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Nintendo announced Switch Dev kits are $500 (googleusercontent.com)
347 points by shawndumas on Feb 18, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 129 comments

The Switch looks pretty neat, based on what little I've seen. I can't help but hope that it'll get hacked and that a thriving homebrew community will sprout up. When the PSP was around and kicking that was the main thing that got me engaged in the community, and I still remember those years with fondness.

Assuming there's no glaring problems, I'll probably buy one when their new Mario Kart game is available. I definitely have a soft spot for Nintendo. Since real-life has pushed me to become a casual gamer, I've really started to appreciate their simplicity and predictability. For solo, I've enjoyed every Mario platformer, and I'll probably enjoy whatever they release next. For parties, Mario Kart and Smash Brothers are always a blast with friends.

Even though it appears to be largely considered a failure by the community, I'm actually pretty happy with the Wii U. I bought around five or six games, and thoroughly enjoyed em all. As I wrote this, I decided to look up what other games have been released since I last checked, and I just found out I have a new Paper Mario game waiting to play :).

are you familiar with mario maker? amazing and wonderful things happen when nintendo gives their audience access to their tools

the kaizo and puzzle communities are remarkable.. both in consistently high quality levels and the people are warm and welcoming

both kaizo and world record attempts at puzzles are exercises in optimisation

and the puzzles(o) feel like spaces for interacting with algorithms and data structures

(o) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08vhGZZ1FEY#t=17m30s

> kaizo

You made me remember this:


Which I still consider the funniest Let's Play of an abusive game I have ever seen

Ha, yeah

your video is an example of a blind race.. where the people playing are completely unaware of what the level will entail

One of my favourite videogame videos is this blind race(o)

it is such a cool format.. some players create levels for others to race blind in teams of four, switching every death it creates opportunity for so many great moments

i love how the level designers are there to comment, then afterward they race some of the hardest levels in mario maker(i)

your link is of one of the original hacks which was designed to be just totally brutal, but Mario maker has a more inviting difficulty curve

what's really fascinating is the history(o) of this subculture and how it was already fully formed long before mario maker

it almost feels like mario maker was released specifically for this group of super fans, or in response to them

it all started in the mid aughties when a person hacked a ROM so thae could make thaer own levels to torture thaer friends with

More and more people got exposed to this insane idea of hard, though beatable, mario as people kept passing around the hacked rom

it eventual gained legend status and a following

10 years later it basically defines mario maker

that, to me, is remarkable

(o) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uskPV4KCjn8

(i) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OmwL6CyNReI

(ii) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizo_Mario_World

> I can't help but hope that it'll get hacked and that a thriving homebrew community will sprout up.

I'm hoping for the same! Set up a wiki to track everything we know about the device, and we also have a Discord chat set up to discuss the process and work on things together. By default the secret parts of the wiki and chat (where we'll be discussing the details of specific findings, exploitation, etc) are hidden; if you want to be involved directly, message me on the Discord and I'll get you set up.

Wiki: http://reswitched.tech/ Chat: https://discord.gg/hSMpnuG

Why hidden? Has it occurred to you that a Nintendo employee could just message you on discord for access?

Hidden just to keep the details of findings slightly lower key until we're ready to do something with them. Nintendo folks could certainly message for access, but I'm not too terribly worried about that; if they patch our bugs in the next version, at least we'll have a toehold.

Edit: Also, the whole reason I decided to get back into this was to have a nice challenge, and to turn the Switch into the ultimate portable emulation console. What's the fun of it without the challenge? I look forward to the cat-and-mouse game.

Good luck. Most of these efforts get swamped with non-technical fanboys and nothing gets done / everything gets leaked. Will be interesting to see if you make progress.

Thanks. That swamping effect is why we have the private channel for people actively working on things. Once things get rolling, I'm likely just going to disable notifications for the general channel and focus entirely on the private one(s). My goal is to keep the SNR as high as possible in there.

> When the PSP was around and kicking that was the main thing that got me engaged in the community, and I still remember those years with fondness.

I found my dev calling with PSP hacking and homebrew development. Those were good times.

Playing StarFox 64 and Advance Wars on my PSP in class was a high point for sure.

Did daedalus really get far enough to run Lylat Wars at a playable framerate? Before I left the PSP scene it was barely getting double digits in the most basic of games.

Same for me. Developing games for the NeoFlash and Qj.net competitions for PSP was what got me into programming.

