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Nintendo's Iwata Talks Friend Codes, Wii MotionPlus

| 23 Jul 2008 10:21
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Satoru Iwata, Chief Executive Officer at Nintendo, is watching the response to the Wii's Friend Code system and the release of Wii MotionPlus.

The E3 announcement of Wii MotionPlus, a Wiimote attachment allowing improved Wii Remote response to height and space, brought about questions of why such precise motion wasn't included with the console's launch.

"The idea [for Wii MotionPlus] is something we've been contemplating for quite a long time," responded Iwata, who points to pricing as a major release delay. "My understanding about the timing, the reason we are announcing this kind of attachment right now, is because we have come to the stage where we can purchase a significant amount of the gyroscope technology at a reasonable price point, and the stability of this kind of technology itself has been confirmed, so that's why we're making this announcement today."

Nintendo saw the standard Wiimote's success as a sign that consumers would accept the peripheral.

Iwata noted, "As a matter of fact, this kind of design was first conceived only after the initial Wii Remote design had been completed. And of course, as Wii Sports has already proved in the marketplace, the Wii Remote itself is pretty interesting [to consumers]."

Game developers, too, played a role in pushing out a new generation of Wiimote hardware.

"As we came up with a great idea like Wii Sports, every other software producer and creator started to think about something more. That's the reason why internally they started to demand that some more technology be brought to the Wii Remote," he said.

As for battery life consumption, Iwata added, "I cannot say it won't consume any additional energy from the Wii Remote; however, it's not going to be significant."

With Animal Crossing: City Folk also topping Nintendo's E3 conference, the issue of online play via the Wii will quickly became an even bigger issue.

Iwata admitted the current friend code system has flaws. He said, "First of all, I don't think the current system we have with Friend Codes is perfect."

However, Nintendo is still currently supporting its current, more anonymous model.

"However, if it's an online world where you can get access to anybody without any restrictions, I as a father do not feel like allowing my daughter be engaged in that kind of world," he explained. "So for Nintendo, especially in terms of the people who have never experienced online video games before, we think that it's still very important to create a world where we can assure that there will be no harassment for these online beginners, and we really want to assure the security and safety for them to do that. So we will be studying this on an ongoing basis in order to improve Nintendo's own circumstances where people can freely and safely enjoy the communications through the net."

Source: GameDaily

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