As creator of tent-pole franchises like Kirby or Super Smash Bros. you might think Masahiro Sakurai is a pure bred Nintendo loyalist. So what do you think he has to say about Sony's newest console?
"First off, the console looks cool." Sakurai wrote in his semi-weekly column in Weekly Famitsu. "As hardware evolves, people tend to make things more rounded or add more details, but [the PS4] is properly angular. This simplicity is really nice."
Though he is a developer for Nintendo, Sakurai is not hung up on brands. "Whether it's Nintendo or Sony, Japanese or Foreign, I don't care about picking sides." Sakura said, explaining his stance. "I work hoping that the future of games and the game business will be more fun." That said, Sakurai seemed very impressed with the PlayStation 4.
While he did admit he was disappointed that the console was not backwards compatible with PS3 games — "If only I could play PS3 games on it, I could pack up my PS3 and my room would be cleaner..." — Sakurai did enjoy all the new features of the system, from the new controller, to remote play with the PS Vita, as well as the potential of the SHARE button. But as a developer, Sakurai's eyes look beyond the hardware.
"What I found most appealing was the machine's power. Looking over the various software, the screens are detailed and smooth. Load times are short and there are no slowdowns. Such performance right out the gate — this will help a lot of developers.
Comfort is often overlooked. It's subtle like air, and above all, hard to achieve and build.
It's like 'being healthy.' It's easy to forget that things that come naturally are the most valuable.
Take loading time for instance — you don't think about it if there is none, but once it's there, it's an annoyance. Developers struggle to simplify such things. It can't be helped, but there is a lot that needs to be done that has nothing to do with how entertaining a game is.
This sort of 'unneeded effort,' should be reduced by whatever means necessary. That will lead to more robust content. Wouldn't it be wonderful if raising a hardware's specs lead to smoother game development?
Of course, this is just a developer's opinion and has nothing to do with the player. But it's something that will most certainly come back to the player."
A very level-headed commentary, Mr Sakurai. To summarise, Sakurai noted that the PS4 was overall a very well put-together piece of hardware. "I sincerely hope that many creative masterpieces are born from hardware like this." I wonder what sort of game Sakurai might make for it, given the opportunity. After his arms get better , of course.
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