Composer Yuzo Koshiro not sure why Switch exists, feels it doesn't offer anything novel

Coming from a Polygon interview with composer Yuzo Koshiro...

"Switch strikes me as a very Nintendo-like piece of hardware. The games that Nintendo makes haven't really changed over these past 20 years. They've had recent hits like Splatoon, but looking at the hardware, it seems made for games like Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon ... it seems like they simply wanted to make a system that would allow them to make those games more dynamic, so they could add more expression to their games. They only really want to have people enjoy their own games more. It doesn't really seem like they are being that adventurous with the system.

If Nintendo is going to keep up with the Switch, I think they'll need cheaper models, or maybe to make them lighter. If they were to do that, it could become a replacement for the 3DS ... but, of course, Nintendo has said themselves that that is not what they're planning to do. It kind of makes me think, 'Why does this thing even exist, really?' In other words, it's a game system that will allow people to enjoy Nintendo games even more, but at the same time, I'm not really surprised by it and don't really feel there's anything novel about it.

I honestly haven't really thought too much about [what series I'd like to compose for], but I do love Nintendo titles. I think it would be fantastic to work on something like Zelda or Splatoon. Zelda, in particular, I am a huge fan of. I love fantasy and action, and of course, Zelda is the ultimate combination of both of those things."

Well that's a bit disheartening to hear. Koshiro is one of my favorite game composers ever. Oh well, I guess you can't please everyone all of the time.

Categories: Interviews, Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment
Mon Jun 19 17 02:16pm
Rating: 9

"Switch strikes me as a very Nintendo-like piece of hardware. The games that Nintendo makes haven't really changed over these past 20 years."

Stopped reading there ^^

Mon Jun 19 17 02:16pm
Rating: 9

"Switch strikes me as a very Nintendo-like piece of hardware. The games that Nintendo makes haven't really changed over these past 20 years."

Stopped reading there ^^

To be fair, until BOTW/Mario Odyssey most of Nintendo's games have been samey the past few years. That doesn't mean they're bad, as you don't fix what isn't broken, but in the case of NSMB for example there are some franchises that desperately need to be shaken up/done differently. BOTW was an amazing example of how to do it right and it looks like SMO will be the same

Honestly I think it's the only questionable statement he makes. There's a lot of context to question there, but dismissing it is also an option, since we can't actually question him.

Tue Jun 20 17 11:37am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

You made it sound more interesting than it seemed, so I read the whole thing and sure enough it was a loss of my time. Most of what he says doesn't make a lot of sense to me and I guess if that's really what he thinks about the Switch then he should probably just leave the industry altogether because the other two are the ones that are guilty of what he's accusing Nintendo to do.

That being said I have to admit none of his other statements are as rushed and blatantly wrong as the first one. So yeah in that sense it was worth reading past the first sentence.

Noy blaming you though, you tried. Good on you. And I'll give you that though, the whole thing would require more context.

He has genuine pointa worth talking about, but to be honest he didn't add to his own conversation.

I mean, how does making it cheaper and different models add anything novel, either?

I can't disagree with any of this except for the comments on software. Nintendo has made great progress there. The switch, however, is a rehash of old ideas in portable form.

Nintendo was more or less up front with that though.

"Switch is all of our old consoles in one, but better"

Anyone who thinks the Switch isnt also replacing the 3DS, especially after the E3 Pokemon announcement, is fooling themselves.

Pretty obvious from his comments that he's never played one.

I don't think he's wrong in the sense that Switch doesn't introduce new avenues for gameplay. It has convenience and functionality though, which is enough for a lot of people. Clearly that's not what impresses him, and that's ok.

Fair enough. But, by that standard, what has the PS4 and XboxOne contributed? What is he looking for exactly?

Probably VR, and I'm not saying that in an aggresive tone, some folks still think VR is the future.

That or he's a PC gamer?

I might be confusing with that other guy but the questioning(lol) and general behavior towards nintendo sure is consistent with a bit of animosity

If Nintendo is going to keep up with the Switch, I think they'll need cheaper models, or maybe to make them lighter. If they were to do that, it could become a replacement for the 3DS ... but, of course, Nintendo has said themselves that that is not what they're planning to do. It kind of makes me think, 'Why does this thing even exist, really?

