TOKYO--Nintendo has plenty of ideas in store for its dual-screen handheld. Company president Satoru Iwata recently shared some of those in a comment on Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi's Web site, Hobo Mainichi Itoi Shinbun.
"In a time when people are saying to themselves, 'We aren't playing [many] video games, compared to the old days,' I'm always thinking and working on ways to increase the population of gamers. And that's also the reason behind the development of the DS," Iwata wrote. "In order to get those [nongamers] to play games, we need to make video games that...relate to those people. If we only keep making games that fit in existing categories, like action games, racing games, role-playing games, sports games, adventure games, strategy games, and puzzle games, people won't turn around to look, because they already feel that those kinds of games have nothing to do with them.
"For that reason, we need to come up with new ideas that will expand the definition of video games. Our [game] Puppy Times, which is slated for release in April, is one example of a product that will expand the definition of games. It's meant to be enjoyed by all people who love dogs, unlike traditional dog-breeding simulation games.
"After the launch of Puppy Times, we have plans for other games that will also expand the definition of video games. Ideas that we have [for the DS] include a game that employs an electronic dictionary, a game that enhances brain activities, and a game that's played by [listening to] sound and touching light."
Iwata also talked a bit about the DS music game Daigasso! Band Brothers (Jam with the Band). The game was originally slated for release on the Game Boy Advance more than three years ago under the title Game Boy Music. It was canceled because it required multiple cartridges to perform in-game concerts with other GBA players. Iwata resurrected the game for the DS because it seemed perfect for the hardware, which includes game-sharing capabilities. As long as one person owns a copy of the game, DS players can perform concerts together. As with Puppy Times, Iwata sees Band Brothers as a title that expands the definition of video games, because the DS transforms into a musical instrument in players' hands.
"We hope that these games will let a wide range of people enjoy the DS, regardless of age, gender, and whether or not they have had gaming experience," Iwata said.