Japanese Developers Speak Out About the Nintendo Switch

Japanese Developers Speak Out About the Nintendo Switch

Famitsu has gathered an interview with around forty five Japanese Developers concerning their thoughts on the Nintendo Switch. They waxed lyrical about the Nintendo Switch Presentation earlier this month, as well as overall thoughts about the system itself. Other sites have the translation too, so I’ll give my opinion on each of the developers responses.

Thanks to Nintendo Everything for the translation of the Famitsu original.

Ganbarion – Chikako Yamakura

It’s coming out sooner than I expected! That’s the best way I can describe it. I thought for sure it would come later in March, but…March 3rd really surprised me. I was expecting the price to be ¥28,000, based on its performance, but I didn’t think the dock and Joy-Con grip and everything would be included. They’ve packed those in anyway, and still had the price at ¥29,980. That’s a fantastic value.

My Thoughts – Not particularly insightful. Sounds like a sales pitch!

Camelot – Hiroyuki Takahashi and Shugo Takahashi

Hiroyuki: I liked that they focused on the controllers in their presentation. It’s common to hear about processor speeds and HD capabilities at these kinds of presentations, but as a developer, that stuff is so boring. I don’t think those are what make games fun.

Shugo: ARMS feels very Nintendo. I was talking [to my brother] about how it would be neat if we made a boxing kind of game on the Switch, but ARMS is way beyond what we had in mind (laughs).

My Thoughts – I agree that they are not hardware focused.

Grasshopper Manufacture – Suda51

I did the “Pro-Wrestling LOVE Pose” at the presentation, but I don’t think people were digging it. But it broke the ice with the audience, so I think I’ll keep doing it. I’ll call it “SWITCH LOVE” instead of “Pro-Wrestling LOVE”! Anyway, I announced to everyone that I will be bringing back my most beloved character, Travis Touchdown. I’m so glad I got to announce his comeback at such a huge smackdown. It’s slammin’!

There’s a lot of different ones, but the biggest innovation is the HD Rumble. Playing games takes way too much time, doesn’t it? So I think it’s really important that the HD Rumble is used just right for physical experiences, and I want to invent some brand-new mechanics.

My Thoughts – It’s Interesting that so many of these guys love the HD rumble. It went down a little bit flat in the West – but it seems to be very exciting in the East.

Koei Tecmo – Kenichi Ogasawara

I thought it was great, it’s like Nintendo’s crammed all of the best parts of things they’ve ever made into one system. I think this idea they’ve come up with, where people have fun from looking at each other while playing, instead of the screen, will be really influential. Though it was disappointing that they didn’t announce any details on their online service.

My Thoughts – Having fun from looking at each other isn’t really gaming.

Keisuke Kikuchi

The Joy-Con fit right in my palms, which made the punches feel even more real when I was playing ARMS.

The HD Rumble can produce really intricate feelings, and I think haptic sensations will open the door to whole new experiences within games.

Koei Tecmo – Kazuhiro Fujishige

It’s cheaper than I thought it would be, so I’m looking forward to the market surge. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence with Power Up Kit is coming out on March 3rd, and then Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 with Power Up Kit is coming out on March 30th. I’d like to continue supporting the influx of new hardware as a developer.

My Thoughts – Someone knows how to advertise their games!

Square Enix – Ryota Aomi

HD Rumble, and the evolution of the gyro-controls in the Wii remotes. If developers make good enough use of them, I think they can surpass the innovations that were achieved with the Wii, so I’m really looking forward to their results. HD Rumble is hard to understand it without experiencing it in person, but it’s really amazing. We’ve included functionality for it in Dragon Quest Heroes 1-2 for Switch, so please look forward to that.

My Thoughts – Looking forward to trying this HD rumble now!

Jiro Ishii

Do digital games dream of analogue games? Is Nintendo trying to liberate digital games from what are known as screens? That is what I have been expecting Nintendo to do since the Wii U, and now my prediction has come true. They have finally escaped the shackles of the screen with the Switch, and introduced to us a digital game where players stand eye to eye. The possibilities are infinite. As a fan of analogue games, it is overwhelming.

