Mario and Sonic interview Pt. 2

Interview: The future of Sonic, Wii and Sega

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And we're actually finding it to be very developer friendly. It's just a case of how far we can push that technology to make the game as good as it can be.

It's also worth noting that over three-quarters of our Wii games in development are exclusive to Wii, which is a testament to the console's uniqueness.

Sonic's most recent game on Xbox 360 and PS3 was met with some sceptical reviews, as were some of his previous 3D outings. Is Sega concerned about the future of Sonic?

Hayes: Not at all, Sonic is as popular now as he ever was. One thing to bear in mind is that Sega made software for its own hardware. We've only been making software for other companies' platforms for four years so, unlike THQ, EA or Activision, we've got to play catch-up in learning how to work with first-party platforms.

We also produce Sonic in varying studios, and we are aware that some titles haven't performed quite so well but then you've had titles like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush on DS, Sonic on PSP and on Wii, which all did well. But we're learning the platforms and we want to make excellent Sonic games on all of them. And we're hoping this new game will be the best of them all.

It's certainly a big deal, considering it's his first partnership with Mario, who used to be his arch rival.

Hayes: I used to work for Nintendo many years ago and at that time it would have been inconceivable for Mario and Sonic ever to come together like this.

There were like Pepsi and Coke, or PC and Mac. I think it's great for the games industry that these two chaps have come together, and are going to represent the Olympic movement.

I'm a big games player and I can't wait for it. Although I have to say I'm a big Mario fan. But I did start off at Nintendo.

What was your favourite Mario game back then?

Hayes: It had to be Super Mario Land on Game Boy and then I really loved Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3 on NES. I was a real NES, SNES and Game Boy fan.

Did you ever have a Mega Drive?

Hayes: No. I worked for Nintendo. We wouldn't have even been allowed to bring one into the building. The media really did make it a war between the two consoles. It was very black and white back then.

In the playground you were either Sega or Nintendo - that's what it was like. Maybe less so in the US, but certainly in UK. I never thought I'd work for Sega let along have a chance to work on a Sonic and Mario game. (I do play Sonic games as well).

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