Friday, July 28, 2006

E3 interviews



Hi everyone. It finally happened: I transcribed the relevant parts of my E3 interviews for you here. That is how much I love you. Enjoy - and please read the legal note at the end of the post before you republish the post or any part of it.


Satoru Iwata
President, Nintendo Co. Ltd.

A lot of people are still waiting for a big secret. Miyamoto-San and yourself have said so. Was it the speaker on the Wiimote or are there still secrets to come?

"That - and Wiiconnect24, which we recently announced. We have not yet announced details about this. Well, maybe you are underestimating the power or potential of Wiiconnect24 now. After all, Wii is a console that can be connected to the internet 24 hours a day with minimal consumption of power. In the near future we can reveal what it can do an then you can understand many secrets behind the Wii machine."

Can you give any examples of what it can do now?

"Wii is going to become the machine which is new every day and which is for everybody. Because every day you are able to receive something new with the Wiiconnect24 feature. While you are sleeping, you may be receiving some new courses, weapons or stages for the games you are playing. Or you may be receiving some messages from one of your friends. And when you receive a message with your Wii, the Wii disc insertion slot is going to light up to tell you someting new is happening with Wii. (...) If we can intrigue people to turn on the Wii every day, then we can change the relatonship between videogames and human beings."


Robbie Bach
Chief Xbox Officer, Microsoft

Now, both of your competitors are using some kind of gyroscopic control. Are you not going to be left out in the cold as far as playability is concerned?

"There are two things to know. One: we did gyroscopic controls in a controller six years ago. We know exactly how interesting it is. And it is useful for a very narrow segment of the games. So it is interesting as an add-on. It's not at all interesting as the main controller for your game console and we know that from experience. We also know that Sony took out of their controller the ability to get rumble feedback and tactile feedback. And that is the number one requested feature for people as an add-on to their controller. So we think their controller actually went down in capability, not up."

So if Sony is not going to be much competiton, what about Nintendo Wii?

"Well, Nintendo has a very focussed business model and a fairly narrow set of customers. They will do great with those customers but it is a very young audience, it is not an audience that is into broad mainstream entertainment, it is much more of the toy entertainment category. We think they will do well there, but we think that the mainstream part of the market is in the broader entertainment space that we are in and we think we can very effectively compete with them."


Peter Molyneux
Founder, Lionhead Studios

I would love for you to do a Wii game. Are you not itching to work on such an innovative console?

"Well, the controller is the thing, that is what I love. And I think there is a lot of interest in this industry as a whole about how people control games and what they do when they are controlling games. And things like cameras are becoming important, online is massively important, connecting to other devices is massively important... I agree with you: the way... (gesticulates) it is very, very good. It is very interesting about that controller. I will be fascinated to see how motion detection comes out. But I do not think that the industry is going to stop there. I think that this is just the start of the industry questioning that thing that you hold."


Doug Lombardi
Marketing Director , Valve Software

I remember Gabe Newell said the Xbox360's and PS3's business models were totally unattractive to him and he mentioned someting about developers in a stranglehold.

"There are these added obstacles of even getting onto the console, which in the old days people could justify because there were technological advances and what have you there. Now we are seeing the PC have these technological advances now and as this generation lives, the PC is going to keep leapfrogging and leapfrogging while those console platforms are frozen for the next four or five years."


Denis Dyack
Founder, Silicon Knights

Why is Matt Casamassina so excited about Too Human?

"Matt and I are really close friends and we talk a lot, off the record. So he knows a bit more than most people. So I think that may be another reason why he's excited."


Julian Eggebrecht
Founder, Factor 5
(translated from German)

How interested are you in Wii? You still have good contacts with Nintendo, right?

"We are still very good friends with Nintendo. And as a gamer, I am absolutely thrilled. Especially tennis and Super Mario Galaxy are fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. For me as an independent developer, there are two things to consider. First, (...) [what type of games are there] that are not already being developed by Nintendo? (...) Second, as soon as you try to opt more for photorealism, genres like Metroid or (...) Red Steel, I must say that I see the console lacking in graphics quality. (...) [From that perspective] I cannot ignore that the graphics are last generation."


Cliff Bleszinski
Lead Designer, Epic Games

Did you have a chance to play Nintendo Wii? Of course, the graphics are not up to the Xbox360´s ...

"Graphics are very important but graphics are only part of the equation. What Nintendo has done is they have not opted for necessarily as high-end graphics. They opted for very interesting input devices and amazing game design and polish. You know, if something has the Nintendo name on it, you know it is going to be fun. Not a lot of people can say that.

