Gamer Web Article on Yuji Naka

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 25 May 2001
  • Interview Topics: E3 2001, Sonic & Future, Game Cube, Multi-Platform
  • Interview Source: Gamerweb external.png

SEGA Unleashed:
Yuji Naka Interview

Part 7: Sonic Team's president is the creator of Sonic and Samba De Amigo and Phantasy Star Online Enter Naka-san. Here he discusses the future of Sonic Team's projects.

As Peter Moore says in a moment, Yuji Naka needs no introduction. Speaking for the first time about his new Sonic games on Nintendo platforms, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehod revealed some cool new stuff, and we'll be showing more in our huge E3 movie coverage as soon as GamerWeb:TV launches. Here we go…

Peter Moore: When we look at the videogame industry and we look at platforms, and we look at what defines platforms, I think it's fair to say that you can pick one or two characters that are synonymous not only within this industry, but within popular culture itself. When we look for example at Nintendo, whether it's Mario, Donkey Kong or in more recent times Zelda, clearly Nintendo has done a great job in developing character-based franchises to live on.

But I would argue that no character has defined a company more aggressively and over a long period of time, than Sonic the Hedgehog has defined who SEGA, is and what our platforms stand for. This next gentleman is the creator of Sonic, and perhaps more recently you've had fun with Samba De Amigo, and even more recently you have been addicted with hundreds of thousands of gamers around the world, with Phantasy Star Online. It gives me great honor to introduce a man who really needs no introduction, the president of the Sonic Team and the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka.

Yuji Naka: I am Naka from the Sonic Team, thank you for coming. I've got six titles to show you today, I'll show two of them now. The first is a GBA title and the second is a Gamecube title.

[Naka shows us footage from Sonic on the GBA, and Phantasy Star Online for Gamecube, with four players playing offline in split-screen mode (also invented by Naka in Sonic 2 on Genesis, you may recall) - awesome stuff].

The first title was Sonic for the Advanced GameBoy, and it's the tenth anniversary for Sonic this year. Sonic the Hedgehog Advance is targeted for the GBA platform, we want Sonic to be available on every platform. Recently gaming has been very predominantly 3D, and it has been refreshing to go back to 2D and create a unique game on the GameBoy Advance. In this version, you can choose four characters, and four players can play simultaneously using the GBA link cables. On June 23 we'll be shipping Sonic Adventure 2 all over the world.

Last year in Japan we had 260,000 games playing PSO together online. The visuals you can see now are from the Gamecube version, being played offline with a four-way split screen. As you know this is a multiplayer game where each player helps each other to accomplish the goal. In the Nintendo version with the younger audience, we though this four-way spilt screen would be perfect.

We only spent about a month porting this new game to the platform. It's a very easy platform to build games on. One of these screens could be one Dreamcast screen, and here you can see four working perfectly on Gamecube. What you can see here is almost identical to the Dreamcast version, but we have a lot of time before we have to ship the game so we'll be adding a lot of features.

I am planning to make this franchise very strong and we'll be communicating to you what we'll be doing with this series as we move on. Thank you very much!


Rate this interview

rating: 0+x

Use the +/- buttons to rate the interview.

Post a comment

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.