News Article

Miyamoto Thinks That Nintendo Are in a Genre of Their Own

Posted by Darren Calvert

“I really think there needs to be a Nintendo genre"

Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently did an interview with the LA Times where he discussed Nintendo's focus on creating games which entertain, as opposed to simply trying to be "cool".

He even went on to say that Nintendo should have a genre of their own.

Nintendo isn’t one simple element of an overall gaming industry. I really think there needs to be a Nintendo genre, that’s almost its own entity.

Why even try to be "cool" when you can be fun, odd and goofy?

It’s not that I don’t like serious stories or that I couldn’t make one, but currently in the video game industry you see a lot of game designers who are working really hard to make their games seem really cool. For a lot of us at Nintendo, it’s difficult to decide what cool is. In fact, it’s a lot easier for us to laugh at ourselves. It’s almost as if we’re performers. Our way of performing is by creating these fun, odd and goofy things.

We have to say that it is refreshing that Nintendo are still staying true to their vision of creating fun and innovative experiences for us gamers. That makes them "cool" in our eyes even if they weren't really trying to be. As always, let us know your thoughts below.

[via herocomplex.latimes.com]

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User Comments (76)

outburst

#3

outburst said:

I love them! There are few companies left that I respect from PC/console gaming industry (Nintendo, Valve, CD Projekt Red, Sony to name a few) and Nintendo is the best of them when it comes to their offerings. (Well-polished games, DLCs/expansions, gameplay, fun, etc).

JimLad

#4

JimLad said:

This has been true throughout their entire video gaming history. Pretty much all of their rivals have used coolness to sell their products.
The Mega Drive, the Playstation, the Xbox... There's nothing wrong with coolness, but it gets boring after a while.

Nintendo have always been able to make quality games without trying to be 'grown up'. Because of that they have a huge segment of the gaming industry all to themselves. (kids and families) Right now they just need some cheaper hardware to capitalise on it.

unrandomsam

#5

unrandomsam said:

More of the same all the time is not fun unless you really really liked the last entry. (Applies to Tropical Freeze I think for me and that is it.) All the rest of the stuff I like so far on the Wii U is substantially different from its last entry.

Look at the amount of Wii U games that are not a sequel that plays extremely similarly to the last entry. (Or 3DS that are not just old Wii Technology at 30fps and either a remake or just new levels).

Dinosaurs

#6

Dinosaurs said:

The media need to stop viewing Nintendo as an anomaly. It creates a feeling that there's no room for any more than just a few genres in the industry. And that's terrible.

TheWPCTraveler

#9

TheWPCTraveler said:

@WiiULoveSquid Nintendo will always be viewed as an anomaly.

Ninty will always have its audience, the kind of audience that will attracted not by 30-second CGI fests or 1080/60 in a game or "mature" games, but by great games - the kind of game that you'll always have time to look back on (or regret that you didn't get it.)

TheWPCTraveler

#10

TheWPCTraveler said:

I don't necessarily believe that Nintendo should be placed in its own genre, though.

It shouldn't be placed on a pedestal, but they shouldn't be held at the same standard with other developers and publishers as well.

Dizzard

#11

Dizzard said:

I think there's still a big difference between being "cool" and being "serious" though. You can make a deep, thoughtful game without being some sort "cool" or "hip" cliché.

I'm not as interested in Miyamoto's work these days for this reason. He's probably the reason Paper Mario went down a route that didn't appeal to me. Contrary to what he's saying here I feel like Sticker Star made the series less "goofy" and "odd", and more....." Standard".

torotoid64

#12

torotoid64 said:

playing Splatoon in the background
"Oh hey bro cool Fps what's the name"
"FIRST OFF IT'S NOT A FPS! IT'S A NINTENDO ANND THE NAME'S SPLATOON NOOB"
"but...it plays like a Fp-"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IT'S A NINTENDO"
yeah not miyamotos best idea

GougeMan

#13

GougeMan said:

Nintendo thinks they are the best. As they should. There is nothing wrong with that....If you believe you are the elite, then you are.

Shambo

#15

Shambo said:

This -and later their amazing IP's that stood the test of time, together with original third party exclusives of many genres every now and then- is what kept me being a Nintendo fan since I played my first game. It was Link's Awakening, on the fat Game Boy.

hiptanaka

#16

hiptanaka said:

I generally dislike genres, anyway. They simplify too much. But Miyamoto is right about Nintendo games often sharen a certain tone, and a focus on fun mechanics instead of a "serious" story.

hiptanaka

#17

hiptanaka said:

That said, I want Metroid to keep a more serious tone, but with minimalistic storytelling.

Aviator

#18

Aviator said:

And there should be a Sony Computer Entertainment genre, and a Rocksteady genre, and a Valve genre.

I could go on.

Emblem

#19

Emblem said:

Nintendo are and always have been in a league of there own for better or worse.