Are you excited enough to actually...

"I have not had any chance to be hands-on with it. I can tell you now that there is no ... anytime soon that I will be developing myself. But I was on a panel with Hideo Kojima and Xavier from Ubi Soft who was demoing Red Steel yesterday. And I finally got to see it, though not use it yet. And it looks really, really cool. I mean, the whole system... it is like the Power Glove done right."


Todd Hollenshead
Founder, id Software

Which console is id Software more interested in: is it more PS3 and Xbox360 - beautiful photorealistic graphics - or Wii, where you have a revolution in First Person Shooter control mechanisms but less graphics capability?

"Interesting question. At this point for us we are still kind of like you are with respect to getting information as Nintendo releases it about Wii and what it is going to be like. So we really have not gotten our hands on actual advanced hardware yet. So the stuff we are working on now is more the stuff we know, which is... we have access to the PS3 development kits and obviously the Xbox360. (...) The next project, sort of our super secret project we are working on at id, we have not announced or announced a title for, we do anticipate will be a multi-platform, across PC and multiple console launch. Multiple consoles means more than 360, so we definitely see no reason why it canot be there for 360, PS3 and PC. And we will have to see what we can do with Wii once we get more information about how what we are doing in our game will match what hardware Nintendo is making available."



On a legal note: You are free to republish this entire post or individual excerpts from it, as long as you do not alter the content in any way and you also absolutely must cite the two following sources by copying and pasting the following HTML code alongside without alteration:

Sources: <a href=http://www.rtl2news.de>RTL II News</a>, <a href=http://nintendo-revolution.blogspot.com>Wii: Definitive speculation</a>

The interviews have been conducted on behalf of RTL II. Please appreciate that there are copyright issues attached to these interviews and, as a consequence, failure to give appropriate credit might result in legal action. Thank you.

32 comments:

some guy said...

A lot of interesting quotes there (good questions), I’m somewhat disappointed that id software seemed to be left in the dark about the Wii.

Did Nintendo ever explain why many developers were left out before E3, was it to keep the full functionality of the console secret? Or was it that the Publishers didn’t take it serious until after E3?

Morton-jn said...

I also think that too many people are underestimating the importance and potential of WiiConnect24. I mean Nintendo could go beyond games and have WiiNEWS or WiiNEWSsport updates. Perhaps a real time share market watch during the day so if you are playing or not playing you could be up to date.

Imagine this: You wake up in the morning go out into the living room and see the Wii glowing. You pick up your WiiRemote that has your customisations in it. You turn on the Wii and the start up is displayed followed by the Menu. You point your WiiRemote at WiiConnect24 which is glowing and it opens up your customised menu.
You WiiNEWS, WiiBusiness, WiiLifestyle, WiiGames and WiiFriends. You point your WiiRemote at the WiiLifestyle title which is glowing and select it. "New Dinner Recipe from Nintendo." To which you say that can be for mum. Then you go into WiiGames and receive a DS demo download for Super Smash Bros. DS and a Wii demo for Kid Icarus.

There are many more possibilities but you can see how non-gamers would appreciate this.

Realmy said...

Those interviews don't bode well for Wii third party support, especially the Factor 5 quote. Ouch.

Tadashi Oshima said...

"There are two things to know. One: we did gyroscopic controls in a controller six years ago. We know exactly how interesting it is."

So a wobble controller with mercury-switches is equal to gyroscopic control and pointing capability. They should stop with lying, but hey, it's Microsoft.

D-Bone said...

Great information Falafelkid.

I'm curious how this WiiConnect24 thing will work.

Sure you'll wake up and find a new level, but you'll also notice your bank account will be debited $5. :-)

Surely additional free content is not a profitable business model.

D-Bone

pi said...

Other subject but ...

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/07/28/
mario-galaxy-wii-details-predicted-in-91
-by-modern-day-ny-nost/

It's seem mario galaxy is older than we know.
And
Wii may have about 28 million colors replace HD

Grandmaster B said...

Remember this was at E3. A lot of developers have jumped on the bandwagon pledging support since then.

Raphael said...

Great information! Very good questions!


@ realmy

We all thought, that ID, Faktor 5,
Valve and so on aren´t developing
for the Wii.

They´ll wait and see. And believe me:
Wii will rock the whole market!

So, I think, the comments aren´t too bad.




Und der Julian war schon
immer ´ne Technikhure! ;-)

Falafelkid said...

