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Music games today "just the tip of the iceberg" - Matsuura

NanaOn-Sha president excited by the opportunities presented by future music/game integrations

NanaOn-Sha president Masaya Matsuura believes that the success of music games in the market place worldwide, particularly with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, is good - but just the "tip of the iceberg".

Speaking as part of a session at this year's DICE Summit Asia, incorporated into GC Asia, Matsuura-san looked back to some of his own projects, such as PaRappa the Rapper, as well as the development of music genres in the past 40 years, and explained his excitement at the prospects for the music game sector in the future.

"I feel very proud to be part of an industry without borders," he said, adding that "human beings are strange creatures that feel the compulsive need to express themselves.

"If we focus on the developments we have made in the integration between music and games... we can say without any doubt that we have barely touched on the possibilities that such integrations can facilitate. Until now we have only managed to uncover one of these elements, but they are just the tip of the iceberg."

He picked out three possible areas that are yet to be explored, starting with ethnic music games. "As a Japanese person I'd be so pleased if somebody would create a game with traditional Japanese music," he said, going on to point out the success that some European music artists had in the past using influences taken from, as an example, Africa.

He went on to look at the possibilities for games in which players can play alongside actual musicians. "The Beatles Rock Band will fulfil the dreams of many fans by letting them perform alongside the original Beatles band members," he said. "But what about giving players the opportunity to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?"

And finally he looked ahead to games in which "anything and everything" lying around could picked up and used to contribute to a song.

"I'm sure you're thinking that publishers would say that the segmented nature of these ideas would not appeal to the market... but you'd be mistaken to believe that appeal lies in such shallow areas"

Matsuura-san also demonstrated a couple of games that NanaOn-Sha has been working on recently, including MajorMinor's Majestic March - out now for the Wii - and Ens-Ens, a forthcoming mobile title in Japan in which players use phone buttons to play melodies from a music score.

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