Nintendo is set to expand the compatible coding platforms for the Wii U to HTML5 and other web-enabled engines. The goal, according to CEO Satoru Iwata, is to bring in more third-party developers to grow its library. This news does come on the heels of reduced sales expectations for both the Wii U and 3DS, though it's unclear if there's a direct correlation. Iwata had the following to say on the coding expansion:
Now is the time the development of video games for dedicated platforms requires a vast investment. Thinking of diversion of web services, creation of prototypes and development of independent label games, it has become more important to expand the range of software developers.
A showcase will be held at the 2013 Game Developers Conference in March, where Nintendo is set to demonstrate the development environment of Wii Street U; Google Streetview for the Wii U built on HTML5. Other products could be shown as well, plus Iwata was quick to point out how Miiverse and TVii, among others, were already built on the Unity Engine. Nintendo licensed Unity for the Wii U back in September, so there is certainly a willingness to look at other coding means.
Wii Street U is set to arrive in the coming weeks, with the company aiming for the middle of February. More apps built on HTML5, Unity, and others should be on the way, especially with Iwata stating the development times are reduced compared to older systems. It should certainly help expand the multitude of options available on the Wii U, both from a gaming and productivity standpoint.