It seems Nintendo has finally answered everybody’s prayers. After months and months of speculation (and what seemed to be a negative confirmation by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata) prior to the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, it has finally been confirmed a reward system reminiscent to the famous Xbox 360 Achievements and PS3 Trophies is underway.
Over the past few hours, a series of corporate images and leaked, blurry ones have hit the web, featuring both the japanese and american version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, containing information on how this Achievements would look like and what kind of tasks we could expect to perform in order to earn them.
The first image (the one you see above), shows how the Achievement would be displayed after you earn it. It’s noteworthy the japanese text next to the graphic reads: “Medal of Happiness Gained: Complete The Great Deku Tree in less than 25 minutes” which confirms the name of the reward system will be “Medal of Happiness”. It is unclear at this time how these medals will play on the overall 3DS interface; we don’t know if they have some sort of hierarchy between them, or if they will add up in the same fashion the Xbox Achievements fill up your gamerscore and the Trophies help you level up.
Two more screens have been leaked, this time showing blurry images of users controlling the 3DS in their hands and playing the american version of OoT. The images seem to come from beta testers of the game who allegedly activated the Medals feature; yes, it can be activated and deactivated, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Please note that, although it’s quite blurry, it can be read “Medal of Happiness Gained: Collect 1000 Rupees By Cutting Grass“, once again confirming the name of the reward system, and giving us further insight on what kind of tasks we will be asked to perform.
The last image is even worse in quality, but my rough guess is that it reads “Medal of Happiness Gained: You Learned How To Use Your Map“, which would indicate a rather easy Medal to unlock.
But what validity does these images have? Last year on one of Satoru Iwata’s Q&As, it got kind of confirmed an achievement system wasn’t in the immediate plans for the 3DS, as they preferred the player to “explore the game at his own pace, without us telling him what to do or where to go“. Well, today we contacted NOA President Reggie Fils Aime for an official comment on the leaked pictures and his response was surprising:
“It never was technically denied nor confirmed. It’s just a focus thing for us right now. Our plan is to offer what we believe is the best handheld experience, and we wanted to do it as soon as humanly possible. Of course we’ve been interested in implementing some sort of reward system like the one seen on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, but we don’t want to do it like the competition. What Iwata-san said is completely true, and Nintendo’s vision is to let the player experience the game the way they feel like it, so our achievement system will have the virtue of being completely optional for both the developer and the player.”
So there you have it, the Medals of Happiness have been confirmed and are underway. It seems to be, however, that they will not work just like what Microsoft and Sony did, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. In addition, the ability of activating or deactivating the system will certainly satisfy those who weren’t really thrilled with the idea of Trophies or Achievements in the first place.
Expect more information regarding what games will support the system and how it will get implemented within the 3DS interface in the coming months and E3 2011.
Update: This was an April Fools’ Day joke. Just in case you didn’t know.