GS: So, what older properties do you want to bring back? And I'm not going to hold you to anything.
JG: We're looking at...you know, eventually all Turbo Grafx games will be on the Virtual Console, because they’re going to be emulations. There are no limitations to what we can really do as far as development, because an emulation is not going to take as long as brand new development. So you'll be able to see every game, virtually, it might take a couple years, but that’s the plan. What we're really wanting to do is see what kind of brands have an attachment, and bring those to mobile, bring those to other systems.
GS: So you think the viewing sales on the virtual console will be a good indicator on what you should bring back?
JG: Yeah, sure, why not? I mean, certainly you're going to have an audience that's attached to that, and what I think is that if there's a reason for that attachment - and usually there is, there’s something about the game that just makes it really fun - you can repeat that, and you can create something that's much more modern but has the same hook. So, I think that's always what you look for, is every good game will have a distinct hook that you can catch onto.
GS: Will you be looking at any of the NEC Avenue or Interchannel stuff?
JG: Yeah, because that was some of the best stuff. There were some great games that NEC Avenue came out with.
GS: Download was NEC Avenue [which later became NEC Interchannel]. That was pretty good.
JG: What else did they do? Because I remember we had to negotiate with NEC Avenue for quite a few titles.
GS: NEC Avenue did a lot of weird stuff. I know there was a lot of co-publishing happening.
JG: Yeah, I specifically remember them because we had to sometimes fight to get those games to America -- they were really protective of them, and there were a lot of great games.
GS: It sounds like you've been using mobile as a kind of vehicle to return to console in a way? I know you're not in mobile for the short term, but…
No, actually, it didn't happen that way at all. The reason I left
Hudson Soft to come here was because of mobile. Because I saw what had
happened in Japan and said, “this is going to be huge.” This is going
to be massive. It's going to be the greatest electronic device ever.
And it already is.
So, it was the power of the mobile phone and that business that interested me. I had a lot of chances to come back before that, but I always said "not yet," because you need an opportunity. You need something to spark, and then once you get over here a lot of other things start to happen, and that's at the point where we are now, where we say, OK, we're already successful with mobile, what's the second step?
The next step is to fill the company as a true Hudson subsidiary, and that means you have to have the development there. You have to have the creativity. You have to have the people that know how to gameplay, and know how to polish things, and know how to QA things, and know how to market things. So, it's really a matter of natural growth of a company, basically.
GS: How do you feel about the current state of phones as far as game playing devices? Because they're definitely a lot easier to deal with over in Japan and the power is a lot higher.
JG: And you're going to have that here. Do you know the 9800? The LG9800?
JG: I've got it in my pocket. Let me just whip it out here. So, this is the first phone, in the world really, that has made a stab at being a game phone.
GS: I know Qualcomm had a prototype called the Slingshot - I have a prototype of that.
JG: This is the Slingshot in commercial form.
GS: Wow – it’s reversed from the original design though.
JG: It's not perfect. But, we will enter a new era where you have game phones being made. We just met with Qualcomm yesterday and they displayed their 7500 chip set which is PS2 quality. Whereas, this is about PS quality here.
GS: Yeah, I've been hearing that mobile is definitely going to ramp up graphically. Actually, Kosei Ito at Square-Enix, he's in charge of their mobile stuff and did Final Fantasy Before Crisis and all that. He said once it gets to that point of good graphics he's going to quit.
JL: It's almost like a sure bet. I mean you look at where Europe is and where Japan is. This is your crystal ball to the future. You know it's going to get there and it's just a matter of timing at this point.
JG: It really is. So, figure by this time next year, you're going to have a PS2 in your hand. And, not only that, you're going to have it in your pocket where ever you go. Why would you buy a PSP, you know? That's when you get to the point where you work out the joystick and some other small things like that and you've got a very powerful device, and, by the way it's also your Internet and it's also you camera, and it's also your video camera, and it's also your mirror, and it's also your wallet. All these different things in one small device and you got it with you where ever you go.
You've been to Japan, you've seen the fingerprint identification reader on the phone. And that is so powerful, because then you know it's my phone. I can charge [purchases] on it. I can do all these other things on it, too. Not to say that America will be the same. But, I think we'll follow the technology very closely. How we use it might be different.