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Steel Diver first intended as DSiWare

Plus, Miyamoto ruled out adding content.

First party 3DS launch title Steel Diver was originally planned as a DSiWare download, Nintendo has revealed.

In a new Iwata Asks feature on Nintendo's official site, producer Tadashi Sugiyama explained how a few years after the sub sim appeared as a tech demo at the DS's 2004 reveal, Nintendo's American HQ requested the project be revived for the DSi.

"We began by making the game DSiWare," explained Sugiyama, "but we thought it had more potential to be something even bigger, so we decided to make it packaged Nintendo DS software for sale in shops."

Development eventually shifted to the 3DS, with the game releasing last week to middling reviews.

Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef complained in his 6/10 review that the game felt rushed and suffered from a lack of content, both complaints addressed elsewhere in the interview.

Director Takaya Inamura revealed that he had in fact suggested they make the game bigger but was turned down by Shigeru Miyamoto.

"Several times, I actually told Miyamoto-san and Sugiyama-san that we should add more stuff, but they said it wasn't necessary," he recalled.

"Making something concentrated requires a lot of work, like making something big and gorgeous," explained Miyamoto. "For example, making a single ring - even though it's small - is as hard as making the kind of fancy dress with lots of ornamentation that you might wear to a ball.

"We ruled out getting by with making lots of submarines or courses and instead focused on something limited that you could play again and again."

As for the suggestion that a game that was first started way back in 2004 might appear to have been rushed onto shelves, Inamura had this to say:

"I'm really glad we changed it over to the Nintendo 3DS system. But I think it would have turned out even better if Miyamoto-san had told us sooner that he wanted to make it for the Nintendo 3DS system! (laughs)"

The whole interview is well worth a read, if only to find out how the game's British programmer Giles Goddard got a job at the company aged 18 without being able to speak a word of Japanese and taught Miyamoto how to juggle.

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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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