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Microsoft Developing Games For Nintendo DS 53

DerekJones writes "This week, evidence surfaced confirming that Microsoft is indeed developing games for the DS. It came in the form of two job listings on the official Web site for Rare Ltd., the Britain-based developer of Conker: Live and Reloaded for the Xbox and Perfect Dark Zero for the Xbox 360. Given that Nintendo's handhelds are its main source of revenue, Microsoft creating new content for the DS would be giving ammunition to its archrival in the current- and next-generation console wars."
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Microsoft Developing Games For Nintendo DS

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  • Sure, I'm anti-microsoft, but that's me as a programmer and system adminsitrator. As a gamer, however, I kind of like what Microsoft does. I'm glad to see them supporting the DS, because it seems to me that the handheld seems to be a little underrated, having been eclipsed in the press by the PSP. Which is a better handheld, I'm not sure, but my wallet says that the DS is more attracitve. ;) Also, two screens is a novel concept, and I'd want to play with it just for that.
  • I'd wager that MS would consider Sony its primary adversary, not Nintendo. That's probably why they're supporting the DS. It doesn't hurt them because they don't have a portable system, but I bet they'd love it if this hurt Sony (by influencing people to favor DSs over PSPs). In a heads up fight between MS and Nintendo, MS is probably sure they would dominate so they'd like to see Sony as weakened as possible even if it means Nintendo gains a little ground.
    • MS still needs to make good games for the DS, or if what you are saying is true then it will be a wasted effort. MS is probably supporting the DS or infact getting into the handheld market as they probably see them selves with their own handheld in about 3-6 years.
    • by iocat ( 572367 )
      Microsoft already is licensing games for the DS. Majesco is bring out Age of Kings [] this Christmas.
  • I don't think this is too surprising. MS isn't too worried about Nintendo right now, they're really just fighting with Sony in the console domain. Nintendo is out doing their own thing, and even if they weren't, the DS isn't all that connected anyways.

    MS sees a potential source of profit with the DS, they don't have a competing portable to push, and if they can make things a little tougher for Sony and their PSP, then that's just a bonus.

    MS has been making software for Macs for a long time. They rarely pa
  • by voice of unreason ( 231784 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @04:07PM (#13016206)
    This seems like it might be a smarter move for MS than one might think. Consider this:

    At the moment, Nintendo is the leader in the portable market. The road is littered with machines made by Nintendo's competitors that failed. Microsoft, at the moment, knows nothing about portable consoles, and has no experience. If they were to try right now to produce a handheld X-Box, the attempt might be successful, but it would more likely end in miserable failure. By working with Nintendo, they are gaining experience regarding how running a portable console works. And they're making a profit while they're doing it. In 2-3 years, they'll know quite a bit about how and why GameBoy and the DS are successful. Then, if they feel like it, they can use their knowledge to produce their own handheld. Combine the knowledge they'll have gained with Microsoft's resources and ability to tie into the X-Box and PC market, and they stand a good chance of succeeding where Sega, Atari, and many others have failed.
    • I'm sorry.
      I just find it hard to believe Microsoft can make anything in a portable size.
      I present you Exhibit A []
    • Microsoft has made this move before. They teamed up with Sega on the Dreamcast, which despite eventually losing the war to Sony was a pretty decent machine. The DC pioneered online console gaming with its built in modem and ran a version of Windows CE []. I suspect that Microsoft took a lot of lessons from the DC into the Xbox later.
      • The lesson I've learned is that any Microsoft release tends to be highly exploitable. What I remember most about the WindowsCE on the Dreamcast was it made the box easy to exploit and run other software (DreamSNES emulator being of particular note).

        Like the Dreamcast, now Microsoft's own console is also easy to exploit. An old copy of MechAssault or Splinter Cell (the original) and a special save-game mod you can patch Xboxen all day long -- without any special chips or anything. Those of us suffering u

    • ...and they stand a good chance of succeeding where Sega, Atari, and many others have failed.
      Don't forget Sony.
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @04:08PM (#13016220)

    However, it now appears that Microsoft may be crazy like a fox. This week, evidence surfaced confirming that the company is indeed developing games for the DS.

    One word: No. Microsoft is not crazy. Considering that Microsoft is not in the handheld business producing games on a handheld system of a competitor does not hurt them any. This only can add a little bit of profit for them if the game does well.

    Additionally, Microsoft gets to choose which handheld they want to support. Since Microsoft seems to be gearing up for a direct confrontation between the Xbox 360 and the PS3, they obviously do not want to support Sony. Since Nintendo has a lower market share in the console division, Microsoft wouldn't feel as threatened by them.

    Also, Rare developed a fair share of games for the Nintendo 64. While not all of these were the IP of Rare, I could easilly see a few DS rehashes of Conker's bad fur day and Perfect Dark on the DS. They've still got the code for the 64 versions of those games and a little bit of reworking could get them two games that are likely to do well. Considering their recent dry spell and their lack of any other exciting titles coming out (the next Perfect Dark doesn't look very good at the moment) they need to put something out the door to make some money.

