News Article

Interview: Marc Franklin - Nintendo of America

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

We chat with Nintendo's head PR honcho about 3DS, Earthbound and Zelda

Between test drives of a selection of Nintendo's 2013 line-up, including The Legend of Zelda 3DS, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, we had the chance to catch up with Nintendo of America's PR wizard Marc Franklin to talk about what makes a sequel, 3DS's colossal line-up, and just what the heck took so long to get Earthbound on Virtual Console.

To start off, have 3DS sales hit expectations so far in North America this year?

We are tracking about a million units ahead of where the DS was at a similar point in its lifecycle, 24 months in. You heard some of the stats that Scott (Moffitt, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing) brought in. Beyond the hardware sales, there’s strong momentum behind software. We’re looking at 20+ million unit sales to date — that doesn’t include digital — and then we have a strong digital story that is representative of a number of different games. If you look at the 15 games in particular that were both available in package form and also digital form, 11% of sales of those were in the eShop.

Our connection rate is climbing, it’s at a 12% increase over last year, to 67%, and that’s healthy. Then there’s some standout performers as well: if you look at the total number of downloads at 41 million, that’s everything, and that’s a healthy number. If you look at some of the stand-out performers like Fire Emblem: Awakening, a third of the sales there are coming from digital. That game in particular lends itself to having it on your 3DS all the time — it’s a game that you want to play every single day, that you want to progress through, you’re talking about players who have spent 70+ hours, so it’s a lot easier to own it digitally. Plus there’s DLC for that game. An interesting stat is that of the people who bought it digitally, about half of those are purchasing DLC.

What this says is there’s good momentum behind 3DS that’s represented in the software, in the digital growth, but most importantly it’s in the content. Certainly the examples of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Fire Emblem are good ones, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has done well; Luigi's Mansion in particular, when you’ve got over 400K unit sales in a manner of weeks, that’s a good sign. Those are strong games, and now we’ve got a whole slew of great games coming one right after the other. The system is really poised to maximize its potential this year.

About two thirds of 3DS owners are connected. How does that compare with Wii U, for example?

I don’t think we have the connection rate right now for Wii U. Today we’re focused on 3DS, and that number is a strong number from a connection standpoint. It also tells the story about how when we’re talking about digital, the fact that so many people are going to the eShop to get their content and so many are using ways to connect with each other to play games, it’s a good sign that the system is connected.

I know we’re here to talk about 3DS today but there was an announcement in the Nintendo Direct I need to ask you about: Earthbound is coming out on Wii U Virtual Console. Basically, what took you so long?

(Laughs) We did the Nintendo Direct in January, and Mr. Iwata announced to the Japan market that (Mother 2 was releasing on Wii U Virtual Console). People saw the reaction to that announcement in the United States and the reaction was very, very...well, they wanted to see the game. It brought up a lot of desire to see the game. So we finally found that it was the right time to bring it out. There’s a lot that goes into the decision of when to bring a game to market, it’s not as easy as saying “OK, well, let’s bring a game to market,” push a button and there it is. The time was right, and what’s most important is that we’re all excited about it. There’s a lot of fans within Nintendo just as there are outside who are just as eager to play the game. We’re just happy that it’s coming and we’re happy that the fans are excited.

It seems like a lot of theories among the community as to why Earthbound hadn’t made it out yet were related to names, licensed music tracks and the like. Is the version coming out on Virtual Console going to be what is found on the cart, or has anything been changed at all?

The game is going to be representative of Earthbound. In terms of anything else, we don’t have much more to announce right now. But since it’s coming through Virtual Console, you can expect to get a Miiverse community going and be able to play it off TV on the GamePad, which is pretty cool.

Speaking of Virtual Console, Wii U has been announced as getting GBA games, and 3DS hasn’t been announced specifically as getting them despite having some brought to it via the Ambassador program. Are there any plans to bring GBA games onto 3DS?

