Game Market 1983 - Chapter 49
“Why is that…?”
“Mintendo is currently the most popular platform amongst both third party software companies and the customers. Jumping into the current console market is no different than burning the investment money. Even NEGA’s current generation console with its superior hardware is lagging behind Mintendo. The battle for this generation of console is over.”
“Then what about the next generation?”
“Mintendo will continue to grow as they earn even more recognition from the population. With the Family Series’ next expansion, the Mintendo brand will spread all over the world.”
In response to my simple prediction, Mr. Wilson was greatly taken aback and asked.
“So you’re saying Mintendo’s monopoly will propagate to the next generation?”
“Why? Isn’t that great news for you, Mr. Wilson?”
“Of course, the growth of Mintendo will benefit me. But as with all monopolies, one corporation controlling every aspect of the market will eventually begin to break apart. The Atari Shock is a perfect example. I’m concerned about a reoccurrence of that event.”
“Don’t worry too much. Mintendo won’t lose their momentum until at least until the next generation.”
“Until the next generation? Then you’re aiming for…”
“Yes. I will be targeting the next generation of consoles.”
“You’ll be targeting the next generation of consoles when you haven’t even developed anything yet?”
“When one sits on the throne for a long period of time, they tend to grow complacent. A small opening to enter the market will be created then. And when that moment comes, Mintendo will have grown to a conglomerate in the entertainment industry.”
“Phew. If anyone else made these claims, I would’ve kicked them in the ass and took them for a drug test. But hearing it coming out of your mouth, I’m starting to believe it.”
“When that time comes, you will have to cut ties with all Mintendo products. Don’t hoard items in some corner like you did in the Atari Shock.”
“But there is a lot of exciting games for the Family console, I don’t think anything bad will come out of keeping some? Game cartridges don’t rot, do they?”
“Haha, by that time, cartridges won’t be in use anymore. Keke…”
Mr. Wilson tilted his head in confusion to my words. At that moment, Elise came out of her car and shouted at us.
“Mr. Kang and Mr. Wilson, let’s move to the hotel first. Load your bags in my trunk.”
Oh? A hotel was already reserved for us? Could it perhaps be a 3rd rate hotel like last time?
“Ms. Elise, I will take care of reserving the hotel myse…”
“Don’t worry. I’ve booked a business room in a 5 star hotel to suit your needs, Director Kang. It won’t be the king suite that you had 3 years ago, but you should have no problem staying here for one month.”
At that moment, Mr. Yamashita suddenly rose from his seat and spoke to me.
“We can’t let the hero who revived Mintendo’s American branch stay in a run-down hotel, can’t we?”
(TL Note: Mr. Yamashita had previously reserved a crappy motel for Kang-kun 3 years ago)
“Thank you, then I’ll be in your care.”
After loading our bags into the trunk, we headed to a hotel in the middle of New York.
The next day, before Mr. Wilson opened his stores.
With the help of the store’s employees, I setup the experimental trial for the english version Psychic Battle.
These workers were astonished at the plethora of flying missiles in the screen, but as I gave them instructions on how to play, they happily began to enjoy the game.
As Chandra’s rearrangement of the source code had qualitatively improved the speed of the game to the next level, the initial reactions of the employees were good.
“This is really something?”
“How could a game like this run on an 8-bit console? What is this… sorcery?”
Mr. Wilson had also grabbed the gamepad to give it a go but was defeated before the 1st half of the 1st stage.
“This really is... Would a game this difficult ever be popular?”
“Back in Japan, games with an insane level of difficulty are the trend. Psychic Battle aside, the difficulty of video games as a whole rose. We will be marketing Psychic Battle by letting customers play it here before the official release date. For any player that clears the 1st stage, give them a poster illustration of their choice as the prize; Give any 2nd stage clearers an experimental cartridge. Players will start to get the hang of it after dying a few times and attempt to beat the game many times.”
“Alright, my employees will handle giving out the prizes. Where are you headed to now?”
“I have a place to visit with Elise. So I can entrust the promotion of Psychic Battle to the store employees?”
“Aye, we’ve got your back. You must be itching to explore after 3 years; take your time and leave the store front to us.”
“Thank you, Mr. Wilson.”
After saying my thanks to the store employees as well, I stepped out of the store. Elise was already waiting in front of the store with her car.
“Where should I take you, Director Kang?”
“First, let’s head to MIT’s engineering department.”
An Engineering College in Massachusetts.
Along with Harvard, MIT was the top school in the U.S catering to educating geniuses. As the #5 university in the world for producing nobel laureates, MIT was sometimes called a nobel-laureate-producing factory.
“Why are we going to MIT?”
“Ms. Elise, do you know where the first video game was made?”
“The first video game? I don’t know. I’ve never thought about that. Where was it made?”
“The very place we’re headed to.”
“What!? MIT produced the very first video game?”
“‘Space War,' the very first graphic video game, was created by several MIT graduates in 1962. During that period, it garnered a ton of popularity amongst MIT hackers, but it was ultimately a failure in the market.”
“So that was the case. But from what I know, MIT completely laid their hands off the video game industry after the Atari Shock event. Would... it be alright?”
