Nintendo's David Yarnton • Page 2

On the 3DS, value and region locking.

Eurogamer: Is it the case that all 3DS games will be region-locked?

PR: All games will be region-locked.

David Yarnton: The other day, when I was playing the American version of Mario vs. Donkey Kong, because of some of the downloadable content in America we couldn't get here it didn't work on my DS XL, but I could do it on my DSi. Some of these things are already there. It's just variances of how it's developed per territory.

Eurogamer: Delighted to hear you've streamlined the Friend Codes system for the 3DS. How important was it to improve the Friend Codes experience? Is it a response to the poor experience on other Nintendo hardware?

David Yarnton: We always believed the games on Wii and the social aspects of them are really important, of people being able to play together. As we had the technology and the know-how to be able to develop it further, we still want to make sure we can provide a safe environment for our customers. We have customers of all ages. Part of that is our company being responsible by doing it. We've made it a lot easier because the 3DS has other functionality we can open up to make it easier.

Eurogamer: Is it evidence of Nintendo embracing online gaming more so than it has done in the past? This will be a criticism I'm sure you're familiar with.

David Yarnton: People's impression of online gaming, and you made the comment Nintendo embracing it. We've had online gaming with Wii for a long time. With Mario Kart, playing with people from all around the world.

It's in a different form compared to other people, who look at other areas. We've got our version I suppose you could say of online gaming. It's changing and evolving all the time. We have a lot of people, a lot of people, connected with the Wii through online gaming. It's just something that's our offering. We look to be unique and a bit different rather than being the same as everyone else.

It will evolve as well. You'll find it evolving all the time as to what consumers want and, as the technology changes, what we can offer them.

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One universal friend code will make online play much less of a hassle.

Eurogamer: Will the 3DS have at launch internet functionality?

David Yarnton: It doesn't come with it, but it will be downloadable.

PR: The browser will not be included at launch.

Eurogamer: On launch day, will I be able to walk into a shop and buy a 3DS? Should I pre-order? Will it sell out in the UK? Will there be shortages?

David Yarnton: We plan 3DS to be our biggest hardware launch ever. DS was a huge launch for us. It was the biggest one then, then Wii was bigger. If we look at 2008 and 2009, stock was really tight. They were record years as far as that goes. People are always critical about being out of supply.

Obviously the 3DS being a global launch, it's going to be tight on numbers. But as we get closer to launch and we get a better indication, we're very much encouraging our retailers to take pre-orders, because that then enables us to gauge demand at an earlier stage real demand, not just someone putting their name down. So we can gauge what it's like for our production.

Hardware's not just turned on like a tap. Lead times are there. We can't react as quickly as maybe some of us would like. But that also means that when we do get more stock in we can make sure it goes to the right places.

We will react before we launch as far as where the stock's going to go, do we need more, before we've even launched it. But to get the real gauge of that, we need to have some solid pre-sale numbers.

Eurogamer: So will there be shortages?

David Yarnton: Until we get closer we don't know. We think we've got a really good number. Mr Iwata's spoken of four million units on a global basis. That's a lot of hardware to launch globally in the space of four weeks. And there's more stock coming through. It's not, bang, four million and then it stops. It's coming through. If we sell what we've got we'll be very happy.

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