Wii Development Kit Information

The company I work for is considering a proposal that includes the development of a simple game that may or may not include development of this game on the Wii (e.g. a WiiWare style game may be appropriate). However, without signing up as an authorized developer, I’ve found it rather difficult to find concrete information on the development kit that Nintendo provides.

We would like to get some information on things such as:
[li]the type(s) of hardware they provide[/li][li]the development language (C++?)[/li][li]the development environment (e.g. Eclipse or some other tool)[/li][li]submission/approval processes[/li][/ul]

I realize some of this information must be hidden behind NDAs of some sort but I’m very surprised I haven’t seen an obvious resource on the web that outlines this type of general information. Does anyone know of such a resource? Who can clue me in?

We got a dev kit about a year and a half ago that we never ended up using. Unfortunately I can only answer some of this, as while I set up the dev environment it’s been so long I can hardly remember what I did.

  1. We got a dev kit, two remotes and two nunchuks. Everything was hooked up to the dev pc with USB cables (2 if I recall, maybe 3).

  2. C/C++

  3. I vaguely remember that everything was *nix and gcc, and I had to telnet into the dev kit to set everything up. It was a royal pain in the ass.

  4. No idea.

edit: I’m actually fuzzy on #2, I remember there being multiple cables, but I can’t remember if it was a combination cat5/USB or just USB. I’m pretty damn sure it’s USB.

If you find a Wii DevKit fuzzy, let me know. It’s not like they;re easy to get, even if you know who to talk to

Really? I figured WiiWare would encourage them to make it far easier than it was in the past.

Let’s hope so. I’ve been working on getting debugs and devs for all of the companies. The funniest thing is that many of the people I work with that actually have debugs from the other companies haven’t even SEEN a wii debug. I’m working on the application process and it has taken me over a month to get to a point where I can fill something out. So sad.

Then again maybe I just suck

I’m not sure it’s possible to get a legitimate dev kit and be able to release a Wii title (be it regular or WiiWare) without being an authorized developer.

Bob has something to say on the subject, a wonderful treatise on how not to go about getting a Wii dev kit. You might want to start over here at SA for a slightly more rational start to the matter.

Without going into detail for obvious reasons:

Wii development is totally Windows based. Nintendo licenses Freescale Codewarrior and distributes a version targeted for Wii free of charge to licensed developers. That gets you the IDE/C++ compiler and debugger. Most people hate Codewarrior, but there you go.

There are dev kits and test kits. Dev kits are needed for actual development/debugging. Test kits are meant for running a disc image either from a burned disc or an image on a hard drive.

Nintendo does not have a concept approval process ala SCEA. For something like WiiWare if you are a licensed developer and/or publisher, and follow their submission procedures (which include things like ESRB ratings), then you can get your game on WiiWare.

Do understand that Nintendo does have extensive technical certification processes “lot check” that a game is required to clear before approval for release. These are a lot more rigorous than most people coming from a PC background are used to.

Thanks for the replies so far.

One thing I forgot to ask was how long and thorough the approval process is for becoming a certified developer. Is this something we’d expect to take a month or a year? How much follow-up would we expect from the initial application?

For Wii Development, you get Radix Studio, the replacement for the old-gen CodeWarrior IDE. I wrote docs for that dev environment a while back. I’d say that Radix Studio is more like Visual Studio than like the old CodeWarrior IDE.

Anything else, including the technical approval process (lot check) information you want, is probably still covered by that NDA thing I signed.

For information on how to become a Wii developer, see http://warioworld.com/

Am I crazy in remembering having to telnet into the machine and set stuff up in a *nix environment? Or maybe it was virtual *nix? God, I can’t remember.

cough Actually Radix was killed off by Freescale. I’m presuming since Radix for PS3 no longer made any sense, Nintendo was the only real customer and didn’t want to pay for the upkeep. Pure speculation on my part.

Scry: one word, Cygwin.

Can anyone give me a clue if it is true C++ or some offshoot of it. For example, Palm uses its own goofy version of C for Palm development, complete with goofy standard libraries (let’s switch the argument order for fun!). What can I expect?

There’s nothing wrong with the language compliance on the Metrowerks C++ compiler. One usually doesn’t (or more accurately, generally shouldn’t) use much of the standard library for console development. Their STL implementation is adequate.

Aw, that’s sad. Too bad it never made it. RIP.

Aw, that’s sad. Too bad it never made it. RIP.