Nintendo Japan president talks video motion control, graphics, and why there is only one analog stick on the 3DS XL

If the 3DS XL handheld had two analog sticks, this would have compromised the size and battery life of the unit, according to Nintendo Japan's president Satoru Iwata.

If the 3DS XL handheld had two analog sticks, this would have compromised the size and battery life of the unit, according to Nintendo Japan's president Satoru Iwata.

In a Q&A with British publication Independent, Iwata was questioned on many of Nintendo's recent decisions ranging from the 3DS XL's design to the future of graphics on the Wii U. Iwata said that while Nintendo would have liked to include two analog sticks on the 3DS XL, they had to consider what would be compromised.

"When we looked at the design of the 3DS XL we had to look at various factors," Iwata said. "One was battery life, one was the overall size of the unit, and we had to make some trade-offs.

"The choice, if we were going to include a second analog stick was to reduce the size of the battery or make the unit much bigger."

Iwata says that because they wanted to have a much bigger screen in comparison to the overall size of the system, the second analog stick was sacrificed.

Speaking about motion control, Iwata said there were no plans to incorporate gesture control into Nintendo consoles in the way that the PS3 Move and Kinect have been incorporated into the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

"I personally believe that if there is no physical feedback from the controller then that's, for me, not good," he said. "With the Wiimote it has a certain weight, you feel like you have something in your hand, you can press a button and have this haptic feedback or can hear a sound, or it will rumble. With a camera there's no feedback that you can feel physically.

"I personally believe that if there is no physical feedback from the controller then that's, for me, not good."

"But this is just my subjective point of view and whether I'm correct or not maybe we'll see in 10 years, I think history will tell us."

Iwata also spoke about console graphics and the power of the Wii U. When asked if Nintendo will take the opportunity to release a game that can match the horse power of the Wii U, Iwata explained that while he enjoyed beautiful graphics, Nintendo isn't any sort of graphics arms race.

"... I think it will become increasingly difficult from now on to compete over graphics," he said. "This is because no matter how much we increase the number of polygons we can display and improve the shading it will become increasingly difficult to tell the difference.

"Obviously people who are experts in the field will see these things and will look at some details and be enthusiastic about improvements in that field, but I don't think that will be enough from the general consumer's point of view, so I think when we look at the design of a new games console we need a structure and concept that offers more than just good graphics."

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