4. Scared Even When You Know What Comes Next

Iwata:

With regard to the two games you are making now, could you first tell me about the new focal point that you want to put forth with Resident Evil: Revelations?

Kawata:

Since we were making Resident Evil for a handheld, we were careful about adding elements specific to handheld gaming. It’s hard to talk about anything we haven’t disclosed yet, though. (laughs) I’d actually like to know what you would like to see in Resident Evil on a portable device. Upon reading this, I’m sure the staff would immediately set to work! (laughs)

Iwata:

(laughs) Use any chance you can get, right? Let’s see... I wonder, for example, what a horror game that you can play in bed before going to sleep at night would be like. This could be a good chance to introduce a new kind of gameplay.

Kawata:

Yes. With a handheld, it’s easy to choose when to immerse yourself in a game. I don’t consider that immersion to be restricted by the size of the screen or sound environment. Even if the screen is small, you still nervously think, “What’s going on here?” and “Is there an enemy here?”

Iwata:

It’s very important to the fans to hear the producer says that he doesn’t view the smaller size of a handheld console as a drawback.

Kawata:

Some who have played the series on a home console may be worried. But I think you can experience the horror and enjoyment in a way unique to handhelds. I know the scenario, but I still run across scary situations when I’m playing it.

Iwata Asks
Iwata:

You get scared even when you know what comes next. That’s interesting.

Kawata:

Yeah. Fear sweeps over you. Fear that takes you unaware, physiological fear, fear that stirs up unease. There are all kinds.

Iwata:

Even if you know with your head what comes next, the effects generated by the game’s rawness and contrasts sway your feelings. What did you think when you saw the 3D for the first time?

Kawata:

At first, I was surprised that I didn’t have to wear anything! Then I began to wonder what it would be like to play Super Mario Bros. or what the topography would be like in Xevious.16 I guess I’m part of the older generation. (laughs) 16Xevious: A vertical-scrolling shooting game developed by Namco Ltd. (now Namco Bandai Games Inc.). The arcade game appeared in 1983, and the Family Computer (Famicom) version appeared in 1984 in Japan. Xevious 3D was displayed at Nintendo Conference 2010 as a 3D example of a past title.

Iwata:

That’s the same order as our thoughts! (laughs) We here at Nintendo talked about that a lot, too.

Kawata:

You usually find out how fun video games are by playing them, but with the Nintendo 3DS, you can tell just by looking at them. That was impressive. At the same time, I thought about what I should do with Resident Evil. What’s more, what can and cannot be done with the Nintendo 3DS is becoming increasingly apparent through daily experience.

Iwata:

Some things are suited to 3D, while others aren’t.

Kawata:

Right. For example, we’ve talked about how depth is more important than having things jump out from the screen for now. And we’ve been thinking about what new manner of playing games in one’s daily life we might recommend so as not to place a burden on those who play for long periods of time.

Iwata:

Right now in Japan, more people play handhelds than home consoles. I think that is because it is easier now to stop a game, so handhelds are more suited to modern lifestyles. You can do a lot just walking around with a Nintendo 3DS system, so even busy people can enjoy a fairly substantial game.

Kawata:

When the staff and I saw the Nintendo 3DS system for the first time at last year’s E317, we said we couldn’t wait to play nintendogs + cats18 on it! (laughs) In 3D, everything feels more real. The Wii console was revolutionary. My parents didn’t usually play video games. When I saw them playing a Wii game, I thought, “Nintendo’s strength is putting stuff like this out there.” 17E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo): A video game trade show usually held once a year in Los Angeles. The E3 mentioned here was held in June of 2010. 18nintendogs + cats: A game released simultaneously with the Nintendo 3DS system in February 2011 in Japan and in March 2011 in Europe.

Iwata:

Everyone says, “It’s really 3D!” when they first see the Nintendo 3DS system. I think, “Well, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t release it!” But that’s what everyone says.

Kawata:

You can see it without wearing anything, so you’re like, “What was the deal with all those glasses before?!”

Iwata:

We were able to achieve that because with the Nintendo 3DS we could assume a certain viewing angle. Also, the product only became possible after overcoming various hurdles, such as image quality and liquid crystal resolution and precision. To be honest, we had wanted to do 3D for about 10 years. It was actually possible to display stereoscopic images back in the days of the Nintendo GameCube, but only if you attached a special LCD for glasses-free stereoscopic display.

Kawata:

So I hear.

Iwata:

But to make that LCD back then would have driven up the price, so we gave it up. Then we made use of that liquid crystal in the Game Boy Advance SP system, but while it would display 3D, it wasn’t that appealing. We learned that without graphics of a certain calibre, 3D doesn’t look that great. After the Nintendo DS system came out and we were considering what kind of hardware to bring out next, we tried it again, and the moment everyone saw it, they were like, “That’s it!” (laughs)

Iwata Asks
Kawata:

I see. The technology didn’t just suddenly appear one day. Rather, it came about after a long process.

Iwata:

That’s right. We kept working at it and suddenly people started talking about the beginning of a 3D era. It’s mysterious how some things happen at just the right time!