Development costs 'tripled' for NGP and 3DS

The next generation of handheld gaming is almost upon us. However, some developers are saying that the technological advances present in both Sony's NGP and Nintendo's 3DS mean that the average cost of developing a game for one of these devices could be more than three times the cost of making a portable game on last generation's devices. (via Develop)

"If you wanted to spend console money on developing a PSP2 or 3DS title, every penny of it would show, and clearly some of the launch titles have budgets two-to-three times what typical DS games have seen in the past," said JC Connors of Griptonite Games, one of Foundation 9 Entertainment's development studios.

Developer Rebellion's co-founder Chris Kingsley also rightly noted that consumers will expect more from next-gen handheld titles, due to the more advanced hardware. "With more powerful machines to develop on, expectations are higher and you have to spend more time and money creating larger and more detailed worlds," he said, before concluding in Spider Man-like fashion, "With more power comes greater expectation." Rebellion has adapted its Asura engine (used for mobile games) to work with both the NGP and 3DS.

In practical terms, the early consensus is that development costs for games on either of these next-gen handhelds could surpass $1 million on a regular basis. One can assume that some of this additional expense will invariably be passed on to the consumer.

The Nintendo 3DS hits the streets on March 25, though a release date for the Sony NGP has yet to be announced.