Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto Pt. 3
In part one and part two of our exclusive interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary developer talked us through his childhood, his future vision for the industry - and upcoming epic Mario Galaxy 2.
In this - the third and final part of our chat - he addresses the hardcore Nintendo gamer, and gives his full view on Wii rivals Project Natal and PlayStation Move...
What message would you give to hardcore Nintendo fans who feel a bit let down by the last couple of years on Wii?
This year's going to be really great for the hardcore Nintendo player, especially with Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's action-packed software and when I say action-packed software, it's not just going to show you [pre-set] action movements in the 3D format. Rather, this is action-packed software that you can manipulate with your own will and your own control.
I really want many households to be able to have a hands-on experience of Mario Galaxy 2. I didn't have any involvement in Metroid Other M, but it is on its way. And also we are working on the New Legend Of Zelda for Wii. So from this year to the next, I hope that the hardcore-type gamers are really looking forward to the multiple Nintendo titles on Wii. And also, we are working on the Pikmin.
Many of today's more casual games - like Wii Fit - see player as the character. As someone whose career has been built on characters, is that a change you like?
We want to take people in two different directions. There are occasions where technology makes it appropriate for you yourself to be featured in the video game. I think Wii Fit is a notable example.
Wii is very good for you and your family to be featured in the video games, on your TV in your living room. Whenever you turn on the power of the Wii if you can see all of your family members on the TV screen that must great.
It's helpful, you are going to be able to see different characters, different Miis. Having said that, however it must all depend on the type of software whether it's appropriate for your Mii to appear or not.
For example, imagine if the main character in a game was made out of springs. Would you like to see your face on it? I don't think so.
It always depends on the type of software. But it is true that for Nintendo Miis are a very important asset. In Japan we have already launched software called the Friend Collection on Ninhtendo DS. That's software that we can't call it a 'game' at all. You fill your island with as many of your friends and family as possible.
You said before that you had a happy, creative childhood. Were you perhaps forced into using your imagination more than today's children would be?
In my understanding, nothing so great has changed when it comes to the imagination and experiences of children. Specifically, quite recently I have come to think that it depends on whether or not you are given the opportunity to train yourself or practise in order to exercise you power of the imagination - and power of utilising your past experiences.
I was simply lucky enough to be given the opportunities where I need to exercise my own imagination. What is important here is for the adults to give the children the opportunity to exercise their imagination. Because after all, each child is and has their own unique, strong imagination.
What are your views of Project Natal and PS3 Move? There's obvious influence from Nintendo there...
Nintendo should welcome the opportunity when or where something we have originally tried is intensified by somebody else. Because that means that other people are trying to starting to show their appreciation for whatever endeavour we have made in the beginning. And the user experience we have created is going to be intensified by the advent of new machines from other companies. It's a new experience that we originated. So we really see it as a great honour.
Having said that, however, what is very important for Nintendo is always thinking in terms of the appropriate types technology for us: Unique and unprecedented entertainment.
We want to come up with technology that's something completely new. That's our mission. It needs to be something very different, something unique. That's something we always look for.
Of course, sometimes we need to intensify the forms we have already come up with, but that's not the first priority for us. Competing with other companies in that category is never our top priority.
When New Super Mario Bros was released we saw huge sales for the Wii Remote - especially in Japan. There was a scarcity of the controller after that, because the multiplayer in that game was so popular in families.
We now have multiple Wii Remotes in these homes. That's a strong advantage for us. People take them for granted when playing. They're used to shaking their hands.
We play your games to relax- but how do you turn off when you get in from work? Surely you don't play Nintendo games?
These days, I make sure I keep my working time to weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday I don't work at all. I take as much time off as possible with my family.
Recently I have been going to the swimming pool every week. I also play musical instruments to relax - I've been playing lots of guitar recently. Actually, I shouldn't say I play them, I'm not good enough to say that - I certainly practise them.
Sometimes at work, I must admit I allow myself to pretend I'm playing my guitar or even swimming at the pool.