“We’re not going to MIT to find a developer.”
“MIT is an expert in operating computer hardware for various uses. I want to see if I can find some talents to collaborate with.”
“You’re recruiting for Mintendo?”
As I averted her question with a cryptic smile, Elise curled the tips of her lips upwards too.
“You’re definitely cooking up a plan~.”
Elise was considered an employee of Mintendo, but she was also one of the few, along with Mr. Wilson, who knew about my upcoming secret plans. Every time Mr. Wilson had expanded our coterie of premium stores, she was there to act as the legal witness; I’d been wiring money to her every month for this purpose.
After going through the process of stabilizing Mintendo’s American branch with me, she had also put in every effort to grow the Mintendo brand under Mr. Yamashita after I left.
In response to Elise’s comment, I merely grinned and looked out the window.
After a while, we arrived at the MIT campus in Cambridge. Even though it was the holiday seasons, the streets were brimming with tourists and students alike.
“I thought it’d be quieter during the break; well, I don’t know if this is good or bad…”
After stepping out of the car, I muttered to myself and looked around my surroundings.
The time was a little over one, and Elise who had been driving for three and a half hours from New York let out a huge yawn.
“Should we eat before we go inside?”
“Sure, I was beginning to feel hungry anyways~.”
We entered into a popular burger joint that students frequented. As soon as we stepped inside, the aroma of the meat being cooked unintentionally triggered the saliva to ooze from my mouth.
“This restaurant must be famous…”
Elise was wearing a big smile on her face as if she had also fallen prey to the attack on the olfactory sense. As we waited around the entrance, a waiter came over and directed us to our table; Elise and I both ordered a full-course hamburger-steak meal.
Just as our sizzling hamburgers arrived, I took a camera from my bag.
“Why the camera?”
“I was requested to take pictures of foods in American restaurants by a friend back in Japan… Hold on.”
Per Yuki’s request, I pressed the shutter towards the steaming food.
“Pictures of foods? Is your friend a girl?”
“Yes, she’s working as an assistant script writer in a broadcasting station.”
“You have a girlfriend, Director Kang?”
“Mmm… I’m seeing someone I have good feelings for…”
“Wow~ Congratulations. I thought you weren’t interested in dating because you’re a workaholic.”
“I am busy, but that person is quite understanding of my situation.”
“She’s a good person. Please introduce me when I visit Japan later.”
Seeing Elise congratulate me, the thought of Elise in the airport from 3 years ago popped into my head. I nonchalantly asked her a question.
“Are you seeing anyone, Ms. Elise?”
“Me? Of course, I am~!!! I’m incredibly popular, you know!?”
Of course, a beauty of her calibre wouldn’t wait around for 3 years as a single. I smirked at my fantasy and started cutting the meat. At that moment, I overheard the conversations of two men who were sitting on the table opposite from me.
“What do you think? Did you run the file I sent you?”
“Yep. I didn’t know what was going on at first, but I was almost shocked speechless after I started pressing the arrow keys.”
“Keke, it’s fun, right? Didn’t it give off the feeling that you were trapped in an actual maze?”
“I mean, how were you able to think up a way to create a ‘space’ on the screen?”
Space? I immediately stopped cutting the steak and turned my attention to their conversation. Elise looked at me and asked.
“Director Kang, what’s the matter?”
“Shh, please wait.”
I slowly begin cutting my meat again while focusing on their conversation.
“I was initially planning to develop a house object whose interior could be seen. But I had an exciting revelation in my last art class…”
“Art class? Ah~ You’re talking about when you made that triangular pyramidal plaster?”
“Yeah, 4 sides were needed to create that work of art. Using this knowledge, I tried to replicate that on the computer, and it was easier than I’d expected.”
“You developed your program based on that?”
“What’s there not to develop? Coding it was almost like a form of origami. I connected three vertices together to form a 4 sided triangular pyramid. All that’s left was to fill in the spaces.”
“That’s easier said than done.”
He was right. There weren’t any tools like the 3D MAX in this era; to think he created a 3D effect with just the basic operations. He’s a complete genius! Who could he possibly be?
“Oi, John. So were you able to create a 360 degree graphic viewer?”
“Nope, I wasn’t able to finish it.”
“My computer could only handle displaying one triangular pyramidal shape. I tried to add more shapes, but it crashed. In the end, I was only able to program the outline for the maze by connecting the vertices.”
He was able to create a maze inside the monitor by simply connecting the vertices? His concept was the core foundation for all FPS games. I placed my fork down and tuned my full attention to their conversation without caring if my steak turned cold or not.
“As I was saying, I think an apparatus that can solely handle graphics will be needed to run my software. Maybe something like the central processing unit? Should I call it a graphics processing unit…?”
“There’s the Video Graphics Array card for that.”
“The VGA card merely transfers the command from the CPU to the monitor. What I’m talking about is another apparatus whose sole task is to render graphics and free up the load on the CPU.”
At that instant, I shouted ' Bingo ' and grinned with my eyes closed. He’s pinpointed the exact points.
“Director Kang? Why aren’t you eating? You haven’t taken a single bite yet…”
“I don’t think we need to go inside the school/.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve already found who I want.”