Exactly now let's phase out the 3DS please so Switch can be the one and all device it's suppose to be thanks!

more importantly, what does ja rule think?

Mon Jun 19 17 05:59pm
Rating: 1

Probably still of Monica

That's what I said about the Switch since the beginning, but somehow it worked, and it's definitely because of 2 factors, Zelda and marketing, not the console itself, but I'm not complaining.

Mon Jun 19 17 03:23pm
(Updated 1 time)

To be honest, there have been times I don't know what to think of the Switch. The Wifi signal is so horrible and random, loving certain routers I hook up to while not working with others (including my home one, sadly) and so far it feels more like a 3DS successor than a Wii U successor, with a similar library of games and a nice portable form factor. I don't feel that it's a true console at all and I suspect the Switch was meant to be a 3DS successor before they decided to try the idea of adding TV-Out, boosting the power with Nvidia's help and advertising it as a portable console. (And of course, making it easy to port to which I think will help the Switch in the long run in regards to getting lots of indies/first party titles out on it)

I have a feeling after year 1 all the AAA console games will skip Switch in favor of games suited for a handheld, since that's what the Switch truly is. Though having the 3DS still alive and on the market at the same time doesn't help the Switch's case . I'm just baffled it's gonna outsell the Wii U by the end of the year despite being an inferior home console system in almost every way IMO. (No Miiverse, no achievement system, no VC, eShop drought, UI lacks personality and features, Limited friend options, no Camera, no Amazon Instant Video/Netflix, and no internet browser. It just plays games)

So in a way, I can pretty much see why Yuzo isn't impressed by it, as outside of times where I took it to places and had a blast with local MP games the Switch is like a dry skeleton with only average retail support and nothing more. I don't expect my interest to peak until the VC launches, there are weekly eShop games from indies or when September hits due to the AAA games coming more frequently

How is the 3DS hurting the Switch in anyway?

It adds to the illusion that it's a Home console like the Wii U, when in reality when you own one it feels a lot like a handheld. Unless they add all the things I mentioned it lacked to make the Switch like an actual console, then it'll pretty much be considered a tablet with TV-Out by most western developers in a year or so.

Yeah, I definitely feel Nintendo fans are just like "Woohoo, we have a console selling well. Looking at us now, Microsoft and Sony!" But how long will that last? I could see the Switches sells dropping at some point and Nintendo fans will just be like "What happened?"

The Switch makes it easier for other games to come to the system. Nintendo fans want all the games but will they actually support them?

I haven't played the Switch for an extended period of time since I don't own but I think the main mechanic of the device is very damaging. Why can't the dock and Switch be used at the same time? If it's a simple matter of the Switch needing to be connected to some connector in the dock, add a cable or something so the Switch can be used at the same time.

I don't even want that many Switch games so I might wait for a long while to buy the console. Pokemon is one of the few things that would make me buy one very fast. I don't think having a camera is important as that might make the price go up but it sucks that the Switch is missing a lot of features. It seems incomplete. I can see Nintendo doing a Switch pro at some point which would be an improved version of the Switch device with new features such as a mic.

Well the hybrid functionality is actually amazing me a lot. OK, so at home my net is amazingly bad, specially in the house (country side and in a nice turn so the tower is pretty much hidden) and when it's clouded or, even worse, raining I got about nothing. BUT! I can take the Switch and modem outside and play ARMS online Smile And offline I can play inside when I feel like it (I have played the testfire from inside the house, so it's not always bad). Point is I can not do that with the XO or any other of my consoles.

OK. That's me, but it really is practical.

Apart from that it's a fine console. I am still a bit amazed how powerful that little tablet actually is. Love the joy-cons.

Now when it comes to the games, he is straight out wrong. Splatoon was....Fresh... Mario Kart 8 is absoloutly the best in the series IMO and Mario Odd looks very exciting. And what happens with CoD? Back to WW2...YAY!

