John Carmack: Nintendo Wii U Is a Valid Game Console for Hardcore Gamers

Legendary Game Designer Sees Nintendo Wii U as Viable Console for id Tech 5 Games

by Anton Shilov
07/05/2011 | 03:35 PM

John Carmack, the technical director of id Software, said in an interview that Nintendo's next-generation Wii U game console was much more viable for hardcore gamers than the current-gen Wii. The legendary game designer even said that the console seemed to suit well for the firm's next-generation id Tech 5 engine and therefore games designed by id.


For many years Nintendo's game consoles were significantly behind competitors (including Microsoft and Sony) technology-wise, which is why developers of video games specialized on so-called hardcore titles were not interested in designing games for Nintendo's platforms. For example, none of id's own latest games released in the most recent decade is available on Nintendo GameCube or Wii. Even though Nintendo Wii U is hardly a big step forwards compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it is a massive step for Nintendo and Mr. Carmack sees it as a step towards hardcore games and gamers.

"[Nintendo Wii U] should be a slam dunk to move over to Tech 5 games on there. We haven’t had that discussion yet as a company, but it seems technically like it’s a valid target, so I’m always happy to go ahead and get a new box in and see what it takes to bring it up and see the pros and cons of the choices they made. I think they probably made a fairly intelligent decision with the Wii U," said John Carmack, in an interview with Industry Gamers web-site.

Based on unofficial reports, Wii U should resemble Xbox 360 in terms of system architecture, which was once the favourite one for Mr. Carmack. The particular good news for Nintendo is that a legendary developer of hardcore games is now openly interested in creating titles for Wii U. But the problem is that id Software does not seem to have Wii U, which means that it may not have enough time to port upcoming Rage or other title to the platform on time for the launch in 2012.

"I am much more inclined to want to develop something for Nintendo now because I have got a 6-year-old son and we play Wii and DS games all the time. I’d be happy to do something there. It just hasn’t been the right fit for where id Software is with our projects and technologies," said Mr. Carmack.

It is noteworthy that John Carmack seems more value in the new tablet-like controller of Wii U than in motion-sensing technologies by Microsoft and Sony.

"I think there may be more good uses of that [Wii U tablet] than [there are for] the current generation with Kinect and Move. There’s clearly a subset of games for which things like that are appropriate for. We’ve been going on with how can we use those types of motion things with Rage and it’s hard to take a game that’s fundamentally designed around a controller and get value out of doing some of those other things, while adding extra touch interfaces there, that seems like something that almost every game could make some use of," said the legendary game designer.