Sonic dev pleased with Wii U

At least one developer was surprisingly pleased with the ease of developing for Nintendo’s new platform.

In an interview with the Official Nintendo Magazine in the UK, Sonic developer Steve Lycett said creating the game Sonic And All-Stars Racing for the Wii U was pretty painless.

He admitted going into the process, there are “always surprises and unexpected challenges when you develop on a new console.” But those challenges were not too painful for the new Nintendo platform.

“The Wii U looks as good as any of the HD platforms. The Wii U has way more memory, so we can take advantage of that with less compression on elements and textures, so it will look all lovely and shiny,” he said.

This is good news for the Wii U, which has previously been plagued by criticism that it would not be very developer-friendly. There have been complaints that the tablet controller will make the development process more arduous, especially for cross-platform titles.

The other thing Nintendo has to wrestle with is the price point, which still has not been announced even though the console is due out in just a few months. That is almost unheard of in the world of video game consoles.

Estimates of what the Wii U will cost have ranged anywhere from $300 to $500. Regardless of where it is in that wide range, if it is more than $250 it will be the most expensive Nintendo console ever.

The problem is the touchscreen tablet-like controller, which is practically another video game system in and of itself. So you’re paying for not one console but two, which is driving up costs for Nintendo.

And Nintendo likes to be able to turn a profit for its hardware, unlike industry convention which is to sell the console at below cost, hoping you’ll make that money back through high-margin software sales.

Whatever happens, the Wii U is game changer for everyone, so it will certainly be interesting to see what happens.