Remember IRshell? Or that R type clone. I loved my PSP and hacking it was so cool because it let you run your games from the memory stick and compress them.

Same for me :) The PSP irc channels were the first that I really joined 24/7. I can remember lots of good long nights working on PSP homebrew; I haven't really had that same sense of community anywhere else since.

Personally I hope it's not hacked. Indie developers now have a affordable, interesting platform with relatively open tools.

There needs to be a commercial incentive for them to develop games.

Nintendo put all their eggs in the Switch basket and if it fails they likely will never recover from it.

I don't think your last statement is true at all. Just look at what their share price did as a result of pokemon go and mario run. Nintendo is worth 50% more than it was just under a year ago, no switch required.

Stocks prices though are not necessarily a good representation of reality.

Nintendo has enough cash in reserve to basically last until the heat death of the universe. If the Switch fails they'll move on to the next thing.

Which is good, because my money is on the Switch failing, at least in V1. Great core premise, too many compromises (especially with regard to controller size).

Why would the Switch fail in V1? Nobody's complained about the controllers who's used them that I know of, the hardware is good, Nintendo's working to have a lot of third parties interested in it along with indie devs, it has the great launch title of Breath of the Wild, and other things - I don't see the impending failure.

What happens if the Wii U version of BotW is better than the Switch version?

Why would that be the case?

Because it may have initially been optimized for Wii U and hastily adapted to Switch. Something like this happened to Twilight Princess, for which the GameCube version is widely considered superior. Nintendo didn't even bother having a "Wii mode" for the HD remake on Wii U.

Rodea the Sky Soldier is another example: Yuji Naka specifically recommended on Twitter to play the Wii version rather than the Wii U version, and accordingly the first run of the US release comes with both discs and a reversible cover insert with Wii layout/iconography.

Nintendo generally prices their hardware to make a profit. It getting hacked won't hurt them.

They've got an '80s mentality where the most important thing is making sure there are no bad games published in their name - the whole "Nintendo Seal of Quality" thing. It's not about the money, it's about control.

>They've got an '80s mentality where the most important thing is making sure there are no bad games published in their name - the whole "Nintendo Seal of Quality" thing. It's not about the money, it's about control.

That's a pretty big lie, given the wii's massive library of shovelware shitshows.

It would hurt the platform as an indie game target, as indie developers would less likely target it, as they could expect less revenue.

>Indie developers now have a affordable, interesting platform with relatively open tools.

You mean PC? That they've had for years? And is still the primary platform for indie releases?

If dev units are affordable, why does it need to be hacked to have a homebrew community?

You can't actually get a dev unit without being approved by the company, is how it works. It's not as if you could get a PS4 devkit if only you could afford it - you need to prove that either you've shipped games in the past, or you have an interesting game in development that you've already put serious effort into.

I share your sentiments - the Wii U has an excellent, albeit small lineup of software. I've seen it as a companion to the PS4 / Xbox rather than a competitor.

Just finished the new Paper Mario game. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

When I first saw the switch I said that it could potentially become a huge platform for indie developers. This is definitely a step in the right direction, although I don't see why a devkit would even be necessary. Perhaps you're paying for software? Will this open the portable market to indie developers beyond phone games?

You are generally paying for unlocked firmware that will run whatever code you want, a feature that pirates would target on retail consoles. IIRC, some consoles also put more RAM in development kits.

It's a really interesting approach, considering how rampant Wii hacking was. Maybe instead of hacking the consoles, pirates will just buy dev kits, paying Nintendo a bit of a premium for the privilege?

Maybe they're hoping to make a little money on the pirates...

Modern dev consoles use the same DRM scheme as the retail consoles, they simply use a different (most of the time per developer) certificate, and won't boot retail signed titles.

But there's nothing stopping someone who wants to play a game "for free" from finding a torrent of a retail copy, downloading it, stripping the retail signature off it, using the SDK tooling to apply their own developer cert's signature, and then booting that on their console.

It's certainly possible—and already done—with iOS.

Likewise, "homebrew" on such a system would probably be like iOS homebrew is currently: an ecosystem of open-source projects where users are expected to download, compile, and sign the binaries themselves using their personal developer certs.

> But there's nothing stopping someone who wants to play a game "for free" from finding a torrent of a retail copy, downloading it, stripping the retail signature off it, using the SDK tooling to apply their own developer cert's signature, and then booting that on their console.