Hi Grandmaster.

Remember this was at E3. A lot of developers have jumped on the bandwagon pledging support since then.

Hi Raphael.

We all thought, that ID, Faktor 5,
Valve and so on aren´t developing
for the Wii.


Please also take into account that the developers cited here are all unlikely to be currently developing for Wii, for one reason or another.

They are either tied to another console (like Molyneux) or are voluntarily attached to another (like Hollenshead, Eggebrecht or Dyack).

So please don´t take this round of statements to reflect third party support in general. If I had posted interviews with EA, Ubi Soft, THQ, Activision, Atari, Sega, Namco, Tecmo, Square Enix or anyone else the general feel of the statements would have turned out quite differently.

P.S.: Corrected my spelling mistakes, had to post in a hurry yesterday.

Anonymous said...

thanks for getting these to us.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym.

thanks for getting these to us.

Sure. Sorry it took so long.

Anonymous said...

"Corrected my spelling mistakes, had to post in a hurry yesterday."? Dude, haven't you had about three months to iron those out? :P

Some interesting quotes, nothing groundbreaking. I still think it's kind of odd that you only asked about two questions to everybody. Did you have lengthy interviews with everyone and these are the only interesting things they said, or did you just bump into them at E3 and quickly ask them some questions?

Nice interviews, anyways. Thanks.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous.

"Corrected my spelling mistakes, had to post in a hurry yesterday."? Dude, haven't you had about three months to iron those out? :P

Yes, yes. Very funny ;) I had less than twenty minutes to post that.

Did you have lengthy interviews with everyone and these are the only interesting things they said, or did you just bump into them at E3 and quickly ask them some questions?

I had more or less lengthy interviews with all of these people and these are short snippets from them, more or less relevant to Wii. Obviously I asked those guys about more than just that one console.

Anonymous said...

The guys from the new HAZE game just came out and said the Wii doesn't have enough power to do what they need for the game.

The lack of power is alienating developers. How is that a good thing?

Falafelkid said...

Well, Haze was never intended for the Wii (see this press release).

Once you decide on a platform or a set of platforms, the game will be developed to get the maximum performance out of that hardware and, consequently, cannot run on other platforms without significant changes. So even games that are exclusive to Wii probably could not run easily on a PS3 or Xbox360.

It´s just a question of which consoles the developer and publisher would like to develop for or which platforms fit their ideas the best.

Wii´s graphical capabilities are not alienating developers any more than the Xbox360´s lack of gyroscopic controller features. It´s merely a feature that may attract some developers and make others look to different platforms.

Falafelkid said...

A few examples: the Factor5 guys are intrigued by the graphics power of the PS3, so they turn down both the Xbox360 and Wii for being not powerful enough. Other developers, like Ubi Soft, turn down both PS3 and Xbox360 as a platform for Red Steel for not being innovative enough.

Each console has unique features that may attract developers that see this platform best suited for their project´s needs.

And as far as Wii third party support is concerned, don´t underestimate the support of EA, Ubi Soft, Activision, THQ, Capcom, Sega... the list goes on and on.

Also, a lot of Wii titles are exclusive to that console and offer experiences that cannot even be emulated on the other consoles. Add the low, low price and that recipe will surely add up. I won´t miss the multi-core CPU and polygon-crunching power of the other two consoles. After all, I still have to see an Xbox360 or PS3 game that significantly beats a Wii title.

Grandmaster B said...

Hi Fal, I wasnt taking the comments as a third party base in general. I was merely saying to the chap above that many have jumped on the bandwagon or have had a change of mind towards the Wii and not to count certain support out.

I wasnt replying to your post actually.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Grandmaster.

Yeah, sorry. I only used your and Raph´s comments to talk about third party support in general. I didn´t mean to reply to you either. Sorry, should have made that clearer. ;)

Anyway, you guys want to see what I nicked after Nintendo´s exclusive E3 party? Check this YouTube clip (it´s not by me, btw).

In case you are wondering, I stole one of each. ;)

Anonymous said...

Falafelkid ,

You can turn it as you want but what remains is that what we have seen so far in Wii titles leaves something to be desired.

The problem is that the Nintendo Wii line-up lacks a mega,edgy,mainstream blockbuster
like MGS,GTA,FF,HALF LIFE,Wipe out,Gran Turismo, etc.
Where the sheer scale and artistic direction overweights the technical aspect.

Unfortunarely, The Wii line up still lacks an elegant eye catcher killer title that gets the job done.

