I imagine that there were two ways someone could react to the extension of the development period. You might think that since you had worked so hard to get it ready for the end of the year, the hardware problems that led to the development being set back meant that all your efforts had been in vain. I'd imagine there are those who would take it like that.
That would be one way to take it.
You think you’re approaching the finish line when someone shouts "You guys got a lucky break!" (laughs) You then feel like you’ve been ordered to run another lap of the marathon – doubling a 9 hole course into an 18 hole course, for example.
The fact that I could say things like that is because I know the team will take it the right way. If I say there are customers who expect golf to be played over 18 holes, and who’ll be disappointed if it’s over 9 holes, so we should make it 18 holes, everyone takes it on board. That's a very healthy, positive situation. The reaction’s the same, even when the project is extended.
Taking the feelings of the team working on the game who believe that the finish line is just up ahead into consideration, I don’t know if that can be perceived as being entirely a positive thing! (laughs) But if in the end, it works out for the best then that is indeed healthy and positive.
But I really feel I need to apologise to our customers for the delay in the release of the new title.
But in the period after Miyamoto-san declared that you guys had got a lucky break, you did more than give the golf course 18 holes, didn’t you?
That’s right. We ended up adding new modes.
Originally, there were 12 sports, each of which had several modes available.
We had thought that this was sufficient in terms of the game content on offer…
But then there was the suggestion to consider adding another mode.
Who was it who made that suggestion?
Well, it’s not something that a member of the team would have said. Of course it was... (laughs)
It was you who said it, Iwata-san: "Add another one!"
I told everyone that the President had said there still wasn’t enough game content and asked them what we were going to do about it.
Now I get it… (laughs)
Well, it was a direct order from the President, so we didn’t have any alternative.
You’ve got no choice but to do it.
Irrespective of what I may or may not have actually said! (laughs) What new modes did you add?
We added skydiving .
That was decided by myself, Shimamura-san and another director who had all come to the office on our day off. We huddled together and discussed what we were going to do. We were saying things like: "There’s no time left in the development schedule” and “We’re about to enter the debugging phase”. We batted around a few ideas, and one of those was skydiving.
That was very smart - coming up with a solid idea. Usually, they would come to see me on Monday morning and they would be as likely as not to say: “It can’t be done.”
And how would you respond when they told you that?
I’d say: "I don’t want to hear the reasons why it can’t be done!”
But this time, we didn't have to go through that part.
That’s one way of saving time! (laughs) You had only limited time available for development, after all.
The key is that instead of starting by stating all the reasons why something can't be done, they came up with an idea where they felt: “We can do this!”
Yes, I can see that.
Well, we had no choice but to come up with an idea and to get to work on making it.
But, having had a brief look at the skydiving game, it doesn’t seem like something that had been put together in a short time.
That’s good to hear! (laughs)
To tell the truth, we felt that the number of sports where slow movements are directly reflected on-screen was not quite sufficient.
It was really just archery and the island flyover which were like that.
So just when I was worried that there weren't any sports of this type that anyone could understand and just pick up and play, we added skydiving which I think worked out really well.
But it wasn’t just that which we added…
Really? There was more? (laughs)
The versus mode in canoeing was another one. There was a period when we were torn between making this sport one that would be played cooperatively or competitively. We decided that a versus mode would be exciting but would inevitably create losers. In order to prevent quarrelling, we decided to proceed with the cooperative mode and we had that one in the bag by the end of the year. Or so we thought…
Or so you thought?
Someone said: “You know, we should have a versus mode after all.”
And that someone was Miyamoto-san once again! (laughs)
But because there had been no expectation that there would be a versus mode, the processing capacity was already at its limits in single-player mode.
After all you hadn't designed it with the versus mode in mind.
Yes, so we concluded that it would be extremely difficult to split the screen for the competing teams. We concluded however that if there was a single-screen versus mode , then we could most likely make it work.
Versus modes are always more fun when played on single screens rather than using a split-screen. So the end result really worked out for the best.
So with the development schedule extended, you really worked very hard right to the bitter end. At this point, I’d like to ask you each for a final message for our customers. Sato-san, if you’d be kind enough to begin?
On Wii Sports Resort, even with very familiar sports like table tennis, you'll be able to pull off some great moves that will make you feel that you've really become a master. We worked on fine-tuning table tennis right up to the very end, and for this reason I really want both players who‘ve never played table tennis, as well as experienced players, to get a lot of enjoyment out of the game.
Recently, I had the chance to play Wii Sports Resort table tennis. I must confess that there was a period when I got seriously into playing the real sport. It may well have partly been because of that, but when I was absorbed in returning the ball in the “Return Challenge”, it really felt to me just like the real thing. It may be unbecoming for someone of my age, but I got somewhat carried away. Now over to you, Dohta-san.
While it may not be the case for sports like table tennis and bowling, a lot of the activities on offer on Wii Sports Resort are things that you have seen but never tried, or sports where actually doing the real thing is quite tricky. I hope players will enjoy the opportunity to try these out.
Skydiving and the like are not activities you can easily experience yourself.
There’s actually one member of staff who got interested through playing Wii Sports Resort and actually went skydiving. So I’d be really happy if people played Wii Sports Resort and subsequently developed an interest in the real sports themselves.
Thank you. Now over to you, Shimamura-san.
I think we’ve succeeded in gathering together sports which may be a little unusual but are great fun to play under the "Resort” banner. Perhaps there won’t be many people who are fans of every single one of the sports on offer, but I'm sure everyone will be able to find a sport that they really love. What's more, as there are 12 different sports, you could play each one for a month and get a whole year's enjoyment out of the game. So you could decide: "This month, I'm going to master this sport!” and play it intensively. The game really suits that style of play. I hope that whole families, including people who may live alone, will all gather together to enjoy this title.
Over to you, Yamashita-san.
With Wii Sports being such a massive title, we worked on this new game with the desire to equal it and to ultimately surpass it. Now that it's complete, I feel that as with Wii Sports, we can hold our heads high and say: “This game is definitely going to be a lot of fun!" Now I just want lots of people to find that out for themselves.
Finally, a few words from Miyamoto-san.
I’d like people who play this game to become very knowledgeable about Wuhu Island.
Ah yes, the “Island Concept”.
If you use this chance to get familiar with the island in advance, you’ll enjoy the next game even more! (laughs)
One more thing is that with this title there is one Wii MotionPlus accessory included, but I would advise people to get hold of another one so you can enjoy competing with other players. After all, there’ll be other third party software coming out which supports Wii MotionPlus, so this is something I would strongly recommend.
While we’re on the subject, we are aiming to release Wii Sports Resort at a reasonable price. Precisely because we want people to enjoy multi-player gaming, we've also set a reasonable price point for Wii MotionPlus when it is sold separately. The only other thing I would like to say is directed at those customers who already own a Wii: I think it would be a real shame if you didn’t get to try this one out for yourselves.
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