Nintendo Underestimated the Cost of Going HD

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Nintendo Underestimated the Cost of Going HD

Shigeru Miyamoto Wii U

Nintendo's own Shigeru Miyamoto has admitted that the company didn't expect the world of high definition to be so resource-intensive.

While Sony and Microsoft perpetuate the console hardware arms race, Nintendo is generally content to do its own thing. Still, now that HD graphics are all but expected, the big N has had to get with the times and go high-def with the Wii U. Unfortunately for the company, its policy of ignoring the squabbles of the competition means that it didn't learn from their mistakes, and now Wii U development is suffering. In a translated Q&A session with investors, senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto explained that Nintendo underestimated the cost of developing in HD.

"When it comes to the scale of software development, Wii U with HD graphics requires about twice the human resources than before," says Miyamoto. "Please allow me to explain that we may have underestimated the scale of this change and as a result, the overall software development took more time than originally anticipated just as we tried to polish the software at the completion phase of development. However, we are almost out of this phase."

Miyamoto is currently in charge of Pikmin 3, which was intended to be release around the time of the Wii U's launch but has been continually delayed - perhaps in large part due to this mistake. It seems that Nintendo still has a lot to learn if the Wii U aims to compete with its HD rivals.

Source: Games Industry

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Welp, they goofed - and unlike most companies, they admitted it too. Still, looks like they're starting to get themselves sorted

If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Bleidd Whitefalcon:
Welp, they goofed - and unlike most companies, they admitted it too. Still, looks like they're starting to get themselves sorted

It's almost as if demanding half a dozen million people buy your games is less reasonable than a company sorting its expenses on its own end.

Wow, their outlook was dumber than I had thought.

I mean, its one thing not to partake in the squabbles of other companies, but you have to be a flat out idiot to ignore any lessons that can be learned by the stumbling of others.

And as Nintendo was in a position to look in from the outside and watch each step that the big 2 took, so they could avoid or prepare for it themselves they have no excuse.

I do have to give them props for at least admitting they fucked up though.

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

Will Nintendo freak out when we tell them after HD is Blu-ray?

Neronium:

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

Couldn't it though. You'd think they might have paid attention to the growing pains that other developers were starting to go through seven years ago. If they honestly underestimated it then they didn't do their research.

But then, they are a company that tends to throw shit at the wall and see what sticks lately. I don't think their biggest problem was underestimating the cost of going HD, it was overestimating how many people who bought the Wii would care about the Wii U.

Neronium:

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

That I can agree with.
But hey, let them blunder on their own mistakes.
It's not like their non HD games looked abysmal anyway.

Dragonbums:

Neronium:

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

That I can agree with.
But hey, let them blunder on their own mistakes.
It's not like their non HD games looked abysmal anyway.

True, and I find that this situation can show that ignoring something will only come to bite you in the but later. On the bright side at least they didn't HDCP encrypt their HDMI port. I wanna be able to use my HD PVR 2's HDMI recording for more than my 360, PC, and Wii.

I have the Wii 2 HDMI upscaler that allows me to use HDMI cables on my Wii. It's good in the case of the HD PVR 2 because it makes it so that I can record GCN/Wii gameplay in 1080p without having to stretch out the screen and pixels in my editor. Only problem is that it won't let me change the brightness settings on my recordings. Luckily that wasn't a problem in Luigi's Mansion since the game is dark anyway. XD

Neronium:

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

It's a recurring theme for Nintendo, sadly enough. They're always a generation or so behind on the times with where their consoles are at, in terms of features/hardware/capabilities.
When the Gamecube was out, Dreamcast already had online built in, Xbox later came out with online built in, PS2 had the feature added as an addon. What did Nintendo do? Implemented a very annoying, confusing addon for the gamecube so that the one or two games capable of online play could actually go online. I doubt anyone really used it, because it was one giant pain in the ass.

Wii comes out. Every other system is online capable from the start, easy to set up friends lists and play online alongside online chat. Nintendo? Implements friend codes, perhaps the single worst concept they could of gone with. Games support exactly zero online chat, and remains so until they release the room-wide microphone. Again, not exactly efficient.

And now? HD issues!

I still love the console and can't wait to see what Nintendo and cook up for it (and eventual third party support which I think they'll eventually regain, even if on a smaller scale similar to the Wii).

It's unfortunate the Nintendo flubbed this one though :(

Innegativeion:

Bleidd Whitefalcon:
Welp, they goofed - and unlike most companies, they admitted it too. Still, looks like they're starting to get themselves sorted

It's almost as if demanding half a dozen million people buy your games is less reasonable than a company sorting its expenses on its own end.

