Here’s the interview. Are you ready, reader?
Then let’s begin!
We’ve seen this in the past, as personal computers became cheaper people were saying ‘we don’t need more home consoles then do we?’ Then, with the advance of mobile phones, people were questioning the need for dedicated gaming machines and now with smartphones again. Under the conditions I mentioned earlier, I think if we can offer exclusive entertainment that cannot be replicated on other devices then we’ll have the chance to survive.
A while back, I suggested to Nintendo to respond to these constant comparisons to smartphones and ipads with bringing up that people said the same thing that dedicated home consoles can’t survive with the rise of the home PCs. When the NES came out, I hugged my Commodore 64 and said that NES won’t do anything. After all, what is a smartphone or ipad but a portable home computer?
Dedicated home consoles succeeded over pc gaming because they did gaming very well. No loading. It was child and family friendly. It was FUN while a computer was like WORK. The interface was cool (NES controller rocked) while PCs were still using Atari 2600 style joysticks. But most of all, the NES games were sooo amazing.
I am very unhappy with Iwata’s last line there. He said if Nintendo differentiates itself, then it will survive. This is totally backwards.
What Iwata should have said is: “The NES was so successful in the 80s that it threatened much of PC gaming. PC gaming then had to differentiate itself from console gaming in order to survive. It was then that PC gaming began to revolve around mouse and keyboard set-ups and doing things with modding and the Internet. In the same way, for Apple and other smartphone gaming to survive in the future, they will have to differentiate themselves from the dedicated game consoles.”
Have you noticed that the only interesting games on these smartphones are games that are differentiated from dedicated console hardware? If you are going to play a game between a dedicated game hardware and a smartphone, the smartphone loses. Who wants to play a 2d platformer on a smartphone? “But they will add buttons one day, Malstrom.” Yeah, and look how great those 2d platformers are on the home computer side after decades since Super Mario Brothers came out. They can’t compete. This is why the smartphones are going to retreat and differentiate themselves.
Iwata’s answer seemed backward. Who is the master of the video games? It is Nintendo’s turf. Smartphone games are deliberately made to not directly compete with dedicated console games because they can’t.
The actual threat of smartphones is the non-gaming entertainment they bring. The Gameboy had to compete against staring at a wall in the waiting room or out of date magazines sitting on the table. Today, the Nintendo handheld must compete against movies, TV shows, and the Internet itself.
The strength of Nintendo is definitely creating game experiences for people who can play in the same room together and enjoy them together. I think this is the strength we are coming from and if you look at our games and how they’re structured; this is the starting point (for our games).
Instead of responding to the interviewer’s premise about talking about Nintendo’s weakness, Iwata chooses to talk about Nintendo’s strength. Someone is prepping Mr. Iwata. This is as smooth as a presidential political candidate.
Well, I think that the Wii offered something really new, something that hadn’t existed before. The more people knew about gaming the more sceptical they were about the console, some people were thinking this would be the last console that Nintendo would launch.
Iwata mocks those hardcore gamers! Yeah!
But I think it will become increasingly difficult from now on to compete over graphics. This is because that no matter how much we increase the number of polygons we can display and improve the shading it will become increasingly difficult to tell the difference.
Besides, the best selling game console is not the most powerful one or the one with the best graphics.
Attaching a second analogue stick is possible but it would have made the system even bigger and, though it perhaps puts a burden on people that really want that second stick, it’s a call we had to make and these people will have to live with it.
Live with it!
I think when we launched the 3DS there was a kind of 3D boom, which is perhaps slightly on the wane again, but there are plenty of people out there that create 3D video and I think that some of those who create and distribute 3D video would be very interested in the 3DS XL.
3D on the wane? Say it ain’t so, Iwata!
Well, first of all, let me state that seeing things in 3D is the normal state for human beings, it’s how we see our environment.
This comment (which Miyamoto also says) doesn’t make any sense to me. Video games are already in 3d and act just like how we would use our eyes to gaze upon something. This new type of 3d is more about removing the window which is attempted by getting stuff to ‘jump out’ at you.
So, now we’ve created the 3DS and 3DS XL and also have some games out there that are really using that 3D effect that we can see, from my point of view, that it’s an important element. But as human beings are this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just have this 3D stereoscopic effect isn’t going to keep people excited.
Share your disappointment with me, reader. 3d stereoscopic effects won’t keep people excited.
It’s nice to have good graphics but not necessarily on their own, so I don’t think we’ll present [3D graphics] as one of the key features of our consoles but will probably stick with 3D as one of the minor elements of our consoles in the future.
Translated: “We’ll have to sneak it in when no one is looking.”
And now let me quote a comment on the page by Nicholas Gatewood who says:
I wish the 3DS didn’t have 3D, personally- then it wouldn’t tempt me to hurt my eyes just to see a gimmick that doesn’t add to the gameplay in any way at all.
They really screwed up with the 3DS. I can’t wait for them to replace it with something that doesn’t suck.
Let the deniers keep chanting: “It’s not the 3d!” “It’s not the 3d!” “It’s not the 3d!”