Hiding Console Specs Is The “Most Annoying Thing For Every Dev,” Says Game Director

[Image Credit: Spritestitch]

First-party hardware manufacturers are understandably cautious with revealing the specs, but while that may be annoying to fans and the press, this is incredibly frustrating to developers. You know, those people who want to make the games for the console you're making, yeah those people.

Thomas Mahler, the director for Ori and the Blind Forest, expressed as much in his NeoGAF rant when it comes to Nintendo not revealing the specs for their upcoming NX console:

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!

So if you're wondering why the launch titles for a particular console may not be enticing as they could be, that seems to be the primary reason:

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.

More than that, third-party support relies a lot on getting the standard engines to run efficiently on the system and for developers to get their hands on the devkits as quickly as possible:

The same is true for Engine Support – Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles WAAAAY ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be EASY for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn't just only start at this point. I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally 2 years before release – Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone's having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that's happening anywhere and it's just braindamaged.

When probed further on NeoGAF, Mahler says he's "100% positively certain that neither Unity nor Unreal Engine will support NX at launch" and that "nobody has any devkits yet" for the NX console. He believes that Nintendo "needs devs WAAAAAAAAY more than the devs need them," since "Steam, X1, PS4, etc. are all super nice environments in which developers can thrive."