    I think this works out well for everyone involved. Rare gets to produce some games that have the potential to sell well. Nintendo gets some games that might sell more DS systems. Gamers get some more games that have the potential to be worth buying.

    • Yes. I am brutally sick and tired of people talking about the gaming business as if the Console Wars was a real thing where each company actually cared whether or not their competitors were crushed out of existence rather than just cool marketing gimmickry that whips the faithful into a frenzy. Console ownership is not like real estate. If I own land and you want it, then going to war means something. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony derive no benefit from the disappearance of any competitor aside from any side
      • Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony derive no benefit from the disappearance of any competitor aside from any side-effects ghat MIGHT result in them selling more games and so making more money.

        I don't understand what you're saying?

        First. Making money IS the benefit. It's their whole purpose for existing in the first place.

        Second. Why wouldn't having no competition result in selling more games?
        • First. Making money IS the benefit. It's their whole purpose for existing in the first place.
          Making money is the purpose of corporate existing, yes. My point is that if another company goes under, you making more money is a side-effect, not a definite result of that failure. For instance, Atari dying and causing the first videogame crash didn't result in everyone else making more money - it nearly resulted in total industry collapse.

          Second. Why wouldn't having no competition result in selling more games?
          • Thank you for this insight. Too many people get into these gaming/business arguements and have no clue about business or economics. Its not about winning a war for the console makers, its about building market share.
          • You're right.

            Wasn't the industry already dying around the time Atari died anyway? I mean, it's not like they died because Nintendo came along and took all their market right? If that is what happened, then Atari dying might not have caused the industry to nearly collapse.

            On the second point. I see what you're saying, but maybe Microsoft vs Sony would be a better example.

            Nintendo doesn't seem to be competing for the same type of gamers that Sony and MS are competing for.

            For instance most of the popular g
          • I don't know what your talking about. Nintendogs is going to be a great game and I'm not new to gaming at all. Heck it might even be game of the year after reading alot of rave reviews about it. I think the fact that MS wants to make DS games just shows that there is alot of interest in what Nintendo is doing. Alot of folks are becoming excited about Nintendo this time around, and its not just newbie gamers.
            • Hmmm I don't think he was saying Nintendogs wasn't a great game just that it's a game which could appeal to a lot of non-gamers or new gamers.

              There are a ton of reasons why MS wants to make games for the DS and there's nothing to say they won't make games for the PSP in the future. Perhaps they are scared of the fact that games haven't been selling so well on the PSP compared to the DS?
              • True. I do see that Nintendo has alot of momentum going with the DS these days although alot of people are downplaying it. I have enjoyed the new Kirby game as well as Meteos. I also know that there is alot more coming this year as well. I have never been the biggest Nintendo fan either (used to love all things SEGA), but their new innovative strategy really seems to appeal to me. Playing games on the DS is very different, new, enjoyable and overall a great value. I think Nintendo is going to be succe
      • But in some cases, such as selling your games on someone else's handheld, you might make MORE MONEY by cooperating with other companies. Apparently Microsoft has decided that in the case of the DS, this is the case.

        True. What if..say..MS and Sony decided to make the next GTA a 3-part game where the first two parts could be completed in either order, but the first would only be on the Xbox 360 version of the game and the second only on the PS3 version (the third would work on either console)? And if they d
    • More DS's = bigger market, more gamessold. I'd say that's how MS are mostly thinking, mostly.
  • That is what this is. To ensure the PSP keeps faltering and the DS more attractive, and with owning Rare this is a smart move. Rare has craploads of Nintendo experience and can pump out titles quite easily (something both the DS and PSP desperately need)... however what I don't want to see is Nintendo go the way of Sega and just make software for MS down the road. Nintendo is the last breath of fresh air in the market today, Stealing Rare was a big blow (and one Nintendo should have fought to the death over
    • Re:An FU to Sony (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Psst. Nintendo had the first option to buy Rare. They purposely chose not to. Microsoft paid what Rare wanted.

      Seeing what Rare has since put out, I can't say that Nintendo made a bad decision.
    • "Rare has craploads of Nintendo experience and can pump out titles quite easily..."

      Are you thinking of a different Rare? This is the company that spent nearly three years developing a Zelda clone for the N64 that, after being moved to the GameCube, was widely considered to be a flop. This is the Rare that, after being owned by Microsoft for two and a half years delivered one sub-par kiddie ghost-hunting game. (Ironically enough, Rare has released more games for the GBA than the Xbox after being purchased
    • Stealing Rare was a big blow

      Heaven forbid the company that brought us a gem like Donkey Kong 64 would stop making games for Nintendo. Rare is also responable for classics such as: WWF Wrestlemania Challenge (NES), and Mickey's Racing Adventure (GBC)

      That said, Rare has generally made very good games. Jet Force Gemini is one of my favorite N64 games, and Goldeneye is always a classic.

