they were not, as far as we know, developed with that in mind.
While games like SingStar have been doing similar things with for years with the PSP and its remote song queuing interface, not that Sony shouts enough about its technology, that is hardly an example of a game where the two video streams must be synchronised and input processed as lag-free as possible.
From a consumer perspective when it comes to third party cross-platform titles from those developers the main point of interest is how will the Wii U version be better or different. To show some of the features that third party developers are using the GamePad for Nintendo have put together some ‘developer interviews’.
They are really just short marketing videos but they do show some of the things we will be using the GamePad for. Take a look.
Darksiders II: Death Lives
Assassin’s Creed III
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition
That is some of the consumer education taken care of so now turn your thoughts again to the developers themselves. Faced with a new piece of technology it can be difficult to think of new ways to use it. Part of Nintendo’s solution, that also will help ‘train’ new Wii U owners in the same way as the PS Vita’s Welcome Park, is Nintendoland.
Superficially a collection of 12 minigames it brings together all that’s new about the Wii U from the new GamePad controller to integration with Miiverse. Beyond Nintendoland, Miiverse also has implications for what will be possible within games as a Nintendo console finally has much better integration with the outside world.
Part of their developer education strategy is presentations and discussions. An editted highlight reel of one of those sessions at E3 has been made available as part of Nintendo’s All Access series. We have already hunted it down to save you the trouble.
How are your own thoughts on the Wii U developing during E3? Seen anything particularly convincing that might sway your purchasing decision yet?