> I'm a big Nintendo fan and have always imagined working at Nintendo, so I'll
> begin by asking questions about your job at Nintendo.
> How did you come about working with Nintendo?
I have always had a passion for technology and games. Everyone are of course interested about games because they're the same thing as fun. We know that not all people think this, and we think that is not how it should be. Because that, we try our hardest to get everyone to play games. Personally, Ive always enjoyed games together with robustly constructed hardware to play those games. The hardware is a crucial part, and though not everyone are interested in it, I certainly is. It's what powers the games. It's what inspires the games and make them possible.
> How long have you been working at Nintendo?
Ive been working here for a little more that five years and Im really enjoying it. The people here are so nice and creative. It's really the ideal environment for coming up with and realising crazy ideas. We all just let it flow.
> What do you like about working at Nintendo?
Working at Nintendo is a dream coming true. And it is all that I anticipated it to be. It's creative, friendly and unusual ideas are very welcome all the time. The teamwork works great and the end result is almost always very satisfying. But if it's not, we perfect it. Because we a perfectionists.
> Could you describe your role in other pieces of hardware besides the Wii?
Ive mainly worked with designing the Wii since I got here, though in the beginning I worked a little with the GameCube. I dont want to tell you my exact position, but I work with the human interface of the hardware.
> Here are are some general questions about the processes intact at Nintendo.
> How long does it take for a console to be created, from conception to
It really depends. It can take 15 years. Someone gets an extraordinary idea, but its not possible yet to realize. Then we research it and one day maybe we see the technology for it is available. Then we look at different possibilities to incorporate these ideas into a new hardware project. Most console have ideas that came many years ago, though the serious work begin after a new console has come to the market.
> Do you consult with focus groups, whether it third party developers or
> gamers, when deciding what to have in a console?
No, we keep almost all of the details close to the chest in the beginning. We research many different possiblities to do and decide ourselves which way we want to go. Since we produce software ourselves, we prefer to set our own pace and direction. And since were the leading game developers, that usually turns out highly successful. We feel that it's our hardware, our software and we just go on and realize our wildest dreams. Later in the cycle, though, we have an open dialogue with other developers. From them we receive early input which can push us in the right direction. But most of the time they just say WOW. And we're right on track.
> From the release of a new console, when does Nintendo start working on their
> next console?
The work begins even before the new console is release. We ask How can we improve this? What can we do to further expand our concepts? What new concepts can we introduce? What do we really want to do the next generation? We often have various projects and researches of crazy technologies going on in the background. Most of the turn out to be too expensive or not right in time. Then we just lay them on ice to inspect in the future.
> Nintendo is known for delaying the release of their products. I suppose
> this is because of Nintendo's comitment to quality. Could you describe
> Nintendo's quality assurance process?
Well, we have a large number of people working for us and we always consult each other and talk very openly. Then we let different people in the company try out new concepts and ideas. This way we try to come up with the perfect concept for the new generation. When we have finalized the ideas we create experimental software, pushing the capablilities of the concept. We then do playtests. As you see, gameplay is always, always in focus. After we've finalized how the gameplay will work we go on to find suitable deals for graphics chip, etc and we start to design the hardware. Controller, console itselfs and so on. We create a great number of prototypes, not one similar to the other.
> When making a game, in general, is there more effort spent making the
> resources (such as textures, models, sound, etc.) than programming?
The programming is an large, crucial part of every software. But the resources take a greater effort to create. We have one team programming, one team doing graphics (and sub-teams doing texturing, modeling, etc), one team dealing with sound, and another one designing the gameplay, voice acting and the general presentation.
> Here are some questions about the Wii.
> You claim that Wii is able to make high quality graphics with little
> horsepower. Are we to see Hollywood style graphics on the Wii? If so, do
> you see the movie industry, and other gaming companies, adapting this
I havent said the graphics will be unlike anything youve ever seen. In fact, they will be inferior to those of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Though only by a little. The amazing is that Wii does this with a fraction of the raw power. And with the fraction of the production cost and heat creation. We believe that many industries and companys will want to use this technology since it allows to drastically cut the cost for production of both hardware and software, but since weve patented it, they will either be unable to do so or have to pay a fee. That will be decided in each individual case.
> Making high quality graphics with little horse power must require a lot of
> research. When did this research begin? Would this extensive research
> accounted for Nintendo's half-hearted support of the GameCube?
This research began back when we considered a SNES CD addon. It was a long time ago. Then it developed into a series of breathtaking technologies. It was originally planned to be used in Nintendo 64, but then we realized that it was too immature to even use in GameCube, years later.
> I'm also an SGi fan. Do they have any role in the Wii?
We worked with them for some of the new technologies, but lately we didnt. So they dont play a major role in Wii, no.
> Aside from the controller, with the last secret in mind, will the developing
> on the Wii require more or less programming effort than the GC?
It will require more effort. Just like all new consoles. But the gap between GC and Wii is much smaller than for example that between PS2 and PS3. And we have also given small developers new possibilties to deliver games. They can distribute small games with creative ideas for the wiimote, on the internet. That way even the smallest of developers can create a great game and sell to a large audince. Because we believe it's the idea that counts - not the fund.
> From what you have described, the Wii seems indeed to be a magical machine.
> In the beginning of every generation, I think graphics are not going to get
> any better. With the Wii, do you see that the "graphics war" has ended, and
> there is no need for spending time on hardware for high quality graphics?
> Would the only additional feature on Nintendo's next console be HD support?
Graphics will still improve, but it has never been the central concern for us at Nintendo. If you look at the history, the weakest console always seem to win. SNES vs Sega Mega. PlayStation vs N64. DS vs PSP. We know that people are after fun games, and affordable prices. We still loves amazing graphics, though, so we will continue to deliver the best graphics. The next generation console will probably have HD support, though that is pure speculation on my part. This current generation we believe that so few people have HDTVs that they apprectiatve more a lower price that HD support. Remember that HD also greatly expenses developement of games, and it takes a lot of space on the disks. We need all the space we can get to make spectacular and large games.
> Is Nintendo of Japan working on any games aimed towards a mature audience?
Well, I would consider many of Nintendo's first party titles to be targeted to mature gamers. But Im talking about the famous Nintendo franchises like Zelda. We believe that that game appeals to many mature gamers. But yes, we have other games in the works as well. The Brain Training for the DS was a huge success, so expect more things like that in the future.
> Although the games Nintendo demoed at E3 were innovating, groundbreaking,
> and refreshing, most of them were extensions of existing games. Are there
> any games in development that can only be materialized with the "big
Yes, there certainly are games like that. And the games you did saw at e3 didnt show their true faces. They have more to them...
> I thank you for your time.