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Miyamoto: Working With Both Hardware And Software Offers Nintendo "Strong Advantages"

Posted by Damien McFerran

Not looking to move to smartphones any time soon, then

Abandoning hardware and becoming a software-only company would rob Nintendo of many "strong environmental advantanges", according to the company's most famous staff member.

Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Shigeru Miyamoto has refuted claims that making software for other hardware would make the company stronger. When asked if he saw any advantage in producing content for smartphones and tablets, Miyamoto replied:

There's two ways to look at it - one is from the business side and the other is from the creative side. From the business side, we really look at the fact that we have not only the software side of the business but also the hardware side of the business as sort of our sphere, as being very important to us. On the creative side, I think what people may not realize is we're able to design the hardware the way we want so that our creative teams are able to work with that hardware design and create a piece of hardware that can meet our designers in order to create the games we want to create. So without that hardware side, then on the creative side we're no longer able to do that. And so, from the multiplatform standpoint we do see a lot of developers who are developing the main game on a console and then they'll have another team or group that's working on another version or a different type of gameplay within that same franchise on different platforms. And so you end up having all of these different teams working essentially on what amounts to the one main game and the derivative versions of it, whereas at Nintendo what we're able to do is we're able to focus on the one title for the one platform and the development team is then able to move on to the next thing. So we see some pretty strong environmental advantages from that standpoint creatively.

Miyamoto was then asked about fellow developer Sid Meier's comments regarding mobile development, and how he feels that he's able to fit more game design into a smartphone title than a typical console release, largely because visuals are less important. Miyamoto had this to say on the topic:

I guess I have a slightly different line of thinking, but to me the question really comes down to: what is the role of a game designer? My feeling is that the game designer's role is to create fun and exciting new interactive experiences for people to play, but what we're seeing is... as the graphics get more and more complex and they build up the production around the gameplay, then they tend to try to sell the game based more on the production rather than what the actual experience is. As a result of that you end up with the meaning of game design being weakened. Whereas from my perspective, as long as we're focused on creating that core and essential gameplay then certainly I think with a game like Pikmin 3, it's fine if you're able to build up production value around that as long as you do it in a way where that core, fun, gameplay element still remains the essential part of what that game ends up being.

There have been some pretty vocal calls for Nintendo to spread its IP onto other formats lately, but Miyamoto's comments clearly indicate that the company is sticking with hardware for the foreseeable future.

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (27)

stefenjc

#2

stefenjc said:

I swear Miyamoto and his Nintendo gang is the nicest company... Thats why my feelings for Nintendo wont go away <3

DiSTANToblivion

#5

DiSTANToblivion said:

This is great. Miiverse has been annoying me a lot lately so it's good to see them sticking to their guns.

I'm feeling like games aren't fun anymore, they only cause arguments, no one is happy. I don't even feel like playing anything because everyone just dumps on everyone elses opinion, acting like experts and I'm over it.

Glad that Nintendo can remain positive and that Sony can still joke around. Microsoft can remain arrogant for all I care.

MrGawain

#6

MrGawain said:

If you think about it, The Wiimote, the DS and the Wiipad have all created big challenges for developers who wanted to make a stock game for a traditional control system.

What Nintendo does is use these challenges to come up with some wacky, unique and different ways to play. Ask yourself if the traditional 3rd party developers are too good for the Wii U, or just too lazy?

Suicune

#7

Suicune said:

That sceond paragraph sounds like he's talking about Aliens: Colonial Marines.

hiptanaka

#8

hiptanaka said:

He's so right about graphics and gameplay. I hope Nintendo never stops being gameplay centric.

FernandoMachado

#9

FernandoMachado said:

It's such a shame that headlines like these don't get published outside Nintendo-centric sites. I feel loads of people still struggle to see what Nintendo is all about.