The most important point is that it’s [The Legend of Zelda 3D] an entirely new game. It’s not a remake, it’s not a reimagination, it’s not a remaster, it’s brand new.

Today we announced two Zelda games, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, that were Game Boy Color games. Those'll be coming to the eShop for 3DS, but as for GBA we have nothing to announce right now.

Miiverse is expected to roll out to mobile and browser soon. Is it in the cards still to bring it to 3DS?

We don’t have much to announce on that front for now. That’s certainly the hope: off-device Miiverse. The great thing about Miiverse is you’ve got a great community of like-minded people talking about the passion of everyone in that community, and it’s a very civil and friendly place. We want to create the opportunity for people to continue that experience off-device and we’ll have more to share in the future.

With the recent cross-compatibility of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U and 3DS, is that connectivity something that we’ll be seeing more of? Granted, that was a Capcom game, but Nintendo has pushed connectivity in the past.

One game we’ve announced where we’ve talked about cross-platform connectivity is Smash Bros. Other than that, there’s nothing else that we’ve talked about so far.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, an all-time classic and fan favourite, is getting a sequel...ish? How would you characterize Zelda 3DS’s relationship with the SNES game?

The most important point is that it’s an entirely new game. It’s not a remake, it’s not a reimagination, it’s not a remaster, it’s brand new. It takes place in the world of A Link to the Past and the story happens after A Link to the Past, so that’s the way to look at it. There’s so much unique about that game, you know, if you’ve played the original game I think there’s great respect for that (16-bit) look and feel, but then takes it to, if I can be literal, another level as it really looks at the game from a vertical standpoint. You’ve got the 3D visuals and the verticality of the game; it really enhances that whole dynamic. Most interesting about the game right now is the new mechanic of Link being able to form into a chalk drawing and move along the wall to be able to get through to different areas. That’s a fresh approach to puzzle-solving when you’re dealing with a franchise that is so esteemed and so long-running. We hope that fans are going to like it.

What does Nintendo consider to be the key characteristics of A Link to the Past, and how do those characteristics inform Zelda 3DS?

There’s going to be a great amount of respect and understanding of the past game. There’s a nod to the graphics but it’s really taking it a step further and enhancing it. It’s the way that we look at many of our established franchises: how do we take that franchise, create a new, fresh experience that is going to bring a new experience to the consumer? People love Zelda, for example, they always want to see a Zelda come out, but they also want to see it slightly differently. That’s what we’re doing with A Link to the Past: having respect for the franchise and the original game but doing it in a way that we think fans are going to love.

There are different Zeldas: 3D and 2D. Even within them are the sub-types, like motion/stylus-controlled versus buttons, realistic and “Celda.” How do you fold fans of each into the same enthusiasm for a new game?

If I may borrow your words, I don’t think we want to fold everyone into a similar path. I think each game is unique on its own and each one has an opportunity to create a distinct experience. You look at Wind Waker, we’re remastering the game in HD, that’s going to be a great experience, and we’ve announced Zelda HD for Wii U, which is going to be an entirely new take on Zelda (in comparison). That’s what people appreciate: being able to have those different experiences.

About a third of Fire Emblem: Awakening’s sales came from digital, which is an odd spike in comparison to the 10-20% of other titles. There’s been anecdotal evidence that the game has sold out in a lot of retail channels. Do you think that may be a reason why Fire Emblem’s numbers are higher than others, or were high eShop sales something you anticipated happening for the game?

There’s a couple ways to address that. First is that Fire Emblem is a game that is naturally suited to be purchased digitally and always accessible — you don’t have to worry about the cartridge getting lost, swapping it in, and so forth. And when you’re logging in upwards of 50-70 hours, accessibility becomes a prime concern. In and of itself, Fire Emblem is just a game well-suited to being purchased via digital. I think there’s a lot of that in the sales, and yes, I think there’s probably some where maybe people couldn’t find it right away at retail and then went to digital. When you look at the fact that all this DLC is coming as well, that also lends itself to having it in a digital format because people are going to want to be online to get those map packs. I think all of that goes into the digital sales.

