The Wii is ushering in a new era for Nintendo, not just technologically, but also in their business relationships with third party developers. Not only is Nintendo poised to smash their "kiddie" image (Resident Evil 4 helped on the Gamecube, but it in no way compares to Manhunt 2 for Wii), but it's looking like third party developers won't have to justify their love for Nintendo anymore. The company is opening up and letting them learn how to use their Wiimote for the most pleasurable experience possible.
The NY Times explores Nintendo's sudden outreach using Namco Bandai as an example, saying that the "usually aloof executives" came to the publisher a year ago with an "appeal for their support." Namco Bandai's COO, Shin Unozawa says, "I had not seen that attitude from them before ... Nintendo was suddenly reaching out to independent developers."
We've seen some arrogant statements from American Nintendo execs, but the Wii seems to be Nintendo's contrition machine. Despite being more open to publishers, Nintendo refused to comment on their new approach to the NY Times. Although the Wii is selling incredibly well, the games haven't broken out of the gimmicky mold yet. When Metroid and Mario Galaxy hit later this year, we'll get the first real dose of what a game designed for the Wii can offer, instead of the Gamecube techno-ports we've had so far. And by next year, we may begin seeing solid titles from third party developers. Here's to hoping Nintendo learned from their past mistakes and makes the Wii what the Gamecube could have been with support form third party publishers.