Will this shift toward 3D continue? Will everything become 3D?
I don’t know. As a maker of entertainment, I would say that our job is to surprise people, so if in the future, images that jump out of the screen stopped surprising people, I don’t know that we would make everything jump out.
Even now, I don’t think we need to have everything stick out. One thing I’m certain of is that in games today, there are quite a few scenes that would be much better if they stuck out. They’re not interesting simply because they stick out.
There are things that practically beg to stick out.
Right, right. (laughs)
If given the choice between having a function for making it stick out and not having one, you would say, “Make it stick out.”
Now I understand the stance of makers of entertainment. But what about the makers of Super Mario Bros. games?
As a maker of Super Mario Bros. (laughs), I feel the same way. Depending on the situation, there are times when I definitely want something to stand out. Take, for example, when Mario faces away from you and bounds down to lower levels in certain terrain. It’s hard to judge the space between levels when they appear flat.
If you show it two-dimensionally, you can’t distinguish whether the floor is high or low, or whether it has depth.
Oh, I see.
But when it jumps out, it becomes quite clear.
So, you know, doing something like hitting blocks floating in midair will become much more intuitive than before.
Right. Lots of new forms of play appear.
And when you say “jump out,” you mean more than just the visuals, right?
That’s right. Three-dimensional puzzles become easier to figure out.
And textures look totally different. You can tell that as soon as you look at Nintendogs + Cats.22 Want to take a look? 22Nintendogs + Cats: A game currently under development for the Nintendo 3DS system. It is a sequel to Nintendogs, a game released for the Nintendo DS system in April 2005 in Japan (and in February 2008 in South Africa).
We’re still in the midst of making it.
Uh-huh, uh-uh. Oh, yeah, I see what you mean.
You’re a little surprised, right?
Yes, with the textures.
I thought you might get used to it as you play, but if you turn the 3D volume off, something’s missing.
I know what you mean. (laughs)
Changes in texture create a different impression.
And aside from sticking out, the overall quality is better than before.
Yes, that’s right. Konno-san, since you were in charge, could you say something about that?
Sure. With regard to how it looks, one big change compared to previous games in the series is the coats. We did them as if they’re actually growing. Another thing is the eyes. In previous games, we showed the eyes simply through texture, but in the Nintendo 3DS game, we’ve actually put in eyeballs, so the way the eyes move and the dogs’ facial expressions are strikingly different.
Oh, okay. They dart around.
Close-up, you can tell even better how their eyes follow what they’re looking at. This time, cats show up too, and you can really see how their eyes actually change in light and dark.
And even when it comes to the same breed of dog, their scales, or proportions have variations, so I think the puppies will reflect each player’s personality.
People who actually have a dog will love this. You’d definitely want it to look like your own dog.
That’s an element of StreetPass23, too. This time, in the walk mode your Mii takes your puppy out for a walk.. 23StreetPass: A communication system that allows users who walk around with their Nintendo 3DS turned on to exchange data with other Nintendo 3DS users that they pass on the street.
Hey, that’s pretty nice!
And with Nintendogs + Cats, when you use StreetPass and exchange data with someone, in walk mode, that person’s Mii is walking whichever puppy he or she has chosen. Then your Mii characters and puppies talk and exchange gifts.
I imagine you have experienced this Miyamoto-san, but when you’re with your dog, people look at the dog first. When I’m walking my dog, people in the street are like, “Oh, Bouillon (the name of Itoi-san’s dog)!”
Your dog comes first?! (laughs)
In my neighbourhood, my dog is much more well-known than I am, too.
It’ll be the same in the game.
When people with dogs exchange data, it will be intriguingly realistic.
And the very way that you connect in StreetPass this time has evolved quite a lot.
Right. The earlier Nintendogs games were the first to have a StreetPass-like mode in a Nintendo DS game (it was called Bark Mode), and in the new one, that function is even better. To put it simply, StreetPass is a standard feature of the Nintendo 3DS .
In other words, we have made Nintendo 3DS so that StreetPass can take place even when you have not inserted the applicable Game Card. Until now, communication like StreetPass could only take place when two owners of Nintendo DS would physically pass each other with the same Game Card inserted into their systems, so lots of people needed to be playing the same game. Right after a game went on sale, you might run across other players fairly often, but as time passed, the number would drop off.
We wanted to make it so that people who used to play a certain game but then stopped could still exchange information. That way people who are playing the game will be happy, but others who have been taking a break may find an occasion to begin again.
Oh, I see!
So this time, we included the StreetPass functionality within the Nintendo 3DS system itself, rather than having it just be in specific games. Now, for example, when you play a game like Nintendogs or Animal Crossing or Pokémon, if you set the connectivity in the first, simple settings for the system itself, StreetPass will be on. In other words, just by walking around with your Nintendo 3DS, it will automatically exchange data five, six, seven times for multiple games.
So StreetPass data for each of the games I play is in the system, and every time I pass someone, it exchanges information for all those games all on its own?
For example, suppose you haven’t been playing Nintendogs + Cats for about one month. StreetPass data collected during this time, however, are stored in your Nintendo 3DS. Then when you play the game again, a new puppy has come, and it has a present for you! Things like that will happen.
Wow! I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s not just realism - it also has an element of fantasy.
Right. It’s more surprising and more fun.
I’d have expected nothing less from you guys than that perfect blend!
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