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Going Inside The 3DS


July 9, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3
 

Can you give any background on the projects you're working on?

JCC: Not really. I can't really go into a lot of details on individual projects right now.

We've always had a big stake in kind of action adventure games here, and we think those are going to be fantastic on the handheld. So, I will say that we are definitely working on some action adventure games for sure. We're working on kind of unique mechanics within those to kind of plug in and give players something new.

How does your studio's background fit into that?

JCC: I'm pretty confident we just have a huge advantage now because we've been working on this thing for so long. When we first got the specs, as far as thinking about what the end result was of the games that we needed, we realized we needed a serious kind of reboot to our technology.

We took console elements from our console engine, and we kind of combined the best of our console engine with the nimbleness of the handheld engine. So, we've got this new engine. We're calling it the Atomic Engine, which is basically designed from scratch for the 3DS. And a lot of the things I was talking about before in terms of various types of art direction and genres, everything in it has been geared towards the 3DS.

I think developers who are starting with their DS tech base and thinking they can kind of port it up and be good to go, I think they're in a lot of trouble. I think that you really need an almost console-level expertise to really take advantage of Nintendo's new hardware. And so the software experience we've had in terms of thinking about the design elements and how to handle 3D the right away combined with the tech advantage we've had, which is further kind of compounded by...

You know, F9 is a pretty big company. We've got 650 folks across six studios, many of which are working on handheld and 3DS stuff. So, we share tech all the time. So, we'll take the physics engine from console games and integrate that in. You know, any engineer in the entire company is available to work on this engine depending on the project they're on. So, I think already we have an engine that is six months, you know, ahead of everybody else. I think that in time, that advantage will even grow more.

So, it sounds like it's more complicated than taking an existing game and just splitting it into two different fields, doubling the visuals to create the effect.

JCC: Yeah. I don't think that will work at all. You know, I think that anybody that tries that will realize very quickly that this is not the platform for that. And I think that's a good thing. I think that gamers are ready for new handheld experiences, not just kind of ports of old games.

I think that we're going to see some really cool, innovative stuff coming out. I think that it may be easy for people to underestimate this platform because they may look at it and go, "Well, this is just another DS," and it's absolutely not. This is a console that is full of surprises both on the development and on the hardware end. You have to take this thing seriously.

And the way that you and others have been talking about it makes it sound like it could be skewed to include more hardcore audience and more of a hardcore game library --  do you think so?

JCC: Yeah. Certainly a lot of the titles that have already been announced steer that way. I'm a hardcore gamer, and I can't wait to get my hands on this thing because I think there's going to be some really cool games for that audience coming out, for sure.

But, you know, I've got a little daughter who also can't wait to... I was trying to describe to her the 3D effect. She can't wait, too. I think Nintendo's great at making a platform to appeal to everybody, and I think they'll absolutely do this, but I think there will be more for everybody.

I just want to emphasize how excited I am about this platform. I think the screen is just gorgeous. I assumed you got to look at it at E3?

Yeah. I played one that was attached to a model with a steel cable.

JCC: [laughs] Oh yeah. No, it's great. A lot of [the 3DS software at] E3 was video demos, and I can say in terms of visual quality, there was no trickery going on. A lot of the games are really going to look like that. But once you actually start playing a game and get immersed in it for more than a couple minutes -- or tethered to somebody -- it's great. It really sucks you in. I think it's going to be huge.


Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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