Bethesda VP Pete Hines Talks Wii U Disinterest
In an interview published in British video game magazine MCV, Bethesda vice president Pete Hines explains the Skyrim developer’s position regarding next-generation video game consoles, and the fact that there’s still plenty of potential in the current generation. His comments were reported by Videogamer, and peel back the curtain a bit to reveal the company’s cautious approach to new technology.
“I don’t think the current generation of consoles are holding us back. There is still plenty that we are able to do visually, technically and from a story-telling standpoint. And there’s this huge built-in audience now.
For me the problems with new consoles are two-fold. The developers are trying to hit a moving technical target, because the platforms are being built. A new console doesn’t just show up a year before launch and is exactly what it will be when it comes out.
It moves and iterates along the way. And introducing something like that to games that are in development is always a bit tricky. And that is obviously an element of risk.”
Interestingly, this raises the question of where Nintendo’s family of consoles fits into Bethesda’s worldview. The Wii—a system that is technologically inferior to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in most ways—has had no support from Bethesda this generation. So what about the Wii U, a system that’s said to be at or slightly above the current generation’s power levels?
“[Bethesda’s] approach has been to put our games out on all of the platforms that will support them. So far the Wii hasn’t fitted into that. Whether Wii U does down the road is TBD.”
Of course, some would argue that Bethesda still hasn’t gotten the current generation figured out. PlayStation 3 owners are still waiting on the developer to make Skyrim‘s DLC pack, “Dawnguard,” available for their platform of choice. Thus far, the company has said only that they’ve encountered a lot of problems getting the content for the system to run correctly, much to PS3-owners’ consternation. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 and PC have both gotten “Dawnguard,” and Microsoft’s console just got “Hearthfire” this week. So, you know, not only do Nintendo fanboys have an axe to grind with Bethesda, but so to Sony-folks, too.