Another Bill Trinen post for you guys, this time talking about the challenges of being the translator for one of the most important people in the video games industry: Mario-creator Shigeru Miyamoto. Trinen has been Miyamoto's translator for several years, and it always impressed me how much he was able to not only translate, but recall, all without the help of a notebook.
He talks about this challenge and about the times when him and Miyamoto-san aren't quite on the same page, in the video below:
Bill Trinen, the Product Marketing Manager of Nintendo of America, was on-hand at the "Wii Sports Resort" launch last week, talking about the game, when he mentioned there's a lot more than just the basic modes to enjoy. He references the table tennis challenge, shown off at E3, which is a much faster version of the standard table tennis. But there's more! Trinen mentions a secret frisbee mode, among others. Check out the video below and see if you can crack the code:
"Your games will no longer be competing for space in the system memory," Nintendo of America's Bill Trinen announced today. During Satoru Iwata's keynote at GDC Trinen revealed the features of Wii System Menu 4.0, which is going live today.
According to Trinen:
-A single SD card can now hold up to 240 titles.
-The Wii can now handle high-capacity SD cards, up to 32GB,
-Content will be downloadable directly from the Wii shop channel to the SD card. The game scan be launched from the SD card with, according to Trinen, "A short loading time." (To launch NES game "The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" took about four seconds during Trinen's demonstration)
"You ask very good questions!"
That's what Nintendo's lead designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, said to me near the end of our interview last week, before issuing a surprisingly frank explanation of what the wildly praised "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" could have done better.
Then, things got even more unusual. He put me on the spot and started interviewing me. He wanted to talk about hardcore games. (Guess which first-person game he lavished praise on?)
And he wrapped it all up with a tease about the new Wii "Punch-Out!".
Read about all of that and more in this third and final part of my interview with Mr. Miyamoto ... right below. Read More...
Slight change of plans, readers.
I'm now presenting my hour-long interview with Nintendo's chief game designer Shigeru Miyamoto from last week in three parts instead of two, since the final third of our interview went in a very unexpected direction. It would have been too distracting to run today. (Trust me!)
Yesterday, in Part 1, we dove deep on Miyamoto's development process for the unabashedly radical "Wii Music."
Today, here's the middle part, in which we discuss the possibility of "Wii Music" DLC and IGN's Matt Casamassina reaches a new level of Nintendo relevance as Miyamoto name-checks him while discussing his harsh review of the game. And more good stuff... Read More...
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, once a rare presence, is now a frequent fixture of the marketing push for Nintendo's big games.
Earlier this year the game designer did the rounds to discuss "Wii Fit." Then in July he talked up E3. Last week in San Francisco, he took a break from sitting near me at a charity dinner, to talk to reporters about "Wii Music."
To be honest, I was beginning to feel like Miyamoto interviews were becoming a little too familiar, like you knew what he'd say before you ever read one.
Then I wound up sitting with him for an hour at Nintendo's Redwood City offices last week. The result was the most interesting conversation he and I have had since I first talked to him in May 2004.
What follows is the first half of a full transcript of the interview, with the latter half running tomorrow. A shortened version of part one is live on MTVNews.com. This first half of the mammoth interview covers much of the "Wii Music" part of our conversation, which branched far beyond what you may have already heard about that game, covering:
A few years ago, Bill Trinen, long-time translator at Nintendo, tried to convince some reporters at E3, myself included, that a debuting game called "Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat" was worth checking out on the show floor. The game was a side-scroller you controlled solely by banging on or clapping over a bongo-drum-shaped controller. This game was great, he told us.
It seemed hard to believe.
Once I played it, I realized Trinen was right. And enough people at Nintendo other than Trinen must have concluded that as well, because the "Jungle Beat" team's next gig wound up being the next "Super Mario" game, "Super Mario Galaxy."
"Jungle Beat" has remained a hidden gem of a Nintendo-made game, but is now set to be the first of seven "Play on Wii" GameCube re-makes being produced for the Wii. The re-made "Jungle Beat" will be released in Japan on December 11, with a re-made "Pikmin" following on December 25.
A short video Nintendo has released for the game suggests that the Wii release is essentially a port of the GameCube game -- but with new controls. Check it out in motion near the bottom of this Nintendo page.
Nintendo of America has not yet announced details about these re-makes or even if they're coming to the U.S. I can recall that, back in March 2006, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told me in an interview that he was proud that the Wii's backwards compatibility with the GameCube would allow overlooked GCN titles to get a second shot with consumers. With this new program, his company has made its best effort yet to make his wish a reality.
Just don't ask me how players can clap their hands while their holding a Wii remote and nunchuk.
I spent an hour yesterday hanging out with Nintendo's star game maker Shigeru Miyamoto for an interview about "Wii Fit" we'll be airing on MTV in the coming weeks (and that you'll get to read about at MTVNews.com).
We talked a great deal about "Wii Fit," and he gave me and the MTV News crew a fantastic demo of the game.
I had brushed up for the interview by reading everything from the NeoGAF forums to Miyamoto's "Wii Fit" interviews with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Those Iwata chats are so good because, as Miyamoto told me, the two men have lunch three times a week -- and Satoru Iwata remembers things.
I hope to have more to share from the interview early next week. For now, here's a treat for anyone out there caught up with terms like "non-games."
Me: Do you consider "Wii Fit" a video game?
Miyamoto: Well, yes, in my mind, I would say it is a video game.
I wasn't going to argue with him...
(Look below for one more picture from the interview, also including Nintendo's Bill Trinen translating on the mic)
There are things people at Nintendo know that they don't want me to know.
There are things they don't want you to know either.
Is it possible that such things include the simple, straight-forward details of a new high-quality Wii game that comes out in less than two weeks?
And, if so, is there method to such apparent madness or are Nintendo's most hardcore games just being set up to fail?
At the Nintendo Media Summit last week in San Francisco I asked the company's vice president of marketing in the U.S., Perrin Kaplan, about Nintendo's apparent strategy to wait until the last minute to tell its customers about certain Wii games. We talked about the brief and deeply unpopular pre-release "Metroid Prime 3" hype campaign, comparing it to "BioShock" and "Halo 3."
I'll share that exchange in a moment, but first, let me tell you a story that epitomizes the issues. It's a story from last Friday, a day after my interview with Kaplan, a day I tried to find out a little bit more -- a little bit too much, it turns out -- about "Battalion Wars 2."
And what a mistake that was.