Will this be the time when Nintendo finally gets a handle on third party support?
Nintendo systems have historically been known for poor third party support- ever since the Nintendo 64, every system, with the minor aberration that was the GameCube, has had exceptionally poor representation of third party games, that have come to be increasingly more important in the modern gaming climate. Nintendo’s current systems, the Wii U and to a lesser extent, the 3DS, have both suffered greatly from this problem.
It seems Nintendo’s investors are aware of this problem too, and they are also curious about how Nintendo is planning to go about this. In a statement to investors, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata tried to shed some light on how Nintendo is planning on approaching the third party conundrum with their next system, the enigmatic NX.
“I believe the standard for software publishers in selecting what hardware to provide their games for is the installed base after all,” he said. “The larger the installed base or the more it is believed that the installed base will largely expand, there is an aspect that more software publishers are likely to join in. On the other hand, Nintendo is collaborating with various software publishers. At E3, which was held in the U.S. and is the largest trade show in the video game industry, we received many proposals for joint initiatives. In addition, Japanese software publishers have close relationships with our licensing department on a regular basis. As for collaborations with software publishers or their games, please consider that there are various ongoing projects below the surface.”
Third party collaborations are definitely one way of increasing third party enthusiasm for your system, while also increasing and diversifying the catalog available, but will this ensure that Nintendo gets the same kind of third party support that PlayStation or even Xbox do? That is something that remains to be seen.