Just one more quick question about the FX. Do you remember, or can you say what all the expansion ports were supposed to be used for? They were never used. The one on the bottom, and the one in the back.
TM: Those were expansion interface ports. The ports all over it -- they didn't end up having any function. The FX hardware just didn't sell well, and we had to give up on producing it. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think they may have been planning to add some peripherals later on, so they kept the ports, but the console ended up not selling very well, so nothing was really developed.
I think it's safe to say that it was probably an early version of USB or a FireWire type of thing. They could have been used for a recorder, remote control, keyboard, or music hardware.
It had to be more than that, because these ports took up a lot of space in the console.
TM: I don't know! (laughs)
That's too bad. I should get to some slightly more modern questions. Was it Hudson that decided to bring you back to the front lines of Hudson marketing again? You were a little bit under the radar for a while, and now you're much more in the forefront in Japan.
TM: They weren't intentionally going to hide me. When Sony and Sega were coming out [with the PlayStation and Saturn], the executives at Hudson made a judgment about which one we would aim for. Hudson executives thought that Sega would probably do well, which turned out to be the opposite.
Our games were more toward the fun type of games, rather than to show off the graphics and eye-catching things. The era was more toward that high-powered CG style back then. That's why Hudson wasn't really quite going with the mainstream at that time.
But now, with Nintendo's new consoles and all that, the fun gameplay is brought up again, with playing with other people -- like in Bomberman, for example. That's why our strength is going to be recognized once again right now.
Just as an aside, I've talked to friends in Japan who said that if you ran for prime minister, every male in Japan who is my age would vote for you.
TM: I get that all the time. I'm not into politics. (laughter)
How did you get hooked up with YMCK?
TM: The band? Originally, YMCK was invited for my birthday party as a live band, because they had that Famicom sound. I thought it was interesting. We then hooked up and decided to record a song together.
That's quite simple. What else should I ask you? Is Hudson still doing any kind of chip development right now?
Do you think Hudson would ever get back into the chip-making market for arcade or console or anything else?
TM: Actually, two or three years ago, we made the chip for a Konami TV game product known as the Poem -- you could use it to do things like play baseball on the TV.
So has R&D stopped on chips, or are they still doing things like that?
TM: No, nothing right now.
That's too bad, because it dashes my hopes of another handheld PC Engine or something.
TM: There may be a possibility, because there are still two main programmers with the company.
That would be great. A little PC Engine, like GBA Micro style, might be a good idea? I would like that.
TM: Yeah, maybe it would. [In English:] Me too! (laughter)
What are your favorite PC Engine games, personally?
TM: Super Star Soldier.
I actually like Soldier Blade better, myself.
TM: Oh, is that so? Gunhed [known in the U.S. as Blazing Lazers] is my second favorite. Final Soldier is also fun.
If you ever want to do another interview again, think about the old days very hard, because I have a lot of ridiculous questions about specific companies and specific titles and all sorts of weird crap that only I care about.
TM: I'll study hard. (laughter)