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Heaven or hell for the big N?

NintendoThe future of games

The Nikkei Shimbun recently featured an interview with former Nintendo President and current company adviser Hiroshi Yamauchi. The interview covered a wide breadth of topics including the future of video gaming and Nintendo’s upcoming DS portable system.

“I think the game industry is maturing in different ways to those I imagined,” Yamauchi said. “The industry is displaying certain aspects of being in a crisis.”

Yamauchi then went on to say, “gamers don’t just want beautiful graphics, sounds and epic stories. We cannot guarantee interesting and fun games just by using better technology and increasing the functions of the machines. But makers have plenty of money, so they won’t stop making that kind of game.”

The comment about gamers not wanting beautiful presentation and epic storylines has caused quite a stir in the gaming community, even among Nintendo loyalists. A vast majority of gamers believe this a sign of how completely out of touch Nintendo is with its non-Japanese fan base, but there are a select few who agree with Yamauchi’s assessments.

About the DS, Yamauchi said that he personally thought up the idea for the dual screen handheld over 18 months ago. He also showed how important the DS is to the future to Nintendo by saying, “If the DS succeeds, we will rise to heaven, but if it fails we will sink to hell. The next two years will decide Nintendo’s fate.”

Yamauchi sentiments on the DS handheld are shocking, as Nintendo seems to be putting a huge amount of faith in a system that seems eerily similar to the ill-fated Virtual Boy. In all fairness though, the DS handheld does seem intriguing with its dual screens and rumored touch screen functionality, and not much is currently known about the system. One thing is certain, things will be much clearer with the direction Nintendo is taking come E3 in May.

Note: The Japanese-English language barrier can slightly tweak certain translated statements so they aren’t exactly what the speaker intended. It is important to take this into consideration when reading the above translations, or any Japanese-to-English translations for that matter.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in May 2003. Get in touch on Twitter @Joshua_Luke.

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