Zelda is nothing new.
Mario is okay but not the type of
game that you can win the older crowds over with.
Metroid is too complicated and too Metroid GameCube.
The other games still have to proove themselve.For now they merly look like tech demos without concrete concept and direction like HAMMER,Excite Truck..

Its still not clear wether or not the titles that appeared at E3 were representetive of the visual standard that is to be expected of.

Nobody knows if or when exactly Nintendo sent out final kits and what the specs look like and what the GPU is capable of.


Nintendo needs to make some major announcements!
I dont know if anyone noticed but 90% of the games they showed were nothing but sequels.
Am I supposed to play Mario and Zelda til death or what?
I mean as much as I admire the new control method ,its not enough for me!
What I see on screen at heart is still the same no way around just
that you pull it of differently.

Now you could say that the games I mentioned above for Playstation are also sequels but the big difference is that these games have more complex worlds and themes and art styles that draw you in again and again.
However I should note that Zelda and Mario are amongst the best games ever made..

Anonymous said...

anom above ... lol i dont think you know what your saying. very confused

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym.

I agree with Anonym #2. You seem to be quite confused.

The Nintendo Wii line-up lacks a mega,edgy,mainstream blockbuster
like MGS,GTA,FF,HALF LIFE,Wipe out,Gran Turismo, etc.
Where the sheer scale and artistic direction overweights the technical aspect.


Let´s start with Cliffy B´s comments:

"Graphics are very important but graphics are only part of the equation. What Nintendo has done is they have not opted for necessarily as high-end graphics. They opted for very interesting input devices and amazing game design and polish. You know, if something has the Nintendo name on it, you know it is going to be fun. Not a lot of people can say that."

There is no publisher that comes up with games that fit your description (´sheer scale and artistic direction´) like Nintendo. And if you want some titles, consider only MP3 and SMG.

Mario is okay but not the type of
game that you can win the older crowds over with.


Totally wrong. There is no other character that older crowds can relate to as much. And SMG is going to be the biggest Mario game since Super Mario 64.

Metroid is too complicated and too Metroid GameCube.

Wrong and wrong again. It´s very easy to get into the gameplay but hard to master. And the differences to the Gamecube version are very, very obvious.

Or watch that Heroes trailer and check out what Suda 51 has in store for Wii owners. There are so many top game designers developing for Wii and coming up with original games... why do you think Hideo Kojima is less and less involved with the MGS franchise? Because he is itching to work on original games and a fantastic title like Boktai shows what this genius can come up with on a system like the Wii.

And lastly:

I dont know if anyone noticed but 90% of the games they showed were nothing but sequels.

Hello? Disaster: Day of Crisis, Excite Truck, Project H.A.M.M.E.R. and Wii Sports are four completely original titles I can name right off the bat. And that´s not even mentioning the original third party games.

Nintendo showed 27 playable titles at E3 2006 and they all looked like they could be launch titles. More than that, a lot of them were really hot and original games.

Seriously, if you cannot see that, you seem very confused - or perhaps bitter.

Tetsuo Otomo said...

Good job, Fal. I was waiting for these for a while. This is great news. Are you going to open up a REAL site, or r u gonna blog forever?

jordan said...

Falafelkid, just wondering if you were having any of the same thoughts and questions i am? I was wondering with Mr. Iwata's comments and the possibilites regarding WiiConnect24, if you have considered the problems or potentially unnamed source as far as storage capacity is concerned. Yes, things like News, Weather, etc. could call come through the internet w/o any problem simply via a webpage, but what about new characters, levels, items, etc. plus demos for DS and Wii, and the Virtual Console? What are your thoughts on storage, I know 512MB would probably be enough for quite a few virtual console games, but do you think they are going to follow through with letting any storage device connect via USB, or possibly have an itunes approach where you can re-download games since they are registered in your account? Any insights or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

Metaldave said...

I was wondering the same thing about that. Fal might not have the time to run a full site. Usually sites are expected to be updated a lot more often than blogs. When you have a blog, you can take as long as you want or as less as you want to post topics.

Besides that however, this IS really a site when you think about it.

D-Bone said...

@anon

"The problem is that the Nintendo Wii line-up lacks a mega,edgy,mainstream blockbuster
like MGS,GTA,FF,HALF LIFE,Wipe out,Gran Turismo, etc.
"

And then...

"I dont know if anyone noticed but 90% of the games they showed were nothing but sequels."

Cmon dude, get real.

