News Article

Satoru Iwata Emphasizes Nintendo's Desire to Produce Products That "Resonate" With Consumers

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Doesn't think "the concept and potential of the Wii U have been rejected"

With its recent Q1 results and sales revelations, much commentary has inevitably swirled around Nintendo's approach with its hardware and software, which is delivering happy times with the 3DS; there's the obvious goal to reproduce that success on Wii U, too. It's always a topic of interest at any time of the year, as Nintendo's games continue to offer gameplay styles that are relatively unique in the mainstream retail market. So many third-party titles are striving for greater storytelling, gritty visuals and a focus on mature themes, yet Nintendo's upcoming Wii U plans include party games, 2D and 3D platformers, bonkers action strategy games and an adventure game with colours so bright that corneas will be burnt.

In a recent interview with Toyo Keizai Online, translated by Kotaku, Satoru Iwata outlined Nintendo's development philosophy, and the overall message was simple — Nintendo seeks to deliver entertainment for a wide audience, rather than concern itself too much with artistic expression.

Nintendo developers are extremely insatiable when it comes to whether what they make resonates with customers or not. They'll do anything to achieve it. Both Miyamoto (Shigeru) and I repeatedly say, 'It's not like we are making pieces of art, the point is to make a product that resonates with and is accepted by customers.'

Creating is like an expression of egoism. People with a strong energy to create something have a 'this is the strength I believe is right' sort of confidence to start from. Their standpoint is that 'this is the right thing to do, so this must be what's good for the customer as well.' But the final goal of a product is to resonate with and be accepted by people. You can't just force your way through. By saying 'the point is to be accepted' I mean, if you go to a customer with your idea and you realize they don't understand it, it's more important that they do and you should shift your idea.

These seem like positive ideas, and they've arguably shone through in some strong recent releases on 3DS and, most recently, Wii U. Naturally, though, critics will point to the Wii U's recent sales figures to criticise the approach, but the Nintendo President is maintaining his confidence that the system will win through.

It's difficult to say 'the Wii U is a system that does such-and-such' in a simple manner, and understanding it takes time. While we unfortunately had a period in the first half of 2013 where releases were sparse and hardware sales have lulled, I don't think that the concept and potential of the Wii U have been rejected.

For some, Nintendo's approach to game development — particularly in how these games stand out in the modern market — is exactly the reason why they are fans of the company's systems. What do you think of Satoru Iwata's comments, and his emphasis on producing entertainment products as a priority over creating "art"?


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User Comments (66)



TheEmerlLad said:

As a proud owner of a Wii U, I must say that it is just at it's earliest form. Their policies are just so humble. It's not really a competitive console by any stretch really. It's a console within its own realm. Give it the time it needs. From the day it was revealed. And those demo reels. It has great, great potential.

Later on, next year. It needs to simply step up their A game and bring out some great games. Resurrect some Nintendo series that needs to use the utility of the Wii U. Have full advantage of that Indie support as well. Bring some inspired minds to your inspiring world Nintendo.



Ultra_Mario1001 said:

Nintendo should start an advertising campaign around the number 5. For example, 5 people can play at once, 4 classic nintendo series, 3 Nintendo VC consoles(N64, GCN, Wii) for download from the eshop, 2 Hardware Bundles, 1 Gamepad, 0 boredom.



BillyCupid said:

Although I don't think the concept of the Wii U has been rejected, I do believe that the Gamepad is not as big a draw to the average consumer in the same way the Wii Remote was with the Wii.

The Wii Remote allowed a totally different style of play, a style of play that casual gamers could relate to and enjoy. No longer was playing games all about being hunched over a small control pad, hammering at a combination of buttons - now you could play games without having to learn which buttons did what. And no game showed this off better than the bundled launch title Wii Sports.

The Wii U doesn't have that same draw. Unfortunately casual gamers just see a traditional console with an unwieldy control pad while the more hardcore gamers aren't getting their ideal quota of third party shooters and dismiss the console as childish.

I love Nintendo and I love their games, but even I have yet to see anything that convinces me the Gamepad was the right way to go. I do enjoy using it but I must admit, unless I'm playing 'off screen', nine times out of ten I will use my Pro Controller. I've noticed even Nintendo have started including a Pro Controller in some of the Premium Pack bundles...



brandonbwii said:

I always consider Nintendo to have the "fun" games while Sony has the "artsy" ones.

The reason it's best to own two systems.



Rafie said:

I'm excited for that game. The next 4 months...we should see more positive articles like this one more often. That 3D Mario does look phenomenal.



