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Developer Kits Ownership

I understand the NDA and secrecy behind developer kits, since they expose hidden chipset features that could be used for disassembley or emulation. Here’s my question though, say I spent the 5+ grand needed for the Wii-U development kit, you get the thing, is it yours?

Now the NDA is similar to the Playstation and XBox agreement, you can’t remove it from the development address, and I get that, however, can they just take it back any time? If so, why does it cost several thousand dollars just for the unit? How is that ok? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Edit: I also understand that this has been traditional for larger development teams, and several thousand per unit is not all that much, but they are specifically targeting indies now, where several grand is a lot.

5+grand?, do the wii-U kits really cost that much.

Yeah, with the middleware and hardware it comes out to a little over $5,000 in the U.S. If I am going to drop that money, I have no problem not releasing the machine, but I damned well better get to keep it.

That’s a question best for the manufacturer you are seeking to buy the DevKit from. In my experience they will tell you they reserve the right to recall the hardware at any time and ask that you return it in the event you no longer wish to use it. If that hardware were ever to get out in the public and the serial numbers matched your “loaned” hardware, you could be liable for damages and other legal trouble.

You should view a DevKit as a temporary tool and not long term company/personal property (beyond inventory purposes). Only purchase one if you plan to make back your investment.

I get that, and that’s essentially what they said. I want to know from developers who have used these kits, whether they have ever been forced to return them.

Edit: I do not want to end up paying for an over-glorified Wii-U and then end up having to return it on some technicality. If I, an an independent single person indie, pay $3000 for a console, it’s mine. I realize there are trade secrets, and I am good with that part, but I should not be forced to give it back without refund. That’s my view.

Technically you are paying for hardware and software to be loaned to you, along with support from Nintendo. Dev Kits don’t even play retail software (at least none of the ones I’ve dealt with have). You need to read the actual agreement between you and Nintendo (or whomever) to know what you can / cannot do with the hardware in those events. I’ve always been told to return hardware that is no longer being used (which is fine, that hardware is no longer a use to me at that point).

I appreciate the response, but yeah I get that it is loaned. I want to know if anyone has ever been coerced into returning it. I plan on keeping it as a collectors piece when I am finished with it, and I would be rather upset on dropping $3000 on a loaner.

As far as im aware (from experience), they usually -will probably- never ask for it back. That’s all I can probably say.