The way this has been impeded on previous consoles is to encrypt retail executables and lock the key in some "secure" coprocessor. These obviously do eventually get cracked, but at that point the system is probably so thoroughly exploited that you can do everything with a retail console anyway.

You're exactly describing how iOS AppStore apps work, i.e. Encrypted binary segment that is decrypted when paged in.

I've seen systems that don't allow you to have direct access to the signing tools; it's an online encryption oracle.

With this setup, it could easily blacklist known retail binaries and refuse to sign them.

The developer Switch does appear to be different hardware, although we don't know the full extent of the differences yet.

Nintendo accidentally showed a devkit with 64GB of internal storage rather than the 32GB you get on retail units.


Why do they do that kind of thing? If anything, you might expect them to include less RAM & storage so that you're forced to work under tighter limitations.

It's so you can leave debug symbols in your executable: for a release you'll strip your binaries and pack them quite tight. For developing you'd like to have more uncompressed data in ram, and you want full debug symbols and debug info on the stack. Not to mention that debuggers themselves take a non-zero amount of ram.

Having more powerful hardware allows you to focus on designing/building the game and delay optimization until the game is mostly finished.

There is no reason to work under tighter constraints. You want developers to be able to push the retail version of the hardware to the limits. In order to do that and still be able to run debug builds you need the dev kit to be more powerful than the retail version.

I think that having the same hardware would be logic, but I feel that running (especially a game) in debug mode would in fact require more memory...

I can see using the same specs, but using even less would be weird. You don't win any points if you use less memory than the hardware has.

Previous gen Xbox dev kits generally had double the RAM and came with a Visual Studio license. They were very expensive. Now you can pay $19 to unlock a retail Xbox One to run any code you like with a 1GB RAM limit.

The Wii U kits make with a special version Unity too

"Huge platform for indie developers." Genuinely curious as to what you are comparing the Switch to (e.g. PS4, PC?) and why you believe this is so?

Let me put forward a few possible reasons.

1: Nintendo portable systems have sold really well, so the market could be large. DS sold 154 millions units, 3DS has sold 65 million units so far. Of course no guarantee Switch will approach that. It is more risky with the hybrid approach, and continuing stiff competition from smartphones and tablets.

2: Handheld/portable systems are often better fits for indie scale games. Smaller/cheaper/shorter games.

3: Less AAA competition. Nintendo systems haven't been getting the biggest, latest greatest AAA titles from the large publishers, so indie games have more room to stand out.

Don't DevKits have extra ports for you to connect to the machine?

The Xbox 360 devkits had extra USB ports for emulating DVD drives and high-speed data transfer. These kits required a fair amount of labor to put together; they were $10,000, and often hard to obtain.

I believe the Xbox One devkits are just production units with different key material (which prevents commercial titles from running, and allows developer-signed bits to run). Theoretically any Xbox One is a devkit, with the right software provisioning.

Dev kits usually have extra memory for debugging overhead and occasionally hardware for cycle specific profiling and the like.

Most release games run up to 5mb(or less) to the system memory limits so you can't turn on debugging and waiting for LTCG builds which can take 30mins+.

Modern game systems are running on top of a real big boy kernel this generation, so you don't need hardware level debugging support. An equivalent to gdbserver is enough.

The switch has a USB-C port though, which would be more than enough bandwidth for debugging. Mobile dev's have lived with USB 2.0 connections for building games just fine.

The problem is likely just that it becomes easier to install third party software if there is some kind of Dev mode inside retail units...but Nintendo's locked down hardware gets jailbroken anyways so I don't see the point in hiding it.

Well this has a standard USB Type-C Port for charging. Would be a waste to use it just for that.

This sounds like an excellent step for Nintendo, if it's true. The Wii U & 3DS development kits are fairly expensive if you're hoping to bash out a title in your evenings / weekends. $500 would give a leg up to those people who haven't got a few grand kicking around to try stuff out on console.

I'm hoping they're also going to continue with the Nintendo Web Framework concept, because that was a pretty smart idea too - having a web technology-based execution environment alongside the Unity / Unreal / native stuff.

Just want to clarify something: This includes a developer Switch console ($300 value retail). I am guessing the extra $200 gives you additional developer tools, documentation, and debug output and of course run self-signed software.

They also sound like they're working with Unreal and Unity to make migrating games easier.

If the developer Nintendo Switch could run other developer's retail games normally, I might consider buying one of these instead of a retail Switch just to tinker on.

