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Satoru Iwata

Nintendo has published a new Iwata Asks focusing on Nintendo 3DS Guides: Louvre. You can find the full discussion here. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto both participated in the discussion.

I’ve thrown together a summary of the Super Mario 3D World Iwata Asks, as the original discussion is quite long. There are definitely a number of interesting points, plus some talk about the future of the Super Mario Galaxy series. Without further ado, here’s the summary in full:

– No upending the tea table from Miyamoto this time
– Miyamoto “only needed to be involved with occasional spot-checks in areas where I wanted to take a closer look”
– Hayashida: “To be upfront about it, ever since we started developing Super Mario 3D Land, we thought about making Super Mario 3D World in continuation afterward.”
– The team originally wanted to include a multiplayer mode in Super Mario 3D Land
– Team initially started out at 40-50, was at about 100 at the end
– The team has tons of ideas for Mario’s transformations
– Cat transformation forms a pair with Statue Mario
– When you turn into Cat Mario under a certain condition, he can make bonus coins appear with Ground Pounds
– Moving multiple Marios was considered before, but wasn’t tried since the team thought it’d be too taxing from a control perspective
– Double Mario came about when a staffer made a mistake with the placement tool and put in two Mario players
– NOA staffers said Mario 3D World has a high replay value
– Free Camera Mode is in single-player mode only
– Captain Toad’s Adventure was put in so that players ” would try it out as a way to experience a game in which you control the camera yourself as you would in a 3D Super Mario game.”
– Motokura insisted on putting in the secret character
– This character loses its ability when in cat form
– This character also becomes a black cat when transformed
– The Luigi Bros. game and the secret character appear after reaching the end once
– Luigi Bros. appears on the title screen
– If you have New Super Luigi U data, you can play from the start
– Hidden Luigi pixels are included in the game
– Random button randomly assigns characters before each course
– Can do a Ground Pound to steal someone’s double power
– Random selection is also available in single-player
– Hayashida on the stamps: “We had always wanted to do something with Miiverse, and I tried posting, but the world is full of people who can draw well. I can’t draw, so I couldn’t get into it.”
– Over 80 stamps are in the game
– Some stamps you get deep in the second half
– Mii characters of other people online show up as Sprixies
– When you clear a course, the ghost of the person who cleared it will replay through that gameplay
– Time Attack Ghost will appear, which is the ghost of another player who’s clear time is just a little faster than yours
– The team had a strong desire to call it “3D World” from the beginning
– Miyamoto realized “Land” was for handhelds and “World” was for home consoles
– Miyamoto: “Some opinions against it arose along the way, and there was a time when it looked like it wouldn’t fly, but it’s a name with a lot of thought behind it that suggests anyone can feel easy playing the game and that it’s a culmination of all the fun of a 3D Super Mario game, so the name had to be Super Mario 3D World, and in the end that’s what it is.”
– Koizumi says he had some regrets about some things when making Super Mario Galaxy, which he feels he was able to address with 3D World
– Koizumi has long wanted Luigi to appear alongside Mario in a 3D game, and also felt Galaxy was more geared toward boys
– With Peach’s inclusion, he feels this has been addressed
– Miyamoto: “Just so there is no misunderstanding, I should point out that this doesn’t mean we’ll never make another Super Mario Galaxy game.”
– Koizumi: “When we first started making Super Mario 3D World, Miyamoto-san asked me if this was going to be more like Super Mario Galaxy or more like Super Mario 3D Land. When we made Super Mario 3D Land, we had our eyes on the form of this game, so we made it this way without any hesitation.”
– Miyamoto: “The same team can’t make both at the same time. And we can’t bring in a second party and slap the name Super Mario Galaxy on it. I suppose we could idealistically make both in Tokyo, but we want to do something new too, so there was that dilemma.”
– Miyamoto “Personally, I would like to take on a variety of new challenges with Super Mario Galaxy and design 2D Super Mario games in an easy-to-understand way within certain restraints.
– Iwata: “Either way, to fans of Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D World is in no way a different beast that they won’t be able to enjoy.”

Nintendo has gone live with a new Iwata Asks for Super Mario 3D World. You can find the full discussion here. Prepare yourself for seven page of talk between Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and the game’s developers!

