With both Spaceworld and ECTS behind him, Nintendo director Satoshi Iwata took some time to reflect to Japanese magazine Dengeki on the upcoming Gamecube.
In relating his thoughts on the success of Spaceworld, Iwata-san made clear his pleasure with the show, stating his belief that most attendees had left Spaceworld impressed with Gamecube developers' speed in producing titles--Sonic Team took only a month to translate Phantasy Star Online to Gamecube--and looking forward to the future launch. In response to a Dengeki question about the small number of GC launch titles, Iwata stressed Gamecube's philosophy of quality over quantity, affirming that Nintendo would not produce a glut of GC games that did not meet standards simply to create a large software library for use as a marketing tool.
On the subject of Shigeru Miyamoto's unveiling of the new Zelda, Iwata admits that, much to Miyamoto's delight, the crowd was taken aback by the new game with half of the onlookers horrified and the other half intrigued. "Even with Nintendo," Iwata jokes, "someone [sic] people were confused and speechless when they first saw it." Iwata explains Miyamoto-san's decision to take Zelda in such a new direction as an attempt to retain the game's uniqueness. "...The endless pursuit of realism has caused many games to loose [sic] their sense of individuality. No matter how realistic you try and make the game look or feel, there's [sic] always elements which seem unnatural. He was also unsettled by the age progression of Link...He's taking things in a new direction and I think that's befitting of Zelda."
For many gamers, a console's online abilities are important components in the choice of a next generation system. Asked to describe the Gamecube's online plans, Iwata seemed a bit skeptical of the current limits to network gaming. "For the average player," said Iwata, "there are several barriers. For example, narrowband players would need to have a telephone line in the vicinity, and since they don't have credit cards they'd need their parents to subscribe to a network and pay monthly fees. We believe a game that might sell 1 million copies normally would likely sell less than 200,000 copies if it was [sic] network based." Even with such a negative look at the state of online gaming, Iwata did see many benefits in network games, such as new forms of communication between players, and assured Dengeki that Nintendo had devoted an entire research team to devise a network strategy to deal with these issues.
With the Gamecube's release just around the corner, interested buyers may want to check out the entire interview for a few more comments about the new console.