Now then, I’m finally going to ask you about the Nintendo 3DS system. (laughs) When you first saw the Nintendo 3DS system, what was your impression of it?
I actually wasn’t there when it was first showcased. That was when I was really busy. (laughs) The Street Fighter team was getting ready to distribute Street Fighter IV as an iPhone app around that time. This one was also a very easy-to-use version that people could just pick up and play. But I didn’t feel that it had reached out to a sufficient number of people. That’s when I got a Nintendo 3DS system and came to the conclusion, “This will definitely work.”
You started a bit later than everyone else, but it’s going to be one of the launch titles. I really sensed a strong passion and motivation in you.
I think we declared that Super Street Fighter IV would be a part of it to Nintendo about two or three weeks before the E3 2010.29 (laughs) I got motivated and started by making something we could release at E3. What really drew me to the Nintendo 3DS system was the fact that it had many more features than just the stereoscopic display. One of the examples is its network functionality. 29 E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo): A video game-related trade show held in Los Angeles.
Your wish to expand the community, just as you mentioned, was very compatible with what you can do with the Nintendo 3DS system, wasn’t it?
Yes. I think the 3D display is one of the “entrances” that attracts people’s attention. But I saw how the Nintendo 3DS system has many other features. With so many functions, I believed you’d be able to communicate in a variety of ways through Nintendo 3DS games. And I hope to do it with Street Fighter. I’m willing to try out any number of ways to accomplish that.
Then the Nintendo 3DS system would be able to make regular network matches smoother. With your machine at your fingertips, one would be able to play with anybody anywhere and any time. Instead of just simply fighting, I also created another “entrance” in the form of the Figure Collection mode.30 I wanted people to know that by using the Nintendo 3DS system they’d be able to play the game anyway they wanted. 30 Figure Collection mode: A feature that takes advantage of StreetPass on the Nintendo 3DS system, in which a battle between collected figures takes place
Not only is there the draw of being able to see things in 3D, you’ve added a number of other features that may become a topic for public discussion, and this title put itself very naturally into the flow of the Street Fighter revival project. I can tell that the Capcom team is very adamant about implementing the wireless features. The tech staff of Nintendo had to match your enthusiasm. It was a very challenging but interesting job.
I was very excited at the time. We were wondering how far we could push the envelope on something that wasn’t yet complete.
There you go again with your tendency to fill things to the brim! (laughs)
Just the other day, when deadlines were coming up, I was told that we could also work in conjunction with the internal pedometer of the Nintendo 3DS system. I really wished they had told me that sooner. Right away, I changed the system to link it with the currency coins you’ll use to buy the figures. (laughs)
You’re a programmer too, so you’re able to see what’s possible and what isn’t in that limited time span.
Yes. There’s no risk in that regard. But to tell you the truth, I was really nervous when staff members in the hardware and OS departments at Nintendo and Capcom were in a situation where they were saying “it’s supposed to be like this, but we’re not sure!” At that moment, it made me think, “Yes! Yes! This is what development is all about!” (laughs)
That goes with the territory for hardware launch titles. I think that’s the essence of it.
That’s right. But I can only say this now after the fact. (laughs) I’m very grateful that I was able to work with staff members who were excited about it throughout the journey.
It was hard work, almost excruciating, I think. But creating something together while sharing that excitement is something you can’t replace.
It goes to show just how fun the Nintendo 3DS system is and how much potential it has. I want everyone inside and outside the company to experience that. Also, for the consumers to experience something totally new, we can’t just use the features like some cookie-cutter formula. I want the staff members to think carefully about when and where to use it.
Meaning where and how the consumers use features of the Nintendo 3DS system within the game to maximise their excitement?
Exactly. For example, linking up the coins with the pedometer rather than just in-game would affect the people who carry the Nintendo 3DS system around casually the most. To them, they can see some results right away instead of having to complete in-game stuff.
And with that they’ll continue to wander around the next day and be motivated to try and use StreetPass.
Yes. That’s why it was a great experience for the staff members to carefully see when the buses are passing them by.
When people are using buses or trains to commute to school or work, we often meet the same strangers. Now, we may enjoy battling for figurines with them. I’m eager to see what will happen with it.
For example, while playing in the Fight Request mode31, someone can challenge you on the train or bus. They’ll realise that someone very close is also playing, potentially giving rise to another community. That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to seeing. I think Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the best opportunity for people to learn about these kinds of possibilities. Oh, I’ve finally made an advertisement for it in this long interview. (laughs) 31 Fight Request mode: When playing alone, other players can challenge you in a manner similar to an arcade but through the local network or the Internet.
Is there anything else you want to say?
I think I talked so much that I’m overflowing in more ways than one. (laughs)
Not at all. (laughs) Thank you very much for today.
Thank you very much. Um, I know this might be rude, but can I please get your autograph on this package of Balloon Fight32? 32 Balloon Fight: An action game released for the Famicom system in January 1985, in which Iwata was the lead programmer
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