3DS Interview News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Wii U

(Interview) Takahashi & Koizumi Talk Switch, 3DS, Wii U & More with The Telegraph


We are less than 3 weeks away from the release of the Nintendo Switch, and as judgement/launch day approaches, more and more Switch news and interviews are hitting the net and today is no exception.

In today’s piece of Switch related coverage, we are covering one of the latest interviews to take to the net, an interview between British publication The Telegraph and two of Nintendo’s big wigs. The first being the Director at Nintendo, General Manager of Entertainment Planning and Development, Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi, Deputy General Manager of Entertainment Planning and Development. With the interview being both long and very informative, we have opted to pick out our highlights, but will be including a link nearer to the end of this article, so if you wish to read the full thing, you can. Let us begin:

 

*All highlights are in the order of what we felt was more important.

 

The Design Philosophy of the Nintendo Switch:

The Telegraph: “Can you tell me about the design philosophy for the Switch? Was it a natural evolution of Wii U or because the technology has come together at the right time?”

Shinya Takahashi: “With Switch, the concept started with us wanting to provide people a means of playing games regardless of place or time or occasion. Particularly with the Joy-Con, having the freedom to hand that to someone else and be able to play anywhere was really the genesis of the idea. That’s where the development began, rather than starting with the technology.”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “Along that idea of trying to bring the experience of gaming to more people, there were really two concepts at work here. One exemplified by 1-2-Switch where you don’t even necessarily need to know the rules of the game to pick it up and play comfortably and easily. And secondly to think of the people that are very much fans of traditional games that are a little more complex and looking to give them a deeper experience that they can still take anywhere and play at any time.”

The Telegraph: “You touched on the idea briefly during the Tokyo presentation in January, but it feels like a combination of past Nintendo consoles. Was that always the plan?”

Shinya Takahashi: “I wouldn’t say it was an initial objective of ours to include elements of all our past hardware with Switch. Instead we started with that initial goal that I’ve talked about, wanting to have any many people as possible ready to play regardless of their situation. As we started to think about what types of gaming environments people play in and what type of input and functionality the system need in order to be able to allow them to play in those situations. The natural result was pulling in a lot of element of past Nintendo hardware and putting them together in one system.”

 

Switch isn’t about Specs, it’s about Fun:

The Telegraph: “You have gone with a unique control input once again, rather than focus on power, will that always be Nintendo’s way?”

Shinya Takahashi: “I think Nintendo will always put our top priority to satisfy the needs of our gaming audiences. Particularly with Nintendo Switch, one of the things we did was we looked back and saw how people interacted with previous hardware systems and we tried to find ways to improve on that experience. With Switch we’ve found a way to address their needs in all of the different ways they are going to play with the system. That will continue to be our top priority rather than a dedicated focus on power.

For us one of the things we get the greatest pleasure out of is once we’ve created the system and stepping back and watching them have fun with it. So that’s something we’re always doing and looking forward to doing with Nintendo Switch as well.”

 

Continuing to Support 3DS with first party games in 2017 & 2018:

The Telegraph: “You’ve mentioned the 3DS there. Will you continue to support the dedicated handheld given Switch could potentially replace it?”

Unspecified: “Certainly I think 3DS from a price perspective is quite a bit lower, and it’s a system we’ve released a very large library for. So I think from that perspective it’s a very good system for kids to have as their first system. We still see a lot of potential for 3DS in that area. And with that in mind we’re thinking of games to release for 3DS not just in 2017, but in 2018 as well. And the hope there also is that kids playing on 3DS will also shift over to Switch at some point in the future.”

 

Lessons learned from the Wii U’s Launch:

The Telegraph: “You certainly have a clearer message this time around, was this something you learnt from the launch of Wii U?”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “So the concept we’re trying to convey is something we can get across very easily, if you look at the TV it is something that up until now has been people’s experience with consoles. But what we want to show you is that you can simply pull a Switch out and set it down on the table, hand someone a controller and instantly start playing. I think as a concept that is something very easy to get across.”

Shinya Takahashi: “Certainly in the Wii days, Nintendo had a broader audience that responded to the uniqueness of the system. When we started thinking about how to communicate the benefits of Nintendo Switch and improve the experience of what Wii U offered, I think we really zeroed in on this notion of the freedom to play anywhere with anyone at any time and that became a very simple and concise message. Of course with the Wii U, you couldn’t leave the living room and play, and now you have the freedom to do that.”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “For example we could have had this interview over the road at Starbucks if we wanted to! It just creates more opportunities by lowering that barrier for people to experience gaming in a lot of different scenarios. We like to think how to broaden those points of entry.”

 

Smartphone compatibility with Switch will go Beyond just Voice Chat:

The Telegraph: “Will the smartphone to be integral to the service beyond the voice chat?”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “Yes, we like to think as Switch as working very well together with smartphones so we’re basing quite a few plans surrounding that.”

 

Switch Shortages at Launch:

The Telegraph: “Finally as we head toward launch there has been some reports of stock shortages. Are you confident that anyone that wants a Switch will be able to buy one?”

