Masahiro Sakurai, creator of Kirby and Director of Sora Ltd. whose Project Sora is currently developing Kid Icarus: Uprising, was interviewed recently regarding his new game and the technology of the new system it will be released on, the Nintendo 3DS. Sakurai, actually involved in the development of the system, had some interested things to say about his role:
“I made a lot of suggestions from very early stages on until now. Early on, Nintendo were soliciting lots of feedback from within the company and from me. And I had very specific requests from Mr Iwata in regard to what my ideal picture of the device was, etc.”
In July of 2008 Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, began consulting with Sakurai on the idea of creating a game for the proposed system, resulting in the forming of Sora Ltd., Sakurai and Nintendo’s new first-party studio. This will be the first foray into 3D for Sakurai and he has had to deal with many problems while working out the kinks in how using 3D technology affects gameplay:
“The screen on the 3DS is a really beautiful screen and achieves very nice effects. In my experience of development and actually using it, when you have a lot of objects flying towards the user I find that it’s more likely to cause eye strain so during development I’m using objects moving away from the user which doesn’t have that effect.”
Nintendo’s 3DS, for me, brings back cautious memories of the gimmicky Virtual Boy burning its horrid red imagery into my retinas. Sakurai is providing a very good argument however, standing resolutely behind the new, more powerful successor to the DS:
“Up until now, 3D games as we know them have been sort of like driving with one eye closed which is of course very dangerous. But now, bringing 3D depth is bringing a feeling of that depth of measurement and spatial navigation. Especially for people who have been uncomfortable navigating 3D space, it brings that very natural depth and this technology is especially good at that.”
“The 3D certainly has a lot of benefits. You might notice that the bullets or shots have an arc to them. In standard shooters or FPS games you see the bullet travel to its destination and it’s just a dot because it travels in a straight line. But because of 3D technology you can use arcing shots and get a sense of a bullet travelling with real depth.”
The question on a good many minds is whether Nintendo has any plans on taking what they’ve learned from the development of the 3DS handhelds and applying it to a home console. Will the Wii go 3D in the future?
“Definitely, it’s possible to go in that direction. Once you go to 3D it’s hard to go back. The big restriction is making it available to a mass audience.”
How do you feel about the idea of eye strain affecting gameplay on the 3DS? Do you think Nintendo will go 3D with the Wii?
Kid Icarus: Uprising is set for release in 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS.