How does porting from one Nintendo console to another work??

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#1 Edited by outworld222 (2367 posts) -

Well I was thinking perhaps one day we may be able to play Metroid Prime Trilogy (All 3 great games). BTW I never played a 3D Metroid, referring to Metroid Prime Trilogy that is.

But I was thinking the first 2 games were for the Gamecube, and the last for the Wii. So, respectively, how exactly would/could it? be ported to the 3DS.

To be more specific on the subject, how would you port something that has a more superior quality graphics to a console that has different ideas (mainly 3D) when it comes to graphics??

Thanks for any clarification.

#2 Posted by ANIMEguy10034 (4652 posts) -

I'm no expert in this subject, but I think I can answer your question.

Porting games are easier if the new console's architecture is similar to the initial console. You can easily port a Gamecube game on the Wii because both have very similar hardware. If they were to port Metroid Prime to the 3DS, they will actually need to recreate parts the game from scratch because the 3DS's hardware works differently than the Gamecube's or Wii's. The 3DS's hardware capabilities are superior than the Wii/GC in some occasions, but inferior in others. Simply running the game without making any modifications in the coding will lead to issues, like glitches and bugs. Changes, sacrifices, and/or improvements are always made when porting games so a Metroid Prime port on the 3DS will not look exactly the same as the original game. It'll basically be Metroid Prime with a lower resolution, lower polygon count, but with shaders and better lighting and particle effects.

#3 Edited by YearoftheSnake5 (7020 posts) -

@ANIMEguy10034 said:

I'm no expert in this subject, but I think I can answer your question.

Porting games are easier if the new console's architecture is similar to the initial console. You can easily port a Gamecube game on the Wii because both have very similar hardware. If they were to port Metroid Prime to the 3DS, they will actually need to recreate parts the game from scratch because the 3DS's hardware works differently than the Gamecube's or Wii's. The 3DS's hardware capabilities are superior than the Wii/GC in some occasions, but inferior in others. Simply running the game without making any modifications in the coding will lead to issues, like glitches and bugs. Changes, sacrifices, and/or improvements are always made when porting games so a Metroid Prime port on the 3DS will not look exactly the same as the original game. It'll basically be Metroid Prime with a lower resolution, lower polygon count, but with shaders and better lighting and particle effects.

This puts it into layman terms really well. Memory Management needs to be rewritten, different platforms tend to have different APIs, and etc. The rabbit hole can go pretty deep depending on how different the hardware is.

#4 Edited by RealJaysonguy (219 posts) -

It's pretty much recoding the game so that it runs properly on the new system. What people don't understand, and this is why people think all of the Wii's virtual console should just be on the Wii U shop already, is that it's not a simple copy and paste job, even when the system's architecture is similar to the previous console. It costs quite a bit of effort to make it run properly.

This is also the same answer as to why having more powerful hardware doesn't just automatically make a game run and look better. This is why people think the Wii U is less powerful than the 360, when it's not.