Now I'd like to ask Mita-san some questions, but first why don't we have him introduce himself?
I'm Kentaro Mita. For this project, I lent support to what we called the Console Features Review Team, a group composed of members from multiple departments for the purpose of discussing the DSi's features. I did things like relay proposals from one department to another and carry ideas from the Research & Engineering Department to where they needed to go. Basically, I worked to keep everything running smoothly between departments.
Mita-san was on his feet as a networker, running around ahead of everyone keeping the information flowing and addressing any and all worries as soon as they arose.
Yeah. This isn't the kind of project that one department alone can carry through to completion, so I repeatedly went to talk to people in all the various departments, and returned to share the info I'd gathered. It was quite an invigorating experience for me. Before, I'd usually been involved in much more closed work - holed up alone scribbling away at programs.
Did this help you make more acquaintances around the company?
It certainly did. (laughs) Until recently, I hardly ever went outside my own department. Now I can go anywhere without hesitation.
Since he was always off running around somewhere, he was never in his seat when I wanted to talk to him! (laughs)
Oh. (laughs) Mita-san, as someone involved with the features built into the console, what would you say was the turning point?
It was definitely when we added the Shop function, which allows you to use your Nintendo DSi to buy and download software. That was a big turning point.
There was quite a bit of debate about it, wasn't there? By adding this, the concept of "My DS" could be realised for the very first time.
That's right. Users being able to supplement the unit's internal software later on was certainly attractive, but coming up with the specs to support that was going to be difficult. No one was sure we could achieve that within the time constraints. I stayed busy gathering the supporting technical background, speaking with staff who had experience in the area, and reporting on what I'd learned, and in the end, we added internal memory, allowing us to incorporate quite a rich array of software and allowing users to customise their own DS by adding their own software later. I think it's quite an attractive aspect of the unit.
Kuwahara-san, what did you think about the Shop function?
I expected a lot of packaged software - software of the sort that was previously hard to sell - to increase. To name a couple simple examples, products like calculators and route maps that haven't existed as packaged software so far could be introduced and a new market would open up.
Not many people would go to the store, spend several thousand yen on software for a calculator or road map, and then stick the cartridge in their DS. But suppose we offered a Zelda Calculator, an Animal Crossing Clock, route maps of various major cities, or only the simple mode of Tetris as low-cost downloads? I'm sure the new demand can be made.
Hopefully, each person's personality would be reflected in their DS and they wouldn't be able to take their hands off it. It would be great if it became so integral to them that if they accidentally left the house without it in the morning they would hurry back to get it! (laughs)
Yeah, I want each person's My DS to be something they carry around with them at all times. They can take an interest in what their friends have done with their units, and share recommendations.
One important feature for the concept of My DS is being able to take and save pictures. You can view them on a screen larger than that of a cell phone, and place it on your desk like a photo stand. I want it to be a device that people will always keep out, on their desk for example, rather than stuff into their bag.
Since you can save your own photos, you're sure to want your own console, rather than, say, share your big brother's. I'm sure my own children will be that way. (laughs)
According to statistics, there are an average of 2.8 DS users per household that has a DS in Japan, but each of those households only possesses, on average, 1.8 DS consoles. I hope with the advent of the DSi the average number of consoles will approach the average number of users per household.
Ehara-san, how do you view the whole concept of My DS?
I, too, think the DS will be much cooler now that people can infuse it with their own tastes and each person's console will be completely unique. Since the external design doesn't do anything drastic this time, it's like we're entrusting DS's personality to its users. We're expecting everyone to take the concept of My DS to heart when they get theirs.
I see. Well, may I have everyone speak their closing comments before we wrap this up?
I'd just like to say that I don't think we could have achieved the Nintendo DSi if any single person who worked on it, including those who aren't here today, had been missing. Including even those who performed the more routine tasks, everyone was running at full throttle. We tried to make the DSi the best we could, so I hope everyone will buy one and have a blast!
I hope everyone will make full use of the camera and internal memory and customize their DS to their own tastes.
Within the DS family of game consoles, I think we've achieved something particularly good, so I want everyone to use it lovingly for a long time to come.
Okay, thanks everyone. You haven't left anything out, have you?
Um, this isn't really something to bring up last, but the Nintendo DSi has a reset function. The reset button also serves as the power button, but when you press it, it doesn't just reset. With Nintendo DSi software you can move around, return to the menu, or play a different game, without shutting down the power every time. As a game console, I feel like it has a strong sense of unity. It's very subtle, but I hope everyone experiences that.
Speaking of subtle aspects of the DSi, I like the way when you insert a cartridge that game's icon pops up on the menu, and when you take it out, the icon disappears . Before, when you changed games, you had to shut off the power once. With the DSi, you just lightly press the power button to return to the menu, and change software without turning off the power.
Is there anything else we should add?
Well, the unit's features and included software have both increased, and the instruction manual is a veritable cornucopia of information. Of course, it would be best if you could play even without a manual, but the people in charge really poured themselves into it and turned out something nice. In order to make the most of your DSi, I hope everyone gives the manual a thorough read.
Okay. How about you, Kuwahara-san? Anything you'd like to say?
Yeah. Mita-kun's getting married.
The wedding's this Saturday.
I went to a factory overseas to check on production of the Nintendo DSi, and the next thing I know, everyone's getting hitched.
Good thing the DSi was finished first! What if it conflicted with his wedding plans?
Is it alright to end it this way? Oh well, I guess it is. (laughs) Thanks again, everyone.
We thank you as well.
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