The Secret Developers: Wii U - the inside story
J Thoendell stashed this in Video Games
Another curious thing to note at this point was that over the course of six months we received multiple different development kits in a variety of colours, none of which revealed why they were different from the previous one. We knew that there were some hardware bugs that were being fixed, but the release notes rarely stated what had changed - we just had to take the new ones and get them working with our code again, consuming valuable development time. There have been some interesting rumours circulating of PC-style development boxes, and even the Radeon HD 4850 (running underclocked) utilised as a proxy for the Wii U's GPU. We worked on Wii U from the early days and never saw equipment like this - our kits always took the form of custom hardware that I presume was based on near-to-final silicon.
Working with Wii UNow that the game was up and running on the console we could start developing features that would use the new controllers and make our game stand out on the platform. But soon after starting this we ran into some issues that the (minimal) documentation didn't cover, so we asked questions of our local Nintendo support team. They didn't know the answers so they said they would check with the developers in Japan and we waited for a reply. And we waited. And we waited.
After about a week of chasing we heard back from the support team that they had received an answer from Japan, which they emailed to us. The reply was in the form of a few sentences of very broken English that didn't really answer the question that we had asked in the first place. So we went back to them asking for clarification, which took another week or so to come back. After the second delay we asked why it was taking to long for replies to come back from Japan, were they very busy? The local support team said no, it's just that any questions had to be sent off for translation into Japanese, then sent to the developers, who replied and then the replies were translated back to English and sent back to us. With timezone differences and the delay in translating, this usually took a week !