Former Nintendo exec Dan Adelman says Unity 3DS support would entice more indie studios

‘Nintendo needs more powerful hardware to attract devs’

Beefier graphics and faster processing would encourage more developers to create games for Wii U and 3DS.

That’s according to former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman, who also told Dromble that studios will always ask for more power. Adelman was Nintendo’s indie boss until he quit in August.

Nintendo’s home consoles have been notably less powerful than their rivals for the last two generations, meaning many of the titles available on Sony and Microsoft systems have been unfit for release on Wii or Wii U.

The result has been a further drop in third party support for these devices, something Dromble suggested could be fixed if Wii U and 3DS were more powerful, or supported widely used tech such as Unity.

"I think it would definitely be easier to get third party support, if only because publishers wouldn’t need to set up a separate team specifically for the Wii U or 3DS version," Adelman agreed.

"If you ask any developer what they want, they’ll always say: more RAM, faster CPU, faster GPU – just more power. That’s always the case for any system – even PS4 and Xbox One, and they’re only a little more than a year old at this point.

"And of course I would have loved to have Unity working on 3DS, since there are so many great indie games that were developed using that technology."

Unity is supported on Wii U – and, in fact, is free to any developer that receives a dev kit for the latest Nintendo console – but few of the big name indie games created with the popular engine have found their way to the platform’s eShop. Nintendo has said it’s looking into Unity for 3DS.

Adelman also commented on the lack of third party exclusives for Nintendo consoles, pointing to the low success rate and encouraging Nintendo to fix this by "absorbing some of the risk".

"There’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy in that publishers feel that they can’t compete with Nintendo first party, so they choose not to invest in making high quality products for the platform," he said. "There are notable exceptions like Rayman Legends but many times third party publishers set low sales projections for their games, and then decide a development budget based on that. I can’t say outright that they’re wrong either.

"There have been cases where companies decided to pull out the stops and make a great game for Nintendo platforms only to find that consumers weren’t interested. And it could be because consumers have been burnt by third party games on Nintendo platforms before.

"For Nintendo to break this cycle, I think they need to invest and absorb some of the risk for third parties who try to embrace the features of Nintendo platforms and help communicate to consumers which games are on par with Nintendo first party games in terms of quality. 

"If Nintendo doesn’t want to be a first-party-only system, they may need to be more aggressive in securing those games and making sure that they’re high quality."

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