Friday, May 25, 2007

Back from the grave...

My god, it's been a long time since I've posted to this blog. Anyone who was a regular visitor (were there any?) probably is long gone. Oh, well. Hopefully they'll come back some day and say "Hi" or something.

Anyway, where have I been and what brought me back? Well, the horribly simple answer to the first query is that I've been busy. Just too many assignments coming in these days, and when I'm done with that work at the end of the day I'm generally completely sick of the computer and posting news to this site is the last thing on my mind.

To answer the second question, I'm back because I just finished the latest round of assignments and feel like I can relax a bit--or at least take a momentary breather. Also, I just read the funniest interview with Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo of America’s vice president of corporate affairs at

I've interviewed a lot of people--some important and some not--and I can honestly say this woman would make me more nervous than almost anyone else I can think of. She's just so good at what she does--she doesn't let anything slip and she comes up with the most perfectly witty retorts.

Here's a snippet from the interview, in case you aren't interested in clicking over to read the entire enjoyable affair:

GI: Speaking of hardware, there’s a lot of companies that are making light-gun shooters that we’ve been seeing. At E3 last year, you had that gun peripheral. Is that ever going to be released?

Kaplan: Could be.

GI: Could be. There’s a lot of games coming that would take advantage of it. Resident Evil, Sega’s got an arcade title coming over.

Kaplan: I couldn’t agree with you more.

GI: Reggie said last year that there would be regular releases through out the calendar year…

Kaplan: Do you feel like there haven’t been?

GI: No, I don’t.

Kaplan: There have been 52 games!

GI: From first party, I’m talking.

Kaplan: I think we’ve had quite a few. You don’t think so? Are they ones that you just don’t like?

GI: No. Paper was great. WarioWare’s good, but…

Kaplan: So you’re already done with Paper and you’re ready for something next. The average consumer spends a little bit of time with it. You have to remember as a core gamer you have an insatiable appetite. You, at all costs, probably don’t shower or eat until a game is done. You’re a freak. And then you want the next one. I think we’ve launched a lot.

GI: To put everything into perspective, for the first party releases, you’ve released two games that have had some meat to them – Zelda and Paper. The rest are shorter experiences…

Kaplan: Have you not enjoyed any third-party experiences.

GI: Rayman, SSX was fun.

Kaplan: Have you tried many?

GI: A lot!

Kaplan: You’ve already said the big guns are this year. You’re going to be busy. Don’t you think so?

GI: Starting in August.

Kaplan: You don’t like Big Brain?

GI: Big Brain is cool, but it’s following the same mini-game formula. The party game.

Kaplan: Those products are for me. Those products are for you to enjoy, but for me to really spend time on. Me, meaning an alpha mom. That’s all part of what we’re offering.

GI: It seems like the core gamer is being left in the dust for this new gamer.

Kaplan: Reggie would tell you that we’re fully committed to the core gamer. You know it’s interesting, we have these arguments internally. Do we have too much expanded audience and not enough core? Do we have too much core and not enough expanded? Everybody on any given day has one opinion, and they can change their minds the next day. We’re figuring out what that balance is. By December I’d love to know if you still feel this way.

GI: By December I’d expect to have Smash Bros., Mario and Metroid out the door.

Kaplan: Tell me by November then.