PlanetN2000's interview with Beth Llewelyn from Nintendo of America!
Beth Llewelyn, PR Director for NOA
Billy Berghammer - PlanetN2000
Stephen Farrelly - Tendo Box
Andrew Bulmer - Next Gaming
Billy: Firstly Beth, thanks for sitting in with us here.
Beth: No problem!
Billy: How long have you been with Nintendo?
Beth: I've been in house at Nintendo for about 4 ½ years, I was at Golin Harris (Nintendo's PR firm) prior to that for 3 ½ years.
Billy: What are your favorite games?
Beth: I like Tetris, I play that a lot, I take it to the gym with me, on GB. (Smiles) I was also a big fan of Mario Picross. I finished legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, it took me two years but I finished it (Laughs) Pokemon pinball is another favorite, I really like Mario Tennis.
Billy: Are there any games your really looking forward too?
Beth: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
Billy: How many games are expected launch for GBA and Gamecube?
Beth: In Japan there will be 10 games at launch for the GBA, and 5 games for Gamecube.
Billy: How about for the US Launch?
Beth: That hasn't been determined as of yet, but you can expect more than the Japanese launch.
Stephen: Those are games from NOA, 2nd party developers and NCL right?
Stephen: So their could be a number of 3rd party games ready at launch also?
Beth: We believe so.
Billy: Well we know that GBA will be released in the US in July of 2001, when will it be released in Australia and Europe?
Beth: There should be a simultaneous launch with the US.
Billy: I've played the linked GBA demo of Mario Kart Advance and I absolutely love it. How many total GBA's can you hook together?
Beth: As of right now, you can only link 4. But, one thing I don't think anyone pointed out yesterday, you only need one cartridge.
Billy: You only need one cart, for four linked GBA's?
Billy: That's incredible!
Billy: With the dawning of the next generation of Nintendo hardware, when do you expect to phase out the N64 and GBC?
Beth: Well that's tough. It's hard to really determine how long the life span of a system is. It really depends what the market wants. I don't see us dropping the N64 and Game Boy color once the new systems are released.
Billy: Will Gamecube be linkable?
Beth: I am not sure about that.
Billy: Will there be a lot of ports of SNES and N64 titles on GBA?
Beth: I'm sure we'll see some. There are plenty of stable characters, and it's very easy to soup up the franchise. I think that there will be a lot of new games coming to GBA, original ideas, but primarily the technology is so close that it's easy to port from one to the other.
Billy: The footage we saw yesterday of Metroid, was that pre rendered or was it done in real time?
Beth: It was a combination. A majority of it was running off of the Gamecube hardware.
Stephen: With NGC is Nintendo's plan this time around to court as many 3rd party developers as possible after the lack of support for N64?
Beth: I think that we are going to support as many potential developers as possible, at the moment we have over 24 worldwide developers interested in designing games for both Nintendo's future systems.
Stephen: Nintendo seems to be building a very large library of in house and second party developers. With the likes of Silicon Knights recently joining the team is this something Nintendo is looking to expand on? in that trying to have as many exclusive Nintendo developers as possible?
Beth: I think that is a big part of the future for Nintendo, we are always looking to expand our 2nd party support, but it's something that will happen slowly.
Andrew: Looking at Nintendo's past with release dates i.e. especially N64 release dates, is Nintendo looking to deliver what they promise this time around? Can we expect more accurate release dates in the future?
Beth: I think that it has never been an issue of simply not keeping promises, we are dedicated to releasing the best possible product, if that means prolonging a release time to perfect something then that is what Nintendo will do. I haven't heard anyone complain about the final product with overdue titles, have you?
Billy: So when Nintendo is saying October for the US launch of Gamecube, and July for Game Boy Advance, they actually mean October and July.
Beth: Yes, Nintendo will launch those systems at those times.
Stephen: Is Nintendo aiming to include the rest of the world more closely this time around? In Australia for example, there are a great deal of games that are released in the US that don't make it to our shores, is this something we could hope Nintendo will remedy with the new systems?
Beth: That unfortunately is up to Nintendo of Australia or Nintendo of Europe for those respected countries, certainly the US even misses out on many games that are released only in Japan, so it is more a question of the countries' preferences.
Billy: Considering I'm a huge Mario Tennis fan, when will the GBC version be out in the US?
Beth: It should be released sometime in the first quarter 2001.
Billy: Finally, are there any games in development for NGC that you can disclose to us at this time?
Beth: Unfortunately no, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until E3 for that sort of information.
Billy: With the passing of Spaceworld, are the NDA's with game developers over?
Beth: The NDA's are not dissolved. You may hear of some third parties before E3 though.
Billy: Thank you for your time Beth.
Beth: You're welcome.