What do you believe are some of the challenges the 3DS faces in 2013?

We feel like we’ve got good momentum right now. I think the opportunity is that we’ve got great software coming and we want people to get their hands on it. Look at Animal Crossing: here’s a game you can play for dozens and dozens of hours as a really positive and enjoyable experience, and there’s so much new in this game we’d love for people to pick that up.

Our challenge and our opportunity is to convey and communicate the Nintendo experience to more people. We’re having some traction there and hopefully with the content and line-up that’s coming this year that even more people are going to see the opportunity.

Thanks to Marc for his time.

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User Comments (64)

Lan

#1

Lan said:

I dislike how company's higher-ups always dodge questions and give general answers they obviously rehearsed for.

AtomicToaster

#2

AtomicToaster said:

I actually like how much the Zelda franchise has to go on. The fact that their can be a subcategory of Zelda sequel shows how different every iteration is. The unique Zelda formula is really just the thread that connects these games and allow them to consistently be different but appeal to a broad audience IMO. I've played through Phantom Hourglass and Skyward Sword and they don't even feel like the same experience.

Squiggle55

#3

Squiggle55 said:

Haha. It's going to be representative of Earthbound. I thought it was a pretty straight forward question.

Unit_DTH

#4

Unit_DTH said:

"MF: I don’t think we have the connection rate right now for Wii U. Today we’re focused on 3DS..."
And the reason for this is lack of advertising and lack of first party support for the console! We have seen how many games released by Nintendo, or even announced since the official launch of the Wii U?? Not many 1st party titles, when the creators aren't supporting the device how do you expect the community and consumers to support it, or Big Devs for that matter? Give us something more than empty promises and 3DS updates! We want something substantial that says, "Yes, we fully support the Wii U beyond it's initial launch." I know we are gonna have to wait til E3 to see what Nintendo has up their "sleeves", but full on radio silence since the ND that showed "X" is darn near ridiculous! And then they try to calm the storm with an announcement that a "launch window title" will be released in August! Come on Nintendo quit treating us this way. We want to play great and innovative games on your console and what 3rd parties are doing so far is AWESOME, but all 3rd parties wait for Nintendo to release their titles and then they play off of the "ok, that's what Nintendo is doing... How do we do something different on the same hardware and really wow people?" mentality. At least Indie Devs are jumping on board! This means we will have some really interesting things to play on the Wii U, but we still need something substantial beyond this. I'm just hoping that Nintendo get their Wii U act together and soon. I love my 3DS, but this is getting ridiculous for my Wii U.

AtomicToaster

#5

AtomicToaster said:

I'm holding out for E3. If the story doesn't change by then, I'll be a lot more worried for the console. You can't expect that kind of news in a Nintendo direct. All three companies are really on Radio silence on what they have for their home consoles because they don't want to give another company time to retaliate when they announce the big guns!

rjejr

#7

rjejr said:

So - you had to sign something before the interview saying it was only about 3DS and not WiiU? Thats my interpretation of the quote Unit_DTH picked out above me and also this one: NL: "I know we’re here to talk about 3DS today"

Seriously, the 3DS is doing great, it has an unbelievable line-up over the next 12 months (going forward to MH4 next year) and they can't give the WiiU away. And this is the PR guy for the US, yes? Is it his fault we can't play WiiU demos on the kiosks? I had a great time playing the Luigi's Mansion 2 demo - the whole entire kiosk lit up in relation to my gameplay. Maybe it was a coincidence but it sure felt connected. Nobody ever ever ever touches that WiiU kiosk unit. Ever.

My apologies if this guy is strictly the head of 3DS PR and they have somebody else doing WiiU PR but I didn't read anything like that.

