Moon Studios founder Thomas Mahler has been scornful over the secrecy surrounding Nintendo NX, arguing that not choosing to disclose the dedicated game platform‘s hardware specification early on is preventing developers from creating games for it.
The Ori and the Blind Forest developer added that it wasn’t a complaint entirely directed at Nintendo, with other platform holders equally subject to such criticism.
He called for such details to be shared “ideally two years before release,” and for developers to be allowed to discuss their projects with others to overcome any problems that they may face. That this isn’t happening as the games industry modernises, he implies, is “just brain damaged.”
“This is actually THE singlest most annoying thing for every dev out there,” Mahler wrote on NeoGAF. “We also talked to Nintendo and got absolutely nothing – I’ll never understand that.
“And just to be clear, it’s not just Nintendo, every hardware manufacturer is treating their devkits and their unreleased consoles like they’re the second coming and are insanely secretive about it to a stupid degree in todays time. It’s not even that the hardware isn’t finished (duh), but you could at least give me the goddamn specs, so we’d know what to build shit for!
“What’s needed to sell hardware is goddamn good software. With Nintendo not having any devkits out there at this point and probably even wanting to sell it in 2016, I can already guarantee that they’ll just not have any software support, since nobody can just jumble games together in less than a year. I mean, you can, but it’ll be garbage.
“The same is true for Engine Support – Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles WAAAAY ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be EASY for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn’t just only start at this point. I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally two years before release – Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone’s having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that’s happening anywhere and it’s just brain damaged.”
He later went on to suggest that neither Unity nor Unreal Engine 4 would support Nintendo NX at launch, adding that concealing the platform’s hardware specification could lead to software droughts that plagued both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS early on.
Nintendo has been adamant that they have learned from such mistakes, with late president Satoru Iwata sharing that they “intend to offer NX through a Nintendo-like solution.” Whatever that may be…
Mahler closed, “I’m a Nintendo-fanboy, I want to see them succeed, so it just hurts me to see them making some dumb mistakes like that, especially with the Wii U dying and the 3DS almost dying due to no software support.”