>They also sound like they're working with Unreal and Unity to make migrating games easier.

On a related note, Unreal 4.15 released support for Switch development.[0]

[0]- https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/unreal-engine-4-15-release...

> If the developer Nintendo Switch could run other developer's retail games normally

Judging by past Nintendo console dev kits, this will not be the case.

Doesn't the Xbox One allow you to use normal consoles as Dev kits, effectively making it free? http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/30/11318568/xbox-one-dev-kit

Can't find recent information on PS4 dev kit prices, but given the number of indie games I see on it nowadays (and receive for free with PS+), I imagine it's not unreasonable.

The price is under NDA but I can say that there is separate, special devkit hardware for PS4 and it costs more than a consumer unit.

I find the video game console world so strange. Having to pay just to develop feels wrong but that the price is under NDA feels ridiculous. IMO it shouldn't be legal.

Apple charges to develop for iOS, correct?

Not necessarily. They charge $99/year to distribute your application, but for development you can run your application on your device for free[0]:

> You can launch your app on a device using a free Apple ID account, but the capabilities available to your app depends on the platform and your Apple Developer Program membership, described in Supported Capabilities.

You just won't have access to CloudKit, Game Center, Push Notifications, Wallet, In-App Purchases, etc.

[0]: https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/ID...

Which is excusable - they're charging for their online services (essentially)

But you are allowed to say what the price is, which is what GP was surprised by. It's $99 a year FYI.

Exactly. I don't like having to pay, obviously. But not being able to say the price is removing information from the market, not to avoid helping competitors, just to make it more inefficient and abuse a position of power.


This is no longer accurate.

Kind of. You can enable 'developer mode' on a consumer Xbox One which allows you to run unsigned apps (UWP) but it doesn't give you full access like you would get with the full SDK which gives you a load more diagnostic, debugging and telemetry options.

How do they avoid enabling rampart piracy if you can do that to consumer units?

It doesn't allow it to run a ripped game like Halo 5. Any "real" game that needs full access to the Xbox hardware needs to be signed or tested on a proper dev unit. The 'dev mode on consumer consoles' is something for indies and such to test their UWP apps on. If someone happens to have the source code and project files to your UWP app then sure they could "pirate" it but I am not aware of that ever happening.

I'm kind of on the fence on this one. I remember the Wii had a much higher entry barrier but iirc still a lot of shovelware. A high number of games makes discoverability harder for "serious" developers (people who don't produce asset flips etc.) On the other hand I don't think this problem should be solved by creating an artificial entry barrier.

the reason the wii got all that garbage was because the console was such a runaway hit with the casual market that publishers rushed out to get whatever crap they could onto it. a $500 devkit doesn't have any effect on those forces. the switch probably won't be the runaway hit with the casual market, so publishers probably won't rush out to get whatever crap they can onto it.

Any clue if this will be able to also play retail games? Given Nintendo's track record of keeping supply up with demand, some of us may consider just paying extra for the dev kit...

That's still $500 too much amirite? Seriously though, while I'm fine with a license charge for an official release, I don't see why there should be any cost at all just to compile and run an unsigned binary on your own system. Guess it might come down to anti-piracy measures.

Extra RAM and CPU cycles to run debug builds is a common feature of console devkits.

Does this mean it's far more likely that indie game developers can get their games in the legit Nintendo game store rather than some relegated "secondary" game store like Xbox did in the past which nobody ever actually goes to and is usually filled with junk (afaik)?

Xbox Live Arcade was absolutely terrible on the 360, akin to Steam Greenlight.

There were one joke games for a dollar, just like Steam has now.

There were overpriced games, bad games, shit games. Stuff that should be shamefully hidden on a hard drive long forgotten.

I am certainly glad about the death of Greenlight, and from what I can tell all the "indie@xbox" hype leading up to the launch of the One has been unfulfilled, with those games seemingly ending up on the PS4 instead.

I suppose whoever sells the most consoles gets to have the most indie titles.

Then again, I don't own either console, so maybe "indie@xbox" is better off than I'm thinking it is.

Nintendo had indie games like Stardew Valley ported over to the Wii U, IIRC, so I expect to see similar footwork done for the Switch.

You're confusing Xbox Live Arcade with Xbox Indie Games. In the 360 days, Live Arcade was the featured store that games like Braid and Geometry Wars were sold on. "Xbox Live Indie Games" was a separate storefront that didn't get the same feature space, and was the free-for-all that you are describing.

