Let’s turn now to the software installed on the Nintendo DSi XL. The Nintendo DSi now comes with software such as Flipnote Studio8 and the Nintendo DSi Browser9 preinstalled but with the Nintendo DSi XL, there are additional applications. Could you tell us more about these, Kuwahara-san? 8Flipnote Studio is an application that can be used as a notepad along with the stylus. Users can also replay a number of pages of the memo pad to create animated sequences. 9The Nintendo DSi Browser is an application that allows the user to browse the Internet easily using the stylus when connected to the Internet via a wireless LAN access point.
Certainly. We thought about how to provide the customer with the best possible value and decided to preinstall software which would appeal to every user. But I didn’t have a clear idea of what kind of software to use so I consulted with Iwata-san.
On a day-to-day basis, I aim to make decisions quite swiftly in order to prevent myself becoming a bottle-neck, but after you consulted with me, I was unable to come up with a rapid decision. I apologised and told you to leave it with me for a while and then scratched my head, trying to come up with ideas.
You ended up presenting us with a total of three pieces of software, two Nintendo DSiWare10 Brain Training11 titles and a dictionary program12, didn’t you? 10Nintendo DSiWare is software specifically created for the Nintendo DSi which can be purchased and downloaded from the Nintendo DSi Shop, which is accessible from the Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSi XL. 11Please note that in Europe, the pre-installed applications are Little Bit of…Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: Arts Edition, Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function and the Nintendo DSi Browser. 12The Japanese dictionary software referred to is only preinstalled on the Nintendo DSi XL in Japan. In Europe, the system comes with preinstalled software called Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function.
The reason I chose the Brain Training titles was because I wanted a lot of customers to actually try them out so it would be brought home to them how fresh the most recent Brain Training games were on the Nintendo DSi. I had a strong feeling that there would be significant numbers of customers who had enjoyed Brain Training but who would not know how to download Nintendo DSiWare from the Nintendo DSi Shop, even after purchasing a Nintendo DSi. That’s why I thought it best to include them in the installed software right from the start. In addition, when I considered the way to get people to want to leave the Nintendo DSi XL out on the table-top, I thought that it would be useful if people could look up words they didn't know and got the Nintendo DSiWare Japanese dictionary to be made in line with the Nintendo DSi XL schedule.
Apparently, customers are giving us very positive feedback about this dictionary. It works well with the large screens and the handwriting recognition means users can enter the words easily.
Moreover, if you leave the Nintendo DSi XL out on the tabletop, you can look up words whenever you want to and you can look together with other people.
With titles like Professor Layton13, there are those times when you're deep in thought trying to solve one of the puzzles. With the large screens and the fact that the screens boast wide-angle visibility, rather than pondering the puzzles alone, you can have other people beside you pondering the puzzles. This gives you that slightly strange feeling that you’re playing on a regular console. 13The Professor Layton series includes a popular range of games developed and released exclusively for the DS by Level-5. The fourth title in the series, Professor Layton and the Specter’s Flute was released in Japan in November 2009.
I’ve got a four-year old and a six-year old, and when our older child is playing, the younger one will come up beside them to peek at what's on the screen. Well, I say peek but it’s more like they stick their heads against each others’...
You can see the screens of Nintendo DSi XL clearly even if you're some distance away. With the DS up to now, I think there are more than a few children who held their faces closer than necessary to the screen. But there were actually comments left by customers when they registered with Club Nintendo saying: “It’s really good that children can now play games without being too close to the console." I think that's something that parents clearly pick up on.
That’s just what’s happened with my family! It’s actually a really nice sight - so much so that I feel like taking pictures of it and showing everyone! (laughs)
So, the Nintendo DSi XL has been on sale for around a week. Do you have anything related to this that has left a particularly strong impression on you?
When we first announced the console, I think there were a large number of people thinking: "All they've done is made it bigger." And even though I was doing the design, I didn’t feel that I particularly wanted to get hold of one of these consoles until I saw the game images on the LCD screens.
That’s another shocking confession! (laughs)
When the console was first presented to us with a mocked-up version without the LCD screens, there was an employee at the company saying: “I’m definitely not going to buy that!”
Yes, there was.
I took careful note of who that person was. (laughs) Then once we had the version with the LCD screens, we did a demonstration and had people fill in a survey. When I looked over the feedback from that person, he’d written: “I want one!” (laughs)
I was the same. Thinking about it from the perspective of a customer, there's the DS Lite and the Nintendo DSi, so to be honest, isn't that enough? But then, just as you say, when I actually saw the console with the screens in place…
All of your reactions altered dramatically.
When you see those large screens, your impression switches to a positive one.
On the day the Nintendo DSi XL was released, I went to check out a large-scale vendor. I found that there were lots of Nintendo DSi XL consoles on display just as you entered the shop. Those were display models which were switched off so there was no software and the screens were black. A couple came over and while they were touching it, saying things like: "Look, it's the XL." But whether it was because the screens were blank, they seemed to be a little underwhelmed.
Without any images on the screens, it's difficult to communicate the full appeal of the console.
Yes, that's right. But in the game section of the shop, there was a Nintendo DSi XL with images on the screen. The second that couple saw it, they shouted out: “It's huge!” (laughs)
It's possible that on 21st November, you could hear those words all over Japan! (laughs)
I actually thought we could have even called it the Nintendo DSi Deka! (Note: “dekai” means “huge” in Japanese)
There’s absolutely no way that would have flown! (laughs)
Absolutely not! (laughs) But actually Shigeru Miyamoto-san did strongly push for naming it the Nintendo DSi Deka.
(nods very enthusiastically)
Well, both of you are from the same generation after all! (laughs) But the name was very hard to come up with, wasn’t it?
Yes, it was.
I feel that I owe everyone an apology with regards to the name. Just when the ship was getting ready to leave harbour, I caused it to capsize. If you want, you can disclose here the terrible state we got into regarding the name. (laughs)
(laughs) When Fujino-san, another designer and I were coming up with the name, we thought about it together in secret.
We considered a lot of names, didn’t we? The Nintendo DSi Comfort, the Nintendo DSi Executive...
The Nintendo DSi Premium was also suggested.
I seem to remember that the Nintendo DSi Living was also suggested...
But none of those names were really any good...
Right. I don't mean to be rude to the people who thought up those names, but that's how I felt. There's also the fact that when Japanese people think up names in English, they are going to sound strange to English native speakers but then when people from overseas suggest things, they won't quite sound right to Japanese ears. That’s how we hit upon one name to use worldwide: the Nintendo DSi XL, at least at one time.
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