D-Bone

Anonymous said...

Fal, in talking about Haze up above, the developers said "If we could, we would", refering to how the Wii's lack of power prevented them from porting it. It has nothing to do with what it was planned for or whatnot. The Wii simply can't handle next gen graphics. That is alienation. Controls can be re-assigned easily, but this machine simply can't keep up in power. That's a problem, and it's going to keep happening. That will kill third party support (if it hasn't already).

Anonymous said...

Maybe there are hundreds of development houses, and not all of them can gamble away their futures by sinking double-digit millions into projects and developing exclusively on consoles that are "20-times more powerful than those previous."

Which is the company with policy of "no 2D on our consoles," which prevents titles like Metal Slug? Which one has the $600 price tag for its upcoming console? Which one defines its video game products as "entertainment supercomputers," effectively distancing itself, image-wise, from what is its primary breadwinner while pissing on the consumers who continue to pour money into an operation that has anything but the future of the its favorite industry in mind?

But it's our friends at Ninty who are doing the alienating, right?

The point is this: The whole of game developers is not the unthinking conglomerate (that is, a lumped-together mindless entity) that the Internet gaming community makes it out to be. Its individuals are well aware of the glut of sameness marginalizing the industry and are perfectly capable, when they choose, of recognizing alternatives and adapting in kind.

Carmine M. Red said...

There's no question that the Wii won't be able to handle intensive games and if you want to make the next TES: Oblivion or Everquest II, then you obviously can't really do that on the Wii.

However, consoles like the PS3 and X360 also alienate developers who want cheaper budgets, and new ways to control games. There's obvious trade-offs: what if you want to create the next Nintendogs (which has sold millions worldwide) or Animal Crossing(just recently broke 3 million units in Japan ALONE)?

Keep in mind that The Sims, the most amazing success story in recent gaming history with countless sales and expansion packs and ports of all sizes, is a game that could run on relatively un-powerful computers: it was mass market and could be played on cheap technology... gee, sounds like the Wii, doesn't it?

Also, it should be noted that when WoW and Everquest II came out, WoW didn't require uber hardware: it could've run on an 800 Mhz computer, while Everquest II was "future-proof" and required 2 ghz processors, minimum. I guess we know how that turned out.

Anyways, Half-Life II, Doom 3, and all those other FPS/action/Blockbuster titles show that there will always be a market for the Bleeding Edge, and developers who want to take us to better graphics and more computational power. But you have to ask yourself: is that the only place where videogames can go? Where they can succeed? Where they can innovate?

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

Carmine M. Red said...

BTW,

Thanks for finally getting these transcribed Falafelkid! How can we find the full transcripts? Where are they officially posted for your news organization's readers?

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

Falafelkid said...

Anonymous.

Fal, in talking about Haze up above, the developers said "If we could, we would", refering to how the Wii's lack of power prevented them from porting it.

First of all, I totally agree with the Anonymous below you and Carmine M. Red. But I still want to answer to some specifics.

It has nothing to do with what it was planned for or whatnot. The Wii simply can't handle next gen graphics. That is alienation.

No, you are wrong. Let me remind you that the Gamecube is pretty much the graphics powerhouse of the current generation (perhaps on par with Xbox) and that PS2 was significantly underpowered. Did that alienate developers who wanted to bring their projects to the market leader? Of course not.

Once a console rakes in the most sales, third party support becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As for current third party support, check Nintendo´s official list of Wii titles in development (dated May, PDF document). Then consider how many of those can be launch titles (remember: 27 playable games at E3, which is a very large amount) and compare that to the PS2´s launch portfolio (Fantavision, Tekken Tag Tournament, Ridge Racer V... and those were the ´best´ launch titles). It becomes obvious that Wii´s launch library looks to be impressive and could even become the best of any recent console.

Controls can be re-assigned easily, but this machine simply can't keep up in power.

You´re definitely not a developer or are familiar with game development, are you? Think about porting a game like Red Steel to one of the other consoles. How easy would that be?

If you consider that EA chose to develop Madden Wii completely separate from the 360 and PS3 versions (by a completely different team even) then you know that controls cannot simply be re-arranged.

That will kill third party support (if it hasn't already).

No, it hasn´t already and will not in the future, either. Again, check the list of titles in development and you will hopefully understand that your concerns are totally unfounded.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Carmine.

How can we find the full transcripts?

I guess you won´t be able to. Unless I am given the go-ahead and can post the entire footage on the net. I will try but that seems unlikely.

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