MadAdam81

#11

MadAdam81 said:

Great points. Obviously after the disaster of Mario is Missing, Nintendo also will never license out their IP to a third party to put stuff on other platforms.

citizenerased

#12

citizenerased said:

Ah yes, that explains the complete lack of any useful gamepad functionality in the E3 Nintendo Direct games. Why do we have the gamepad again? Nintendoland?

ricklongo

#14

ricklongo said:

It's always reassuring to hear that from the horse's mouth. Those "vocal critics" are just bandwagoners, who can't stand the fact that this company has been defying tendencies and still faring out better than its competitors for decades now. They can't understand Nintendo's reasons, and that pisses them off.

Myself, I really can't understand why someone would even suggest that Nintendo should stop making hardware. Just last generation, they released the most succesful handheld of all time - which was, you guessed it, significantly less technically formidable than its main competitor - and it seems they could come close to doing that again with the 3DS. They've been struggling with the Wii U, and the Wii was mismanaged in its later years, but this is a company that pretty much deserves at least some faith that they will turn that around, the same way they did it with the 3DS. It's all about the games, really, and the amazing Nintendo games we know and love are only possible because they have an intimate understanding of their own hardware.

NMH-TRI

#15

NMH-TRI said:

@citizenerased Honestly, I'm happy with map/inventory and off tv implementation. People will complain if the Pad isn't used enough and people will complain if it is. shrugs

mikeyman64

#16

mikeyman64 said:

One thing I always try to tell people who are shocked about a decision made in the gaming company is that "it's all about the money, really." But I'm honestly very happy to hear this from Miyamoto.

Strangely, I've always known this about Nintendo, and it's great to hear it first-hand.

Pryce

#18

Pryce said:

It must be really hard to take other people's work and republish it. I'm glad that you were at least able to get two articles out of that one interview... wouldn't want your add revenue to go down.

SyFyTy

#20

SyFyTy said:

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Sid Meiers, he IS the most celebrated, decorated and awarded individual in gaming and in history( by his peers in the industry) to date, by far, also according to the Guiness Records. .If Sid said it or thought it, there's very likely something to it. I suspect the accurate assesment is somwewhere mid point between Miyamoto and Meiers [closer to Meiers..]. Hey, they should start thier own Development studio... M&M Studios ... "hard shell outside [hardware], soft choclate inside [software], Melts.. no Works in your console not in your hands"

Buduski

#21

Buduski said:

Miyamoto-san you have my full respect, thank you for not being a sell out and not crumbling to peer pressure just because other people want to enjoy a Nintendo title on other consoles including mobile phones or tablets (wich are definitley not gaming devices)

SteveW

#22

SteveW said:

Finally we hear from the ultimate expert that GAMEPLAY is more important than graphics! some of us have been arguing that for years.

Goginho

#23

Goginho said:

@MrGawain So true eh. I mean all these 3rd party devs present themselves as being all fancy, all knowing, all important, big boss types ..just to cover up the fact that they haven't a clue about keeping up, or managing Nintendo-style innovations.

EarthboundBenjy

#24

EarthboundBenjy said:

"And so you end up having all of these different teams working essentially on what amounts to the one main game and the derivative versions of it"

Oh god, Sonic the Hedgehog is so guilty of this! Just look at Sonic Unleashed on 360 and Sonic Unleashed on Wii. There is no comparison...They are two entirely different products with the exact same name. I reeaaally don't like it when that happens.

scrubbyscum999

#25

scrubbyscum999 said:

This is why Nintendo is Nintendo. They have their own way of making money and despite the constant bashing, they have a pretty good track record.

Zombie_Barioth

#26

Zombie_Barioth said:

@MrGawain
I think you hit the nail on the head. A lot of devs these days just want to copy and paste their game onto as many platforms as possible. Of course part of that is due to development costs but then instead of trying to cut costs they'd rather try to out spend one another and complain when their game doesn't do well enough.

FlyingKickPunch

#27

FlyingKickPunch said:

The day Nintendo stops making hardware is a dark day indeed. Let's hope it never comes to pass. I shudder at the thought of people playing Mario on an Xbox. BARF! I guess I barf at the thought too.

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