A former Retro Studios engineer who worked on the Metroid Prime Trilogy admits that he was disappointed with the hardware specifications of the Nintendo Wii.
The Nintendo Wii is one of the gaming industry’s biggest success stories, turning people of all ages into gamers overnight with just a tiny white motion controller. However, it’s no secret that Wii’s direct competitors at the time, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, had a huge advantage in pure hardware capability, leading many hardcore gamers to scrap Nintendo’s little white box. Former Chief Technical Engineer at the 3 Metroid Prime games, Jack Matthews, recently spoke with podcaster Reece Reilly (aka Kiwi Talkz) about his experience developing the trilogy and that by the time the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption rolling, it was burning to the specs of the Nintendo Wii.
For Matthews, the Wii’s underpowered hardware made him feel like he was confined to “sticking around in a box for a bit” while developing the game. Metroid Prime games and that working for Nintendo made him feel like he was “a little behind” with the times. As a bright-eyed, young developer in the games industry, Matthews wanted to work on the coolest titles he could, and the Wii hardware didn’t exactly allow it.
Matthews made it clear that being confined to that “box” was not a deal breaker for him, as he found it easy enough, but rather the repetition of working in that same space over and over again is what ultimately got to him. When Retro Studios reached the third entry of the principal trilogy, Matthews was excited to work on new hardware, but was disappointed to realize that “the Wii [was] hardware fundamentally very similar to that of the GameCube «.
Matthews kept going until the end of Prime 3development, specializing in work on Samus’s visors, but very quickly left the Wii hardware far behind when it was all over. Feeling the need to really expand and make something of his own, Matthews would later go on to found Armature Studios where he would work on the likes of ReCore and Batman Arkham Origins: Puerta Negra.
No one can blame Matthews for wanting to take on new challenges, and while ReCore and Batman Arkham Origins: Puerta Negra did not set the gaming world on fire, the Metroid Prime trilogy remains one of the most praised trilogies in games. Unfortunately, the only way to play the collected trilogy of games is still to find an actual copy of the Wii title or purchase it digitally through the Wii U eShop. Not exactly ideal circumstances, but Nintendo is currently rumored to have held on. to the trilogy for release at a later date, so hopefully that means the game will be in the hands of players by the end of 2022.
The next entry in the Prime franchise, Metroid Prime 4, is currently under development.