Silicon Studios, the acclaimed development team behind the critically acclaimed Bravely Default for Nintendo 3DS, has shown off its new next generation rendering machine which will be used on consoles. You can check out the lovely visuals in the video, above.
Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno and director Kosuke Yabuki have praised the power of Nintendo’s latest home console Wii U and say that the game will deliver a visually impressive experience. Konno explained to GameSpot that they have put a lot of effort into making Mario Kart 8 a good looking game, and he concluded by saying that it’s a very pretty game. Here’s what they had to say.
“We’re working with HD for the first time, and we really wanted to take advantage of that,” Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno said in a roundtable interview attended by GameSpot. “The last console version was Mario Kart Wii, which was released in 2008, so it was about six years ago. And during those six years, we were able to incorporate a lot of technology in our development process, but especially on the graphics side. So we put a lot of effort into making this a good looking game–it’s a very pretty game.”
“This time with the power of the Wii U we really made an effort to keep that graphic quality high regardless of how many ways we were splitting the TV into.”
“We’ve also been able to show movement on the [karts and bikes] that we haven’t seen before,” he said. “We’re seeing bounding, we’re seeing different parts of the kart move, we’re seeing dirt on the tires, we’re seeing skidmarks left on the course–again I think we’ve done a good job of utilizing that graphical power.”
“Using the power of the Wii U, we were able to create a Mario Kart title that feels right, and the controls feel like they’re perfect for this game.”
Assassin’s Creed Producer Martin Schelling, and lead game designer Jean-Sebastien Decant, have revealed that Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag for Wii U will be visually somewhere between current generation consoles and next generation console. This is similar to what Ubisoft have previously said about Watch Dogs, which the team says is closer to current generation consoles than next gen, but it’s somewhere vaguely in between.
“It will be I think, in between the current gen and next gen consoles. We could have had some of the tools from the companion on the second screen, but because the companion app will be available with Wii U too we didn’t include them.”
Crysis 3 Producer Mike Read has said that Crytek is after more power from video games consoles, and hopes that both the PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox can achieve this. Read says that the studio wants to be able to deliver a similar experience graphically to console gamers as they currently achieve on the PC. He went on to say that the whole team is asking for better graphics and raw processing power, from the developers to the art design team. Here’s his thoughts.
“I think that whatever they end up delivering there are a lot of things that we want, and as you said more power is originally at the core of what we want. We want to be able to deliver a similar experience graphically to console gamers as much as we do in pushing the PC.”
“Being a producer, I deal with all different people, so I’m sure talking to the Art guy they’ll be like “Yeah, we want more graphics!” talking to the Level Design team, “We want more processing power!” and the Technical guys they want a little bit of everything,”
Nintendo in-house developers are currently getting more and more used to developing for their HD home console, and promise that the next wave of titles are becoming more advanced than what we’ve currently seen from the company. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also reiterated that the home consoles of other companies are six or seven years old and software developers have sufficiently studied them and know how to take full advantage of them well. The same will eventually apply to Wii U.
“For Wii U, such a time finally came in the latter half of last year. In this sense, we could not avoid the trial and error stage to create games which take full advantage of the hardware. I think that this is true for third-party software developers as well as Nintendo’s. The home consoles of other companies are six or seven years old and software developers have sufficiently studied them and know how to take full advantage of them well. As Wii U is new to them, some developers have already acquired the knack and made good use of its features and others have not.
“You might see this gap among the games that are currently available. However, we are not much concerned about this problem because time will eventually solve it. Actually, we believe that our in-house development teams have almost reached the next stage.”
Epic Games has announced that it is opening a new studio in Seattle which will focus exclusively on Unreal Engine 4 development. The studio is currently on the look out for new talent to join their studio, which includes programmers and engineers to work with its current engineering group.
“The proximity to key partners, the density of world-class talent and all the factors that make Seattle an attractive place to live convinced us that it is the perfect locale for Epic’s West Coast operation. We are looking to hire even more of the best engineers around to contribute to Unreal Engine 4, which we believe is set to change the way we all make games.”
- Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps
Capcom director Hideaki Itsuno believes that compared to Western video game developers, Japanese developers have different priorities. Itsuno claims that Western developers start with a game’s visuals, and then work on building its gameplay. According to Itsuno, Capcom Japan gradually builds a game’s visuals but after solidifying its gameplay.
“Given our experience, it seems like with the west and Ninja Theory they focus on the visuals stuff at the beginning and then build the gameplay on top of that.”
“Whereas at Capcom Japan, we focus on the game logic and getting the systems down in the beginning then we gradually build the visuals on top of that. I think this speaks to the differences in the core of how western games are developed compared to games in Japan.”
Mark Rein, the VP of Unreal Engine 4 studio Epic Games, says that next generation console visuals will be the graphical equivalent of Adam West’s Batman to Christian Bale’s Dark Knight Rises. Rein says that once you’ve succumb to next generation visuals it’s extremely difficult to go back to current generation games.
“Pushing the visuals will always be important. Humans evolve very slowly (over millions of years) but their tastes evolve at exponentially faster rates. This is true for pretty much all forms of entertainment and media.”
“During my own brief lifetime thus far I’ve gone from watching the Adam West Batman shows of the ‘60s to watching Christian Bale’s Dark Knight today. It’s hard to go back to watch the older series, and people generally don’t.”
“Their expectations evolve as new technologies become commonplace. Think of what mobile games looked like before the iPhone came out, and that was only five years ago!”
Several video game developers have spoken to IGN off-record about the graphical powers of the Nintendo 3DS.
The game developers that spoke to gaming publication IGN claim that the portable devices graphical capability’s are very close to what the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 currently offer.
Nintendo has not revealed any specs for the 3DS system, but expect it to well surpass the Nintendo DS in visual and processor capabilities. To provide stereoscopic 3D effects the system must have the ability to render each game field twice, one for each of the player’s eyes, a technique that will require significant horsepower to produce.
Several developers that have experienced 3DS in its current form have reported, off the record, that it has processing capabilities that far exceed the Nintendo Wii and bring the device with abilities that are close to HD consoles such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
- IGN sources
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles producer Masachika Kawata believes that his teams new title sets a new standard for in-game visuals on the Nintendo Wii.
“I think it’s perfectly possible to create great horror presentation on the Wii. In fact, unfortunately, we’re not able to show it off just yet, but very shortly we’re hoping to show off a stage from a new scenario and I think when fans get a look at that they will really be asking themselves, is this really on the Wii? Actually, we went to Nintendo’s offices earlier on this month to show them this new stage and they were really, really impressed by it and impressed by what we were able to get out of the Wii.”
- Masachika Kawata, Capcom