HTML5 ARTICLE

June 14, 2013

HTML5 on Wii U Leaves Over 1000 Developers Taking Notice


Ask most gamers what the biggest problem for Nintendo is these days and it's likely that the word “games” will come up in there, mostly likely connected to some variant on the phrase “lack of.” But while the games may be a bit slow in coming, Nintendo's Web Framework already has quite a bit of interest from the developer community, with word from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata describing over a thousand different developers who have been in contact with Nintendo recently to talk about developing on the Web Framework.

Iwata delivered these remarks during a briefing at the recently-concluded E3 event, saying that Nintendo had thus far received “great feedback” for its Web Framework platform. This platform allows developers to use a variety of new tools—from HTML5 to JavaScript and CSS (News - Alert)—in the development of games. Nintendo had started discussing the Web Framework system back at the GDC 2013 event, and carried on with it at a financial briefing Q&A session, but one of the key takeaways from the news is that the Web Framework platform will allow Nintendo developers to bring many more games to the table than it previously had.

Nintendo, during earlier discussions of the Web Framework, described how large numbers of developers are using these Web-based technologies, offering up the staggering statistic that there were fully 100 times the numbers of developers using these technologies than the numbers of developers using standard console development tools only. With the Web Framework, Nintendo can bring in these smaller developers to augment the total numbers of games on hand. Since Nintendo also supports the Unity platform on the Wii U, that also brings in many more possibilities, since Unity is used by over a million game developers.

If Nintendo can truly get the indie developers on board, it may well have found the perfect way to not only distinguish itself from the pack, but also get some sorely-needed games into the market for the player base, who may well be starting to question just how smart an idea that Wii U purchase was, and how much it could get for same at GameStop when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One models start to arrive. Those concerned about quality likely shouldn't be; indeed, many indie titles have proven not only high-quality but also unusually fun. Considering Minecraft alone should be tops on most every skeptic's list, and that list goes well on from there.

Still, the critical point remains: to borrow the phrase, Nintendo needs games, badly. While getting these in from dedicated console developers or indie developers is rather immaterial, it just needs titles in play to fend off the onslaught that will be showing up with the holiday season. For Nintendo, to borrow another phrase, winter is coming, and it had better be ready.




Edited by Alisen Downey





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