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Iwata Comments On Wii Controller, Online Functionality

Iwata Comments On Wii Controller, Online Functionality

June 1, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

June 1, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC

In a new interview conducted by Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business Publications, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata spoke candidly regarding a number of topics concerning the company's upcoming Wii console, including the decision to change a 20-year old controller design, the Virtual Console, and the WiiConnect 24 online service.

When asked about the decision to move away from a more traditional controller design and try something unique for the Wii, Iwata commented: “The current design for game controllers was determined by Nintendo, so some of our staff disagreed with changing it. Yet after some hands-on time with the prototypes, we knew we had a working formula. That is why I declared at last year's E3 that revolutionary interfaces will bring change to future games.”

Regarding the idea behind the Wii platform's Virtual Console, which will allow for the digital distribution of online games, demos, and other content, Iwata stated in the interview: “When creating a packaged game to be priced at 5,000 yen, developers tend to feel the need to create a rich game. Yet it is possible to create a reasonably entertaining game in 2 months with a team of three.”

He continued: “Offering such games for 500 yen over a network could lead to a reasonable number of people purchasing it. By offering an environment that allows this, we hope to encourage more developers to pursue basic yet enjoyable gameplay.”

Turning to WiiConnect 24, which was announced at E3 as a way for the Wii platform to stay connected to the internet and communicate even while not in use, Iwata gave this example to the publication: “Let's say your Wii is connected to the Internet in a mode that allows activation on a 24-hour basis. This would allow Nintendo to send monthly promotional demos for the DS, during the night, to the Wii consoles in each household. Users would wake up each morning, find the LED lamp on their Wii flashing, and know that Nintendo has sent them something. They would then be able to download the promotional demo from their Wii's to their Nintendo DS's.”

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