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How Cats Ended up in Nintendogs + cats

Producer reveals Shigeru Miyamoto's role in new title and outlines some of the new features.

 
Nintendogs + cats is launching with the 3DS on February 26.

Nintendogs + cats is like Nintendogs, but with cats. How did the cats get in there? We found out that answer at today's Nintendogs + cats stage event at Nintendo World 2011.

The stage event was hosted by producer Hideki Konno, but he wasn't alone. After the greeting the audience, Konno said that he was a bit uneasy about the presentation, so he'd be calling someone to help. That person was Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.

The first topic of conversation was the game's visuals. Two big updates from the original DS Nintendogs are fur and eyes. Regarding eyes, in place of the original's still images, the sequel's eyes have actual eyeballs which react appropriately.

Konno also detailed some of the non visual changes for the game.

First is camera support. Your dogs and cats will continually remember the face of people who play with them. You eventually won't have to even call them. They'll come to you just when you show your face to the camera.

Another new feature is the ability to take pictures of your pet. These pictures can be saved to SD and exchanged with other players via Street Pass. Of course, the pictures are in 3D.

Nintendogs+cats also has support for the 3DS's AR (augmented reality) feature. You'll be able to use the included AR cards to make your dog or cat appear in real locations.

So how did cats end up in Nintendogs + cats. Konno took this up towards the end of the stage, saying simply, "During development of 3DS Nintendogs, Shigeru Miyamoto got a cat."

There was some debate about the merits of releasing a nintencats or a nintenhorse (which Konno for some reason said would target European markets) and a nintendolphin. During this debate, Miyamoto suggested that if cats and dogs were to live together, players could make some interesting discoveries, and so the nintendogs+cats plan came to be.

At the start of the game's development, the staff had just a plain model for the cat and tried to reuse some of the dog motion data for animation. With the dog motions, the cats ended up looking like dogs.

Visit 4gamer for pictures from the stage event and Nintendo's event page for a video.

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