Yeah, it's many of their consoles in one, just better. It could have been a stronger console and maybe we would get more 3rd party support, but this E3 showed there is a lot of fun coming! =)

Why do people on this site feel so threatened by what he said? Lol this was an interview. You're mad because someone asked him a question and he was honest?

Mon Jun 19 17 04:16pm
Rating: 4

Don't think anyone are threatened here. Some people respond with their own honest opinions. It's a discussion forum after all.

His opinion here is the direct opposite of people who bashed the DS, Wii and the Wii U for trying to do something different with new ("gimmicky") controls and dual screens. Here we have a single screen hybrid console that is selling like gangbusters because it is "samey". Go figure.

Mon Jun 19 17 04:36pm
Rating: 1

Remember, kids, he's a composer. He gets paid to be creative not think.

Mon Jun 19 17 09:15pm
Rating: 1

For a second there, I thought I read "he's a computer". Which then got me thinking of those G.I. Joe PSA parodies by Fensler Films.

Mon Jun 19 17 04:44pm
Rating: 1

Would he feel differently if Switch had something like this.

or this:

That second picture is nightmare fuel .

Mon Jun 19 17 05:06pm
Rating: 1

Really, he can say whatever he wants. I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing his compositions on Switch in the near future. I'm fine with him having opinions, even if I don't agree with them.

He made the Streets of Rage 2 and Etrian Odyssey soundtracks, so he can say whatever he wants. He's got my respect regardless.


And don't forget ActRaiser. So awesome.

Almost, but not quite how I felt about the Switch when it was first announced.
I remember being attacked by people here and in other places, for my opinion. I was constantly called a downer, amongst other, less appropriate names...

That said, my opinion of the Switch has increased since my owning of it.
But it wasn't the console that sold me. Not at all. If I think about it, my opinion remains the same as before.
No, what sold me on liking the console, was the games library, and its upcoming library. It's the experience of the games themselves.
Outside of graphics and scope, does the Switch currently do MORE than the Wii U? .... Portability, I suppose, but even I brought my Wii U around. This just requires a smaller bag - and it's easier to show off.

The Switch doesn't provide anything really new. It didn't take a step forward in anything. But it certainly did when compared to the PS3-PS4/360-One... But does any of that really matter?
I suppose not: if everyone's praising the Switch for its games - and so few are actually talking about bringing it out with them (outside of plane trips).

In a way, the Switch is what I hoped the Wii U could have been game library-wise and marketing-wise. It had potential, if used properly, but it wasn't. The Switch, so far, IS being used properly.
So I suppose, in the end, it's not about what a system CAN DO, but what you ACTUALLY DO with it.

So, yes, I can see where he's coming from. The Switch doesn't add anything new or compelling enough from a tech/function standpoint... But it does sell what it has VERY WELL. Which the other consoles have been failing to do recently.

Don't come at me with the "PORTABLE HOME CONSOLE" argument. We all know that, in all technicality, it's an amped up handheld with a TV dock. It's a more convenient, better advertised PS Vita with okay motion controls and simple two player mode.
We perceive it as a portable home console, but just because a magic trick fools us - doesn't mean it's a real magic spell.

I like the Switch's current and upcoming library. And how easy it is for others to develop for it. That's really all that makes it amazing for me.
But design-functionality-wise, IT IS basic.
That's not a bad thing, but it does make it less impressive at first glance.

Mon Jun 19 17 05:15pm
(Updated 1 time)

I agree with him, and I never Switched myself.

They shouldn't have ditched the touch screen and they should have made it compatible with Wii U.
Yeah.. and starting over again with the whole library of Nintendo games, I'm not buying it. I might have been tempted in the long run if they'd have let me attach my Wii U library.
I think dropping a platform is so dumb... You might want to upgrade it like iOS OSX and Windows do... Totally dropping a digital platform where customers invested a bunch in and building it from scratch again, expecting everyone to buy more or less the same thing again for another box is imo really old fashioned thinking. Sooner then later people get turned down by this kind of strategy..