Thank you! Sorry, I do confuse the two often. I couldn't remember the name for the life of me, I knew there were two different stores though.

There were some good games. For instance, I really enjoyed Arcadecraft [1], a game that had you running an arcade in the 1980s and trying to turn a profit while keeping your machines repaired and up to date.

[1] http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Arcadecraft/66acd0...

alright, that's a pretty good concept, I'll give you that.

Of course not everything there was terrible, but the signal to noise ratio was unreasonable IMO, similar to how Greenlight has flooded Steam's new releases with mobile ports and other undesirable software of questionable quality and price.

Don't shit on the indies. Everyone has to start somewhere and most of the time it's a student producing something with programmer graphics.

The only difference between Stardew Valley and something that languishes in Steam Greenlight is the years of constant effort and feedback to produce something of quality.

I didn't mean to shit on them with such a wide log of shit, so to speak.

I love indie games, but I think services like Greenlight have been long since abandoned by anyone who cares and have been overrun by pay-for-vote services, shovelware and pre-packaged asset packs being sold as a completed, original title.

Luckily it's being killed off, after 800 votes on Greenlight I did nothing to stem the tide of crapware flooding the platform. With over 40% of Steam's titles added in the past year alone, there is clearly a problem with lowering the barrier of entry to game development and publishing so far down that games become mix-and-match premade assets, teenager developed memegames, etc. Is it really "starting somewhere" if you're running a legal scam to make a quick buck?

I did mix up the two storefronts, Xbox Live Arcade had some awesome indie titles like Geometry Wars, etc. It was the other one that was basically a dumping ground.

>most of the time it's a student producing something with programmer graphics.

this is fine by me, but don't you think something like that should be shamefully hidden away, part of a portfolio, or better suited as a free browser game? Or even a PWYW title on Itch.io.

Surely they don't need to be on Steam of all places.

Pixel Dungeon was an excellent mobile port of an excellent mobile game, was priced fairly and is right at home on Steam. On the other hand, several mobile titles are overpriced and poorly ported. I don't think that's what Greenlight was intended to do.

what else goes into publishing for the switch? what kind of content restrictions are there? is it like the app store where you have to be 100% family friendly? what percentage of the sales do you get as a developer? will they be cracking down on asset flipping games?

The AppStore is not 100% 'family friendly'. There are M rated games available for Wii and Wii U.

i'm not an insider or anything, so you can take it with a grain of salt, but i think the answer to all your questions is whatever is good for nintendo.

"what else goes into publishing for the switch?" whatever's good for nintendo.

"what kind of content restrictions are there?" whatever's good for nintendo.

"is it like the app store where you have to be 100% family friendly?" whatever's good for nintendo.

"what percentage of the sales do you get as a developer?" whatever's good for nintendo.

"will they be cracking down on asset flipping games?" whatever's good for nintendo.

a game console isn't like a mobile platform. it's less like youtube and more like a television network.

well in this case, asset flipping will be rampant, devs will get a shred of the profits and etc.

So my (somewhat unrelated) question is does the Switch replace both the Wii U and 3DS or just the former? The Switch has mobile capabilities as we've seen but does it justify a stop in 3DS sales/development/play?

Haven't done much research, just a thought.

Officially it only replaces the Wii U. That's so if the Switch flops, they can release a "real" handheld successor to the 3DS in a few years

However when the DS was released they also said it wasn't a replacement for the GBA, when that was also pretty obviously untrue. Additionally, word is that Nintendo has merged their 3DS and Wii U game development efforts to focus on the Switch.

They also don't really have any 3DS games on the radar for further out than the end of the year. It seems safe to assume that Nintendo fully intends to focus on the Switch going forward.

>when the DS was released they also said it wasn't a replacement for the GBA

Did Nintendo really say that? I don't see how they could make that argument when the DS literally had a GBA cartridge slot.

The Switch not replacing the 3DS is at least reasonable in theory (not sure about in practice).

>I don't see how they could make that argument when the DS literally had a GBA cartridge slot.

Nintendo had just released the frontlit Advance SP a year and half before the DS and had new GBA models in the queue (the micro and the backlit Advance SP) when the DS came out. And behind the scenes they apparently had a single-screen GBA successor in the works too. So they were fully prepared to drop the DS if it failed.

It sounds strange in a historical context but at the movement it really was just an experiment for them. GBA compatibility was relatively cheap so they bolted it on.

