Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Things Nintendo has learned from Sony and Microsoft in the Switch era (that aren't online multiplayer)

The Nintendo Switch is 3 years old at this point, and now that we're about half-way through its life according to Nintendo, I'd like to talk about some of the things Nintendo has learned from both its contemporaries with the Nintendo Switch. That being, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Microsoft Corporation. We're not going to be talking about online multiplayer though because... well, NSO is still a work in progress to put it lightly. 

1.) Better communication with developers - One of the biggest problems regarding the Wii U's development was that Nintendo didn't communicate with anybody when developing the console. Not just with third party developers, but their own first party teams were kept in the dark about the system as well. What resulted, was a bloated, dated, and convoluted system who's main selling point was barely utilized by most developers due to this lack of open communication to the software teams and third party partners. Post-launch wasn't much better, as third party developers had to be stuck with un-translated documentation, a slow, aging CPU, and an incompetent third party relations team.

With Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has taken a different approach. From the moment the console began development in earnest, Nintendo reached out its internal software teams, external subsidiaries/second parties, and third party publishers asking what a console handheld hybrid would need to work. This resulted in a far more modern system that's not only easier to develop for, but also has a much more focused vision than the bloated mess the Wii U was. Many of the Switch's specs and features were actually requested by developers. Capcom for instance, asked for 4GB of Ram instead of the planned 2 GB because they wanted to run the RE engine on it, Nintendo added it without hesitation. The method of which the Switch was developed is much more in line with how Sony developed the PlayStation 4 and 5. 

2.) Going with a PC-based Tegra X1 - Rather than use aging PowerPC hardware or a Latte GPGPU, Nintendo instead approached Nvidia to supply its Tegra X1 processor for the Switch. This gave Nintendo access to both Nvidia's development tools, as well as an SoC based on Nvidia's PC graphics hardware. While it's based on the ARM architecture, it means that development for the Switch is virtually identical to that of the also PC-based PS4 and Xbox One, which means even with sacrifices, porting to Switch is way easier than any Nintendo system before it. This, combined with strong sales, means developers are more enthusiastic about the Switch than they ever were with the Wii U.

Some may have liked more power, but there's no denying that the Switch is an impressive piece of engineering. 

3.) More proactive third party relations - Nintendo's approach to third party support in the past was that of a distant supervisor. Third parties were free to come to Nintendo if they want, but Nintendo normally wouldn't be actively asking you to bring your games to their platforms. Nintendo has always relied on its own first party titles to drive the install base of their systems, and while that's still true with the Switch, they've also taken a page from Sony and Microsoft's playbook, and have been more willing to go out and approach developers to bring their games to the system as well. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Rocket League were both requested by Nintendo themselves prior to the system's launch, as was Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, which was personally requested by the late Satoru Iwata. Not only that, but Nintendo is now also striking exclusivity and marketing deals with developers and publishers as well. Many indie games launched first on Nintendo Switch as timed exclusives, and these days, it's not uncommon to see Nintendo promoting third party titles alongside their first party games in Switch marketing. 

As a result, third party support and third party software sales have been the best Nintendo's had in years. While it's not likely to get every single release, you can more easily find big third party names on the Switch at this point in its life, than you could on the Wii U.

4.) More varied first party lineup - For better or worse, Nintendo's always been known as the "family oriented" one of the big three. While its biggest stars are indeed that, consoles like the GameCube and Wii U often went too far in that direction. With seemingly nothing but cute 2D Platformers and mascot characters, and not enough other types of games. But the Switch is a lot more balanced to appeal to all ages, and is much closer to the first party lineup of PlayStation than the Wii U was. Sure, all your usual Nintendo stars are here, but there's also fresh faces like ARMS, and Ring Fit Adventure. Unique, un-Nintendo games like Astral Chain and Metroid Prime 4 (coming soon). Even surprise returns of casual series like Clubhouse Games, and complete curveballs like the upcoming Famicom Detective Club remakes. No longer is it mostly just Casual games and mascot platformers like the Wii U, there's at least something for everyone to enjoy on the Switch.

