We decided to name it the Nintendo DSi XL because while in Japan an extra-large size is called an "LL size", overseas extra-large is abbreviated to “XL”. But Japanese people are not used to the term XL. There are of course plenty of our customers who know exactly what it means, but people won't necessarily hear the term “XL" and immediately think of something that is large in size. At Nintendo, our aim is to appeal to customers from five to ninety-five years old, so we really worried about using a term that might not be comprehensible to all of our customers. Also when Japanese people say "XL" it is quite long and is not at all easy to pronounce. (Note: phonetically it is pronounced “ekkusu-eru” in Japanese) As a result of this, we came to the conclusion that in Japan we should release it as the Nintendo DSi LL. Usually we wouldn’t have considered putting out a games console with a different name for Japan and overseas, but because the name of the actual console is fixed as Nintendo DSi, I thought of the XL or LL part as simply being an indicator of size… That was the thought process that led to the about-turn in the naming...
So next we’ll be having S size and M size?
Could I now ask each of you to give a final message to our customers from the console’s developers?
I’m sure that customers who have already purchased the console are aware of this but I'd like to say: "It’s easy to play, isn’t it?” It came out already in the discussion but there are a lot of people who have a preconception that we’ve just made the console bigger and haven’t changed anything else. But when you actually get your hands on it, I'd like people to realise that this is a product that is gentle and highly-accessible for everyone.
So it’s a gentler Nintendo DS?
Right! That’s what it is. (laughs)
We originally created the DS with the intention of making it a product that would be easy to use. But this time round I think we’ve made it even more accessible and easy to use.
Right. The image it has is one that is accessible and gentle. I would like people to actually pick it up and feel that for themselves.
Okay, on to you, Fujino-san.
I think that the gentler, easy-to-use aspect that's just been discussed is also reflected in a number of ways in the design. For instance, the Power button is now bigger, and the volume control has been made easier to adjust. Also, as you’ll realise if you look at the console from the side, it’s in the shape of an inverted trapezium. It was designed like this in order to make the lid easier to open.
So while the majority of people might think that the size has just been increased, that’s not actually the case.
Right. I mean, it’s great if people go into a shop and say: "It's huge!" (laughs) But I’d be really pleased if people picked it up and sensed the attention to detail that’s gone in it.
Okay, over to you, Amano-san.
Well, in my case, I was put through all sorts of hardships for the three months leading up to mass-production because of that top panel. (wry laughter) It’s got nothing to do with the games themselves, but I’d really like to ask people to enjoy that shiny top panel!
You’d also like people to appreciate that feeling it has of the surface tension of water, right? (laughs)
Yes, I would. The translucent feel of the top panel isn’t something that you can really appreciate by just looking at it on the homepage. So I’d like people to go into a shop and see it for themselves.
It’s a whole five years since the DS was released and during that time, a whole host of developers have released titles across the whole spectrum of genres. I’d like those customers who have shied away slightly from playing the DS, thinking that the screens were rather small, to use this opportunity to sample that wide variety of games.
Also replaying games you played in the past on larger screens gives a fresh feel to the game. That’s what I found when I played Band Brothers DX.
It also feels fresh and exciting to download images you like from the Wii No Ma Channel14. 14Wii No Ma, which translates as “Wii Living Room”, is a Wii Channel currently only released in Japan that allows users to access audio-visual content. When the user is online, they can download Wii No Ma from the Wii Shop Channel and enjoy a variety of images. There is a charge for downloading some of the images and videos.
Yes, that’s right! I think you can go as far as to say that the value of Dokodemo Wii No Ma15 has been altered dramatically by the Nintendo DSi XL. For some reason, recently I've been really enjoying downloading video clips from the Wii No Ma Channel for no particular reason and watching them together with the people around me. (laughs) 15Dokodemo Wii No Ma, which translates as “Wii Living Room On-The-Go”, is a Nintendo DSiWare application that allows you to download images from Wii No Ma Channel and view them anywhere on either the Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSi XL.
Right! (laughs) There’s also one more thing I’d like to say. As the size of the console has increased greatly, there may be customers who feel that it looks rather heavy.
It is 100 grams heavier than the Nintendo DSi. But judging from comments left by customers on Club Nintendo, there are quite a large proportion of people who don’t think that it feels particularly heavy.
In fact, my four-year old child can pick it up and play on it, so I think it’s fine. So I think we can say we've come up with a product for customers aged between four and ninety-five! (laughs)
So we’ve managed to go one year younger! (laughs)
I’d like to finish with a rather long comment, if I may. One thing I’d like suggest is that with the release of the Nintendo DSi XL, we have introduced the idea of size variation for portable consoles. Another thing I’d like to say is that while it's been taken for granted up to now that a portable games console is for one player to play on, I feel that there’s a possibility that we may have changed this by saying: “You might be able to enjoy games together with the people around you!” As the development team have made both of these things a reality, I believe that this is a product that people are going to want to leave out on their living room or dining room tables. Also, up to now, even if someone in the household has been playing on a DS, it's hard for the people around to pay much attention to it. Even if they were to take an interest, they wouldn’t know what the person was playing. But with the Nintendo DSi XL, there’s a sense that you can go ahead and join in. I think that also makes this a very interesting piece of hardware. The way that the number of people playing video games has grown has always been from people watching other people playing games and developing an interest in that way. It’s an incredibly important and meaningful part of video games: that the people around the player should also be able to enjoy the game. This product was not originally intended to be aimed either exclusively at older people or at children. I also feel that we have introduced a new direction in portable gaming - the idea that in contrast to the existing view that handheld consoles should be small and light, you can make a DS that is kinder, gentler and easier for people to use. But I think it's incredible that less than a year after Kuwahara-san was sketching the size of the screen on sheets of card, we've been able to complete the product.
Yes, it is. But I didn't actually experience all that much hardship. They are not here today, but the software coordinators, software developers, product designers, the people working on the circuit boards, the staff in the factory, the marketing team, the project managers - there have really been people from all sorts of departments who have worked incredibly hard and had to overcome all kinds of difficulties. It’s thanks to all of their hard work that we were able to complete the product. I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of them. (Kuwahara bows to the three others) Thank you very much.
Thank you all for your hard work.
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