Unit_DTH

#8

Unit_DTH said:

@AtomicToaster -
I am too. I just really hope it isn't announcements about release dates for games we already know of and are anticipating. I think we might even see the unveiling of the 2 gamepads on one console being used at this years E3, which would be great to see! I'm interested to see what Nintendo can bring to the floor.

Unit_DTH

#9

Unit_DTH said:

@rjejr -
+10 for the Wii U Kiosk Comment! That thing just sits hidden in the corner of my local stores with no playable demos on the thing! Yet there are plenty of playable demos on the eShop? If you want the thing to succeed show people what it can do via actual interaction and not just videos of games on the thing.

R-Moss

#10

R-Moss said:

Why no one asks about the Donkey Kong Country trilogy in Virtual Console?
WHY???

Transparency is good. And I hope, someday, Nintendo acknowledge this.

VolcanoFlamesNL

#11

VolcanoFlamesNL said:

The Wii U, Nintendo? I played Tekken on the Wii U, and think it's great. I just want to hear that the U is selling well, I know it will but maybe I just want it now....

R-Moss

#12

R-Moss said:

"t Fire Emblem is a game that is naturally suited to be purchased digitally and always accessible(...)"

"you don’t have to worry about the cartridge getting lost(...)"

Oh, yeah (:rollseyes:). So, if I lost my 3DS...

Seriously, Nintendo. I'm a loyal fan, but you're make me angry.

JSuede

#17

JSuede said:

@AtomicToaster I feel like they are focusing on the 3DS at the moment so they can give Wii U as much time as possible at E3. They know it's not doing exceptionally well, they just can't do much about it right now and talking about random things isn't going to sell enough systems for it to make a difference.

In May alone we've got RE:Revelations, Fast & Furious, Sniper Elite V2, VC titles, and potentially even W101 in NA if that German release date pans out.

We do know for a fact that Mario and Mario Kart will be playable at E3, likely releasing this year, Smash Bros is getting a trailer, Retro's project was pulled at the last minute last year so I wouldn't be surprised if it came out this year, WWHD, Pikmin 3 ( though it shouldn't get much time at E3, 5 minutes tops)....and then surprises. I fully believe they are going to blow the doors off the place.

Let's hope I'm right. They managed to turn the 3DS ship around, and they still have 7 months before the PS4/720 launch, so building up a large base won't be too hard as long as they release titles.

AtomicToaster

#19

AtomicToaster said:

@JSuede

I actually don't think the WIiu is doing that poorly. I actually think it's got a lot of good games especially if you don't have a 360 or PS3 already. I think the delay on first party content is the same reason there was a delay on 3ds. They started this generation by giving third party an opportunity to lead on the platform while they developed content. It seemed commendable on paper but it didn't work out too well, they adjusted strategy and now their fine. There's no reason the Wiiu shouldn't be a similar situation. They'll adjust strategy, release a ton of content to get the system off the ground and be fine. I think that they didn't feel the NEED to say anything shows confidence. If they didn't have anything in the works Nintendo would be panicking about the poor sales but they aren't. They know people are going to buy the console when they see the games.

HeatBombastic

#20

HeatBombastic said:

@Lan They have to dodge some questions for future announcements, and of course some for the secrets. Though, would you rather have 'em brutally honest and seem like a jerk, or secretly sincere and seem like a liar?

C7_

#24

C7_ said:

Good interview; a shame he couldn't just answer some of the questions and instead answered with dodges and rehearsals. I just hate how they can't say things along the lines of "We hope we can do this if we can" or "That's not what we have in mind for that hardware" and instead go with "We have no plans for it."
Probably the most common useless answer.

And yet another quick dodge on the Earthbound legal questions. "representative of Earthbound" is not a meaningful statement in the slightest, and in fact raises more questions and doesn't answer the original one.

Can we just get some answers to things he can answer, and "I'm not able to answer that at this time" rather than regurgitating advertisements?

