We released three versions of the previous Nintendogs on launch day. In some ways that was a first, so we had to explain the point to the in-house sales team and seek the distributors’ understanding.
I think we internally began by discussing 12 versions.
No, it was 16 at first.
Huh? It was 16? (laughs)
At the very start.
I think we talked about making the rack four-by-four...which makes 16. Or was it three by five?
Then you explained to the sales people that the game begins from the moment you look at the store display in real life and try to decide which dog to choose. (laughs)
That’s actually what I wanted to do.
But when we consulted with our Sales Department, we understood it would be hard for the retail outlets and ended up settling on three versions. This time, when we said, “Won’t one version be enough?” the sales people said, “Absolutely not!” (laughs)
Right. They said three were a must. (laughs)
And then we photographed real puppies for the packages... They are really cute.
(looking at a photo of a toy poodle) Yeah, this is breaking the rules! (laughs)
Yeah. (laughs) It wasn’t easy finding this toy poodle! Last time, the three versions in Japan were based on dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Shiba Inu. This time, we newly photographed toy poodles and French bulldogs, and added those to Shiba Inu for a total of three versions .
In Japan, there’s got to be Shiba Inu.
Yes. We wanted to use the same packages all over the world, so we were going to use Golden Retrievers, toy poodles and French bulldogs. But in Japan, everyone loved the previous game’s Shiba Inu version so much that we decided to use Shiba Inu in place of the Golden Retriever.
But Golden Retrievers are still in the game, so there’s no need to worry about that. And we learned something new with regard to cats when deciding which breeds to put on the packaging.
We were going to include Siamese and Persian cats, but such exotic cats aren’t that popular anymore. There are all kinds of new cats showing up, like the American Shorthair, Russian Blue and Munchkin.
Cats like the American Shorthair and slightly fashionable Japanese cats are much more popular. You see Persian cats so infrequently around the neighbourhood that you have to wonder where they’ve all gone.
I suppose that’s true.
It used to be that whenever you visited someone slightly well-off, they had a Persian cat.
I have an impression of them sleeping on expensive rugs. (laughs)
That kind of cat is still around, but we learned they’re not as common anymore.
At first, for balance, we were going to photograph a Persian, in addition to American Shorthairs, but when it was almost time for the shoot, our Sales Department said they weren’t very popular.
Maybe it’s not so much that they aren’t popular, but that they feel too luxurious.
Right. They seem too high-class. The suggestion came up of using cats like the American Shorthair and Russian Blue, which anyone would find cute, and we made a sudden change.
So in the end you photographed three cats?
In the end we shot four cats. A Russian Blue, an American Shorthair, a Japanese mi-ke (calico) cat, and a red tabby. In the North American and European packages the American Shorthair is paired with the Golden Retriever. In Japan it’s the Shiba Inu and the calico cat, the ultimate duo. (laughs)
And there was a request to include an American Shorthair on each of the three packages, even though we made three different breed types for dogs. But several types of cats do show up in the game.
I wanted to include a Siamese cat in the art to tell players it’s in there, but this time we went with those four breeds, and photographed them without any further hang-ups.
I see. All right, I’d like to finish by having Konno-san tell us what he hopes will happen when Nintendogs + Cats is released.
Yes, I’d love to hear Producer Konno’s ambitions. (laughs)
Well, given my desire for a StreetPass counter-attack...
You want your son to say, “Take me to that electronics shop in Osaka!” Right?
Yes, exactly! (laughs)
My hope is that many people, not just my son, will enjoy the StreetPass functionality. And while it’s definitely okay to enjoy the game at home, I hope players will go out walking around with their Nintendo 3DS system as often as possible. There’s a lot for that purpose not just in Nintendogs + Cats, but built into the system itself, so I hope people walk around with their systems outside and enjoy all kinds of interesting developments and encounters.
That’s the concept of Nintendo 3DS "Carry Around, Affect Each Other and Something New Every Day."
Yes. I want people to always carry it around, communicate, and experience every day as a new day through their Nintendo 3DS system.
And what do you hope for, Miyamoto-san?
I hope everyone who buys a Nintendo 3DS system will enjoy Nintendogs + Cats.
Yes. Because it’s turned out to be such an essential game that makes you think, “Why isn’t this just included in the system?” People who have dogs and people who don’t can both fully enjoy the game. That sort of sounds like I’m plugging it for sales, though. (laughs)
Understood. My own hope is that the world’s Nintendo 3DS users will show off their dogs and cats a lot.
And not just their dogs and cats, but their Mii creations, too!
That’s right. About the time this interview goes online, the world’s Mii population should have surpassed 200 million. I would love it if Nintendogs + Cats causes it to go up even further, while more and more people show off their pet dogs and cats. Thank you for your comments today.
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