Now I’d like to hear each of your thoughts now that StreetPass relay points have begun. Let’s start on the left with Matsuoka-san and proceed in order from there.
The night it was released, I went to a local shop that looked mostly deserted. I was incredibly relieved when the green lamp came on.
Alone at a deserted shop? (laughs)
Yeah! Even then, the green light came on, so I was like, “Ah, it really works!” (laughs)
But you made it yourself! (laughs)
Yeah! (laughs) Nonetheless, it was a deeply emotional moment.
My mother is really into Animal Crossing and she always carries around her Nintendo 3DS even when she goes shopping.
That’s so nice to hear!
Vacationing to Kyoto or Tokyo results in lots of hits, but locally… My mother lives in a provincial city, where she might only get three people a day, or five at the most, so she always said that she wanted to pass more people. But when I asked her after the release of StreetPass relay points, she said she had a feeling she was getting more. When I went home, I had her show me her Nintendo 3DS, and she was having more StreetPass encounters. Even I was surprised, like, “It really does have an effect!”
Um, do you mind if I change the order?
No, go ahead! (laughs)
My dad is really into it, too.
Your father is into Animal Crossing?
Yeah. He discovered the StreetPass function by himself, figured out HH Showcase himself, and realised how fun it is. He started carrying around his Nintendo 3DS whenever he goes shopping, but he was hardly passing anyone. When I told him about the relay points, he was really happy. Now I bet he goes to 7-Eleven every day! (laughs)
After this service began, I went online to see what people were saying, and people were saying things like, “I live in the country, so it’s a big help!” and, “I just had my first StreetPass experience!” so I was really happy. My hometown has even less of a population than Inoue-san’s, and the day StreetPass relay points were released, I was certain no one was using them.
But they were?
Yeah! Earlier I mentioned Fluentd that we used to collect usage logs. Other than that we also use a service called Amazon Redshift31 to analyse data. Because of that we’re able to monitor usage almost in real-time. So I took a look six hours after the service started, and there were already 40 hits, so I was like, “People are using it!” (laughs) I was overjoyed.31. Amazon Redshift: One of the cloud services provided by AWS, Amazon Redshift is a system that can conduct large-scale data analysis.
Since the release, I’ve been surprised at the size of the response. Like Iwata-san said at the beginning, we didn’t issue any advance notice in Japan about implementing this service – it didn’t get much attention and began sort of secretly – and I thought it would build up bit by bit, so I never imagined we’d be here today with Iwata-san asking about it! (laughs)
Why do you think the response has been so big?
I think everyone wanted to get more out of StreetPass.
Since so many people are using it, it was truly well worth our while to make StreetPass relay points. (laughs)
Konno-san, you already spoke, so… was that enough?
No, let me talk!
I commute to work by bicycle. As I’m one of the people who first suggested this, the night after service began, between the company and home, I checked in at seven relay points.
You didn’t waste a moment hopping between one relay point after another! (laughs)
Exactly! (laughs) I was surprised to see that data came in at five of the seven locations! It was the very day of the Nintendo 3DS update, so…
People wouldn’t have been able to use the relay point if they hadn’t already updated their systems.
That was a big relief.
I have the impression that enjoyment of StreetPass is rapidly spreading across Japan, but a lot remains to be seen overseas.
That’s right. Even though the number is very small, there are still some access points overseas which haven’t seen any action. .
Which results in people who want to enjoy StreetPass simply uploading their data, and we don’t want that, so ever since the day service began, there’s been some back-and-forth with Yamazaki-san.
Yes. I think there’s a lot we can do from now on.
For example, we considered replicating someone’s data on the server and distributing it to many people, but then a sort of inflation would occur, thereby possibly harming the original value of StreetPass.
Yes. For example, right now data uploaded to relay point A returns to relay point A, but technologically, it’s possible to treat all the relay points around the country, or the world, as one relay point.
If we wanted, we could carry out events specific to certain days, like today all of Japan mixes or today the whole world mixes. I personally call such ideas Inter-prefecture StreetPass or International StreetPass.
That’s right. If we did International StreetPass, people in regions of America where people pass each other less frequently would be able to “pass” people from a populous place like Tokyo.
But if we did that on a daily basis, it may impair the value of StreetPass.
That’s right. When I took my Nintendo 3DS overseas, I found great value in coincidentally passing someone from London. But if one after the other came in through International StreetPass, the value would be halved, or disappear completely.
When it comes to how far we should take it, more isn’t always better. There’s definitely a delicate element to it. In that sense, I think something like an International StreetPass is too much of an extreme measure to actually implement.
But it’s also a fact that some people go to a relay point to no effect. That’s something we need to improve on so we don’t have anyone getting nothing.
Right, a shared goal on the team going forward is having as many people as possible experience StreetPass, and, as a result, having people around the world enjoy walking around with their Nintendo 3DS systems.
Looking at it that way, rather than doing something extreme like International StreetPass, a better starting point would be to collect those areas that don't get a lot of activity and make them in a single group. That way more people would be able to experience StreetPass for themselves.
That’s right. This time we had to have people update their Nintendo 3DS systems, but moving forward, we can improve the service by only applying updates to the server. I hope people will look forward to it.
Let’s all work hard so that in the near future we can report that the number of people using StreetPass has increased substantially.
Yes. I’m really looking forward to it, too. The next time I go to New York, I hope to be able to report a lot of StreetPass activity! (laughs)
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