News Article

Miyamoto Keeps Edging Toward Hardware Design

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Role shifting since the DS

Shigeru Miyamoto is known for creating some of the best games ever made, some of which necessitated a few revolutionary hardware designs to even be able to play them properly.

While his game-making style hasn't changed too much over the years (still mining those hobbies), Miyamoto explained to Edge that over the years his role on the hardware side of things has increased.

A long time ago, my role in designing the actual hardware was really limited – mostly it was down to designing the controller, or the controlling interface, or some of those special features that you want the hardware to include on the software side, to make design and development more efficient. It was all about simply making better software. But I think, probably from around the time of the DS, my involvement with hardware has significantly changed. With that project and onwards, I’ve been able to significantly oversee the overall development of the hardware as well as keeping an eye on the software side of things.

As long as he keeps producing insanely fun games, we don't care what department Nintendo puts him to work in.


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User Comments (25)



Odnetnin said:

"As long as he keeps producing insanely fun games, we don't care what department Nintendo puts him to work in."
True that. The man is Nintendo.



Percentful said:

Just a random comment, I beat Yoshi's Story yesterday, and the only name I watched for throughout the credits was Shigeru Miyamoto, and waddayaknow- he was the head overseer



Kid_A said:

Interesting. Hopefully he'll have some people kicking his conservative ass to make the next console HD, though, and not "a little bit of both".



V8_Ninja said:

The last sentence is truer than true. Good software makes a console, not the hardware (case in point: The PS3).



Digiki said:

As long as he keeps producing insanely fun games, we don't care what department Nintendo puts him to work in.

I guess it's time to care as he hasn't been making insanely fun games recently.

The last sentence is truer than true. Good software makes a console, not the hardware (case in point: The PS3).

What do you mean? It has the best software and hardware last I checked.



Odnetnin said:

@V8+Ninja I assume that with that sentence you are dissing the PS3. I don't have one or even want one, but I don't deny the system has fantastic, definitive hardware, and more than enough awesome games to back it up. Just sayin'.



maka said:

Best graphics ≠ Best hardware. The wii and the DS certainly prove that... hardware is much more than a graphics card...



TKOWL said:

and the wii also produces gorgeous graphics to calm all naysayers. Just look at games like MadWorld, A Boy and his Blob, and Galaxy



Machu said:

He is like a God. Can you imagine being in that building, watching him oversee hardware prototypes whilst he dispenses wisdom coins. Ching!

I need to shake this guys hand sometime in my life. Dude!



Feld0 said:

looks at picture
WTF? Is Shiggy wearing lipstick or something?

Yeah, I know he said (a while ago) something along the lines of "The next cnosole will be HD, but not all games will support it," using Wii Fit as an example of what would be in SD, and SMG or something as an example of a game that would be HD. But, I wonder: why the heck NOT make Wii Fit run in HD, even if it is only for smoother edges and sharper text, rather than any significant visual polish?
Even better: find some way to make (at least some) existing Wii games run in 720p. Technically, the Wii is twice as powerful as a GameCube, which already supported 16x9 480p. 480p->720p is approximately a doubling of pixels, so I think it would work out nicely.




Never wash your hand ever again then Machu. I'd have him autograph my back with permanent marker.



Porky said:

@Kid A: Who cares about HD? I thought you old farts (if you are old) like the retro games a-whole-lot better then the current game graphics on wii.



Adam said:

He is a figurehead, for the most part. Nintendo is full of talented designers working in his shadow. His name gets attached to everything even when he is barely involved.

The role of "producer," what he is most frequently credited as, is very hard to define in game development. Often it does not entail that much.

It's a shame people don't notice the directors more often, as they handle most of the real work. The director is what film buffs look for in movies. Not sure why it's different with games -- well, Nintendo games at least. I haven't noticed this trend with other companies.



dsijared said:

I like retro games but HD is good to. You can't compare the original Mario. Bros with Galaxy



Sylverstone said:

A handshake wouldn't do it alone for me. Going a few rounds in New Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart DS, along with his signature (with permanent marker) on my old Super Mario 64 cart would be awesomer!

On the first day, God said: "Let there be Shigeru Miyamoto!" And so it was.



Kid_A said:


You thought I was an old fart? I'm 17, dude! I'm a huge retro fan, yeah, but I love HD graphics as well! I'm certainly in the category that considers art direction and syle to be more important than pixels, and gameplay and fun are more important than how a game looks. But I don't get Shiggy's comment about the next console having some games that support HD and some that don't. That makes no sense to me. If your system has the power to create a visually stunning, HD game, then why would you choose not to do that?



aaronsullivan said:

I think HD is loosely used nowadays to encompass all sorts of graphics features including all the detailed work that goes into modeling/texturing/shading. Especially in the console comparisons because of Microsoft and PS3 pushing HD as the new feature (though clearly it's shaders and other features that truly make the visuals pop.)

If you think of what Miyamoto said in that context, it makes MUCH more sense. In other words, games like Wii Fit will still have simple graphics without huge teams of artists, while SMG will, of course, still need those resources. They'd both be in high definition resolution, however.

That's my take on it.



dizzy_boy said:

i think miyamato's point about HD was that games like mario galaxy or metroid prime would benefit from having
HD graphics. while something like big brain acadamy or wii fit wouldn't necissarily need it.



Ren said:

I understand that many people make up the components of most of the newer great titles, but I think Miyamoto is still more than just a figurehead with some of the newer games, at least when there is a big new release. It seems to me that he has the influence that even if he's not doing the work himself, if he wants a major title to go in certain direction, it pretty much has to go that way, and everyone knows his ideas almost never fail so they give him what he wants.
I know I have no obvious evidence of this but everything I've read about him (interviews, etc) suggests that he pretty closely watches developments of big new titles and when he wants something changed, he need only say the word.



V8_Ninja said:

@Odnetnin In a sense, yes and no. While in context of the internet, the "You're dissing the (insert product name here)" is unavoidable. However, I can't actually think of more than 20 (retail) games that are PS3 exclusives that make the console worth the original price tag. Before you start arguing "the PS3 is cheaper", the price drop happened AFTER 3 YEARS of the original release, meaning that developers had already decided what main console they were gonna go with for this generation, which was mostly the 360, so a price drop won't really effect whether game developers will start developing games for that system.

P.S. I'm not trying to start a flame war, I'm just stating my opinions angrily.



warioswoods said:


Partly true, but his role as supreme quality ensurer / gameplay analyst / etc on a great number of games is more in-depth (and authoritarian) than you might realize. I've read quite a few Iwata Asks articles on any number of big Nintendo releases, and many of the key gameplay elements or fundamental decisions on the games were his and his alone, sometimes going against the initial inclinations the director and everyone else working on the project.



I don't like innovation mixed with video games! Just give me an old-fashioned controller and I'll be happy.

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