Interviews • Music Artists • Retro Gods • SNES

GameSetWatch Interviews Classic Composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki


GSW has an interesting interview with classic and current composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki, who worked on games for The NES, the SNES, and more recently XBOX 360. The interview disucsses some of the difficulties composers had on the older hardware, and compares and contrasts it to today’s modern games. An excerpt:

GSW: What are some of the important differences between composing for the XBox 360 compared with your work on the 16-bit Super Nintendo?

Iwatsuki: The biggest difference between the Super Famicom and the Xbox 360 is the difference in memory. You could almost fit the contents of a Super Famicom cart within the memory space allotted to the music of a single Xbox 360 game. For Omega Five it adds up to a few megabytes because of the high quality of the recorded sounds. The Xbox 360 uses 48 kHz sound output, so naturally we were using those specifications. In retro mode, we consciously lowered the sound source to between 12 and 16 kHz, then rendered these files at 48 kHz to give it an antique quality. Even the retro tracks are large files, which is the sort of thing you could not get away with on the Super Famicom. Back then we were forced to be inventive and make sacrifices on sound quality so that the hardware could handle it.

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1 comment to GameSetWatch Interviews Classic Composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki

  • […] In the latest installment of the GameSetWatch interview series, composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki shares his experience working on three eras of videogame consoles. The three titles he discusses are Chaos World for the 8-bit Famicom, Wild Guns for the Super Nintendo, and Omega Five for the XBox 360. We had also talked about Pocky & Rocky, but these details had to be removed at the request of Natsume due to licensing issues. As it stands, the interview is still one of the lengthiest I have posted, and serves as a single composer’s unique perspective on nearly twenty years in the videogame industry. The article was also singled out by a chiptune enthusiast site called Tru Chip Till Death. […]