The Wii U is struggling. The holidays had a few bright spots, true, but it’s increasingly clear that Nintendo’s little console is not going to pull off another end run around Sony and Microsoft this generation. So what went wrong? And why doesn’t the Wii U have more games?
According to an anonymous developer, the problems started well before the Wii U hit shelves. The console’s development kits shipped with slow, buggy code and a whole host of other problems that ate into development time and made building a decent third-party game impossible, according to Eurogamer:
All of these things made the actual development of code harder than it should have been and ate into the development time of the game. As a team, we lost days of time to the compile/link/debug overheads and this negatively impacted the amount of features that we could put into our game before the release date.
That was just the start of development problems for this particular studio. The full read is crammed with fascinating, and perhaps somewhat troubling, tidbits for Nintendo fans:
- To get an answer from Nintendo, it had to be sent, translated into Japanese, answered, translated into English, and sent back.
- The GPU is apparently much, much better than the CPU, to the point where developers were considering using the GPU to offload some tasks.
- Nobody developing Nintendo’s online services had bothered poking around in PSN or Xbox Live, which explains a lot, actually.
- The third party experience building a Wii U game was so bad, and the sales were so low, that most developers ran in the other direction, and those that made one game for the Wii U weren’t about to make another.
If you’re a Nintendo fan, or a Wii U fan, take a moment and read through this developer’s experience. It’s a fairly enlightening look about the process of developing for a new console, and what it’s like when you’re dealing with Nintendo.