If the Switch goes well, they could conceivably produce a “Switch mini” or something.

Absolutely. In fact, given the Tegra basis of the Switch, I won't be at all surprised if in a few years there's both a Switch Pro with updated internals, and a Switch Mini that's slightly smaller and with the controllers built-in, Vita style.

Isn't the real entry barrier getting Nintendo to accept your game? Unless they're about to massively lower their standards...

right, but there was a time nintendo wouldn't even look at your game if you were a small indie team and not just anyone could get a devkit, even if they had the money. nintendo is really conservative about this.

Yeah met an indie team from Mexico last year at GDC who couldn't even get a Dev kit for WiiU.

My indie team got a dev kit with relatively little fanfare a few years ago, maybe things changed as the program wrapped up.

Maybe this is the engineer in me talking, but I'm personally a bit surprised that this is still a thing and Google hasn't invested in a system to let you play Android games on your TV easily.

They could get further into the home entertainment category and probably drive higher priced sales to the Play store.

> Maybe this is the engineer in me talking, but I'm personally a bit surprised that this is still a thing and Google hasn't invested in a system to let you play Android games on your TV easily.

Remember this?


A failure.

ChromeOS will run Android applications. I don't think there is that much room or market for yet another console system. Even the XBox one isn't selling as much as Microsoft wanted; the PS VITA is barely selling outside Japan and the Switch may be the last console for Nintendo if it fails.

Clearly HN even hates the suggestion, but the thing about an Android-based console would be that it comes with all of the mobile games built in. Some even already have controller support. You could even imagine a "console" that was just a dock for your phone and existing wireless controllers that hit the same price point as a Chromecast.

These things all exist in the Android ecosystem, but they're either built by 3rd parties or not really promoted.

> Clearly HN even hates the suggestion

You are suggesting https://www.android.com/tv/?

You might be jumping to the wrong conclusion about why your first post got a downvote. I don't know, and didn't downvote, but I imagine it could be due to talking exclusively about Android & Google in a thread about Nintendo dev kits...

Android TV is one way to look at it, but there are others.

I probably phrased it badly, but I am actually curious about what people think Nintendo's place in the market should be.

Making a new $300 console targeted at casual gamers doesn't seem the wisest move these days.

Ah, thanks, that clarifies your question for me. I've developed both mobile (including Android) & console (including Wii) games, but I still don't really know how to answer your question.

I would probably say that the Wii was clearly targeted at casual gamers a couple of years before the first Google app store even existed, so this is not a new trend. I would probably also say that since the iOS & Play stores recently exceeded Nintendo's revenues, doubling down on casual gaming may be the right move or even the only market to go after.

I don't know how to claim what Nintendo's place in the market "should" be, but there's no denying they've long been one of the dominating players, and that they still are, even though they've had a decade of decline. The Mario & Zelda franchises are still well loved and unrivaled in longevity by any other series.

I guess Nintendo's play is to make exclusive games for the Switch and hope that it's enough to get users to buy the console and then hope that enough people buy it that developers are willing to make games for that platform.

Which I guess is everyone's console strategy, but it feels like a questionable one when there are so many casual alternatives on mobile. It also doesn't seem like a very consumer friendly strategy to me. With the Wii at least they tried something new and there actually seemed to be a reason to make a new console besides making money for Nintendo.

Are you planning on making a game for the Switch? Are you waiting to see what sales numbers are like? What would it take for you to make a game there?

I'm not even going to joke about anyone making an Android TV focused game.

Yep, I think that's spot on, exclusive games for their console, and right in line with their past behavior.

No plans to develop for switch or Android tv. More than anything having to do with the consoles, just because I'm doing web dev at the moment not games. Picking a platform is a big problem for developers, and why so many release on all platforms, so I'm glad I'm not worried about it.

I enjoyed wii dev for a stupid reason: because you had to do so much old school low level kind of stuff, there was some nostalgia in it. But it was also painful and nowhere near as nice as Xbox dev. Sounds like the switch dev env is modern.

The Ouya's SoC was out of date by the time they launched. I wouldn't say that the idea is invalid based off of that experience.

What are you talking about? There have been many attempts to make an "Android Console". They've pretty much all flopped.

Games made for a touchpad and finger don't translate well to controllers, just like controller games don't always translate well to touch pads.

