There are several new ideas you added to this new Jam with the Band compared to the last one, aren’t there?
Yes. Radio mode is one such idea. It’s a mode that allows users to use their Nintendo DS like a radio and listen to the built in songs alongside Barbara the DJ. Furthermore, by using Wi-Fi connection, users can listen to songs stored on the Nintendo server. The user doesn’t have to press any buttons or anything; they can just leave the Nintendo DS on a table.
Just like a real radio then.
Because it’s a radio, users can listen to songs as many times as they like for free. Because they are treated as ‘streaming transmissions’ by JASRAC, the kind of song that’s on the Nintendo server can be listened to freely. Note: In Europe the radio mode is available due to a co-operative agreement between Nintendo and EMI Music Publishing Europe Ltd.
And if there’s a certain song you like, you can download it, can’t you?
The name of the song that’s playing is displayed on the Nintendo DS screen, which is really handy if you hear a song you like and want to download it. It makes me happy to think that just by listening to Radio mode, people can discover music they like and think: “Wow, I didn’t know they had songs like this!” Another new feature is the ability to play Jam Sessions through your TV speakers. I always thought it would be fun to have really loud Jam Sessions, and when I discussed this with Iwata-san…
I said: “Why don’t we create a system where the user could use their Wii to play Jam Sessions through their TV?”
That’s right, and when we tried creating a Wii Channel called the ‘Jam with the Band Live Channel’, we realised that it offered a completely different level of intensity to the Nintendo DS speakers. The sound was powered up, and you really felt a response from the instruments. As a result, we pretty much played Jam Sessions through the TV every day during the latter stages of development.
Really! So you spent this entire project playing Jam Sessions as well?
Oh no, we were doing ‘Live Channel Operational Testing’. That was the official name, I think…
Another official name! (laughs) The way in which the user acquires Live Channel is another unique idea that hasn’t been seen before, isn’t it?
Yes, that’s right. When a user buys a copy of Jam with the Band, their game package will include a password. They will be able to download the Live Channel by entering this password on the Wii Shop Channel. Note: In Europe, the Wii Download Ticket Number can be found printed in the manual accompanying the game.
Now, I hope you don’t mind if I change the subject. The development of Jam with the Band ended up taking quite some time, didn’t it?
There were some issues. Just as we were applying the finishing touches to the software, some of us who were working on Jam with the Band had to go and work on other projects…
But even though you were working on other projects, the team never lost their motivation. Why was that?
We had a carrot.
The idea of: “When we finish this work, we can do Jam with the Band” was always dangled in front of us like a carrot.
Because we had that carrot, we were able to fully apply ourselves to the other work, and do our best to finish it.
Absolutely, it really was like a carrot. Jam with the Band was a really fun game from a development point of view, too, and I loved working on it more than any other project. As such, even when the team was separated and we were working on different projects, we were always sending each other ‘Jam with the Band Newsletters’ via email.
I’ve mentioned before how the development team seem to be such good friends. I’m sure playing all those Jam Sessions together helped you bond.
I completely agree.
Alright, it’s time for the final question. What kind of user would you like to see using the software? How would you like to see them use it?
There’s no particular type of person I’d like to see using the software; that’s why we’ve included so many different modes. I hope that karaoke-lovers enjoy Sing mode, and I hope that those who like writing music can make good use of Studio mode. Nothing would make me happier than to see Jam with the Band bringing people with different tastes together.
There are surely very few people who genuinely hate music. Whether it be singing, playing instruments, writing songs or just listening to music, there are so many ways to use Jam with the Band: “If you like music, there’s something for you in this software”. What about you, Kitahara-san?
I feel the same as Kitamura-san, I want all sorts of people to enjoy Jam with the Band, regardless of things like age or gender. Also, I’d love to see people who are able to connect to the Internet using their Wii downloading the Jam with the Band Live Channel. Users can enjoy Jam Sessions with their friends and family using just one copy of the software, so I hope everybody tries it out.
You could have a ‘Family Jam’, couldn’t you? And finally Kyuma-san, what do you think?
I play the trombone in the company orchestra. I’d like those who love games to buy Jam with the Band and experience the joy of playing instruments and playing music with your friends, not just in the software but also in real life. Conversely, I think that those who love music will be able to discover how much fun games can be through Jam with the Band.
Well, that’s it. Thank you very much for your time everyone. * There is also an ‘Extra Section’ available.
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