Lemonde spoke with Nintendo’s Managing Director Shinya Takahashi, covering many topics beyond the Switch shortage. I’ll cover the most important bits below. Full disclosure, I used google translate, so there will be a few clunky phrases, such as Takahashi calling 2nd party publishers “second rate”.
About the shortages
“First of all, I apologize for Switch’s shortage, which is unfortunately not our fault. But as our president announced a few days ago, we were able to improve our production line, which means that we will be able to deliver more consoles for the period that is opening up.”
Will the Switch have too few games like the Wii U?
“We have worked hard to make the Switch an easy-to- program console , including the ability to use tools like Unity and Unreal, and it only helps to have a better ecosystem for games.
For everything that is internal production, we have completely redesigned the way we divide the projects. And for third-party publishers, I think the platform is easy to use, and that even small teams can easily realize a game.”
On how many production studios Nintendo has
“…we now have 11 production units, and each one is working on several projects at the same time.”
Will another game be as big as BotW?
“Of course, Zelda is exceptional because it is very big, maybe even too big in terms of development. When we talk about three hundred people, it is not only the internal employees of Nintendo, but also all the partner studios who have helped us to arrive at this figure. So I do not think it’s a big feat. This is something we can reiterate. But, in general, the Zelda games are always the biggest productions.
On making more open world games
“For us, the aim is not to make absolutely a game in this direction, but to propose an entertainment that is in affinity with the license to which it is connected. That is, if we have another license than Zelda and we have an idea that makes an open world relevant, of course we will not forbid it. But we are not going to redo a type of game just for the sake of redoing this type of game. There must be a coherence in the development. Besides, it takes time!”
On what Mario Odyssey’s innovation will be
“For this episode, innovation will come from elsewhere, it will come from the use of vibrations HD [the system of physical return in the joysticks of the Switch] . As you know, we have a certain pride in this technology, but we did not have many games to illustrate it. Mario Odyssey will, I think, be the true ambassador of his interest in a video game. You saw it with the counting of balls in 1-2 Switch , you will find the HD vibration used in a way also, or even more, spectacular in Mario Odyssey , for example when Mario drives a motorcycle or that it falls on plates made of metal. You will see , You will be surprised! And we also take advantage of motion recognition to launch the cap. There will be many subtleties. Its specificity is really that this game is going to be the first great ambassador of all that can propose the controllers of the Switch.”
About abandoning ‘realistic’ games for ‘cartoon’
“I did not have the impression, but it is true that by reflecting on it, following your remark, you are right [laughter, then long silence] . This does not mean that we have thrown realism to the nettles. If we have the opportunity to make a realistic and fun game, we will not refrain from doing so, I reassure you.”
You can read the rest here if you like.
Interesting stuff, although I would love to hear whose ‘fault’ the shortage is. Takahashi made up for my disappointment with his “[laughter, then long silence]”.