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Nintendo Now Giving Out Free Development Kits to Third-Party Developers?

Jonathan Holme, writer, podcaster, animator, and video guy at Destructoid, has announced via Twitter that he has been hearing that a number of third-party developers have been receiving free Wii U development kits in an effort to entice them to design games for the system. Holmes is adamant that if enough developers take advantage of the free Wii U development kits then Nintendo could ultimately end up getting the most third-party support in the end.

Thanks, Ness

92 thoughts on “Nintendo Now Giving Out Free Development Kits to Third-Party Developers?”

  1. Now THIS is the news I’ve been waiting for for the Wii U! The Wii U’s time is beginning if this is true.

        1. More alive then the PS3 and 360 though. Odd. Hmmm. Statements that have no backing seem to be a waste of space… I might as well just punk on my keyboard and post that cause it’s the same dribble you have just wasted everyones time with.

  2. Hmm, thats interesting.
    I don’t know how well that will work for Nintendo financially, but indie devs especially are going to find that alot more alluring that making risky deals with other companies, to buy their dev kits

    1. I’m sure Nintendo could give away 1000+ dev kits and cancel it out with the release of a 30cent/pence Wiiu virtual console trial game. Peanuts.

      1. True, but either way, it’s good to see Nintendo being more of an open platform than how they normally are.
        I know the WiiU won’t be my “main” system, i’ll most likely put more hours into my PS4, although some games here and there, like Injustice and maybe Destiny, i’ll choose to get on WiiU instead, just because of the community aspect, and people on this site like yourself, getting as many 3rd party devs will make the WiiU, hopefully, a consistant gaming platform for me, where the Wii just kind disappeared from my spotlight, id like the WiiU to stay in it all the time rather just because of the occasional exclusive.

          1. I duno, i thought it was confirmed?
            Maybe im thinking of Watch Dogs, but i remember somewhere about it coming to WiiU. Oh well, if im wrong im wrong, still doesnt make my point less valid.

                  1. And they had a Wii U box or controller or something like that in the original vids released of the intial alpha gameplay. Was a while ago though. Will have to wait and see. It will probably be a long time before destiny sees the light of day though. Even though Bioware is owned by EA now they still tend to take their time with new IP’s. Of course loads of their staff F’d off so………

                    1. Shit, was thinking of a diferent game I think. Damn this beer! My brain is jumbled. Who the fuck is making and releasing this? Shit there goes all my discretion and clout…

          2. Activision puts there stuff on EVERYTHING. Destiny will be on Wii U. Plus the Bungie Guy in that vidoc sent a text to another Guy saying “My body is ready.” As we all know that’s a Nintendo saying.

        1. Indeed. I agree an extra platform is required to satisfy third party games next gen such as Dshonoured , borderlands , etc etc the type of games that don’t come to wiiu. But I view my wiiu as the ”main” platform that I will be enthusiastic about.. that’s just me though :)

    2. beemothelittleboy

      I hope rovio doesn’t try to put their greasy finger marks all over Wii u, angry birds is such crap, I mean who hell publishes a trilogy of four games and thinks its gonna sell for 50.00 when you can buy them all for free, rovio is as bad as ea, they publish games (angry birds space) half complete and then expect fools to buy more galaxies to play with, ain’t no ‘body go time for dat

      1. Of course they will. They are platform whores. But honestly the Wii U will probably have one of the better Angry Birds experiences because of the touch pad and HD. But thats no different then a tablet so….. Once again. Platform Whores.

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      1. Nintendo announces games they haven’t even begun to work on yet all the time! (remember how the next Smash Bro was announced before Kid Icarus was even released? Sakurai is in charge of both)

        1. how do you know they haven’t even begun to work on smash bros at that time? before any work on the actual game can start you need to go through pre-production.. where the game is conceptualised.. on big project that can easily take up to a year and no one in their right minds is going to announce a game that doesn’t even have a finished concept

          if these dev kits do incite some developers to develop an original game for wii U we won’t hear about it for a while

          of course i didn’t consider the fact that some developers may be inclined to port games to wii U they’ve originally only intended for other platforms
          carry on :)

      2. Iwata announced the new Smash Bros before development had even started.

        Levine announced Bioshock for Vita, and we’ve yet to see or hear from it ever since. It’s safe to say they hadn’t started development on that.

        If significant progress has been made on a game in two months, as is certainaly possible for indie developers, I see no reason why they couldn’t announce something.

        1. i very much doubt these free dev kits are being handed out to indie developers.. i’m almost certain this would be directed at mid sized and large development studios

          1. I’m not so sure about that. Mot mid to large development studios can afford the dev kits and mostly already have them. It’s the smaller studios that these dev kits are likely for.

            1. well.. i’m sure that most mid to large sized studios would at least have one of them to see what it’s about.. thing is in order to develop a big title you need a lot more than just 1 dev kit
              it may well be that some didn’t think it worth the effort

              but how would nintendo determine what tiny indie studio to send a wii U to? it may just end up on some desk of a 2 man group who decided they wanted to program a remake of pacman.. seems a very unreliable approach to me
              could be that there’s some trusted indie devs they’ll send one to

              i just read that he also said that he’s been hearing about that ever since release.. so seems like they’ve been doing it all the time

              “Jonathan Holmes ‏@TronKnotts 5 Apr

              @twelvezero8 No, they’ve started this initiative from the start, before there was any indication that the Wii U might not sell so well.”

    1. They’re going to make a contract that makes sure a particular developer makes a game and then BAMM Nintendo will increase their fees to get the dev kit money back.