Also throwing xx million machines out of the window every 5 years is not at all a great thing either imo. We did this for some time, but I'd say it is not very responsible to keep pumping out machines like that the next x00 years. I'd say be a truly creative company and embrace and keep supporting all platforms you brought to this planet. Not only making new ones, but fix them up for a price when they are broken. For instance I might want to dust off my SNES if I could buy a brand new game for it. Maybe challenge developers again to build the best and most fun NES game ever, that old entertainment system might get seriously hot again. I'd be certainly interested in a new AAA Zelda title for the N64...
Tbh how awesome would that be? A new Zelda for the Gamecube, designed by the 2017 Zelda dev team? It'd have to be a super creative and fun game so it can blow all these techy software out of the water. The art must be done very smart and deliver a new timeless graphical style! It would be a new Gamecube game! The best ever ^_^ And you might be able to play it on Wii and buy it in the eStore of Wii U and Switch as well : )

If there's nothing novel about the Switch then there's nothing novel about the other systems out there at all then, because the competition is making even less of an effort to be novel.

So this guy who looks like a negative version of Miyamoto thinks there's nothing novel about a console that is both portable and handheld and comes with 2 controllers built in? This man is a perfect example of the narrow-mindedness of the modern gamer.

They will gobble up consoles that haven't changed their format in 20 years (Playstation, XBox) and claim it's the greatest thing ever because "durr, the games are prettier, durr" but when a company actually innovates and achieves a dream that the industry has been chasing for decades. (Wii with motion controls and Switch with is hybrid design) they're "why does this exist?"

These people thrive in stagnation. This man sounds supremely ignorant. Nintendo is the only one of the big 3 that's actually trying to innovate only to have clowns like these shut down their efforts simply because it was Nintendo that did it and Nintendo caters to their developers first instead of 3rd parties that abandoned them the first chance they got. I bet if it was the Sony Switch he wouldn't be making stupid statements like this.

Mon Jun 19 17 07:07pm
Rating: 2

I'm disappointed by my fellow community members in the comment section. I assume most of you are unaware who Yuzo Koshiro is, what he does, or his contributions to the industry.

Nintendo Power once stated that Koshiro was "arguably the greatest game-music composer of the 16-bit age" and that he "created some of the most memorable game music of the late '80s and early '90s." He has produced some of the most influential role-playing video game scores, for titles such as Nihon Falcom's Dragon Slayer and Ys series, as well as ActRaiser and Beyond Oasis.

He's been contributing to the industry since 1986, and most recently produced the score for 2017's Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom; which is on the Switch no less. His opinion is colored by his years in the industry and as a composer first; which he's very much on point in regards to the current generation of systems, including the Switch, are some of the least risk taking systems ever developed.

I personally don't agree with him, as I very much enjoy my Switch and have been willingly upgrading my library from Wii U. I would agree that the system has room to grow and improve; as his criticisms in my eyes represent a desire to make the system more robust/varied/stand out.

I like to think of the Switch as a flower bud, where it's unassuming and plain looking at first. If you give it your time and attention, you see it bloom out to it's own values.

Tue Jun 20 17 08:31am
Rating: 1

I'm not sure I understand your comment. You explain who Koshiro is as if that would any credibility to what he says. But then you say you disagree with him, so no, Koshiro's achievements doesn't add any credibility even for you, so what was the point of this introduction?

Credibility has very little to do with getting someone to agree with you. He was commenting about other posters not quite respecting Koshiro's opinion. You can disagree with someone and still respect their opinion.

Maybe I should've said authority rather than credibility. But either way, I don't think it's quite disrespectful to give your own opinion as a reaction to someone else's. Aside from very few exceptions, I don't see anyone being rude or anything

Tue Jun 20 17 08:51am
(Updated 1 time)

The story title removes his words from their context, and in that way I think it's misrepresentative. We could have easily quoted him for not being "surprised" by the Switch, for example, and it wouldn't rile as many people up.

Other than omitting the notion that he's talking about the big picture of the last 20 years, I don't have a problem with his opinion. Basically I think the Switch has caught on so well because it -seems- to not do anything novel. I could point out the various ways it lets you play multiplayer on the go, but handhelds are much more popular in Japan, so I think that's the context he has that allows him to dismiss that part of the Switch at a surface level. Also, I bet he's not an avid player, despite his role in the industry.

Still seems like an alright guy, to me.

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