Shinya Takahashi: “Maybe within the first few days! It does sound like there might be a few shortages here and there, but once you get past that I think we’ll have a very steady flow. Some of our employees are worried about getting one… but we are making a lot!”

 

Launching in March:

The Telegraph: “It is unusual to be launching hardware in March, are you looking at Christmas as a real target and hoping to build word of mouth ahead of it?”

Shinya Takahashi: “It’s a difficult question to answer, certainly we’ve looked at it from the perspective of what is going to be our biggest title in the holiday season which is obviously Super Mario Odyssey. So when we looked at Super Mario Odyssey being our big launch title we then worked backwards and said “what’s the pacing with which we need to release games in order to have strong appeal over the course of the year?” And it was based on that that we decided on the March launch frame, with Zelda as the title to really drive that momentum.”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “As the producer of Super Mario Odyssey it is something I’ve put quite a lot of thought into. As we’ve been working on the game we’ve been thinking very carefully about the line-up over the year and I’ve been happy to be able to tell people that we are going to have such a big expected title available for the holiday.”

 

Nintendo feel the Pricing of Switch and its Accessories is Justified:

The Telegraph: “While there is definitely more buzz, some have suggested the price is too high. How do you respond to that?”

Shinya Takahashi: “I think different people have a different sense of the value of the system. And while we’ve heard some folks respond that way, there are certainly people that look at Switch and the versatility of the playstyle and the different types of play that it offers and they feel it is a suitable price point. It comes down a little bit too personal opinion, we think there is quite a bit of value in the system.”

The Telegraph: “Often the conversation over pricing is to do with the Switch’s comparative power, do you find that frustrating when you think about what else the Switch offers?”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “When we talk about the Joy-Con, it’s important to convey that in this very small size and low weight piece of hardware there are a lot of different components, and many were very important to allow people to experience the different play-styles we’re going for in order to further the concept of how to reach more people with these different types of games. I think that after people experience they will understand the value of all that’s packed in there.

So for those who are making these types of judgments right now, I ‘d really like them to have the opportunity to experience the console and to start thinking about the value of these experiences rather than some of the other factors like power.”

Shinya Takahashi: “And of course we’ll continue to release games that will make people understand why we’ve created the Joy-Con in the way that we have as we release more and more games that take advantage of the functionality and understand that value.”

 

Nintendo Switch’s line-up:

The Telegraph: “On that line-up, Zelda looks terrific, but there isn’t many games for day one. Does that not concern you?” 

Shinya Takahashi: “Certainly we look at it not just from the perspective of what are the games available on launch day but what we have from a line-up perspective not just from this year but into next year as well. And speaking just about this year we have our launch games, Zelda and 1-2-Switch, and we’ve lined up so we’ve got great games launching in each season of this year. We’ll have Mario Kart shortly after launch, Arms in the Spring, the line-up continues after the holiday. This time we feel we’ve launched a system that has great games at launch in Zelda and 1-2-Switch but also a very strong line-up through the end of the year as well.”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “As you know we’ve been focussed on development on first party games, but with Nintendo Switch we’ve also put a lot of energy into making third-party cooperation possible, and that includes a lot of attention paid to the development environment that we are provided to these partners as well as the middleware we create for them. Soon you will a lot more announcements from third-party partners.”

 

Making Switch Attractive to Third Party Developers:

The Telegraph: “What kind of things are you doing to help woo third-parties onto Switch?”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “Koizumi I think a lot of it comes down to the development environment we’re providing because these are third-party providers that are bringing games to Nintendo hardware we want to do everything we can to make that experience comfortable for them including providing support for Unity or Unreal 4 which are platforms a lot of people are already using.

So one example I can give of this is SnipperClips which is made by a very small development team in England, which uses Unity so they were able to develop it very quickly.”

The Telegraph: “So are you looking to have more independent developers on Switch?”

Yoshiaki Koizumi: “Yes, in fact we already have a lot of indie developers that we’re talking to, with several teams working on several different projects.”

 

Linking Smartphone game Achievements and unlocking Rewards in Switch games isn’t an impossibility:

The Telegraph: “Nintendo has seen some real success with smartphone games, Can we expect to see a link-up between mobile games and Switch games. For example if I complete a task in Super Mario Run, could I unlock a bonus in Super Mario Odyssey, and similar kind of things?”

Shinya Takahashi: “I don’t have any concrete examples we might do along those lines, but it’s certainly not an impossibility! But what I can say is that I do feel software design for mobile is in essence different for something that would be designed for Switch. So as we release different games on different platforms and think about how there can be a connection between the two, we really have to think about how each of those individual pieces of software stand on their own and have their own purpose and merit to being on each of those platforms.

So then if we are able to find a way to satisfy the users that are playing on those platforms by some sort of connection between the two, then that would be the point we would introduce something like that.”

 

And now we’ve made it to the end of our highlights, here’s the link to the full interview, as there is a lot more than just the info we’ve shared above:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/what-to-play/nintendo-switch-interview-nintendo-price-games-hopes-new-console/

 

Source: The Telegraph

 

 

 

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