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The Future of Pokémon Video Games - Bloomberg Technology Interviews CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara


Yuji Nakamura of Bloomberg Technology interviewed The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara and talked about the future of Pokémon video games. Below are excerpts from that interview.

Pokémon GO:

The interview confirmed once again that Trading and one-on-one battles are coming to Pokémon GO.

  • “We’ve only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do, so going forward we will have to include fundamental Pokémon experiences such as Pokémon trading and peer-to-peer battles, and other possibilities.”
  • “Depending on location, there are many Pokémon with different characteristics. So what do we do with those and the real world? One view is to have chilly Pokémon in a cold climate, but then that would also mean that people born on a tropical island won’t be able to catch them. So we are always thinking of how to find the right balance between game design, how our Pokémon should exist, and how players feel about their collections.”
  • “Right now, if you go to the coast you can catch water Pokémon. For example, if you have a setting for electric-type Pokémon (such as Pikachu) to appear at power plants, is that really a good idea for you to find one in such a location -- is it safe, and is it OK regionally? We see it as a very realistic problem.”
  • “On the other hand, it has created a lot of social problems. When too many people gather, it causes mass confusion. Also this isn’t limited to Pokémon Go, but the issue of staring at smartphones while walking is something we have to focus on and think about.”

Pokémon Game for the Nintendo Switch:

  • The announcement caused Nintendo’s stock price to jump as much as 3 percent in U.S. trading, as investors bet the new title will boost Switch sales.
  • “With the Switch, we see it as a chance to create Pokémon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression. As a result, that makes it an extremely important platform.”
  • “Right now we’re using 7 to 8 inch screens, but on a high-definition TV you can express a whole different world with graphics and sound.”
  • “Until now, games were made as one for one person, but now you can go home and play with everyone -- so how do we tackle these themes, and how do we make sure it’s not complicated?”
  • “I can’t say that we’ll release accessories, but I’d like to think of that possibility.”
  • “Unlike smartphones, the Switch is not a game device that assumes that there’s constant network connectivity. So from our perspective, it’s really not that different from DS or 3DS in terms of connectivity.”

Augmented Reality and the Future of Pokémon

Augmented Reality could play a significant role in games other than Pokémon GO.
  • “With current AR, even if you say Pikachu is there, no one really thinks that. But that reality is just one step away. For example, you’ll be able to find Pikachu, and it can sense this table and jump on it, and you can see its shadow on the table, and then it faces you and starts talking to you. We will see the birth of this reality that is another step up from the current Pokémon Go. And I’ve only mentioned the visual aspect, but you can add haptic and rumble technology to that.”
  • “Voice-activated assistants are increasing. Whether it is Google Home or Amazon or Apple Homepod, there are many of them and we could see these dialogue-based devices give birth of a new form of entertainment.”
  • “Switch is just one of the possible platforms. I think we will open up more possibilities from all these platforms. Playing in a more realistic way should be possible.”

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/pokemon-s-ceo-hints-at-big-plans-for-games-on-smartphone-switch
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