Nintendo is "looking at" bringing support to the Unity Engine on the Nintendo 3DS. Siliconera caught up with Senior Manager of Marketing Damon Baker at GDC who didn't confirm a plan was is motion, but suggests that the company is discussing its options.
"We've had those discussions and we are definitely looking at that"
Unity Engine is proving to be one of the most popular and easy to use development tools for indie developers. A wide array of popular games have used it so far, and all three of the major console developers have worked on deals to secure easy support. Nintendo sprung on it with more force than the competition though.
Last year, Nintendo and Unity announced a partnership that would bring a Wii U specific version to the console, and just to make sure that indie developers noticed, Wii U dev kits came with a free copy of Unity as well. Many games that use Unity are quickly finding their way to the Wii U because of it.
"Our priority was to get the Wii U build [of Unity] up and done and ready. Because we need a test environment for it, it's taken a while for Unity to get finalized on Wii U, so that we can actually test against it. So that has been made available now and that is why we've got all of these [game] candidates waiting in the wings that are just going through the submission process at this point."
The only problem is that not everybody owns a Wii U. In fact, a large amount of people do not own a Wii U, so what is Nintendo going to do about this partnership to boost sales and exposure? The Nintendo 3DS seems like an obvious option, but the problem there is that the portable device requires its own specific optimization.
"Now, we can move on to other platforms and see how we can make those compatible," he continued, "either with Unity or with additional middleware providers as well."
"So, 3DS is definitely an exciting platform for us, because we've got a huge install base, and we want to take advantage of that. We've got a lot of developers that want to take advantage of it. So, we're working towards that as well. But nothing to announce at this time."
The Nintendo 3DS is already home to a lot of great exclusive content, but if Nintendo lands Unity support, you can expect to find an even greater amount of indie games. It's doubtful that the Nintendo 3DS can handle a lot of games that Unity has already made, but I have confidence that some indie developers would easily leap on the opportunity to optimize it.