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Katsuhiro Harada says that Masahiro Sakurai showed a keen interest in their conversation about online features

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • September 27, 2020 at 1:58 p.m. PDT • Comments: 15

At the conclusion of the Tekken Online Challenge US East, Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray of Bandai Namco hopped on to talk about the upcoming features coming to Tekken 7 Season 4. Considering the current climate with the COVID-19 pandemic, online features have become increasingly important as of late.

During the stream, it was revealed that Harada had a conversation with Masahiro Sakurai, the director of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, about online features. "I spoke recently with Mr. Sakurai who worked on Super Smash Bros. and he showed keen interest in our conversation about online features," said Harada. "He even asked me whether he could use what I said about the ratio of wired and wireless players."

Masahiro Sakurai ended up quoting Katsuhiro Harada during his 611th column for the Famitsu Column. "The reason we didn't do any concrete announcement about improving the online play is because no matter how much you improve it, the burden that lies with the player is very, very big," said Sakurai. "The other day, Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada mentioned that 60% of players online use Wi-Fi when playing online from their home network."

Strangely, Harada would go on to say that 60% of players were using wired connections, not Wi-Fi, during the stream. This seems to imply that something is being misunderstood or mistranslated here. Either 60% of fighting game players are using wired connections or 60% are using Wi-Fi.

"When I think of fighting games, I assumed people played the games wired, but when I checked the worldwide data, about 60% were playing games wired," said Harada. "The majority of PC players were wired. And naturally, Steam players were mostly wired."

"There are regional differences too," continued Harada. "In particular, players in Japan and Korea were mostly playing our games wired. But Wi-Fi use was a lot more significant toward the West."

"When I think of fighting games, I assumed people played the games wired, but when I checked the worldwide data, about 60% were playing games wired." - Katsuhiro Harada

With regards to what was said during the Famitsu Column, Sakurai noted how Wi-Fi is likely a greater problem on the Nintendo Switch. "With the Nintendo Switch, 60% doesn't even begin to cover it," said Sakurai. "Even disregarding the high Wi-Fi usage, there's no guarantee that the rest of the world all have as good of a network environment as we do here in Japan."

Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch docking station isn't able to connect via a wired connection by default as there isn't a natural Ethernet port to plug into. An additional $30 has to be spent on a LAN adapter to benefit from a wired connection.

Apparently, Masahiro Sakurai and the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate dev team did attempt to implement something that was similar to rollback netcode, but this ended up not working out. While the version 8.1.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate did apply some improvements to the game's "netcode," further investigations and adjustments are expected in later updates.

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