Though I mean the stats were neat so I can't really complain about that...

AtomicToaster

#25

AtomicToaster said:

I think the portable market could be kind of a window into what's to come with the consoles. I, personally, began to feel we hit a point the graphical difference became so small on portables it doesn't even matter. What I mean is there was a pretty noticeable leap between DS and PSP and Wii and PS3. Now with 3ds to VIta, yeah there's a difference between Uncharted and Mario 3d land and Resident Evil... but does anyone really actually CARE at this point. And I think we hit this point where it would cost too much money to make a "Next Gen" Vita game that would "prove" 3ds to be truly inferior tech. Now you can compare this gen of portables to Wii and PS3, true, but smaller screens are part of the reason the difference is less stark on 3ds and PSvita.

Now Wiiu and PS4 and 720 are on bigger screens, but I think this is the gen where we really see it become almost a pointless endeavour especially now that everyone is in HD and in order to fully use the PS4 hardware means a more expensive budget on a console with no initial install base, so it won't get that initial wow factor for several years. Like Vita it may become too expensive for 720 or PS4 developers to throw the money in to really set themselves apart from Wiiu games. Plus we aren't factoring in that many of the Graphics Whores on consoles are suddenly realizing there's this thing called a PC and are going to that for their graphics fix now.

I don't know, I think we know what we're getting with Wiiu, HD nintendo. I think there's much more a question mark with new Xbox and Playstation than people would like you to believe. The multiplats aren't going to matter anymore imo, because in a few years they're going to be on every damn device out there from a PC to a phone.

Wooo! That was a long rant! I should end it with a "But that's just my opinion! I could be wrong!" haha!

I guess my final point that brings everything home is this. Will Uncharted 5 make Mario Galaxy 3 look any less fantastic. No, not really. Like Golden Abyss and 3d Land, at the end of the day the experience we'll probably feel pretty comparable. Long way to say that I guess.

C7_

#27

C7_ said:

@HeatBombastic Adam Orth is an example of someone giving their honest opinion about a system which he supports. He misunderstands the problems with always-on by a lot, but now we know a lot more about the opinions of higher-ups within Microsoft's higher-ups (until he got fired).
Not to mention he wasn't even speaking with regards to or on behalf of Microsoft, he was speaking about the system in general, meaning what he said was unrelated to the console and can at most be seen as a statement that can support what is still at this point a rumor. So in that sense, Adam Orth's thoughts and Marc Franklin's answers are completely unrelated.

But yes, we are better off with brutal honesty, because we learn about what people think and what other opinions are out there. If you believe in what your company's doing, you should be more than willing to tell the truth (or your opinion in the case of Orth) about the product, granted they're at a point where information on the product can be released.

SwerdMurd

#28

SwerdMurd said:

that was a pretty forthright interview by a PR guy. Well said too - the point about Fire Emblem's digital sales were really interesting to me.

1) Is the DLC what's driving users to purchase it digitally?
2) Is it just cause it's a huge game - and the core 3DS users, who are probably all connected, were interested enough to get it?
3) Is if the fact that the game is really long?

And on that topic, it gets me thinking about Etrian Odyssey IV digital. It's a really long game as well... BUT no DLC support.... BUUUUUT it had a crazy-limited physical release.

Oh adult world...what have you done to me?

MrPanic

#31

MrPanic said:

Good to see the cross-compatibility of Smash Bros mentioned again.
Sad to see he still knows nothing about GBA games for the 3DS.

Other than that, a rather pointless interview, this man is obviously to good at his job to drop any interesting info.

JSuede

#32

JSuede said:

@AtomicToaster I completely agree with everything you said. The Wii U is actually doing better than the 360/PS3 at launch and has a much larger library, it's getting close to being even launches aligned though.

One of the bigger criticisms I saw about the 3DS was that it didn't have a Mario game at launch, and they fixed that much. If the whole EA thing hadn't of happened, there probably wouldn't have been the game drought and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Nintendo will definitely be able to turn things around and will probably start to do so earlier than we think.

