According to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, 3DS development costs could be higher than those of the DS.
In an E3 Q&A session, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata commented on the development costs of Nintendo 3DS games, explaining that costs could be higher than those of the DS.
He attributed this extra cost to the system's additional graphics capabilities. "Because the visual capabilities of Nintendo 3DS are more powerful than the existing Nintendo DS, if you are going to take full advantage of the graphics capability of Nintendo 3DS, the development cost is…expected to rise,". In addition, he explained that "if developers decide to try and maximize the graphical powers of the system, then the cost would be more expensive than what it is currently for Nintendo DS and may potentially approach the cost of developing Wii software.”
For comparison, the development of a typical Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game could cost up to 30 million dollars. Wii development costs are typically a third of that or less, and DS development costs even less.
In addition to the explanation of the development costs, Iwata explained to the panel of analysts that implementing the 3D effects requires very little effort on the developer’s behalf. "From a development perspective, it actually does not make much of a difference in terms of development costs to create the 3D visual effect."
Iwata concluded by stating that while development costs could be on par with the Wii, developers don’t need to invest that much monetary resources into the creation of a game. But he quickly stated afterwards that, "On the other hand, I believe there will be developers who will use a similar amount of resources to create games as if developing for a home console, and such games also would result in satisfaction to our consumers."