According to recent reports, Nintendo is so focused on getting third party developers on board the Wii U train that they are giving away free development kits, software and tools. We’re unsure how much a Wii U development kit costs, it’s rumored to be in the $5,000 range. Now it appears that Nintendo is reaching out to select developers with free dev kits in order to woo them over to make Wii U games.
In order to make games for a console, developers have to obtain (read: purchase) a development kit. These “kits” include a development console to test code and games, and a set of APIs and tools for developers to use as well. Development kits rarely include more complex tools such as game engines etc.
Check out below how an early version of the Wii U dev kit looked like. Nintendo shipped the final version of the Wii U dev kits to developers in May 2012.