Is an HD Rumble novel possible? What kinds of images can we evoke from worlds depicted with just letters and vibrations? Fear induced by the rumbling. Suspense. I think it would be possible to create an overwhelmingly frightening game with it. Also, the feeling and weight of it. This is a little embarrassing, but I think it is a good fit for romance-themed visual noels as well. And just imagine how HD rumble controllers could enhance analogue games like Werewolf. I just can’t stop fantasizing about new and exciting uses/possibilities for it (laughs).

My Thoughts – Philosophy and Nintendo just don’t mix

Spike Chunsoft – Yuichiro Saito

I was surprised they kept the price in that range, considering it’s got that huge screen and those two controllers. People are going to think, “With a price like that…!”

The IR camera and HD Rumble. Especially the HD Rumble, which is capable of conveying far more intricate sensations than anything up to now. I keep imagining new ways to use it, like during the exploration segments of adventure games.

My Thoughts – So this guy actually thinks it’s cheap!

SEGA – Takashi Iizuka

The introduction of the hardware was very fascinating. I’m very excited thinking about all of the different ways to use the little removable controllers, with their various sensors, HD Rumble, and the IR camera packed inside them. But I felt Nintendo’s excessive focus on new IPs was unsatisfactory. There were plenty of Switch-friendly titles that showed off the console’s features, but I think they should have appealed to fans with more of their existing titles, like Mario Kart 8.

My Thoughts – Finally, some criticism! Of course it came from SEGA. Interesting that he feels the opposite that lot of Western gamers do – that Nintendo doesn’t create enough new IP’s.

SEGA – Toshihiro Nagoshi

I came up on the stage during the presentation, and even during the the preparation meeting, you could feel this extraordinary fighting spirit from Nintendo. So I felt kind of nervous for the first time in a while, as I was the one who kicked off their third-party announcements.

It’s like a mechanical nexus of modern computer technology. It takes a solid resolve to pack absolutely everything in like that, without making any sacrifices. Now it’s up to the software studios to make the most out of it. If they can make games with unique enough features to rival the plethora of features the Switch itself has, they’ll be great matches.

SEGA – Mizuki Hosoyamada

We’re already working on Puyo Tetris S for it, but if I were to make a new game on it, I think I’d probably do something that focused on the split nature of the Joy-Con, where you attach different things to them. The fact that the online services will be subscription-based in the future is something important to consider. I think it would also be essential to base a ground-up game on the HD Rumble.

NIS – Sohei Niikawa

There’s a lot of demand for NIS games on mobile/handheld devices, so I look forward to developing games for the Nintendo Switch, which people can enjoy on the go in its handheld mode.

My Thoughts – So humble.

Bandai Namco – Katsuhiro Harada

I wasn’t expecting them to begin the presentation by announcing the price. The price is exactly what I’d expect from a marketing point of view, but if you count all the individual peripherals…

The full thing is pretty cheap, and I say that as someone familiar with the inner workings of the system. I have no idea how they kept the price that low.

I’ve been interested in the HD Rumble for some time now. You can feel a glass marble rolling around inside of a metal box, or feel the spot where a bouncy ball bounces. It’s interesting that it can be used like the so-called 3D sound. And this is just a crazy idea of mine, but the system itself is so light that if you took out the Joy-Con with the IR camera and set it up, and placed the screen in some kind of apparatus, you could transform it into a wireless VRHMD by rendering the left and right sides of the screen separately for each eye. So I think the Switch is capable of a lot of different things, depending on the ideas of the developer.

My Thoughts – Another that feels the system is great value, and also gushing about the HD rumble. Really interesting perspective that is almost the opposite of the western gaming world.

Bukkoro – Yoko Taro

When I heard that both the Switch and Breath of the Wild were coming out a week after the game I’m currently working on, all of my memories vanished.

I don’t know, as I no longer have any memories. But it’s wonderful that you can separate the controllers from the screen. They didn’t announce anything like this at the presentation, but I hope the Switch is capable of a vertical mode. For vertical shooters or pinball, of course. Please take that into consideration.

My Thoughts – Yeah Nintendo. Take that.

PlatinumGames – Atsushi Inaba

I thought it was very interesting that Nintendo pushed the people who would carry the future of the company front and center during the presentation, even more-so than the allure of the hardware and games shown.

