Read Culture

GDC: Platform Keynote Speakers


J. Allard’s (Microsoft) keynote speech, The Future of Games: Unlocking the Opportunity
(on Wednesday) and Satoru Iwata’s (Nintendo) Heart of a Gamer
(on Thursday) both discussed the next generation in platform gaming. Allard’s speech was more technical than that of Satoru because he was speaking to developers specifically about the new Microsoft developer tools (XNA) and how these will aid in the upcoming HD Era. The slide shot here shows what he thinks the differences will be between the current and upcoming eras. Both recognized the macro trends of constant connectivity and personal customization or creativity. Of the two, Allard’s seemed colder and over stylized in comparison to Satoru’s speech with two video clips, one of which featured James Cameron talking about his upcoming film (which I presume is the one based off the manga, Battle Angel). Allard also gave away 1,000 HD televisions at the end of his speech. It just seemed like he was trying too hard. Either that or I’m just bitter I didn’t get a new TV… More details after the jump…


In comparison, Satoru’s speech was actually quite touching. He started off with how he got into gaming and the game industry. Allard showed examples of how the new interfaces might look like and work whereas Satoru showed the audience the actual stuff and even had audience participation.


Satoru talked alot about the process in which Nintendo goes through when developing new products. He spoke of the next generation of gaming for consoles and the DS. He stated that both the new console, Revolution, and the DS will be WIFI enabled and provided by Nintendo at no cost to the user.


Here is a shot of the new Zelda game for the Revolution console: I apologize that the picture is not better, but trust me when I tell you that when I saw this I was simply blown away. This game is supposed to appeal to hardcore gamers through its graphics and the relationship that gamers have developed with the character. Although, Nintendo is trying to retain its hardcore gamer market, it is also seeking new gamers by integrating other forms of media interaction into game play.


Electroplankton is a game for the DS that allows for user creativity through interactive music composition. The music that the user is creating is interactive and changing. In the first game (going from left to right), the user selects specific particles to compose the music. The second starts off with this heavy base line. Each fish is a layer, in which the user utilizes the voice recorded to create different components of a song. And the third is where the user can remix his or her favorite Nintendo theme songs, like Mario.


Nintendogz is kind of like a super electronic pet dog. It comes with a dozen of the most popular breeds, each having the characteristics known to be inherent in them. The user can pet the dog with the touch screen. Not only does it need affection, but hygiene and bodily functions are also pertinent to game play. Through the mic, the puppy responds to its name and the command termsm, which the user determines and trains the pet with, just as one would with a real puppy. Over all Nintendo’s plan is to make existing games better while also exploring other worlds of interactive entertainment. Satoru ended the speech with the statement that we are all identical, in that we all have the heart of the gamer.


More stories like this one.