Winter, a prototype title by developer n-Space, is the one that got away for Nintendo Wii fans. Matt Casamassina, then of IGN, pulled back the curtain on the game in early 2009 to prove that companies wanted to bring darker, more serious fare to the white console, but third-party publishers were too wary to take the risk.
At an Activison press event Wednesday in San Francisco, I brought up the title to Ted Newman, creative director at n-Space, while playing GoldenEye 007 for DS. Newman let me know that the game is still something the developer would love to pursue, but unfortunately, there is still not any publisher interest because of Wii’s supposedly casual demographics.
But there is an upcoming system from The Big N that looks to cater to a more traditional gamer in a big way — Nintendo 3DS. With that in mind, I questioned Newman over whether Winter would be technically possible on the handheld.
“Yes, absolutely,” Newman answered. “The 3DS is really powerful, just going beyond the 3D screen side of it — what it can do in terms of pushing polygons and using advanced texture shaders. It’s really no secret how strong of a system it is.
“Everything we did with the Wii demo of Winter would absolutely work on that system. And there’s a lot more you can do, especially with a game like that, a survival-horror game in 3D. I mean, I can think of 10 ideas off the top off my head right now.”
Ideas started flooding my mind after Newman discussed the power of the 3DS. I immediately wondered whether porting a title to the handheld from GameCube would be possible. So I asked Newman if Geist, a work of love from n-Space, would be hard to transfer to the portable device — 3D effects and all.
“No, because there’s a lot of similarities between the systems [GameCube and 3DS] in terms of bringing one engine over to work on the 3DS,” Newman answered. “You know, if Nintendo was interested in getting a Geist game on 3DS, it’s certainly doable. As a fan of Geist and as someone who worked on it for three-and-a-half years, I’d love to see it. I love the whole mechanic, and I love that whole universe.”
Newman seemed to think very highly of the system, especially in regard to its technical capabilities. But did he have any doubts or worries about 3DS? I expressed my concern with the D-pad placement, but Newman did not waver.
“Everything I saw at E3, I was completely impressed with. I really can’t think of anything that I thought was a shortcoming. I can understand people wanting dual analogs. I’m trying to think of how that would actually feel with the system — that plus the D-pad.”
“But anyway, back to your question: I totally believe in [Nintendo’s] knowledge of hardware, and as the [3DS] evolves to the point where it’s ready to release, [Nintendo] is going to solve whatever problems it needs to solve. [3DS] is going to be incredible.”
There is still no release date or price for Nintendo 3DS. n-Space has a plethora of titles hitting stores the rest of the year — including GoldenEye 007 for DS; Blood Stone 007 for DS; Call of Duty Black Ops for DS; TRON: Evolution for DS; and finally, TRON: Evolution – Battle Grids for Wii.