I know! It's sad that this is increasingly rare these days >.>

cursedseishi:

Neronium:

Dragonbums:
If anything, Nintendo are a very frugal company.
They don't like wasting money if there is a way to make it cheaper.

I can imagine in due time once they get used to doing HD, they will find a way to make it less man heavy, and more efficient.

Problem in this case was their stubbornness to really not do at least some research about HD because they should have a least realized that sooner or later they were going to have to upgrade seeing as how TVs nowadays are going to HD more.
At least they admitted that they goofed, but it really could have been prevented.

It's a recurring theme for Nintendo, sadly enough. They're always a generation or so behind on the times with where their consoles are at, in terms of features/hardware/capabilities.
When the Gamecube was out, Dreamcast already had online built in, Xbox later came out with online built in, PS2 had the feature added as an addon. What did Nintendo do? Implemented a very annoying, confusing addon for the gamecube so that the one or two games capable of online play could actually go online. I doubt anyone really used it, because it was one giant pain in the ass.

Wii comes out. Every other system is online capable from the start, easy to set up friends lists and play online alongside online chat. Nintendo? Implements friend codes, perhaps the single worst concept they could of gone with. Games support exactly zero online chat, and remains so until they release the room-wide microphone. Again, not exactly efficient.

And now? HD issues!

Yea.. but the truth is they are a guppy in a sea of sharks. They may have these stumbles but don't have the backing of the rest of a zillion dollar company to let them rush in anywhere. They also managed to stay in a market that Sega could not.

They should still be able to compete with the ps3 and xbox360. :D

Is it just me or "Nintendo underestimated *blank*" sounds like something really common? I do like that they go out of their way to say "we though it was a bit easier" Unlike the pretty familiar "IT WASN'T TEH NEXT COD, THIS FRANCHISE'S WORTHLESS"

Grabehn:
Is it just me or "Nintendo underestimated *blank*" sounds like something really common? I do like that they go out of their way to say "we though it was a bit easier" Unlike the pretty familiar "IT WASN'T TEH NEXT COD, THIS FRANCHISE'S WORTHLESS"

Part of it is that they don't toot their own horn too much when they do fine, so you only hear about the screw ups, which they are incredibly transparent about compared to other companies.

Desert Punk:
Wow, their outlook was dumber than I had thought.

Nintendo has been remarkably out of touch with the consumer, historically. When they catch with the public, it's usually coincidence. This is why they couldn't recapture the glory of the Wii. Meanwhile, they spent all this time telling us we didn't want online or HD or integrated storage....It's almost as dickish as Microsoft's whole scphiel about THA FEWCHUR!

The Apple BOOM:

Grabehn:
skip

Part of it is that they don't toot their own horn too much when they do fine, so you only hear about the screw ups, which they are incredibly transparent about compared to other companies.

WOW! Thanks for quoting that, I just realized that I erased too much of my comment. But yeah, I really like it that they admit they had problems with certain parts of whatever they did.

Does this mean that the next Nintendo console will be as powerful as the next generation of consoles (9th)? Because Nintendo seem to have a knack of creating things that just print money.

Welcome to 2005, Nintendo. Maybe you shouldn't have locked yourself in that echo chamber...

Bleidd Whitefalcon:
Welp, they goofed - and unlike most companies, they admitted it too. Still, looks like they're starting to get themselves sorted

Only because they were forced to confirm for [presumably] angry investors wondering why things have taken such a U-turn for the company.

Not really admitting on the same lines you're presumably thinking?

Well it does help explain why the Wii U has gone so long without anything of dire interest to play on it. "We goofed and so we are shining up the good stuff. Here is Wind Waker again, and some Luigi DLC."

I'm looking forward to Pikmin 3 and a new Zelda, but I probably won't get a Wii U for a very long time if at all.

In the other hand my 3DS has been getting all the loves, and I'm okay with that.

I just got Mighty Switch Force since its on sale now. Fun game.

Anyone else like the little shopping bag guy that runs around when you are downloading a game? Frankly its adorable.

IshimaruHayato:
Will Nintendo freak out when we tell them after HD is Blu-ray?

Ahem. Blu-ray is a storage medium. HD is a graphics resolution standard. That's like comparing apples and oranges. ;p

(Besides; Blu-ray is about 25-50 gb disks... Wii U disks are... Surprise, surprise. 25 gb or so. So they already have blu-ray or something equivalent...)

cursedseishi:
Games support exactly zero online chat, and remains so until they release the room-wide microphone. Again, not exactly efficient.

And yet here we are in 2013 where a new console is coming out pushing a room-wide microphone :P

Wow, hearing this really surprised me. After all, consoles that support HD textures and resolutions started with the xbox 360 in 2005, did no one at Nintendo think to check out the competition and see how they were coping with the development/financial implications of HD during all this time?