Wii Sports Club is being made available digitally as individual chunks. Tennis and bowling will be available as separate downloads later this week, followed by baseball, golf, and boxing down the line.

Despite this release model, Wii Sports Club could launch as a physical product in the future. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata wouldn’t rule out the possibility during the company’s investor Q&A last week.

He said:

Nintendo’s R&D expenditures are up, but sales are down. With the company adding on roughly 1,000 staffers over the past four or five years, an attendee at Nintendo’s financial results briefing Q&A asked about a possible reduction to the workforce.

This isn’t something that president Satoru Iwata is considering. Iwata pointed out the common ups and downs in the video games business, and feels that things will improve. As a result, he said, “Restructuring the workforce is not the first option we consider even when cost cutting is required.” Iwata also mentioned Nintendo is taking this approach “because we do not see a dark future for Nintendo.”

Nintendo’s Virtual Console has been disappointing, to say the least. Releases continue to trickle out very slowly, with some weeks seeing the absence of new classic games entirely.

With any luck, the situation will improve in the future. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during an investors Q&A briefing several days ago that the company has been unable “to take full advantage of our assets yet, so we would like to enrich our Virtual Console lineup.” Iwata added, “As the ability to digitally offer our products has given us greater flexibility in offering new propositions to our consumers, we should naturally consider these possibilities in the future.”

Nintendo has several Wii U titles lined up for the holidays, including Wii Party U, Wii Sports Club, Wii Fit U, and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. Whereas the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are looking to appeal to core gamers, each of these aforementioned titles from the Big N would likely garner a more “casual” label. Therefore, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a recent investors Q&A that he and the company as a whole “wonder if the target user will actually be the same” compared to what the competition intends to offer.

Iwata did point out that the launch of new consoles brings about some benefits for Nintendo. “Though there are some who take the view that intensified competition means overseas competition will be tough for Nintendo,” Iwata said, “no matter how Nintendo does domestically, I do not necessarily see it that way.” That’s because new systems “energize the video game industry as a whole.”

You can find Iwata’s full comments about the Wii U’s end-of-year lineup, competition, and more below.

When Nintendo unveiled the 3DS, the system’s stereoscopic 3D feature was one of its standout qualities. The functionality has seen a lesser emphasis as of late though, culminating with the launch of the 2DS last month – a system which ditches 3D entirely.

During Nintendo’s investor Q&A last week, an attendee asked if the handheld’s arrival means “Nintendo is perhaps wavering a bit on its initial plans.” The person also questioned whether the 2DS was a part of president Satoru Iwata’s original vision.

Iwata responded by mentioning that development of the 2DS “began a long time ago.” Nintendo “realized beforehand that it would be difficult to maximize the sales potential of Nintendo 3DS without an entry-level product ready in time for the release of a new Pokémon title.” Given the different price options for the 3DS, the yen’s value at the time, and ability to offer another option for the 3DS platform, Nintendo believed the 2DS was a smart move to make.

Iwata also confirmed that the 3DS and 3DS XL will stil be sold, and Nintendo is “not saying that we will abandon 3D or cease to make new propositions in 3D.”

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the topic of “smart devices” – encompassing smartphones and tables – during the company’s latest financial results briefing Q&A.

Iwata acknowledged that people now tend to play smartphones in instances such as traveling by train whereas they were previously playing a handheld system. However, despite the rise in smart device popularity, he believes reports that the handheld market is shrinking are very much exaggerated.

Iwata pointed to strong sales of the 3DS in his argument. The system managed to sell 5.5 million units in 2012, and Nintendo expects similar sales this year. That being said, Iwata did note that 3DS momentum hasn’t been as strong in the US and Europe compared to Japan.

Elsewhere in his comments, Iwata mentioned how Nintendo is looking to take advantage of smart devices for its own benefit. Iwata is in favor of promoting the company’s own products through smartphones, for example, and said many people tend to watch Nintendo Directs on these devices.

Head past the break for Iwata’s full comments.

Nintendo has been doing some interesting things in the digital space. As an example, Wii Sports Club offers different price points, Pokemon Bank will carry an annual 500 yen fee, and the company has even started to dabble with the free-to-play model.

One analyst asked about these products and its digital business in general during Nintendo’s financial results briefing Q&A last week. Satoru Iwata commented with a very lengthy response, which you can find below.