Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios, spoke with GameInformer during the Tokyo Game Show at length about the upcoming PS Vita. The interview is great, so be sure to check it out in full if you’re interested, but Yoshida was also asked about Nintendo‘s newly announced Slidepad.
Here’s what GameInformer asked:
It’s suspicious that Nintendo is releasing a second circle pad attachment for the 3DS after gamers universally praised the Vita’s dual analog sticks. Can you talk about what looks like an attempt by Nintendo to keep up with Sony?
First, Yoshida commented on the notion that Nintendo saw the two sticks on the PS Vita and made the move to copy the future handheld:
“Well it’s not like they looked at PS Vita and said ‘we need to do that as well.'”
Then he went on to indicate that potential encouragement from outside developers may have lead to the creation of the Slidepad.
“I don’t know. It’s clear that they didn’t believe a second analog was necessary when they designed the 3DS, so I can only guess it was requested by Capcom’s side. Maybe a Capcom producer told Nintendo that to play Monster Hunter we need [two] analog sticks. That I don’t know, so I can only guesstimate. It was a bit shocking to see what they came up with.”
Yoshida is definitely right on point with the first bit of his quip; Nintendo didn’t think the second circle pad was a necessity when they first got to work building the Nintendo 3DS. Personally, I don’t think it is either. Does that absence of a second stick eliminate several types of games from the handheld’s potential roster? Yes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the device will be devoid of quality titles.
Blame that on third party support and Nintendo’s decision to push their quality releases away from the 3DS’ launch.
While Yoshida can only provide the limited perspective of an outsider looking in, it is interesting to read that he and his company don’t necessarily feel like the Slidepad was created as a competitive move of imitation. Games and hardware borrow from one another with every genration, and it’s obvious that the companies involved in innovation don’t see it as an insult.
Ultimately, love for each piece of hardware and their perspective control schemes will come down to physical use. I’ve tried the PS Vita, it’s two thumbsticks work beautifully. I cannot, however, speak for the Slidepad.