Nintendo's Total Secrecy About The NX is Pissing Off Developers

By Ian Dransfield on at

Nintendo is irritating developers with how little it's letting them know about the NX, according to a couple of comments from developers.

As reported over on GamingBolt (and picked up and run with in glorious fashion over on NeoGaf), Coldwood Interactive’s Martin Sahlin said he would be up for bringing Unravel to Nintendo's NX, but that... well, the Japanese company hasn't really been forthcoming with many (or any) details as to what the console is:

"It’s funny, really. I wish I knew more about it, but they’re really secretive about it. I actually had a really fun discussion with a person from Nintendo a while back. It was basically ‘I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours’ (laughs). So he wanted me to pitch something for the NX, and then he could tell me more about what it was. But basically, it’s kind of hard to pitch something when you don’t even know what it is! So if you manage to guess it right, we’ll tell you what it is. So, I don’t know."

The comments from Sahlin were then echoed in much angrier fashion in the same 'Gaf thread by Thomas Mahler, one of the chaps behind the lovely Ori and the Blind Forest, who wrote:

"This is actually THE singlest most annoying thing for every dev out there. 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."

Rumours have put NX development kits in the hands of a few big-name publishers/developers since some time last year, but it's not difficult to imagine just how secretive these select few have to be with their loaned hardware.

This isn't the first time I've heard about Nintendo's dev kit processes being a bit... off. One developer, who shall remain unnamed as it was an off-the-record rant, voiced their serious displeasure at how Nintendo had presented the Wii U devkit to their studio: slow to arrive, unwieldy, incompatible without a bunch of hacked-together workarounds; it single-handedly made the dev decide against making games for that particular Nintendo machine.

Hopefully this anecdote – and those attached to the NX – are just isolated incidents, because we all understand just how hard Nintendo has to try to court third-party developers this time around. The lack of EA on Wii U was brutal, and while Ninty does throw out stone cold classics on a regular basis, there needs to be more than just Mario, Samus and Pokémon on its next machine.

Oh wait – now I get why it's called NX! Ah, great days.