We’re approaching the end, so could I have each of you mention something you like about Nintendo 3DS XL or something you wanted to point out but haven’t yet? Let’s start with you, Miyatake-san.
Hmm. I was involved in the whole design, so…
It can be more than one thing.
As for something we haven’t touched on yet, I’d like people to look at to how some aspects of operation have improved. The A, B, X and Y Buttons, as well as the +Control Pad are bigger and thicker, making them easier to use in play. In particular, we increased the thickness of the key tops height-wise for the L and R Buttons, so they’re easier to use too.
Yes, the controls have become easier to use.
And for START, SELECT and HOME Buttons, I had the designers work hard so the keys sink in a seesawing action. They have a long and thin key top, and wherever you press them, they sink right in.
You designed them so that wherever you push, they push in smoothly.
And compared to past devices, the feeling of size when you hold it, as well as the impression it makes when you open it, are quite different from our past devices. Even though it’s big, you don’t sense that. I hope people will carry it around and play it everywhere.
I feel like that feeling of compactness despite its large size doesn’t fully get across just looking at photos. I really hope people will get their hands on the real thing and check it out for themselves. Fujita-san, you’re next.
We really tackled the designs to see how good we could make that large screen look. Miyatake-san already just mentioned a number of things that I was going to say, but I would like to point out that I made prototypes just for the START, SELECT and HOME Buttons and really dedicated myself to them. (laughs)
Last year, I moved to the Research & Engineering Department, and this was the first product I was assigned, so I really felt attached to this project. The speakers were like that, too, and the rounding of the corners. So I guess I want people to check out the whole thing! (laughs)
Understood. And you, Murakami-san?
Well, I forgot to mention it, so can I talk about the anti-reflective LCD?
Right, right… I’ve got to hear about that! Go right ahead!
Anti-reflection is something that we’ve been working on for quite some time now. After all, immersion is important for video games.
Yes. How did you cut down on glare this time?
There’s a screen cover like this over the LCD screen. I brought this today so I could explain it.
This is covering it?
Yes. On a LCD screen there are basically three reflective layers, and each of them reflects and causes glare. So this time, we specially treated all the layers. Reflectivity on Nintendo 3DS was about 12%, but we decreased that to about 3%.
Why were you able to do that this time?
Simply put, the progress of technology.
AR coats have been around for quite some time. Is the principle the same?
The principle is the same, but the manufacturing process is different. And then there’s the cost. It used to be really expensive.
Anti-reflection has been a topic every time since the Game Boy Advance11 system, but most of the time we had to give it up because of the cost. 11Game Boy Advance: A handheld game system released in March 2001 in Japan as the successor to the Game Boy Color system.
But we continued to keep an eye on the technology the whole time.
And the time came.
Yes. The time finally came! (laughs) When it comes to anti-reflection, this device beats all previous Nintendo game systems.
I see. That’s great! (laughs) Tanaka-san?
I wasn’t very involved with the hardware, but I think the Nintendo 3DS XL system’s best selling point is that the larger LCD increases parallax, so players can enjoy stereoscopic 3D with greater impact. The 3D depth slider has more range, making it easier to adjust to your own preferences, so I hope its good aspects will reach a broader range of people.
In that respect, games that people have already played on Nintendo 3DS may make a different impression on Nintendo 3DS XL. I played Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising12 and thought, “Wow!” 12Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising: Mario Kart 7 is an action-racing game that was released in December 2011. Kid Icarus: Uprising is an action game that was released in March 2012.
And we’ve pre-installed on Nintendo 3DS XL one sample video for experiencing the stereoscopic 3D. It’s a CG movie that Nintendo made drawing upon 3D know-how gained from Nintendo 3DS, so I think it will really give you a taste of the capabilities of Nintendo 3DS XL.
And last, Koshiishi-san.
What I have to say relates to what was said earlier about the LCD. As we were trying out new technology, we started discussing the possibility of making a new AC adapter.
According to the original specifications, if you were playing while charging, you were surpassing the capacity of the existing AC adapter. For that reason, there was a time that, you thought you might have to prepare a special version.
Yeah. But later on, through co-operation with the manufacturer, we were able to get by with the existing adapter. We also discussed cost and whether we needed to include the charging cradle. And you suggested not including the AC adapter.
We worried over it, but during that time, all the groups within the company naturally shared a desire to separate what was absolutely necessary and what wasn’t. In the end, we decided that it was best to sell the AC adapter and the charging cradle separately.
About the AC adapter, this is the fourth of this type since the Nintendo DSi13 system, so I think many people have the previous AC adapters. That being the case, we thought we should make it easier, even if just a little, to buy the system. However, you have to have the stores notify shoppers that this product doesn’t come with an AC adapter, so if you don’t already have one, you have to buy it separately. This project required the sales division to be thorough on that point as well. 13Nintendo DSi: A handheld game system released in Japan in November 2008 as an upgrade model of the Nintendo DS Lite system.
That’s right. I was relieved that everyone on the staff understood that we were saying to the players, “We won’t make you pay for something you don’t need.” And the new Mario game and “Oni-Tore” 14 will go on sale simultaneously with the system, so I would love it if people who still haven’t experienced Nintendo 3DS seize this opportunity to enjoy it. 14New Mario game and “Oni-Tore”: Both New Super Mario Bros. 2 and “Oni-Tore”* (working title), the new Brain Training game with Dr. Kawashima were simultaneously released with the Nintendo 3DS XL system in Japan on July 28, 2012. In Europe, Nintendo 3DS XL released on July 28th 2012, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 released on August 17th, 2012. *Please note: In Japanese ‘Oni” is the word for a demon, and “Tore” means training. The European release for this software is TBD as of this interview.
I agree. I, too, am truly looking forward to people’s reactions when it goes on sale. The best way to truly get a feel for the Nintendo 3DS XL system’s features is to get your hands on and check out the actual thing. By the time this session of “Iwata Asks” goes live, a number of stores around the country will probably have started to install some on display, so if those reading this interview are interested, be sure to head on over to a game shop and try out an actual system! As a final comment, listening to you developers today, I strongly feel that we were only able to reach this point through the accumulation of many small efforts along the way. I realised all over again how hardware comes together when you have people who are always on the lookout for technology to use in the future and people who always want to make even the smallest improvement, and while that’s all just a matter of course for each individual, that dedication builds up. Good job, everyone. Thank you.
Thank you! Editor’s note: European readers can expect to try out Nintendo 3DS XL at select retailers from August.
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