Coming from a Bloomberg interview with Tsunekazu Ishihara, chief executive officer of Tokyo-based Pokémon...
- ability to trade Pokemon and battle one-on-one reconfirmed for Pokemon GO
- have only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do with the game
“Depending on location, there are many Pokémon with different characteristics. So what do we do with those and the real world? One view is to have chilly Pokémon in a cold climate, but then that would also mean that people born on a tropical island won’t be able to catch them. So we are always thinking of how to find the right balance between game design, how our Pokémon should exist, and how players feel about their collections. Right now, if you go to the coast you can catch water Pokémon. For example, if you have a setting for electric-type Pokémon (such as Pikachu) to appear at power plants, is that really a good idea for you to find one in such a location -- is it safe, and is it OK regionally? We see it as a very realistic problem.
On the other hand, it has created a lot of social problems. When too many people gather, it causes mass confusion. Also this isn’t limited to Pokémon Go, but the issue of staring at smartphones while walking is something we have to focus on and think about.”
- Switch allows the opportunity to create a Pokémon game that goes deeper and has a higher level of expression
- this makes it an extremely important platform to Pokemon Co.
- “Until now, games were made as one for one person, but now you can go home and play with everyone -- so how do we tackle these themes, and how do we make sure it’s not complicated?”
- no confirmation on Switch accessories for the Pokemon game, but it's under consideration
- Switch is not a device that has a constant network connection, so it's not viewed to differently from DS or 3DS
- Augmented Reality fits well with Pokemon Company's vision for the franchise
“With current AR, even if you say Pikachu is there, no one really thinks that. But that reality is just one step away. For example, you’ll be able to find Pikachu, and it can sense this table and jump on it, and you can see its shadow on the table, and then it faces you and starts talking to you. We will see the birth of this reality that is another step up from the current Pokémon Go. And I’ve only mentioned the visual aspect, but you can add haptic and rumble technology to that.
Voice-activated assistants are increasing. Whether it is Google Home or Amazon or Apple Homepod, there are many of them and we could see these dialogue-based devices give birth of a new form of entertainment.
Switch is just one of the possible platforms. I think we will open up more possibilities from all these platforms. Playing in a more realistic way should be possible.”
Mr. Ishihara also opened up about the Switch, saying that he didn't think it was going to be a success. He's changed his tune now, but still thinks another step to reach a wider audience.
“I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale, because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console. It’s obvious I was wrong. I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple. Software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough. Currently it’s popular among the early adopters, but there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience. I see more potential in Switch, but one shouldn’t overestimate its potential.”