IGNCube Interview with Yuji Naka

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 31 May 2001
  • Interview Topics: Sonic & Future, Game Cube, Game Boy Advance, Online, XBox
  • Interview Source: IGNCube external.png

Interview: Sega's Yuji Naka - Part 1
Sonic Team's star designer Yuji Naka speaks to us about GameCube development and the future.

May 31, 2001 - Sonic the Hedgehog is, along with Mario, one of the most popular mascot characters in the videogame industry. So naturally when Sega announced that Sonic Team, the Hedgehog's creator, would be dedicating itself to GameCube development, Nintendo enthusiasts were pleased. We caught up with Sonic Team's head Yuji Naka at E3 for a few brief comments on GameCube. This is the first part of the full interview.

IGNcube: Are you satisfied with the number of users playing Phantasy Star Online right now for DC? Was 270,000 plus players the target goal, or was it above or below that number?
Yuji Naka: I think the potential is much, much higher. But just the fact that we have 270,000 users, I think it's a very big accomplishment.

IGNcube: This may be somewhat of a blunt question, but why did you choose to develop on the GameCube rather than the Xbox, especially since Microsoft has announced its broadband online gaming strategy?
YN: I have the position that the Broadband days are coming, but they are not here yet. We still think 56k is a critically important technology for today.

IGNcube: After Sonic Adventure 2 and PSO Ver.2, do you have plans for another Dreamcast title?
YN: Well, we're still finishing up Sonic Adventure 2 and PSO Version 2, so when Sonic Team releases those titles, that'll give me some time to think about what we're going to do next. It's so busy right now, especially with all the work on the GameCube and Game Boy Advance; I really need some quiet to think about things and I also need to give my stuff a little break as well.

IGNcube: We're disappointed that the Dreamcast will be discontinued. For Sega fans wondering what system to buy next, what would you recommend?
YN: Well, I can't make a huge generalization for all Sega fans, but maybe if you're a Sonic Team fan, my recommendation is to buy a GameCube. That's a very difficult, but good question.

IGNcube: Finally, while we look forward to all the fantastic new Sega projects on other consoles, do you think SEGA will ever make a new hardware console again?
YN: Well, I think Sega's new business direction is very exciting, giving us the freedom and creativity to work on new platforms. But given Sega's popularity in the past, I wouldn't be surprised to see a new Sega console sometime in the future.


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