Speaking of switching to new hardware, there's been a lot of discussion with developers -- and I'm sure you've been party to a lot of it -- of what makes a next-generation game. I think even in regard to Devil May Cry 4, there's been some discussion of what separates this from the prior ones. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what's happening with the next generation. Capcom seems to be pretty advanced compared to some other Japanese developers, in terms of aggressively making high-profile next-generation games. Basically, what makes a next-generation game?
HK: Well, of course, with next-generation games, you have to do things that couldn't be done before on previous generations' platforms. In terms of Devil May Cry 4, what makes it different is -- and this has been true since we made Devil May Cry 1 -- the graphics must look really good. That's something that's taken for granted with a Devil May Cry game.
We had to add a new ability that we couldn't do before, and that is the Devil Bringer with Nero. Creating the movements and graphics for that, and creating the balance between that and the other two aspects of the gameplay was one of the things about the game.
The other thing is what we couldn't do before in Devil May Cry was to create very large, wide backgrounds and large areas that have large fields in which to play in. That was one of the other things that we've tried to do in this game. So those are the two things about this game that separate it from previous titles in the series.
It seems like there's a push at Capcom to do large-scale next-generation that is maybe lacking in some of the other Japanese developers. The market splinters into the Nintendo platforms and... the PS3 has been a slow starter in Japan, and the 360 is a non-starter. Why do you think Capcom is so focused on creating these high-budget titles? I mean, they've been successful, so maybe that's why.
HK: In terms of the Capcom development, I guess one of the reasons is because we had developed the MT Framework at the time. This gave us the opportunity to do things easily with the high-tech machines that maybe other developers weren't able to do so easily. And also because we had Devil May Cry and the Resident Evil series that existed before.
There were entries in those series, and it gave us the ability to do something new with those series. I guess those are a couple of the main reasons for those decisions.
Do you think a lot of it came from Inafune-san? His philosophy was to make Onimusha, Onimusha 3 especially, a very high-spec, broad appeal game... I talked to him way back when that came out, and now he's head of R&D.
So did this direction come from him, or is it just something Capcom's culture picked up on, that Capcom was suited to anyway, to embrace this high-spec thing? I think a lot of Japanese companies are struggling with it.
HK: For games like Resident Evil or Devil May Cry, as a company or as creators, we do have a duty or a need to create new entries in those series. That's kind of separate from that, in terms of Dead Rising and Lost Planet.
Those projects were of course very strongly influenced by Inafune-san. He was the one who wanted to bring those projects out early, and he was the one who pushed to bring those out as well. Because we don't actually have that many people working within the company itself, and we do things one by one. We move from one title to the next. Inafune-san had a very big influence on that, but of course, as a company in that respect, that started to be the way we do things as well.
Do you think that embracing the 360 early -- unlike a lot of other Japanese companies -- and doing full-budget, full-team, high-quality games on it gave you guys a leg up in the next generation that you're finding is helping second-generation games like Devil May Cry down the road?
HK: Because we got out the gates early on games like Lost Planet and Dead Rising, we were able to develop technology we were able to put into games like Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 5.
Of course, that does help us in the development of these games. The fact that Dead Rising and Lost Planet were successful and they sold well also helps us to further develop bigger next-generation games, of course.