Iwata has said that they weren't really planning on releasing much in the first part of the year, focusing more on summer and the back half so there could very well be some surprises in store. I'm mostly curious when they will announce things.They have their investor meeting on Wednesday, so that explains the 3DS direct, and the update/VC being available before then. I believe at one of these meetings is where they announced NSMB2, and at the last one Iwata said that there were some unannounced projects that could release this year...and that was after that awesome January ND.

There could also be a Wii U Direct sometime after the meeting to discuss things like W101 (German release date confirmed + NA a couple weeks earlier?) Wii Fit U, MiiParty (or whatever that's called) VC schedule perhaps, Wario spotlight, maybe even a hint at the "efforts from our third party publishers on Wii U" that Iwata mentioned at the end of the January ND.

I am quite excited for what all the Wii U will be getting, even just going by confirmed things. It's going to be a great gen.

R-Moss

#33

R-Moss said:

@Luffymcduck

But... I want the 2 and 3 in the Wii, like the original one that I'm playing right now.

Well, I hope at least they say something...

Jewelarchon

#34

Jewelarchon said:

@Unit_DTH I hope you realize where he said "today we're focused on 3DS" he literally meant today, seing as that was what the interview was for. I'm with you wanted more focus on the Wii U, but understand the interview was indeed a 3DS inrerview, so tht was what the answers were prepared for.

Unit_DTH

#36

Unit_DTH said:

@Jewelarchon
I do realize that, but with cross platform connectivity I would think that the mention of Wii U should come up more even in a 3DS based interview.

KAHN

#38

KAHN said:

are WWHD and and ZeldaU title being made simultaneously, or is the WWHD team going to make ZeldaU after they finish WWHD?

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#39

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@Tysamu It might appear that way, but it's obviously not available right now. Check your Wii U. I'm waiting for it just like you and everyone else is though.

Nice interview Jon. You did all you could to get some answers, save for asking about a more "normal" account system for the Nintendo Network. The one thing that really bugs me about Nintendo right now is their approach to digital. If I lose my 3DS I lose all my digital games as well, huh? Not cool. Not cool at all. Pretty darn weak, in fact. What is this, the 90's? ;)

scrubbyscum999

#42

scrubbyscum999 said:

So according to this guy the Wii U don't exist. That is real encouraging for investors a land non Nintendo fans. It's better to admit thing aren't that good and will get better than ignore the problem all together.

PinkSpider

#43

PinkSpider said:

Really cannot understand Nintendos thinking by releasing GBA games on the Wii U, they are gonna look terrible on a TV so whats the point the GBA was a PORTABLE and DUH! so is the 3DS so wheres the logic Nintendo.
Fail!!!

rjejr

#44

rjejr said:

Orth wasn't fired for being "honest", he was fired for being a prick. There IS a difference.

When somebody makes a comment about broadband not being available in some rural parts of America,

a prick responds "Move." (Which if I recall correctly was his exact response.)

an honest person replies "Sorry to hear you don't have broadband available in your area, I'm sorry you won't be able to enjoy our new system as broadband is a requirement."

If you go back and reread everything he wrote, he was much more prick, and much less honest.

Jewelarchon

#45

Jewelarchon said:

@Unit_DTH Got ya, I understand what you mean by that. I just think that more people will understand that Nintendo likes to keeps their cards close their vest. Without revealing too much before time, they avoid some of the pitfalls they encountered from previous platforms. They have E3 coming quickly and more info like that that CVG had today says to me N has their plan firmly in place. That probably means info will only be shared when it's the right time, and no time sooner. ;-)

Mayonnaise

#46

Mayonnaise said:

In the title you spell his name Marc, but at the end it says thanks Mark. Not sure which one is right but it should be changed.

citizenerased

#47

citizenerased said:

67% connection rate on a handheld that has important updates, an eshop, etc? That's hilarious in a sad way.

