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  1. #1
    Scirel's Avatar
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    NEWS Nintendo to use Unified OS on their Next Gen Console and Handheld

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    Nintendo's next console and mobile will be "like brothers" - GameSpot

    The next home console and portable devices from Nintendo may feature a common development platform much like iOS or Android, president Satoru Iwata said during a recent investor briefing, which was translated into English and published today.
    Iwata explained that in 2013, Nintendo reorganized its R&D divisions so that the company's handheld devices and home console development teams are now part of one singular division. In the past, this separation of resources led to "completely different architectures" and thus "divergent methods" of software development methods, Iwata said.
    "However, because of vast technological advances, it became possible to achieve a fair degree of architectural integration," he explained. "We discussed this point, and we ultimately concluded that it was the right time to integrate the two teams."
    Iwata specifically called out the difficulty of porting a Wii game to 3DS, saying it would require a "huge amount of effort" because the software architecture is "entirely different." The same issue crops up when Nintendo tried to port 3DS games to Wii U, he said.
    Nintendo won't face these issues going forward beyond the Wii U and 3DS, Iwata said, because the company's new unified approach will allow consoles and handhelds to become "like brothers in a family of systems."

    "While we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture," Iwata said. "It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately."
    Finally, Iwata said he remains unsure if the form factor of its next platforms will be integrated to establish some kind of hybrid system. Instead, he said the opposite might be true; that the number of form factors could increase in the way that multiple devices can run iOS and Android. This will all depend on consumer demand, he said.
    "The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples," Iwata said, referencing iOS and Android. "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."
    I for one am overjoyed at this, in that I`ll be able to buy ONE nintendo console and take it with me wherever. Only problem is it'll probably take them ten years to release their old games on it for some reason and still find a way to charge $5 for NES games.
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  2. #2
    defunctzombie's Avatar
    defunctzombie is offline Cutie Pie
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    I don't read the article that way. It sounds more like them becoming something akin to steam, which means you'll have to buy something pretty high end and expensive to be able to carry around the high end (WiiU) games.
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  3. #3
    Mandouga is offline Senior Member
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    I personally would like to clarify that this does not mean that their next system will actually use iOS or Android; they were simply naming those as examples of a "common" platform, which their next console and handheld will likely have. Nintendo games will always be on Nintendo systems, and I know that they'll keep it that way. just saying.

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  4. #4
    Radiant's Avatar
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    I really want the handhelds and consoles to remain separate, because they are two different markets, of which different games are released. For the most part, console games are full experiences intended to be played for long spurts, while handheld games are often smaller than their console counterparts, and are meant to only be played for a short amount of time.

    What would a merging even mean? Would all games shift one direction or the other? Sounds nightmarish, especially if they all shifted the handheld direction. I like my console Zeldas much better than handheld Zeldas.

    The only thing I really see being beneficial (and can be done without making both into one console) is an unified eShop/Virtual Console, and I hope that's where this is going. Because the VC is pathetic right now... Blunt, I know, but it has to be said. One of the biggest issues of the VC is that they have to release each individual game on each individual console slowly each and every single time (and you have to pay for it again, too!). Wii's VC should have been a part of Wii U's VC from the very start. I'm sick and tired of hearing about the same darn NES and SNES titles being rereleased on each and every console. Get it straight, NIntendo!
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  5. #5
    Jave's Avatar
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    Seems a lot of people aren't even reading the translated investor meeting, so here's what it was said, along with my own speculation:

    - For the next gen, Nintendo wants to have a unified OS that's akin to iOS or Android (hence the mention of those systems). This means you will be able to use/create a NNID for these systems and access all your purchases from either system whether they are new games or Virtual Console, similar at how you can do if you own an iPhone and an iPad.

    - This does NOT mean that Nintendo will release one sole system that encompasses everything console and handheld (the title alone of the linked article shows they will still be releasing two systems, like always), nor that every game will be available on both upcoming systems. Nintendo will likely keep certain titles exclusive (like Pokémon on the handheld system), to make sure each system has unique value in regards to games. Stuff like Mario Kart will also get their own version for each system, most likely.

    - In regards to Virtual Console, I'm willing to bet every title and system available on both Wii U and 3DS VC will be compatible with the upcoming systems right off the bat. You link your NNID and you download them, no charge. It's why I think they're releasing GBA and DS on Wii U, mostly to set up a big library and have NES/SNES/N64/GB/GBC/GBA/DS games all ready by the time the next gen systems hit.

    - The unified OS will likely be so that Nintendo can fully unify everything using their recent NNID system and make porting between systems easier. The OS and architecture will be the same, but not necessarily the specs.

    EDIT: Changed thread title to make it less misleading.
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  6. #6
    GWOtaku's Avatar
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    What this basically means to me is that Nintendo wants to pursue its own version of Sony's Playstation Vita / PS3 and PS4 synergy, which is a fantastic thing because that's the smartest thing and the best thing for gamers that's been done in this industry since Nintendo introduced motion gaming with the Wii. Bring it. No doubt this will also mean a unified eShop, which is frankly something the Wii U and 3DS could desperately use right now. Buying titles separately for each system for $5 on the low end is not at all practical and they're leaving money on the table every day that so much of their illustrious library is not directly accessible on their consoles.
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  7. #7
    Leviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    - This does NOT mean that Nintendo will release one sole system that encompasses everything console and handheld (the title alone of the linked article shows they will still be releasing two systems, like always), nor that every game will be available on both upcoming systems. Nintendo will likely keep certain titles exclusive (like Pokémon on the handheld system), to make sure each system has unique value in regards to games. Stuff like Mario Kart will also get their own version for each system, most likely..
    For stuff like Mario Kart, I assume that it will go like Smash Bros. is now, both versions will be built from the same engine and use most of the same assets, but the tracks will be different.

    They'll save on production costs, but each new version would lose it's uniqueness.
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