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The PS2 is the most popular system in the U.S. right now, and there's a good chance that there are users who didn't play the original series, that might be coming to .hack for the first time. What would you say to them?
Matsuyama: I've been waiting for this question! I came from Japan just for this - to get out our message.
First I want to introduce the .hack//G.U. franchise. Even though we've had the previous series, this series itself is basically tailor-made for those that never even knew about the previous series. We've made it easy for people to jump in and get into it without even being aware of the previous series. With that in mind, please don't worry about it, don't feel like you have to know about the previous series. You can get right into this and get the full effect without knowing anything about the previous series.
That's why we've taken this long to create it. This is one of the key features we wanted to work with. We wanted to make a game that people could jump into without even knowing about the previous series. So there's no worry. People won't have to know anything about the series, jump in, and just enjoy it.
On the flipside, we didn't neglect all of the fans from the previous series as well. We've put a lot of features and tidbits in there that even fans of the previous series will still be able to enjoy and appreciate it. There may be some things that may be related to the previous series still in there.
We noticed them.
Uchiyama: In the previous series where it started with the game, and all of the different outlets opened from there, like anime and that... last time we had .hack//SIGN, the animation series, and this time we have .hack//Roots. Still, the game is the launch pad for that. Currently, there is discussion about the animation series coming out in fall. That's all we can say.