5.) More global focus - Nintendo in the Wii U days, always seemed like it was purely a Japanese focused company with little interest in reaching out to western partners. The Wii U really felt like a console that was primarily made for the Japanese market, and even they didn't want it. But the Switch managed to strike a very even balance of western and eastern sensibilities. It's got the portability, and quirky colors to appeal to Japanese gamers, while western gamers can appreciate things like the Pro Controller and Album features. It's easy and cheap enough for Japanese studios to develop for, but its also familiar and easy to port to for western developers. The Switch feels like collaborative effort between the Kyoto, and Redmond parts of Nintendo, creating a console both sides can enjoy. 



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You frame this thread as if Nintendo hadn't had a successful console before when in reality Nintendo has had more successful consoles than anyone else.

1. I don't see it. When the Wii U was unveiled at E3 2011, Nintendo had had more major third party publishers pledge support for the Wii U than they had in January 2017 for Switch.

2. Switch wasn't going to be backwards compatible with the Wii U to begin with, because blu-rays are too big to make sense. It was time for a new architecture, and Nvidia and AMD were the only real options at the time.

3. I don't see this one either. Dragon Quest is an IP that Nintendo has pursued since the very first game on the NES (in North America it was a free game as bonus for subscribing to the Nintendo Power magazine); Dragon Quest IX and X were also pursued by Nintendo. They worked closely together with Capcom during the GameCube era. They bundled Street Fighter II with the SNES. Simply put, being able to name a few games doesn't constitute a difference to past Nintendo. Nintendo Directs have been a thing for almost a decade now, third party games being advertised there is nothing new.

As for indie games launching first on Switch, there's no reason to believe that Nintendo pays anything for that. Indies do that on their own for more attention and their limited resources don't allow to port to all consoles at the same time, so they prioritize the console where indie games sell the best.

4. Now four swings and four misses on your part. Switch's first party lineup is a lot closer to the Wii U than any PlayStation, so how they took cues from Sony is something that you should actually explain, not just name a couple of titles that have been present on previous Nintendo consoles in very similar capacity.

5. Just like the rest of your post, everything hinges on comparisons with the Wii U to justify the thread title somehow. And just like with everything else, you can look at previous Nintendo systems beyond the Wii U and figure that Nintendo was looking at their own history to get things right. Nevermind that it's lunacy to portray Microsoft as a role model for anything.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

What does PC-based Tegra X1 mean?

I'd also be interested to hear exactly how PS4 and Xbox One taught Nintendo about this? Or what PS4 and Xbox One have to do with Tegra X1, especially considering their chipsets are completely different.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

TheMisterManGuy said:

2.) Going with a PC-based Tegra X1 - Rather than use aging PowerPC hardware or a Latte GPGPU, Nintendo instead approached Nvidia to supply its Tegra X1 processor for the Switch. This gave Nintendo access to both Nvidia's development tools, as well as an SoC based on Nvidia's PC graphics hardware. While it's based on the ARM architecture, it means that development for the Switch is virtually identical to that of the also PC-based PS4 and Xbox One, which means even with sacrifices, porting to Switch is way easier than any Nintendo system before it. This, combined with strong sales, means developers are more enthusiastic about the Switch than they ever were with the Wii U.

Some may have liked more power, but there's no denying that the Switch is an impressive piece of engineering. 

Tegra ARM-SoCs aren't PC-based, they are mobile-based!

The majority of the Switch library are ports of iOS- and Android games.

Many of these games are also available on PC and partly in the PS-store and XBL Marketplace, but the basis for most of these ports will be an ARM-version.



" Nintendo's approach to third party support in the past was that of a distant supervisor. "

That's not true at all, Nintendo basically created the whole concept of second parties, which are third party devs that Nintendo worked very closely with, and they've done this for decades.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

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I’d love to see Nintendo have the same transparency as MS does now. For too long Nintendo says what they want when they want, and don’t really communicate well when the community wants something addressed. Fans take it and accept it, nay they are grateful that Nintendo was gracious enough to give us anything :)

I know this because I lived it. So no offence meant.



