As Nintendo introduced its new 3DS handheld during its E3 presentation this year, it placed special emphasis on the number of third-party developers it'd have on board for the device's launch lineup, something of a departure.
In the past, Nintendo's portable devices were viewed as the company's own terrain, geared at first-party fans and casual audiences, with uncertain room in the middle for more traditional third-party developers.
But things may be different now, says JC Connors, studio head at Foundation 9 Entertainment's Griptonite Games, one of the first studios making games for the 3DS. "I think the third-party publishers are taking this a lot more seriously," he tells Gamasutra, as part of today's in-depth feature on 3DS development from his insider's perspective.
"Certainly, the video game market has changed a lot over the last year," he suggests. "You know, a lot of the casual games that really bombarded the DS marketplace have now moved onto other platforms like the iPhone, so I think everyone looks at this as an opportunity to kind of bring something special back to the gamers."
It's not just the vivid 3D that's likely to appeal to more traditional gamers, Connors suggests -- the analog stick also allows for more options on approaching control schemes on the device.
"Everyone looked at the 3DS with just how powerful it was, and the new features, the analog stick and the 3D, as an opportunity to bring almost console-level quality games to this handheld because they could," he says. "On the DS, you really couldn't."
"And that's something that we've learned over the last six months. You can't treat this machine as just a DS plus," Connors continues. "You almost have to treat it like a console, because many of the things it can do are things that consoles can do. So, you know, why not bring a more 'gamer' experience to that platform, if it can do really well with it?"
The full feature on Connors' 3DS perspective and experiences is now live at Gamasutra.