  • I think it is fine that Microsoft is writing game content for the DS, but I hope that is as far as it goes. I don't expect, or believe it is advantageous for Microsoft to port games to the GameCube, or any other competing console.
    Microsoft has to learn the difference between total market penetration, and targetted penetration. Rather then dominating the entire market (as they are always intent on doing), they need to learn how to carve out their own niche, and excel in it.
    The XBOX has way too many gam
    • "I actually don't understand why MS hasn't come out with a portable yet. With the populatrity of PocketPC for PDA's, and the fact that new PDA's are actually coming with 3D graphics accelerators, it would be very easy for MS to create and market their own portable. Time will tell."

      It's pretty simple, really. Sony, the current home console leader and the only company to dethrone Nintendo in the past, is having trouble entering the portable market. If this experienced maker of personal tech (with ten years
    • MSFT makes cash on OS for other handhelds. Not saying they won't at some point stab thier Embedded OS customers in the back, they are good at this. Its better to let other people test the market with your software for a while. Then swoop in, when all the kinks and prices have been worked out, and bam under market-priced microXbox.

      PMC's using CE are all the rage right now. Give it a few years.

      MicrosSOFT is and always will be a software company. Consoles are a software delivery method. More consoles = mor

  • Procedure: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
    1) Assist Nintendo in the hopes that Sony's fledgling handheld business goes the way of the NeoGeo Pocket Color

    2) Nintendo again has no competitor in the handheld market

    3) Microsoft enters the handheld market
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In spite of the DS seeming a little gimmicky it is selling remarkably well due to the original and inovative games that are being released on it.

    "Few could have imagined it, but the DS is becoming the most significant new console in Japan since the PS2. What started as a rumbling -- with great novelty games such as Wario and XX/YY -- has recently turned into a full-scale dual-screen uprising led by Electroplankton and Nintendogs. For the past month or so, the DS has been outselling all other hardware (incl
  • This isn't really all that shocking, really. There's a few points to look at:

    1. Microsoft actually isn't a game "developer", they're a game "publisher". The actual developer in question here is Rare, and they've worked with Nintendo oh so famously in the past as a second party. It's all a matter of Microsoft giving an OK and making some bucks off of the Conker, Dark and Banjo games. Why WOULDN'T they do this?

    2. Microsoft does have a "handheld" but it's the PocketPC. Being Nintendo has no intentions to e
  • by rubberbando ( 784342 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @07:53PM (#13017879)
    Please read what I have to say before you mod me offtopic....

    This whole thing reminds me of how M$ originally got Apple. They come along offering to make software for their hardware just to get a good peek inside and then take all the info they need and then use it to make a competing product.
    • I think this is completely different. Rare isn't getting any inside info, they just have DS dev kits, which Nintendo probably gave them even before they actually announced anything. Microsoft isn't going to get any special tips on how to design a handheld simply because one of their studios develops for the DS.

      In fact, Microsoft probably has very little involvement with this. MS only owns 49% of Rare, IIRC. There are a lot of guys at Rare that probably still have a strong affinity toward Nintendo, and de
    • Steve Jobs asked Gates to write software for the Mac. Back then MS didn't make Office Suites. Wordperfect and Lotus were kings.

      My guess is that if MS does make a portable, it will be licensed similar to pocket pcs. Probably a mobile phone with a strip down version of mobile windows, like an Ngage but with more processing power.

  • What I really hope for is that this is a signal of things to come. This hint at cooaperation makes me wonder if MS will allow Nintendo to offer old n64 games created by Rare to be downloadable on the rev. Some have wondered if Nintendo needs their blessing at all, Microsofts help would be good. While this by no means proves that MS would make that move, if makes me think that they may be willing to consider it.
    • I am still hoping to see Tecmo Super Bowl (1991) as a third party game available for download on Revolution :) This was the best football game ever created! I hope Nintendo can make this happen!
    • My understanding of the downloadable content is that if the big N owns the publishing rights, the big N is going to offer the download. Obviously, this may not actually happen, but...

      According to [], Nintendo owns the publishing rights.

      I would suspect that Goldeneye can be downloaded on the Revolution... regaardless of Rare's blessing.

      Of course, this is merely speculation.
  • Rare developing for DS is hardly unexpected - they have produced GBA titles too (umm, Sabrewulf or whatever it was called?) since the Microsoft bought them!

    Rare switched from GameCube to XBox because their owner made it and could also sell it too (<fangrumble>to ignorant sheep</fangrumble>); I guess Rare folks just told Microsoft "nobody buys WinCE devices for gaming, so we'll do handheld games for Nintendo platforms, until you can make something more popular". Microsoft hasn't made anything e

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