PlatinumGames has already come out saying we’re developing games for the Nintendo Switch, so we understand what the hardware is capable of. Which is why the price was surprising. This thing is seriously cheap. I think it’s the result of a tremendous amount of work, and it’s an indication of their strong desire to see their hardware reach a lot of markets.

My Thoughts – Always great to hear that PlatinumGames are working on something.

Marvelous – Kenichiro Takaki

I’ve actually known about the Switch’s features since its early stages and I’m personally looking forward to it.

Definitely the HD Rumble. I want to use it to have people feel softness (laughs). I already have something planned, and am currently polishing it up so that it can be realized. Games are all about what ‘feels good’, so I want to create a brand new experience specifically for the Nintendo Switch.

My Thoughts – Something about this screams an 18+ game.

Mages – Chiyomaru Shikura

For the people of this generation who expect games to be on smartphones primarily, the Switch offers a unique taste that you won’t find anywhere but a dedicated gaming device. I feel that the Nintendo Switch will be an encouraging presence, trying to take back the home console market once again. The price of formless digital data is approaching 0 yen. I hope that Nintendo will change this trend.

Definitely the innovative new Joy-Con controllers. Their announcement isn’t having as big of an impact as the Wii remotes were, but the Joy-Con even contain their motion-control capabilities, which is quite nice. Being able to share them with others in the tabletop mode fits very well with Japanese households, more so than the exaggerated motion controls on the Wii did. So I believe it will have a higher affinity with the Japanese market at the very least, and it will receive a lot of support from the player base that prefers to challenge games with extreme precision.

Level-5 Akihiro Hino

As a developer, I was aware of what the hardware would be like to some extent, so there wasn’t much that surprised me during the presentation, but I found their sales strategy very interesting. The home console industry is in a tight spot at the moment, with the threat of the smartphone game market looming over it. I wonder what kind of strategy Nintendo will employ. It is really very interesting that Nintendo chose to release new hardware at this time. Please be a huge success! I would also like for Level-5 to develop an appropriate game for the hardware.

Can I be blunt? Just this once? I was hoping there would be a camera on it (laughs).

My Thoughts – Nintendo had to bring out some new hardware now, or they would be stuck in a slump. Please be blunt more often!

Idea Factory – Norihisa Kochiwa

The vibration is really intricate when you’re actually playing. I think it would be great for horror games, you could create a thrilling experience that hasn’t been seen up until now, using a combination of sights, sounds, and touch. And the IR camera can detect hand motions and such, I think there will be some interesting games released that make use of this feature. So I’m really interested in the Joy-Con! I’d like to make one of the kinds of games we’re known for on the Switch, using these features.

Capcom – Hiroyuki Kobayashi

I was surprised by the release date and price! I thought it would be out a little later than it is, and be thirty-something thousand yen.

Capcom – Ryozo Tsujimoto

I was surprised at how quickly they announced the release date and price. This presentation was much different from how they usually do them. They carefully explained each of the Switch’s features one by one. I was impressed by everyone’s acting abilities as well.

There’s a lot of them, but personally I’m interested in the vibration. I didn’t think it was possible to enhance vibration features any further.

Atlus – Kazuyuki Yamai

I felt a strong impression that Nintendo wanted to diversify the way people play console games. It’s said that the current gaming market is being overtaken by smartphone games. I hope that the new play-styles possible with the Switch, together with traditional play styles, will spread the joy of video games to many people, become the topic of conversations, and revitalize this industry. Much like it was during the PlayStation/Nintendo 64/Sega Saturn era.

I think there’s a huge appeal in being able to show off the home console games you’re playing to other people, thanks to its portable mode. Players can show their favourite games off to their friends directly, and even play together with them on the spot. It’s amazing. If it leads to players communicating with each other while playing something like ARMS, which is intuitive to play for anyone, and then eventually that communication leads to more people discovering bigger games such as our SMT series, I would be very happy

My Thoughts – A lot of the devs here seem sincere in wanting Nintendo to succeed – it seems to stem from a suggestion that smartphone gaming isn’t real gaming, so they would love a home-grown Japanese home console like the Switch to succeed.

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