 

 

Conina said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

2.) Going with a PC-based Tegra X1 - Rather than use aging PowerPC hardware or a Latte GPGPU, Nintendo instead approached Nvidia to supply its Tegra X1 processor for the Switch. This gave Nintendo access to both Nvidia's development tools, as well as an SoC based on Nvidia's PC graphics hardware. While it's based on the ARM architecture, it means that development for the Switch is virtually identical to that of the also PC-based PS4 and Xbox One, which means even with sacrifices, porting to Switch is way easier than any Nintendo system before it. This, combined with strong sales, means developers are more enthusiastic about the Switch than they ever were with the Wii U.

Some may have liked more power, but there's no denying that the Switch is an impressive piece of engineering. 

Tegra ARM-SoCs aren't PC-based, they are mobile-based!

The majority of the Switch library are ports of iOS- and Android games.

Many of these games are also available on PC and partly in the PS-store and XBL Marketplace, but the basis for most of these ports will be an ARM-version.

Tegra's GPU is based on Nvidia's PC graphics tech, which is why most Switch ports actually come from the PC, not iOS.



RolStoppable said:

You frame this thread as if Nintendo hadn't had a successful console before when in reality Nintendo has had more successful consoles than anyone else.

1. I don't see it. When the Wii U was unveiled at E3 2011, Nintendo had had more major third party publishers pledge support for the Wii U than they had in January 2017 for Switch.

That's because the Wii U was the successor to the Wii, Nintendo's most successful console up to that point. The thinking was that the Wii was a massive hit, and now that it's HD, the Wii U will be an even bigger hit. That, never happened of course, and developers dropped it like flies afterwards. Compare that to the Switch where support started off slow, but more and more developers began releasing games for it after the system proved itself. 

2. Switch wasn't going to be backwards compatible with the Wii U to begin with, because blu-rays are too big to make sense. It was time for a new architecture, and Nvidia and AMD were the only real options at the time.

Nintendo also wanted to make the Switch easy to develop and port for so that it doesn't run into the same lack of software the Wii U did, hence Nvidia.

3. I don't see this one either. Dragon Quest is an IP that Nintendo has pursued since the very first game on the NES (in North America it was a free game as bonus for subscribing to the Nintendo Power magazine); Dragon Quest IX and X were also pursued by Nintendo. They worked closely together with Capcom during the GameCube era. They bundled Street Fighter II with the SNES. Simply put, being able to name a few games doesn't constitute a difference to past Nintendo. Nintendo Directs have been a thing for almost a decade now, third party games being advertised there is nothing new.

As for indie games launching first on Switch, there's no reason to believe that Nintendo pays anything for that. Indies do that on their own for more attention and their limited resources don't allow to port to all consoles at the same time, so they prioritize the console where indie games sell the best.

Again, this is in comparison to the Wii U, rather than other Nintendo consoles. Nintendo would hardly, if ever promote third parties the way they do with the Switch back in the Wii U days. At most, you get the rare Sonic deal. But it's not like the Switch, where Nintendo asked for several titles that were mostly associated with PlayStation or Xbox. Nintendo has been more pro-active in making the Switch as third party friendly as possible, instead of the Wii U which was bogged down by poor communication, and garbage documentation.



Nintendo learned nothing from PS/Ms first party wise, it's probably more the opposite.



TheMisterManGuy said:
Conina said:

Tegra ARM-SoCs aren't PC-based, they are mobile-based!

The majority of the Switch library are ports of iOS- and Android games.

Many of these games are also available on PC and partly in the PS-store and XBL Marketplace, but the basis for most of these ports will be an ARM-version.

Tegra's GPU is based on Nvidia's PC graphics tech, which is why most Switch ports actually come from the PC, not iOS.

That's like saying all devices with Snapdragon-SoCs with Adreno graphics are based on AMD's PC graphics tech... doesn't matter much.

If there is already an ARM version of a game, chances are high that this version will be the base for a Switch port instead of porting a x86-version.