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Consoles licensing and SDKs

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Hi, I represent a small videomage company doing game development for the PC market. At this moment we would like to make development for consoles like Playstation 1, 2. XBox, and or Game Cube. For that we need to know what people and addresses to contact on this companys to become licensed developers and get SDK''s. We understand that the process could take time and the SDK''s are costly. We are not interested on publishers,but instead on dealing directly with the consoles manufactures (eg. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo), and with regional distributors. So basically the questions are: To what address whould we inquiry on SDK''s and becoming licensed Developers? What people should we contact?

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<-- Uninformed


Sony looks like they accept anyone. Give them a call, but I''m pretty sure you''ll need some anterior works to show!

Microsoft would probably pay you to develop exclusively for their console, if you show them something good.

Nintendo will contact you if they deem you worth of developping for their "precious" console.

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If you don''t already have a track record of major commercially *published* games, you''re unlikely to be taken seriously.

By far the easiest way of the possible routes is to make a VERY good demo on a PC, get a publisher interested (possibly with a letter of intent), THEN talk to the console manufacturer (or get the publisher to contact them).

That isn''t easy, but its much easier compared to becoming a licensed developer before you contact a publisher.
If you don''t have a track record you''ll have to convince the console manufacturer you''re capable of making a AAA quality *console* game, AND you''ll have to find the approximately 10k cash per devkit.

Now for details:

The "Licensing->Become A Developer" link is what you''re after. However Nintendo are strict on the number of developer active for a system, as well as the track record of those developers. To work with GameCube, you''d almost definately have to have an interested publisher first.

The Independent Developer Programme is effectively suspended at the moment, and isn''t the same as being a registered developer anyway since you don''t actually get any Xbox hardware or specific API documentation.
The Incubator programme is probably VERY suitable for your needs. With this you send a playable prototype of your game running on a PC along with details of your company and a full game design and specification for the game you intend to release, if you are accepted, you are allowed to buy proper devkit hardware and are given around 6 months to develop your prototype on the real hardware. The idea is that you use the prototype to get a deal with a publisher, for this reason MS will view the demo and design with a very critical eye. This still isn''t the same as being a registered developer since you aren''t allowed to release the game to the public until you are!

As with the others, Sony will want to know your full company history, what games you have made as a team, what games the individuals on the team have made in the past, what platforms you''ve worked on. As with the others, if you don''t have a track record of making games which were commercially released and sold at retail, you''ll have a hard time getting them to take you seriously.

Simon O''''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd

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