Samurai_Goroh said:

I'd say their focus on developing products that consumers can relate to is commendable, and more often than they may think, they end up creating compelling products that are also works of art.
I just can't imagine the videogame industry without Nintendo. They're the Walt Disney/ Pixar of the interactive media.



hcfwesker said:

WiiU definitely has potential. all my friends really like the concept of it when I show it off to them. the problem is the GAMES, as has been said a gazillion times on here. My friends love the 2 screen idea, and off TV play, but they have a certain taste in games that WiiU just doesn't offer yet. Bring the games, and they will come.



The-Chosen-one said:

if these games come to wiiU it will be a big seller if they do it right and advertise right. an MMO game (maybe from marvel) (like DC has on ps3) or a total Nintendo Universe MMO game. (Epic) Zelda. Smashbros, and an totally awesom Online FPS Shooter, a one of a kind, and they to adress the creators of the new Batman, why they excluded Multiplayer of the WiiU version



cheleuitte said:

I do believe in Iwata and miyamoto words, they are the masters minds behind nintendo!!



The-Chosen-one said:

or even bring a Smashbros WiiU Demo (like the one they where playing at E3) so that people will buy a WiiU just to play the Beta(demo)



BATRA said:




Metaknight_3Raw said:

The off Tv play is so underrated. It's my favourite feature and one I would have thought hardcore gamers would love. Maybe everyone has five TVs nowadays but it's a godsend in my house.



Metaknight_3Raw said:

I disagree. The Wii U's audience is not wide enough. Apart from the hardcore Nintendo fans no one else has a reason to buy the console. It misses out on many of the multiplatform third party releases/not a multimedia system which rules it out of being the primary console in a house. It's too expensive/not too appealing to the casual crowd. Not enough games for the RPG/FPS crowd. And too weak for the spec obsessed bunch.



AltDotNerd said:

Look at how well Nintendo games retain their value over the years. That's how you know the kind of quality they put in their games. I'm proud to be a Nintendo fan!



Goginho said:

I understand where Mr. Iwata is getting at, the thing is, I wouldn't mind the "art", and therefore would like developers to have the freedom to put forth what they believe is right for the customer imo. in the old days, where nobody had expectations. It was all about experimenting, forming a base and establishing a foundation to work with.

I've never really found myself strongly questioning why they really implemented something, not because I'm unable to, and fall under as a 'slave' so-to-say, but due to the fact that a harmony has been built between my appetite for the Marios and the Zeldas and such. I pretty much always find myself on the same level as what the product provides. A good, recent example would be 3D World (as fittingly as the picture above gets ), where I obiviously expected a different approach to a 3D Mario game (as many others did too I recall), but it didn't take long for me to realize that this is truly something I'm going to enjoy....a lot.

All in all, I just want Nintendo to continue providing content for a broad array of audiences, whilst expressing their full potential and passion in the games that really matter. Games that matter, not only to them, but also to their fans.

I know this from myself. I like to create visual art, and I know that when I create something, it usually comes strong with the viewer/observer, and most of the people that see my artworks express positive feedback (lol I know it sounds egotistical me though, I'm not like that ). So, I look at Nintendo in the same way, they know what they're all about. They know how to make great content, even if people, critics, w/e say for example, "NSMB series is stale..recycled...etc..", they can't deny the fact that they found the game enjoyable at least to some extent. I see all these people criticizing and hatin' beforehand, and yet give good ratings afterwards.




element187 said:

I agree to an extent. Are you as game designers there to impress critics or sell hardware/software units.

Apparently at Nintendo they believe in selling hardware/software first and foremost, and if they can do that while creating art so be it, but that isn't their priority.

its business 101, you do what you need to do to make money, you do not start a business to impress people.



element187 said:

@Ultra_Mario1001 Not to be a jerk or anything but Metroid HD will be lucky to crack 500k in sales.

I personally have loved the series since I was a little kid playing the first one on my brothers NES... but the sales numbers for the last 2 metroid games were pretty pitiful.... I think Nintendo made the right call in deciding to go with another Donkey Kong from a business perspective.



element187 said:

"Graphics that have been around since 2006."

@pntjr Really? Who had a Radeon 6000 GPU that did OpenGL 4.0 in 2006? That must have been expensive because AMD didn't produce that chipset until 2011.

Sorry champ, but the Wii U's GPU function set is far out of reach of anything released in 2006. In fact the PS3/360 would choke if it tried to play Mario Kart 8. Dynamic Lighting? PS360 could only do prebaked... have you seen the bokeh on any PS3/360 games? It looks like vaseline smeared on the camera lense.... even if you could throw those effects out, the PS3 would choke and be lucky to run the game at a stable frame rate above 25, while the Wii U renders the game beautifully in 60fps, even in two player splitscreen while rendering a second screen at the same time.



Kirk said:

Hey, I agree with him.

If a game can make me feel like I did when I was a kid again then it's done it's job.

Nintendo makes some of the games ever.



