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Nintendo: "Fun" Knows No Country

| 10 Feb 2009 00:00
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With the Wii's worldwide success, Nintendo is thinking maybe cultural differences among gamers aren't so relevant anymore.

"In Japan, as the number of people who saw DS players in trains skyrocketed early on, its recognition spread extremely fast as it piqued the curiosity of even those who were not interested but wondered what the gadget was," explained Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during the company's recent quarterly financial conference. "In the United States, on the contrary, not only are passengers not sleeping nor using cell phones, many Americans do not regularly use trains and instead use their cars to commute."

The cultural differences between the two major gaming superpowers has come through in each country's products for years, supplying gamers with differing role-playing game styles (try comparing the mechanics of Oblivion and Final Fantasy against other games from their respective homelands and the pattern becomes clearer).

Iwata has noticed in the past few years a dramatic change in perspective both cultures have on the other's products. With the release of the Nintendo DS and Nintendogs, products which "faced the same doubt" upon coming to America that past titles from Japan had, Nintendo noticed that "what Japanese people simply found interesting and favored was also welcomed overseas in many cases, with appropriate communication."

"Of course I don't mean that all that Japanese people favor will be accepted overseas. What I mean is that with the essence of fun, what people find interesting can overcome culture and language gaps," Iwata commented. "So my understanding is that culture gaps can be overcome. And I think what is necessary is not to change the product itself, but how we introduce and show the features."

Source: Gamasutra

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