I’m talking about this quote Miyamoto said in a recent interview:
But the question that we always ask is: “Does a new character really make it a new game?” And to me, the answer to that is, “No.” What makes it a new game is new gameplay and new interactions.
I’m a big Nintendo fan, but unlike many others I’ve always wanted a real new big IP made by them, like Pikmin was a new IP for the Gamecube. But I actually kind of agree with Miyamoto here. Let’s look at some examples of new gameplay-ideas combined with older IP’s
Although Luigi’s Mansion is about older Nintendo-characters, the gameplay is totally new and I can’t think of any other game that has comparable gameplay. The same with Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a platformer with new types of ideas but with an old character, Kirby. Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are some of the best RPG’s I’ve ever played (more than the new IP Ni No Kuni), despite being about Mario again. Super Smash is a really unique fighter that could have new characters. Mario & Donkey Kong is once again a unique (puzzle) game, but with older characters. Wario Ware is a fun microgame collection with really no other game like it. Also all the Mario sport games are fun, would you rather have a sports game with all new characters you don’t know yet? And there are probably many more examples like this.
Don’t get me wrong. I still want a new IP made by Nintendo, but I think is it really difficult to come up with a new type of gameplay AND new characters and a new universe that has to appeal to the mass and I think Nintendo really has to take its time for this. Mario and others are really strong sale-boosters for Nintendo, but the games featuring them aren’t necessarily ‘recycled’, instead they can be completely new (genres).
I’ve also seen Sony getting much praise for releasing new IP’s constantly, like the recently launched The Last of Us. Although this game being a new IP, the gameplay itself isn’t new or revolutionary at all. The gameplay is almost exactly the same as MGS, Dishonored, Deus Ex and Hitman (crouch to make less noise, rape an enemy from behind, hide the body, throw with stuff to distract the enemy). Also Resistance is a new IP (but a pretty regular shooter), inFamous (pretty much comparable with other superhero open-world games like Prototype, Spiderman games), PSASBR (inferior version of Super Smash). LBP is the only really new IP made by Sony that I enjoyed a lot and actually felt new.
So in conclusion I prefer Nintendo’s way of doing new games. Most of their games are featuring Mario and such, but the gameplay is what really distinguishes itself from most other games this generation, that tend to focus on graphics and story-telling, and not thinking of unique gameplay-mechanics. But like most Nintendo-fans, let’s hope they come with a new game like Pikmin, but let them take their time for this (Miyamoto actually IS working on something new, if I remember correctly) to make it something really unique that can go on for years.