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Iwata Asks: In Commemoration, Part 4 - Nintendo TVii

Iwata Asks - Nintendo TVii Part 4: An Impetus for Making Life Richer

by Matt Walker - July 26, 2016, 6:30 am EDT

Part 4 of Nintendo TVii

4. An Impetus for Making Life Richer

Iwata - Kamigawa-san - in some ways this is the first time that Nintendo has really teamed up with a company specializing in the web like Team Labo and created something, and I'm wondering if there’s anything you’ve felt from that experience?

Kamigawa - Indeed - although it would seem that we’re alike in ways, a lot happened where I felt that company cultures can certainly be different just because they’re different fields. For instance, Nintendo requested that scrolling couldn’t fall below 30 frames(※13), but they didn’t really even have the concept of “frames” originally.

※13 30 Frames=Drawing 30 separate pictures to the screen in 1 second.

Iwata - So the discussion began with “what’s 30 frames?”

Kamigawa - Right.

Iwata - Whether scrolling is jittery or moves smoothly is one of the most important points for us, so right there you can see a difference in culture. But, given that the members of Team Labo were centered on those that were fans of Nintendo fans, they must have been pretty understanding and flexible, no?

Oda - Exactly. Team Labo is incredibly creative, and many of their members have lots of resolve and are very unique. They’re also very motivated, so we certainly felt their strong will to become one with Nintendo and see the project through. They would cooperate with us in circumstances where normally you wouldn’t be able to reset certain work and start from square one, and gave up their holidays many times in order to rejigger things.

Iwata - Conventionally speaking, systems development is very waterfall, with responsibilities finely divided, so often you can’t really change something once it’s been decided. In comparison, our industry tends to put “feel” above all else, so even if the original spec is implemented as it should be but doesn’t “feel” good, we end up throwing our work out and starting from the beginning, so I would bet that that cultural difference occurred.

Oda - Yes, at first Team Labo were used to things being done differently, so I’m sure they were perplexed by our way of thinking at first, but in time they grew to understand, so we were incredibly enheartened.

Iwata - Additionally, the Wii U GamePad can be used as a TV remote control, bu tin addition to that Nintendo TVii also uses the infrared technology to switch channels, doesn’t it?

Oda - Yes, it’s natural that, as you’re looking at the TV guide and find a program you want to watch, you want to be able to just switch to that specific channel, so we plan on offering the ability to do that from Nintendo TVii as a paid option. The reason it’s a separate paid feature is because sending a signal in conjunction with a program guide is patented functionality, so part of that licensing fee has to be covered by the customer, but I do feel that this unified functionality with the remote makes Nintendo TVii even easier to use.

Iwata - What other kinds of functionality that you’d like to implement, even if it means not making it in time for the Wii U’s release?

Kamigawa - More than anything, I’d like to take full advantage of pairing up with “Miiverse”(※14). I’d like to implement the kind of timeline where all viewers in Japan could comment on a program and they’d all display in real-time. You can even upload hand-drawn images on “Miiverse”, so I think it could be a lot of fun.

※14 “Miiverse”= A Wii U system-level network service where people can connect with others from around the world through their Miis, further expanding the enjoyment of game software. People can have exchanges detailing their thoughts on their favorite game software’s plaza, upload hand-drawn images or comments.

Oda - Talking with Miiverse’s producer, Kiyoshi Mizuki, we were saying that we’d love to have Warawara filled with the Japanese international soccer team’s trademark “Samurai Blue” colors during a game. Nintendo TVii and Miiverse are a perfect match, so I definitely want to see that become a reality.

I’d like to continue updating the Nintendo TVii service in the interest of enriching the TV lifestyle of everyone using the Wii U in accordance with their needs and in pace with the times.

※15 Kiyoshi Mizuki= Stationed in the Network Service Department. Producer of Miiverse. Has appeared in “Iwata Asks - Miiverse Production”, “Iwata Asks - ‘Personal Trainer: Walking’” and “Iwata Asks - 3DS Pre-installed Software”.

Iwata - Great. To finish up, I’d like a final comment from each of you. What kinds of changes do you anticipate happening in people’s homes if they have Nintendo TVii?

Kamigawa - In my household, when we’re watching TV, if I try to turn on the program listing my kids get upset as soon as the screen switches.

Iwata - Ah - “I can’t see what’s going on!”, “Don’t block the screen while we’re watching!” - like that? (laughs)

Kamigawa - Ya. (laughs) So it’s kind of nice that I can take my time looking at the program listing right in the palm of my hands, taking as much time as I’d like.

Kamigawa - Also, I’m looking forward to the recommendations. I wonder what kind of programs it will suggest!

Oda - It’s similar for me, but another thing is, it’s possible that my favorite celebrities have starred in programs that exist in genres I’m not usually interested in, so I’m looking forward to the idea of not missing out on those kinds of suggestions.

Iwata - In other words, due to a recommendation related to one of your favorite celebrities you could find a program from a genre that you had never seen, which could lead to a new hobby or knowledge.

Oda - Yes. I feel that TV is, in and of itself, human culture. By watching TV and acquiring various knowledge you were previously unaware of, the result is that you gain new interests and your life is richer for it. I hope that Nintendo TVii will provide that kind of help to people, if even just a little.

Iwata - There really are a plethora of programs broadcast on TV, but there’s a possibility that among all of those programs we’re unaware of something that could be really interesting. I think the interesting thing about this service is that, by using Nintendo TVii, you have more of a chance to come into contact with something interesting that you previously had no means of discovering. Oda-san, Kamigawa-san, thank you for your time today.

Oda/Kamigawa - Thank you!



Disco StuJuly 28, 2016

TVii needs to be wiped from the Nintendo history books. Let's just all pretend it never happened.

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