Tuesday, 17 July 2007

In Battle of Consoles, Nintendo Gains Allies

It seemed like it was only a matter of time, before the software backlash began. We all know how complicated the process is for programming PS3 software (i have a reliable source in a rather large developers, who laughs at the idea of testing PS3 titles, as they rarely run smoothly enough), so the combination of this together with the Wii success, has convinced some pretty big companies to re-asses their ouput.

Here's the NY Times take on the situation...

Inspired by the early success of the Wii, the companies that create and distribute games are beginning to shift resources and personnel toward building more Wii games, in some cases at the expense of the competing systems: the Playstation 3 from Sony and Xbox 360 from Microsoft.

he shift is closely watched because consumers tend to favor systems that have many compelling games. More resources diverted to the Wii would mean more games, and that would translate into more consumers buying Wii consoles later.

Jon Goldman, chairman and chief executive of Foundation 9 Entertainment, an independent game development company, said that he was hearing a growing call for Wii games from the publishers and distributors that finance the games that his firm creates. “Publishers are saying: Instead of spending $15 million or $20 million on one PS3 game, come back to me with five or six Wii pitches,” he said.

Nintendo said that titles would be coming from several major developers, like Activision and Ubisoft, that are making an enhanced commitment to the platform.

The shift does not represent any shunning of the Xbox or Sony consoles, but rather an elevation of the Wii’s status — one that was clear in many conversations with developers and publishers at E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show in Santa Monica, Calif.

It is early in the current console product cycle, given that these machines are intended to be on the market for more than five years. Industry analysts say they do not expect to declare a victor anytime soon. Nevertheless, the trend is clear: Nintendo is getting growing support from game developers.

This is a pretty big shot in the arm for Nintendo, although i don't doubt that they had confidence in their product from day one. I can't help but think though that Sony had better watch out, their relationship with developers is rumoured to be poor at best, and with other companies such as Capcom producing tiles such as Resident Evil 5 across all platforms now, they may have more of battle on their thanks to the plucky Wii.

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