How long have you actually been able to work on development for 3DS?
YH: Not that long. We only started working on the game not too long ago.
When you actually have something like that in 3DS in 3D space, where it's almost occupying your world, I wonder if that changes everyone's interaction with games, and how they feel about game world and whether it's alive and things like that.
YH: When you're talking about moving images, you have YouTube, you have TV, you have movies, and now you have 3D movies. They're fighting. You can't any longer just say, "I watched something," and have someone know which one it is.
But with games, people just refer to games as "games". I think we're at a point now where we can probably divide games into segments. I don't think it's good to lump all games together. So, just as, you know, some people play one kind of game and others might enjoy 3D games, you have these 3D games coming out, that can be another sort of version.
You don't want to watch Avatar on YouTube. You want to go see 3D Avatar. There was a different kind of video you watch on YouTube than you do going to the movies. It's a different experience, but they're still both moving images, and we think games can also offer a variety of different kinds of experiences.
With this Ni-Oh project, it was announced in 2005 or so, and now it's back. Why did you decide to bring it back? Was it Kou Shibusawa who decided to?
YH: He was the one that originally presented the idea, but for us, too, you know, really the only samurai action game out there was Onimusha, and that for us was not the kind of samurai game that we wanted to make. We wanted something else. So, we thought this would be a good opportunity for us to make a samurai game that we wanted to make. And so we agreed.
Was there much there when he brought it to you, or are you starting from scratch, or are you taking anything that was done if anything was done?
YH: There was a prototype made while Koei was still Koei, before the merger, but it stopped there. And when we decided to take on the project, we decided to make it from scratch. So, we are building it from scratch. And you asked about hardware. It was originally announced for the PS3, and moving forward, we will focus on development for PS3.
That was announced in an environment where the Xbox 360 was not considered as viable by Japanese game companies, but now -- definitely for the Western markets, -- the Xbox 360 is quite important now. It feels like the era of the exclusive is going away.
YH: I agree. When we're trying to make a game, to have a lot of people play our game, we can't limit ourselves to that. If we think about that, that limits who we can have play the game.
This year is an interesting time because not only can you make multiplatform PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 games, you can also make multiplatform movement games now theoretically, because there's Move, Kinect, and the Wii. So, in theory, you can make one game and actually have a multiplatform motion game for the first time ever.
YH: Yeah. And I think that having more options is a good thing. It seems like whenever a new feature comes out or a new something comes out, there's a chorus of people saying, "We don't need it." Like for motion, "We don't need motion. What do you need motion for? Come on."
We've been developing games for 10 years, and I've seen different things come up. Back when the DS first came out, people said, "Why do we need two screens?" And now look at where the DS is. So, for me, I'm like, "Wake up already and embrace the change." You need to embrace it. There's nothing that's going to come from just denying the change. So, just stop complaining and embrace it, enjoy it.
It's difficult for me, too, because I definitely resist those changes myself, so I have to remind myself that it's not going to be terrible because I have no interest in Move or Kinect myself.
YH: [laughs] I know how you feel.