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Super Street Fighter IV 3DS Video Interview
Revogamers: What new opportunities are you considering when bringing a franchise like Street Fighter to a new handheld like the Nintendo 3DS?
Yoshinori Ono: In the plan of bringing Street Fighter IV back to the scene, my desire was to bring back everyone into how people used to play Street Fighter 2. We just wanted to bring that passion back to the industry. So when we started, we started from HD [consoles], Xbox 360 and PS3, because that's where we thought most gamers were, so that's how we released the games first [in those consoles].
But obviously, even with those consoles we couldn't quite bring back the sensation we had with Street Fighter 2 because the situation is different now. People play games on different machines, so the next point was iPhone. I thought about releasing a game on iPhone and you know that, again, is directed to a different demography and that also touched the casual gamers as well, and I was then looking for another medium to touch an even bigger casual market, and at that point Nintendo announced 3DS and I decided that that was the way to touch the casual market with Street Fighter.
Although it's a hardcore game on a hard gamers console, previous to 3DS, on iPhone we could play with the touch screen as well. With 3DS you've got stunning graphics anyway so all in all, that [the 3DS] is going to be an important core of the Street Fighter gaming in the entire hardcore and casual gamers [community].
RG: You said that you can play with touch controls also on 3DS?
Ono: Fundamentally, I think about the SNES pad, the D-pad... There were 4 buttons and... Yeah! There were 6 buttons (laughs). But for this time, because the 3DS has got a touch screen, we want to bring down the entry barrier of the difficulty of the game even lower, so then we tried to utilize the touch screen as well, to make it easier for people to play.
I think most of people must have touched Street Fighter through Super Nintendo console, that's where it was most popular, and obviously with the 3DS, that's where I can bring the real sensation back. Those people who used to play Street Fighter 2 on the SNES are probably about my age - I'm entering forty (laughs). When they play Super Street Fighter on 3DS they might not remember everything, they may go like "I remember this move, but how do I do this?" and to help that we use the touch screen.
RG: What does the 3D add to the gameplay experience?
Ono: When we talk about 3D graphics, people was thinking "we have to utilize the 3D graphics and we have to rotate the game and make everything 3D", but when I started making Street Fighter 4 for the HD consoles someone asked me "does it have to be HD resolution?" In fact, it didn't have to be, I could have done it in 8-bit graphics and get the same gameplay, because in these 10-20-30 years what has evolved is technology. But gameplay itself, some games don't change, they already have been established so well that they don't need changing.
But what does graphics help is to bring the memory back. So say if you played Street Fighter ten years ago, and then if you see it on an 8-bit screen, that's not really going to bring back any of the memories. But we could see that people complement the memories within they head: when they see the new Ryu, they will actually remember the Ryu that they saw in 16-bit, that is back. So we're trying to help people to bring their memories back, to have these experiences back to the modern world, where people are completely into high def and 3D graphics.
What we want to do in 3DS is that yeah, you are going to see the same Street Fighter, but it will help you in every single way to bring back the memories. You don't need any more help: you just look at it and you can tell that it's Street Fighter, and that's how we utilize 3D.