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Nintendo not ready to abandon buttons

Touch screen-only controls dismissed.

Nintendo has suggested it has no intention of abandoning traditional D-pad and button controls in favour of touch screen-only inputs for future consoles.

When asked for his thoughts on the current tablet boom during an investor Q&A last week (translated on Nintendo's official site), CEO Satoru Iwata explained that although the devices were of interest, buttons are crucial in creating "highly reactive" titles.

"When we look at [a tablet] from the viewpoint of 'developing software which uses a touch screen', I think it is an interesting device if it creates an experience that is in line with the trend created by Nintendo DS," he explained.

"On the other hand, we have never abandoned the + Control Pad and buttons for our game systems because we think these functions are advantageous when creating highly reactive games.

"In this meaning, I do not think Nintendo hardware will take on any of the current tablet forms as they are without buttons, to make our game devices.

"However, this is only when we consider tablets as game devices and, for other purposes, I think tablets are very interesting, and they are a form of hardware that will continue to grow."

Nintendo is expected to unveil its new home console, thought to be codenamed Project Café, at E3 next month. According to unconfirmed reports, its controller will incorporate a six inch widescreen display.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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