Nintendo is proposing ideas to publishers? Revolution will be targeted as a secondary system to hardcore gamers? Iwata spills the beans on these topics and more in G4's twenty minute interview.
On Tuesday G4 ran an interview with Satoru Iwata, conducted by Geoff Keighley during Tokyo Game Show 2005. The aired interview was severely edited and came across as mostly useless; fortunately G4 has posted a lengthy unedited version on its website. While much of what Iwata discusses about Nintendo DS and Revolution is familiar, he does add a few surprising (and troubling) comments on the Revolution and the company's strategy.
When asked about Revolution's graphical capabilities and High Definition support, Mr. Iwata claims that users will not see a discernable difference between Revolution and Xbox 360/PS3 games on standard definition sets. Although the president does not explicitly reconfirm the omission of HD, Iwata explains that Nintendo feels mainstream appeal is far more important than graphical prowess since current non-gamers have no interest in the visual quality of current games. In fact, he goes as far as to say Nintendo hopes those hardcore enough to care about the graphical differences and buy a PS3 or Xbox360 will also buy a Revolution, since the Revolution will provide unique experiences. A bold statement--one clearly demonstrating a shift in Nintendo's console strategy. Nintendo isn't trying to be number two: it is aiming for the top spot from a different angle--one that is profitable for both Nintendo and its partners.
Iwata also discusses Nintendo's recent interactions with publishers and developers. He explains that western publishers initially were wary of the freestyle controller, but quickly became receptive once Nintendo introduced the nunchaku attachment. Iwata also reveals that Nintendo has approached publishers and developers with gameplay concepts, proposing how their established franchises could benefit from Revolution's controller. The spokesman claims that, "without exception," all third parties have responded positively to such "concrete proposals," and Nintendo has found the meetings constructive and enjoyable. He refused to mention any specific collaborations, but he promised many familiar titles and suggested the Revolution could have a large launch line-up "in 2006."
Finally, the interview touches on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Iwata apologizes for the delay but insists Nintendo will keep its promise to release the game on the GameCube. However, the president expresses interest in the franchise's possibilities on the Revolution, alluding to the promotional video's sword fighting.
You can access G4's full interview with Satoru Iwata on its TGS 2005 home page.