Sounds like you are describing an NVIDIA Shield TV: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/shield/shield-tv/

If this version had existed before I bought my Steam Link, I would probably have this instead of my Steam Link + Roku + Google Home.

It seems like the only reason to get the Switch is platform exclusives, which has always felt like a gamer-hostile move.

I'm not sure what you mean by only reason. You definitely can't take your steam box on the go. Every console has exclusives, and PC has plenty, so it's not Nintendo being unusual to keep their own IP on their own hardware.

There are mobile consoles, they are called phones and tablets. Android and especially iOS are making a huge dent in the gaming market but most "hard-core" gamers don't want to admit it. There is a mountain load of horrible games on mobile platforms but a ton of real gems also and that's good enough for a ton of people IMO.

I agree, I'm just surprised that Google isn't pushing it as a serious console alternative for gaming on your TV. One of the common complaints is that Android users don't pay, but I feel like a lot of that is price anchoring; if you anchor to typical console prices you can probably raise the price users are willing to pay.

Why are they announcing dev kits just now? This should have been done at least a year ago.

Commercial devs would have got them long ago. They aren't relying on indie devs to push systems like others do.

What happened to nes classic? I wish they'd focus on that befor starting new stuff.

They've been selling those since the end of 2016, so what's there to focus on?

They're continually out of stock. No place to buy one.

They were intended to be a one-off thing and were significantly more popular than expected. It takes a relatively long time for any company to react to physical product shortages.

The Switch is where Nintendo's bread and butter will be for the next several years. It was in the works long before the NES Mini.

Why are gaming consoles still a thing with consumers? Why wouldn't they just buy a Chromecast and project phone/tablet games onto TV?

I'm not much of a gamer, but I am a consumer who buys these consoles (and will be buying the Switch). Here are my main reasons:

- consoles have games that are, for many people, much more attractive at the top-end (big-name big-budget games Mario Bros|Kart|Whatever, Splatoon, Grand Theft Auto, Destiny, Halo, etc etc... games I or my kids have heard of and are the canonical game version and not watered-down phone spinoffs)

- consoles have real controllers, that all the first-tier games are designed for (compare Mario Bros. for the latest Nintendo console (many hours of fun for multiple members family vs 10 minute novelty game consisting of pressing one button)

- there aren't many games for phones that actually work well for multiple simultaneous players on the big tv

- 99.9% of phone games are pure garbage, while on consoles it's probably only 75% or so

Not sure if trolling.. or if you're just ignorant to such a massive industry.

Playstation 4, which is the best selling console of this generation, has shipped 57million units, and Sony also makes publishing profits off many of the popular games exclusive to their system. They also have a paid online service. We're talking billions of dollars for Sony alone.

As for why dedicated gaming machines still capture so much of the market as opposed to the "casual/mobile" gaming market:

-Latency would be too high via a Chromecast causing input lag in fast paced games such as shooters (though lower latency, gaming specific streaming services do exist from Sony, Steam, and NVidia)

-Graphical fidelity wouldn't be comparable. Consoles already are the butt end of many "serious gamer" jokes because they don't have the computational horsepower to provide equivalent outputs to high end PCs (Google the "gaming PC masterrace" memes)

-Touchscreens only serve as good inputs for some types of games (strategy and puzzle games come to mind). Racing games, fighting games, RPG's and platformers are usually tailored to controllers.

As I mentioned before, consoles are even mainstream considered to the gaming PC market, which has a ton of dedicated hardware and revenue still despite the desktop as a whole being on the decline (atleast with your average consumer).

I shouldn't have generalized to "consoles" - really was more interested in why a consumer would choose the Switch (which looks more like a tablet) vs playing games on a general-purpose tablet (with option of Chromecast to play on TV)

Also, you can get bluetooth game controllers for Android.

Switch uses Nvidia Tegra X1 which is a regular tablet CPU/GPU so the switch doesn't have something special under the hood.

People buy Nintendo sytems to play Nintendo games. You're not going to play the latest Zelda or Mario game on a random Android tablet.

Most phone/tablet games are crap. Nintendo is a games company first, and most of their titles are exclusive to their consoles.

>titles are exclusive to their consoles.

well that answers my question then.

"Couch multiplayer" is still fun and still relatively poorly supported on PC-like platforms.

The "just turn it on and play" usability is important too, especially for a device that you only use occasionally. I used to keep a couple of controllers for my PC and suggest multiplayer to people, but it felt like every time I did it something new had broken or needed updating.

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