Inafune Discusses Industry, Wii U, and More
Mega Man creator, Keiji Inafune, has been quite outspoken since he left Capcom to create his own studio and he has kept to true to that trend in his latest interview with Gamespot.
One area of contention has been Inafune’s criticisms of Japan’s development community and he continued on the assault, specifically mentioning the notable lack of presence from major Japanese developers at this year’s GDC. However, he did note that Japan appears to be more aware that there is something wrong and are trying to change things around, though they still have yet to find a workable solution.
Inafune also discussed his own company, Comcepts, reminding people that while it will focus on games, it will also try to incorporate broader ideas stretching across multiple platforms and media. One key aspect of this goal will be focus on collaboration with others both inside and outside of the industry, and Inafune even said he would gladly work with Capcom on a Mega Man game were Capcom to ask.
On a more Nintendo specific note, Inafune confirmed he is planning for his latest project, King of Pirates for 3DS, to see a global release. Also, while Inafune has not personally had a chance to get his hands on Wii U, he remains excited for Nintendo’s latest system.
“Whenever Nintendo comes out with something new, it’s always good. So I’m confident it must be impressive,” Inafune said, “If I get a chance, I always want to try out creating for a new platform. So I’m looking forward to that chance.”
Inafune wraps Wii U into the greater trend of evolution he sees within the gaming industry, with new platforms, control methods, markets, and the rise of indie games all challenging and ultimately strengthening the industry once all is said and done.
Epic VP has High Hopes for Wii U
Mark Rein, VP for acclaimed developer Epic, expects Wii U to make a big splash at E3 and exceed most others’ expectations at retail.
In terms of the games themselves, Rein has gotten his hands on a Batman: Arkham City for Wii U and confirmed the developers “are doing some really cool stuff with the controller.” Also, he brought up the Zelda demo from E3 2011 and promised that Epic’s own Unreal Engine 3 would be able to outdo it in terms of graphics. Rein also admitted he was personally impressed with the Battle Mii demo and would personally buy Wii U for it.
While many have called into question just how well Wii U will fare on the market, Rein is quite optimistic. Fans of Nintendo’s major franchises can of course be relied upon to pick it up, but Rein thinks that the casual crowd is being underestimated. Wii’s success has made Nintendo a reliable brand for millions of parents and young gamers, so it is very possible this sizable market will naturally gravitate to Wii U when it comes time to upgrade their consoles.
However, Rein was surprisingly silent, if not somewhat down on Epic’s own plans for Wii U, suggesting that his company’s resources are most likely tied up with projects for other platforms at the moment.
“Industry Insider” Clarifies Next-Gen Tech
In an interesting, if not somewhat esoteric, interview with Nintendo Enthusiast, an anonymous industry insiders has shed some light on Wii U and the competition’s potential successors. Of course, one must remember that none of this is officially confirmed.
First up is the recent announcement that Nintendo has licensed use of the popular physics engine Havok for Wii U. However, Nintendo has apparently been buying up licensing for many other middleware programs covering everything from video playback to artificial intelligence. Middleware software are prebuilt programs designed to fit a specific need that developers can quickly implement rather than eating up time building their own software. Nintendo is buying the licenses themselves so they can then turn around and provide it for developers, thus lowering production costs on Wii U which will hopefully attract more developers.
Then there is the question of Wii U dev kits, which have been meeting to mixed results because there were apparently many different iterations of varying power floating around with larger developers getting the lion’s share of the more powerful units. However as of this years GDC, most developers should be working with more similar units that are more representative of the system’s final specs.
Also, how future proof Wii U would be was also brought up, with the inevitable release of Unreal Engine 4 being the focus. The insider suspects Wii U should handle future and more commonly used tech much better than Wii did. Porting to Wii was made difficult not just by the lack of power, but by the archaic nature of its hardware; its guts were aligned with older industry standards that were simply incompatible with more modern engines. PS3 faced a similar problem due to the drastically different design of it’s Cell processor, it had plenty of power but it’s unorthodox design was a hurdle for several years. While Wii U might ultimately face issues of having less power, the hardware is being developed with industry standards in mind, making it much easier to develop for, even when down-tuning future engines such as Unreal 4.
Finally, while it might be convenient for Wii U and the next Xbox to support Blu Ray, the increased speed and capacity of flash based storage as well as the rising quality and efficiency of online streaming and digital distribution could make the advantages currently provided by Blu Ray’s impressive capacity a moot point.
Once again, not all of this is verified but it does still raise some interesting points well worth discussion.
Source: Nintendo Enthusiast