      1. That doesn’t even make sense cause the costs and money transfer would be included in the contract just like every other contract ever made on the planet earth since the beginning of time…

  4. Awesomsauce!
    Although, this is a move of desperation and then some, I believe this move will ultimately be a good one on Nintendo’s part.

    Now if they’d just start advertising the Wii U a lot more, I remember the old Wii commercial, where the two Asian men drove around in a smart car and knocked on the door, and played Wii. If Nintendo really wants to seal the deal they are going to have to really step it up with their advertising, AND NOT JUST THE INTERNET!

    For starters, they need television ads, free game giveaways by mail like they did with Super Mario Allstars, run tournaments such as the ones in the movie The Wizard, they just need to do all kinds of things to get the undecided consumers interested in the console, and keep them happy after they purchase one,

    All in all, a great move on Nintendo’s part, they just need more advertising.

    1. This isn’t desperation at all really. It’s already been said that Nintendo is giving so much more to indie devs than either Sony or Microsoft, such as free updates on software, which is highly important for up and coming developers.

    2. @J Belcher.. Don’t know where you live, but if you ever look at Cartoon network or Disney XD, frequently I see commercials for the Wii U. Also, I don’t see it a a desperate move, I see it as a smart one. There’s a perception that Nintendo doesn’t care about 3rd parties. Nintendo is showing it’s fans and critics, that it’s serious about 3rd party support. Now, if Nintendo still lacks support, people will know it’s not Nintendo, but fanboy business people. Looking at you EA…

  5. Wow…Just wow. The only reason a 3rd party company wouldn’t develop for Wii U now is if they are lazy or Sony/Microsoft fanboysss!!!

      1. PS3 and 360 are now considered underpowered as well, if you’re judging by PS4 standards, and the Wii U has the advantage over them, yet people still develop incredible games for the PS360.
        So, in actuality, there’s no reason, outside of the few rare graphics whore company projects, to say that the Wii U won’t get support in the future, when the PS360 still do despite being lesser than the Wii U from a few tech standpoints.

      1. @Ness..your logic is completely ridiculous. By giving 3rd parties these free developer kits, Nintendo is absorbing some of the financial costs. This allows 3rd parties to use some of those savings to develop for the Wii U. In other words, it becomes a win win situation for both Nintendo and developers.

  6. Should be interesting to find out if this is true. If it is, I wonder what the qualifications are, how many free kits are being given out, and who are the devs receiving them.

    1. Aelous is an ass but recently ness have been very excited whit what Nintendo is doing is like he tried 1 and fall in love whit it.

    1. @PiionU..Just like Microsoft isn’t greedy for charging for online access to play games like Call of Duty, or Sony isn’t greedy for not offering backwards compatiability on the PS4? Bottom line is this, Nintendo is a FOR profit company like Microsoft and Sony. If they’re truly doing this, I think it’s great. Why? In the short term it may hurt their pockets, but in the long term, they stand to reap huge benefits. For example, look at the 3ds. Wasn’t selling at 1st (due to lack of quality games), but Nintendo took aggressive measures, now they’re reaping the benefits.

    2. Right, just like them offering VC games for 30 cents each, or the exclusive games given away on the nintendo club that change regularly.

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  8. Nintendo is busy working in the background getting more third party support. Patience is all that is required. There are enough games on the Wii U to keep me occupied till E3.

  9. Indie devs are practically the future of third party company support.
    When these guys either join a higher company already in existence, or create their own, they aren’t going to forget Nintendo’s generosity and the experience of working with their hardware to create incredible experiences.
    It’s going to leave an influence, a positive mark, on their growing careers as game makers.

    Nintendo is literally giving themselves an inside road to many future third party games, possibly even exclusives, by supporting indie devs as strongly as they are now.

  10. Wow, If this is true, Nintendo is making a big step into the Wii U’s future. I hope this helps them a lot since I don’t want the Wii U to fail. I want them to shut the fucking mouths of the haters.

  11. This is a good idea, Nintendo is reaching out to developers. I hope this leads to better relationship with Nintendo and the software comunity.

  12. If this is true, this is HUGE. Unless Sony and Microsoft are planning to PAY developers to develop games for their consoles, you can’t beat this.

    Not only does this ERASE a lot of the excuses made by some developers, this shows that even though they don’t need it they WANT strong 3rd-party support and are willing to do whatever it takes to go get it..Aggressiveness. That is want I wanted to see from Nintendo

  13. Nintendo should set up a team that helps third party developers questions and problems. This is amazing news if true, awesome.

  14. If Nintendo has friendly relations with software community, then software developers will put more games on Nintendo consoles.

  15. wii u is not a failure, just dumbasses that think nintendo dont innovate when they are and skeptics, like with the wii, ds, 3ds, gcn (it is not a flop just that its under appreciated and on par with xbox just not graphics wise cuz of disc space)

  16. In the eyes of the pessimist, this could easily be a sign of struggle.

    In the eyes of the optimist, this could show signs of better communication between Nintendo and western developers, a willingness to bring out 3rd party games, and a lowering of Nintendos otherwise huge arrogance, which is nice.

    You choose.

    1. Or it’s just a marketing campaign designed to get more dev kits out to developers. How people look at it is moot.

    2. Or it could just be Nintendo out ahead of the curve as usual. As 3rd party studios continue to fall by the way side one by one it’s apparent that development costs are killing them. Giving away dev kits for free definitely would help companies with expenses. Eventually all three companies (Sony. Microsoft, and Nintendo) may go the free dev-kit route.

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  18. absolutely this is great news, but i definitely think you should go look up the definition of “adamant”

  19. Nintendo should give one to Konami, plus Square Enix NEEDS to make a Kingdom Hearts HD remix for Wii U

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