MadAdam81

#48

MadAdam81 said:

@rjejr In Australia my local EB Games has a demo of New Mario U, and it quite often gets aplay by kids.
There needs to be about 10 demos on them, including Lego City, Most Wanted and even NBA for the sport fans.

DarkNinja9

#50

DarkNinja9 said:

"NL: Miiverse is expected to roll out to mobile and browser soon. Is it in the cards still to bring it to 3DS?
MF: We don’t have much to announce on that front for now. That’s certainly the hope: off-device Miiverse. The great thing about Miiverse is you’ve got a great community of like-minded people talking about the passion of everyone in that community, and it’s a very civil and friendly place. We want to create the opportunity for people to continue that experience off-device and we’ll have more to share in the future.
NL: With the recent cross-compatibility of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U and 3DS, is that connectivity something that we’ll be seeing more of? Granted, that was a Capcom game, but Nintendo has pushed connectivity in the past.
MF: One game we’ve announced where we’ve talked about cross-platform connectivity is Smash Bros. Other than that, there’s nothing else that we’ve talked about so far."

those 2 questions to me were interesting but yeah i agree i hate when higher ups dodge questions at times and reply with something that is already been said before =/

anyway seems like there isnt a chance miiverse is coming to 3ds then :( least they seem to be bringing more 3ds and wii u connectivity for other games too

DaveC

#51

DaveC said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd "The one thing that really bugs me about Nintendo right now is their approach to digital. If I lose my 3DS I lose all my digital games as well, huh? Not cool."

The solution is simple, don't buy that DRM laden digital crap. If people vote with their wallets they will change it. If they grumble and buy digital anyway they won't change because it is to THEIR advantage to keep it the way it is. They benefit by people buying games twice if their console is lost or breaks and by the fact that you will eventually lose the license to play the game.

gundam00

#52

gundam00 said:

I'm glad you brought up the GBA games being ported to Wii U because this just doesn't make sense to me and really stood out during the Nintendo Direct. I don't understand why Nintendo is neglecting their GBA library. The 3DS is 2 years old already, I think it's time to retire the Ambassador program.

Another thing to look out for at E3 will be GameCube games coming to Wii U VC. Hopefully, Nintendo will merge the Wii U VC and 3DS VC sooner than later.

EvisceratorX

#53

EvisceratorX said:

"If you look at some of the stand-out performers like Fire Emblem: Awakening, a third of the sales there are coming from digital." Yeah, Nintendo, but that's only because you slashed the printing of physical copies earlier so impatient customers would have no choice...

ccanfield1

#54

ccanfield1 said:

Love how PR guys are so good at talking without really saying anything. Everything Marc said was already said in the Nintendo Direct. I am glad you asked the question about the problems with the retail release of Fire Emblem because I think that is exactly why the digital downloads of that game are so high. I won't be surprised to hear that downloads of MH3U are high in Europe also. However, Marc would attribute it to the same reasons he gave for Fire Emblem downloads in North America and not the failure to properly distribute a game. However, at least there is the digital download option for when distribution problems like this do occur.

banacheck

#55

banacheck said:

@AtomicToaster

It will take 7years for graphics to improve on the PS4, by the time your graphical improvement comes we'll be on the next console or over taken by tablets/moblie graphics. You'll see a difference within 6-12 months for that wow factor, and where do people get developing games on next gen will be more expensive. Wouldn't games go up in price? of course they would, so why is that not the case. Because it actually won't be that much more than what it is now which is a lot, by your logic taking advantage of the PC tech would send dev's into bankruptcy. Not everything is about graphics you do realize that? it comes down to smarter AI, bigger worlds for RPG's and open world games with no loading times, more realistic physics, more characters on screen at once etc. Games wouldn't get anywhere if just graphics improved, also games like Golden Abyss & 3D Land are very different this is what makes people decide what console there buy otherwise everyone would by the same console. Games like Mario will never be comparable to games like Uncharted, there are two very different games.