A real shame, because at the right price point and with some decent returns of Metriod and Zelda I would really consider buying the Wii U as a second console, I guess I just have to play the waiting game.

Someone please remind me, why is HD important again? Seriously Nintendo, stop going down the dead end route that Sony and Microsoft are stumbling toward. You'll never be the most powerful and in the process you're just making everything harder and more expensive, which in turn means fewer and less risky games.

Well.
On the one hand, that is bad news for them.
But on the other, they do stand to benefit from Microsoft's ill-fated "PR is where you anger as many people as possible, right?" strategy, and games do sell a system. I like the possibilities that the Wii U represents, but I got burned on its predecessor quite hard, so it's going to take some very spirited convincing in order to sway me- and I'm afraid it will only be after I've purchased a PS4.

This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

OlasDAlmighty:
Someone please remind me, why is HD important again? Seriously Nintendo, stop going down the dead end route that Sony and Microsoft are stumbling toward. You'll never be the most powerful and in the process you're just making everything harder and more expensive, which in turn means fewer and less risky games.

My thoughts exactly. Being HD isn't integral to being a good game. To be honest, looking at the screens of the Wind Waker remake, I think it actually *loses* something in shifting over to HD graphics. Granted, some games can benefit from it, but I don't know why it's thought to be a necessity.

I cant wait to see the shock on their faces when 4k and 8k tvs become standard

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

I... you... are you serious?
No really, are you serious because I certainly can't say if this is sarcasm or not.

OT:
Well yeah, it's obvious the underestimated it considering the slow released and delay of some games.
But I doubt it's like some people saying that they didn't do any research. It's hard to make a 100% accurate estimation of the manpower you need to make a game.
Especially if you look at games like AssCreed that had 500+ developer working on a single game.

Nintendo is known for having smaller teams working on games, not huge teams (except Retro during the Prime development).
Also, coupled with this news, it's obvious that they didn't want to overestimate the size of the team needed.
You don't want to find new employees just so that you can fire them in 3 months.

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

OK, seriously? It's not the resolution.

'HD' is not merely a higher resolution. IT's all the extra texture and model details needed because of the extra resolution.

Try running a game from 2000 or so at 1280 by 1024 or higher on a PC... They don't have the detail compared to 'HD' games...

Resolution is simply an easy label to use to describe a massive increase in graphical detail level. (And cost in making graphical resources is more or less proportional to the amount of detail involved.)

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

Yep, Nintendo is bullshitting to try and hide their mediocre output so far. :P Although what they refer to is probably the extended scope of the gamedesign in comparison to other competitors. Anything that is rendered in 3D and even most 2D stuff will look better "in HD" no matter how much or less detail there is, it'll be sharper.
Even simple stuff like this looks better in 1080p: http://u.cubeupload.com/palutena/GZLE01133.png

Every single Wii game runs "in HD" on a PC and looks stunningly better: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=395121
This thread is filled with Screenshots and examples.

Other than that you could also type "Dolphin Emulator 1080p" in Google and see what you come up with: http://www.google.com/#q=dolphin+emulator+1080p&source=univ&tbm=vid&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=PFPYUaiMO47Psga56oCACg&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQqwQ&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.48705608,d.Yms&fp=ccb626272f92d105&biw=1904&bih=841

CrystalShadow:

IshimaruHayato:
Will Nintendo freak out when we tell them after HD is Blu-ray?

Ahem. Blu-ray is a storage medium. HD is a graphics resolution standard. That's like comparing apples and oranges. ;p

(Besides; Blu-ray is about 25-50 gb disks... Wii U disks are... Surprise, surprise. 25 gb or so. So they already have blu-ray or something equivalent...)

Not to mention BLu-Ray is a *transitional* storage medium. Solid State or large streaming services is considered more the future (think how cheap gigs are on external drives you could fit in say a generous pocket) particularly with interaction and the control over software Digital distribution offers that physical media always seems to undermine by virtue of example.

Yeah they likely didn't pay direct attention to other HD studios but look closely at how much they've mimicked their failings. If anything shoddy production/output is the more likely than slowed output and they have nothing to do with currently capable developers and publishers outright jumping ship on them starting with Ubisoft which *happily* profited from Rabbids again, and again, and again, and again on the Wii and even enjoyed some success on ZombiU. even in the lead up to the WiiU's release they did a massive drive but as for "this is going to take more manpower" yeah I can understand that hitting them.

It seems the story is that Western Development is the way it is in part due to laziness. There are large collaborative projects people will cite as proof. The differing time/shift expectiations, the style of development, and the overall cultural aspects.

There is also something else. Nintendo can't win this on the tech treadmill but with a good market strategy and in terms of offering solid past performers. They are offering excellent doses of that.

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