Metaknight_3Raw said:

Consider them dropped the Wii U is too expensive for them now and they are not about upgrading tech. Now they have their Wiis they are fine with those. I predict that Wii U Fit will sell poorly. None of the "hardcore gamers" are interested and none of the casuals own the device.



Metaknight_3Raw said:

I know! I haven't see ONE advertisement on TV in general let alone advertising this specificfeature, it might be because I don't have cable or satellite but still, the DS advertised loads of times back in the day on normal TV and I have seen the 3DS advertise sometimes.



Memeboy3 said:

@Metaknight_3Raw That's up for debate, the PS4 may have awesome specs, but it will most likely be limited because making an advanced console is hard to duplicate for a large fanbase but we'll wait and see what happens and the Xbox one sure as heck not going to succeed well due to M$ in general starting to become untrustworthy and both console are selling the ''Dark'' and ''Mature'' shooters that while it's fine and all ..but it's a little overrated and a tiny bit repetitive and even transforming PvZ in to an FPS (What?!), Nintendo had some sweet exclusives with a large Fanbase ( Bayonetta 2, wonderful 101 and the classic Pikmin 3 Shin megami tensei X Fire Emblem, SM world), and if Nintendo buys Atlus...It's now most likely locked, now i'm being a little bias here, but Nintendo is the only Company I grew up on and i'm sticking with it, Nintendo and the Wii U has a Good Future on it's hands just waiting to be exposed. Also.. SPECS DON"T MATTER, just look at the Extra credits episode, the Dreamcast was WAY ahead at it's time..but the Playstation killed it...



DerpSandwich said:

I do wish they would get in on that whole "art" thing, though. With the level of polish and amazing gameplay that Nintendo games generally have, they could create some of the most amazing games in the world if they just put their minds to it. (Yet instead they're constantly scaling back story elements and simplifying graphics in their games, much to my chagrin.)



FritzFrapp said:

Few things resonate like an F-Zero engine or Samus Aran's charge beam or a jet ski racing over waves....



Znerd said:

The Wii U can make a serious comeback. AS we all know Nintendo is gonna kill it withe the exclusive 1st party games. The real promblem is the 3rdparty support.



Metaknight_3Raw said:

I'm not sure which one of my comments are debatable as I've made too many :3 but I'll try and answer anyway.

That's true but It's the glowing press that the PS4 has been getting that will help. The PS4 seems like it can do no wrong. Xbox 1 I'm not so sure, people seem surprisingly willing to forgive after the u-turn. They are selling more than "overrated" shooters that are not coming to the Wii U. Kingdom Hearts, FFXV are both not shooters and command much larger fanbases I would say, especially Final Fantasy. What is there on Wii U for RPG or FPS fans? Very little I would say. X and SMT X FE? Two titles and the prospect of no WRPGs at all is ridiculous when comparing to consoles not even out yet, It's not even like Wii U is missing out on a few titles. It's missing out on most of them. Unacceptable really. But only time will tell whether Wii U will be able stay above the water on the backs of first party exclusives. Bayonetta, Wonderful 101 and X are a step in the right direction but Nintendo can't do all of this on their own. I accept that Nintendo are dear to you. They are dear to me too but something more must be done about the lack of compelling titles.



JaxonH said:

@BillyCupid Yes, this is true. Gamepad isn't as big a draw in comparison to Wiimote. BUT, and there's always a but- it's definitely a bigger draw than a standard issue controller, and that's a fact. Gamepad isn't HURTING Wii U. It may not be helping like Wiimote did with Wii, but it is helping. And tbh, Wiimote had instant appeal, and was the better innovation, but 90% of the time wasn't implemented properly. Gamepad doesn't have quite the instant appeal, and isn't quite as revolutionary, but it's implemented perfectly 90% of the time... and that right there makes all the differences. A well-implemented gamepad offers so much more than a poorly-implemented Wiimote. Gamepad was not a bad design choice by any means. Even if it doesn't add a single sale during Wii U's lifespan (which it will, obviously), it certainly isn't taking away any net sales. And the fact of the matter is the gamepad is probably the most well implemented and cleverly useful innovation I've seen from Nintendo since the DS. Gamers benefit from the unique experiences offered through gamepad integration- I know I never want to go back to a traditional controller for cerain genres after playing them with the gamepad. Sure, games like NSMBU, NSLU, and Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed are probably best played with Pro Controller. But Nintendoland, Pikmin 3, Darksiders 2, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Wonderful 101, etc... it takes these games to a whole 'nother level.



Mahe said:

@JaxonH I disagree. I dislike the Gamepad, and will much rather use a Wiimote with a Nunchuk. But rather than a Gamepad, I would use a Wii Classic Controller Pro, which is better than a Wii U Pro Controller, which is better than the useless, battery-draining and cumbersome Gamepad.