AtomicToaster

#57

AtomicToaster said:

@banacheck I'm fairly certain game budgets will go up, they have every gen! UNLESS they make games on more affordable budgets, which is entirely possible. It isn't only graphics but everything you've mentioned, better AI, better animations, more characters on screen, would factor into cost as well. But I'm speaking of that "next gen" look! The look they try to go for to "warrant" the purchase of the console and make a case for why you need it, is going to be expensive. That is if they go with that strategy this time and seeing how things are in the industry I think they'll sell these consoles more as an evolution than a leap. The features are going to be more important. I'm comparing the cap for what they're willing to spend on a video game budget to the cap on budgets for PORTABLES that, in my view, prevent the PSVITA from doing much that really outperforms the 3ds.

My point is graphical updates use to make the last gen look inferior. They just don't anymore. Graphics will continue to get better but I don't think it's any big deal and you just don't need a massive gaming tower to get good graphics anymore. Graphics are becoming a moot point and the leap feels less and less every gen. They could even make a good uncharted game on a 3ds if they wanted believe it or not!

My point was analysing that the screens are smaller so we're seeing a plateau a gen behind. We're seeing that the graphics are good on PSVITA, but it isn't a deal breaker for the 3ds by any means. I think we're finally going to see the same thing happen with the consoles this gen. Graphics will be noticeably better, but probably won't be a deal breaker either way. Plus, devs are going to rethink how they make games so we'll probably see lest focus on making those "special effects reels" they're calling games to warrant the console.

For me personally, I think it's going to be open world games that we'll see the biggest facelift. Those seem to be the games that always start to look dated earliest for me.

XCWarrior

#58

XCWarrior said:

Nice interview, even if he did duck a few of the questions. Basically, the 3DS and really still Wii sales are going to keep them from really worrying about Wii U's slow start.

Araknie

#59

Araknie said:

@Unit_DTH Calm your tits, really it's since the SNES that every first year starts slow for a console and i'm talking also outside of Nintendo.
You can't pretend to have games AAA or KA or SupaDupaFly the first year of release, it's impossible. Maybe 1 or 2 but that's all really.
Nintendo managed to give the Wii U at least 3 good titles, exclusives i mean, in the first 4 months. Not bad considering how Multiplatform driven the market is today.
A lot to consider before speaking.

Unit_DTH

#60

Unit_DTH said:

@Araknie Lol... Calm my tits? That's hilarious! I understand that, but it seems they dodge answering anything pertaining to Wii U and have been dodging since release of the thing. I have a Wii U and a 360, I haven't touched the 360 since the launch of the Wii U. I just want more than ports that's really my only concern. I want them to wow us and not say things like "I understand how it's hard to see the Wii U's appeal right away." - Miyamoto-San
That's disheartening. One of the top designers for the company that put forth the console basically says "If you see a Wii U and play it you might like it, then again you won't like it right away." I just want Nintendo as a company to show more determination when it comes to the Wii U and I'm sure we will see that determination at E3!

MrWezzle

#61

MrWezzle said:

"The time was right" to release Earthbound on VC? No. The time was right about five years ago. What a crap answer.

Moshugan

#62

Moshugan said:

I sure hope GBA comes to 3DS in the near future. It would only make sense!
It's not like there's any technical reason to hold it back.
I hope E3 is where the goods are at.

Mario500

#63

Mario500 said:

Did Marc Franklin say anything about the possibility of EarthBound being released through the original Virtual Console for original Wii systems?

GamerZack87

#64

GamerZack87 said:

@R-Moss: I've been wondering if we'll ever see the Donkey Kong Land trilogy released for 3DS VC. With the first three DKC games removed from the Wii Shop Channel...well, let's just say I'm not expecting it anytime soon.

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