Iwata: DS must attract new gamers

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata wants DS to "expand the definition of games" and offers a few examples in a comment for a Japanese website.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said Nintendo needs to "expand the definition of games" to catch people's attention. He also spoke about new DS game concepts that will do that, writing in a comment steeped in the company's "Revolution" rhetoric for a Japanese website.

"In a time when people are saying to themselves, 'We aren't playing video games compared to the old days,' I'm always thinking and working on ways to increase the population of gamers. And that's also the reason behind the development of the DS," Iwata-san wrote on Hobo Mainichi Shimbun.

"In order to get those [non gamers] to play games, we need to make videogames that... relate to those people. If we only keep making games that fit in existing categories, like action games, racing games, role-playing games, sports games, adventure games, strategy games, and puzzle games, people won't turn around to look, because they already feel that those kinds of games have nothing to do with them.

"For that reason, we need to come up with new ideas that will expand the definition of video games. Our Puppy Times, which is slated for release in April, is one example of a product that will expand the definition of games. It's meant to be enjoyed by all people who love dogs, unlike traditional dog-breeding simulation games," he added.

Iwata-san also cited musically themed Japanese DS launch title Jam With The Band, which gives you a role in an orchestra, as another example of a game with wide-reaching appeal, even claiming that it was originally canned on the GBA because it required multiple cartridges to perform in-game concerts with other players.

Following the release of Puppy Times (also known as Nintendogs), Nintendo has plans "for other games that will also expand the definition," Iwata-san continued, before shedding light on some of them. "Ideas that we have include a game that employs an electronic dictionary, a game that enhances brain activities, and a game that's played by [hearing] sound and touching light." Iwata-san hopes "these games will let a wide range of people enjoy the DS, regardless of age, gender, and whether or not they have had gaming experience," he concluded.

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Tom Bramwell

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