Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform. To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples. Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment.
Sounds like it was still very much in the air as to whether Nintendo would have multiple SKUs (even more than two) or even just a few as a singular one.
Which direction they ultimately decided upon is a mystery to us right now. Maybe they decided to go the "brother hardware" route with multiple hardware SKUs, maybe they decided on one integrated SKU. This statement from Iwata doesn't discount either scenario.
Just based on the way the Unseen 64 guy, Reggie and Tanabe have spoken about it, I'm starting to lean more towards one integrated device.
The problem of having different platforms, or form factors as Iwata calls them, sharing content thanks to a unified OS is that it reduces the performance of those platforms. That OS ads an extra layer between the hardware and the software like DirectX has been doing on PC for years, and look how happy developers are to finally see that layer being extremely reduced with DX12 and Vulkan. Even Apple has realized this and is working on its own way to do this with Metal.
Nintendo is new when trying to do this things, do you think they'll be able to make those two steps (the unified OS and the low level API) in one go when other companies with more experience and more resources couldn't do it?
Please excuse my bad English.
Currently gaming on a PC with an i5-4670k@stock (for now), 16Gb RAM 1600 MHz and a GTX 1070
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