Originally Posted by AppleInsider
[...] It's guiding net profit of 20 billion yen, down 82 percent from its previous outlook, on sales of 900 billion yen -- blaming the skid on a shortage of hit titles for the Wii and 3DS. [...]
A shortage of hit titles, eh? There can only be two reasons for that:
1. Nintendo and their 3rd party developers don't know how to make hit games any more.
2. There aren't enough games for Wii because it's difficult to develop for Wii.
I suspect the latter. The word "difficult" is overloaded here.
You run into the first barrier to Wii development immediately. Nintendo won't even talk to you unless you're a well-established game developer with a long track record of successes. The EAs of the world are "in." You average iOS game developer working at home is "out."
Then, if you meet Nintendo's requirements, you need to buy the proprietary development software and hardware tools. $2k -> $10k on a sliding scale.
After that, you're under NDA and although I have only very briefly done any coding for any console, I hear that coding for today's consoles is tough. Especially as you try to wring out every last erg of performance using assembly code, etc.http://www.ehow.com/how_4597196_deve...-wii-game.html
Compare all that with Apple's iOS and Mac developer program. Sign up free if you just want to play around. Pay $100/year if you want to submit apps to the iOS App Store or Mac App Store. Yes, you need to toe the line on many App Store rules. But the development environment is relatively straightforward. Apple provides ample reference guides, tutorials, and sample projects. The Xcode development environment is free, and it works for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Nintendo seems to be acting like a movie studio. Cherry-picking what they perceive to be the best developers and games the way movie studios (attempt to) cherry-pick the best directors and movie projects. They want a blockbuster every time. Doesn't always happen.
Apple acts more like a gigantic film school. They just tell their students to make the best films they can. There is, of course, a huge number of average students and there is a huge number of average projects. But there will occasionally be the over-achieving Spielberg or Lucas or Fincher.
For Nintendo, having hit titles is a do-or-die imperative. Hit titles are what sell Wii consoles, and they are relatively few and far between. On the other hand, the App Store isn't the only reason why people buy Apple products. All those apps add significant value to iOS devices and Macs, to be sure, but they are only one component in the Apple ecosystem (iTunes, AirPlay, and soon iCloud etc.)
I think people underestimate the value of having many good and great developers working on apps for a platform. The console gaming world doesn't allow for large numbers of developers to write titles for the consoles out there, as far as I know. And that will be one of the constraints to the consoles' success.