The Gamepad is a big reason why I can't recommend the Wii U as highly as I did with the Wii. The Gamepad really is HURTING the Wii U, for me and probably for a lot of other people as well.



Rafie said:

@element187 I beg to differ about Mario Kart 8. So far that game does not look anything more than what the PS3 and 360 can do. That's being real. I've been a Nintendo fan since '85 and still to this date have every single console they ever released (Well not the Virtual Boy). All, except the NES, I got on launch day. So I have no bias here. However, I hear a lot of tech guys and Nintendo fans alike talk about how much spec wise the Wii U is superior to both the PS3 and 360. While that may be true on paper, so far the games have not shown anything more than what the current gen can do from a graphical standpoint.

Now I'm still waiting for titles like Monolith X, Zelda, Metroid to showcase the true potential of the Wii U graphics wise. Unfortunately I haven't see that just yet. Those Mario Kart 8 screen shots do look great, but there are games from both the 360 and PS3 that looks better than that.

Nintendo is very much in this "console race" as the other 2. However, I'm inclined to agree with The EmerlLad. Nintendo is on it's own plane and offer something totally new and innovative that the other 2 just doesn't. I'm merely was just stating my disagreement about Mario Kart 8.



P-Gamer-C said:

Inovative like a sub hd tablet there are no 480p tabs on the market and last but not least noo games lollllllllllllllllll



Rafie said:

@Memeboy3 Yeah that was crazy. Dreamcast was more powerful than the PS2 in some ways. In my opinion, I believed games looked better on DC than the PS2. Texturing was something the Dreamcast had better over the PS2. Also crazy that history repeated itself with low spec consoles.

The PS2 was easily the weakest out of the Xbox and GC, yet it obliterated them in sales.

The Wii was easily the weakest out of the PS3 and 360, yet it killed them in sales. I guess in the end...specs really don't matter. LOL



FJOJR said:

I think Nintendo hasn't done a great job communicating what's great about the Wii U and what exactly they see it as. People think it's a cross between a tablet and the Wii. The motion control angle seems to be abandoned as well. Maybe they should've called it the Super Wii and kept it simple with using the costs for making the tablet to up the power and just keep building around the Wii Remote.



QuickSilver88 said:

@BillyCupid I kind of get your point but for me offTV play is huge. I yhonk in reality the gamepad should be a core gamers wet dream. It is super versatile and works great as a primary controller or as a secondary controller using motion controls like with Pikmin or using pro controller. I am lovin playing ME3 and play it some offTV or when on TV use the pro and then find the mapping and squad touch controlls takes the game to a whole new level. I agree it isn't being positioned and pushed right but the potential for WiiU control when you consider gampead, wiimote, and pro controller far excedes anything others can offer. Even though the other are trying to implement second screen with tablet glass and Vita they will not be real second screen controllers because the lag will render them much less functional. Give it time, these are new concepts and I think bit by bit we will see more and more innovative uses of the gamepad and/or multiple control schemes WiiU supports. I think their nrw bundle should include a wiimote plus, nunchuck and pro controller because then all bases would be covered.



Gamer83 said:

This is the way Nintendo has always been but something just seems off with them right now. I don't know if it's the Wii U or the way Nintendo is going about things but I've just felt no desire to rush out and buy this console. Even Super Mario 3D World doesn't have me hyped up and I always look forward to the 3D Mario platformers. I still fully expect this situation to change and Nintendo to deliver that one game that everybody has to play (similar to what Wii Sports was), I just didn't think it would take this long considering they were doing nothing for the Wii after 2010. There was plenty of time that something truly awesome should've been out on Wii U by now.



DarkNinja9 said:

i just think their audience is too wide and they need to stop and focus on one main audience at a time not throw mario game at us and expect everyone to like it



Morph said:

I dont know why they just didnt launch this summer, would have made so much more sense



Windy said:

What ever happened to a simplistic approach to games and game controls. I mean come on for myself and many others we wouldn't touch or play half the games on Wii because of the motion controls and no option for classic controller. Why does everything have to be unique? A perfect example is the simplicity of Gunman Clive on 3DS. It was wildly popular with a megaman style of gameplay and was simple and fun. It makes for a great recipe. Why cant we just go back to that. It just seems Nintendo has to attempt to be unique with every single game these days when back to the basics has been a great mix. I'm not saying don't be unique but really there has to be happy medium with simplicity. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles on Wii would have been one of my favorite games but because of the wacked motion controls it was not



Henmii said:

Guys, what do you think of that picture? Is that little creature Dreambert from Mario and Luigi: Dream team?! If so, the story could have some connection with the latest Mario and Luigi!!

Oh, and all the online-pushing from Nintendo makes me sick!! They originally where leagues behind, and now they are at the fore-front! If things go on like this, Nintendo may be the first to ditch discs! If that happens, Apple has truly won!!

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