Independent Console Development

All posts tagged Independent Console Development

sony-nintendo-microsoft

I’ll be actively developing d6 this year using Unity, and I’d really like to get it onto a few platforms:  PC/Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Vita, and New 3DS.  That means I need console licenses (I need Steam as well, but that one will come later).

This led to me spending the afternoon filling out the forms to get licensed for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo platforms. It was surprisingly easy overall, but it did take a bit of preparation to get everything right. Considering my console development background (specifically with handheld devices) I think I stand a pretty good chance of getting licensed, but I’m not counting my chickens yet.

Each of the big three asked for some common information such as the name of the company, primary contact information, industry experience, and desired target platforms. There were just a couple of little quirks in each process.

SONY

Playstation Partners Registration

Sony had a pretty straightforward process, overall. The downside was that they asked for a few extra things that nobody else did:

  • A Static IP for forum/Devnet access
  • Paperwork about the developer’s company (a copy of my company’s formation certificate)
  • A concept/pitch document for a game to be developed on the platform

None of these are particularly difficult to do. The most difficult/expensive part for me was acquiring a static IP. I work on my games from home, so I had to have it added to my home internet service. This requirement can also be worked around via VPN/VPS services. See this Reddit thread for some details (link).

Aside from that, it forced me to do a quick pitch document. It led me to the discovery of a handy website I’d never heard of: gamepitches.com. I spent a little bit of time looking over some examples, then decided to go with a pretty simple format. Here are the results (PDF link).

Nintendo

Nintendo Developer Application

Wii U – Unity Application

I’ve worked on Nintendo hardware for many years, and the registration process has become old hat. The New 3DS requires developers to sign up for full Nintendo Developer accounts. If one chooses to develop just for the Wii U using Unity, there’s another (maybe easier) application.

Nintendo’s other small difference is that they want to know about any 3rd party partners (publishers/subsidiaries), and they are quite concerned with security of their development equipment. For the most part, this means having multiple locks/security measures between the front door and a devkit. For instance, I have a safe that I can put my devkits in, as well as locks on my office.

Microsoft

ID@Xbox Application

This one was also fairly straightforward, though they do leave a space for optional gameplay trailers/videos. I left it blank because I haven’t made a video yet; I hope it doesn’t hurt me in the end.

One thing I didn’t like was that I was forced to create a company specific Gamertag in the process. It seems like a waste, and I had to abbreviate my company name anyway (since Gamertags names can only be so long).

Note: I applied to ID@Xbox a while ago and didn’t hear anything back (crickets for 8 months) so maybe I need to razzle-dazzle them with some game information/videos or something. Either that or I need to get to know someone on the inside.

Conclusion

The overall process for getting licensed for these platforms has truly never been easier. All three of the major console manufacturers seem to want to make the process as simple as possible to get games on their devices.

I’m hopeful I’ll get my seals of approval from each of them, but only time will tell. I’d personally love to see d6 on all of these platforms, especially since Unity has support for each of them. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.