WanderingPB

#20

WanderingPB said:

Um Nintendo has unofficially been there own genre for a long time isnt that why people are so reluctant to support them? "People buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games"…is what they say forgetting the fact that they make great high quality fun games…

@unrandomsam but isnt that also the beauty of all Nintendo games? The way they dont just copy and paste most of their games but actually try to add something new or different to it…sure they're not always successful like The "new" yoshi island but they do strike gold like in Metroid Prime but then again look at Woolly World is looking to be Yoshi's comeback!

I really appreciate the different directions they take which to me make all the Legend of Zelda games classics and as for Tropical Freeze…Retro PERFECTED platforming with Tropical Freeze…the gameplay, controls, the challenge and music damn that game was just great probably why i got 200% but faulting this game for improving the last is like getting angry about Mario galaxy 2 perfecting the original Galaxy which though it did the original is my favorite.

TheLilK98

#21

TheLilK98 said:

I get what he was going for in the statement, but am I the only one that thought the bit about the "Nintendo genre" came off as a bit narcissistic at first glance?

NintyMan

#24

NintyMan said:

Thinking like this has been a staple of Nintendo's for years. And yet even with their light-hearted approach, they still end up being "cool" in their own way.

By the way, I've just learned from NintendoofFrance's Twitter that Miyamoto won't be going to an expo in France because of the health of his father. I really hope it's not too serious.

MrGawain

#25

MrGawain said:

I don't think you can call Nintendo a genre, but I think it's fair to say it's an ideology of fun, humour, innovation, and quality.

Iggly

#27

Iggly said:

Even though I wouldn't say that Nintendo are in a genre of their own, people would usually leave out Nintendo when it comes to competition between Sony and Microsoft though I wouldn't really call that a genre. [Plus it would sound weird if I was saying I'm playing a Nintendo]

Fazermint

#28

Fazermint said:

The word he's looking for is style. Nintendo has its own style. Let's not disregard the definition of words, otherwise I might as well be a genre too.

MAB

#29

MAB said:

The translation might be wrong... Miyamoto really means Nintendo are in a bubble of their own ;)

Sean_Aaron

#31

Sean_Aaron said:

There aren't many companies that do games the way they do. The execution and design are of a very high standard and the focus is on fun. Sadly this makes them stand out in a sea of sameness...

Link506

#33

Link506 said:

@MAB Pretty much. They take the road not chosen by many and more times than not, benifit from it.

Mega719

#34

Mega719 said:

That's why Nintendo would always be ahead gaming wise they know what people want and they know what could innovate their games, which other developers don't seem to get. We just got a Devil's Third article with praise to how they helped with that dream. I'll laugh if I see a description in a dictionary

unrandomsam

#35

unrandomsam said:

@WanderingPB Mario Kart / NSMB (excluding NSLU) / A Link Between Worlds / Triple Deluxe / Mario Golf (All not revolutionary enough and too similar to the last entries or too easy.)

They can produce great stuff like 3d world but most of the time they don't.

They say fun above all else but more of the same isn't fun.

WanderingPB

#37

WanderingPB said:

@unrandomsam sounds more like you've lost ur taste for those games as opposed to them not being fun…but then again both fun and taste are purely subjective…

When u talk about change u must be one of those who wanted starfox on land i assume? All those games u mentioned BUILD upon what they're predecessors have done…and again some times it awesome and sometimes its not but they try and im ok with them doing that because what Nintendo doesnt do is a yearly stuff ur face COD rehash usually u get certain games every console with an occasional sequel on the same console.

We all want new sequels of our favorite games my friend but we must be honest as well with our expectations because if u really want to look at it every game is a copy of a game before it but its a great foundation we gamers have not more of the same…because regardless if they do something completely different people will still whine and complain while a great incredibly creative game like W101 just sits on the shelf. Enjoy games for what they are FUN if its not for u then okey dokey but that has nothing to do with the fact that those games are still FUN

Darknyht

#40

Darknyht said:

@unrandomsam There is a big difference between Nintendo hitting the high notes during a console's lifetime, and pushing out titles like a factory. Most Nintendo franchises have only seen a single entry on each console, and there are multiple years between releases. Now you might see various characters appear time and again in multiple franchises (NSMB, SMB3DW, Mario Kart, etc.), but the franchises themselves usually only release on a console.

Artwark

#43

Artwark said:

@JimLad Their hardwares have been cheap. The Wii U is the cheapest in this entire gen.

I've loved Nintendo ever since I played Super Mario Bros. If Nintendo goes, the meaning of fun is just tarnished........:(

GreatPlayer

#44

GreatPlayer said:

@Artwark The hardware is not an issue. It can handle most heavy processing games nowadays. However, Nintendo genre may also include repetitiveness. Can the Big N stop recycling mario and donkey kong characters? Too many games with Mario and related characters or enemies in it, causing all these games having the same feel, despite fans arguing that they are different franchises.

If Nintendo is so confident of making fun games that gamers will like, why does it keep recycling the same set of characters, esp those from Mario games?

Blue-Thunder

#45

Blue-Thunder said:

The Nintendo genre he is talking about is Nintendo magic? That thing only Nintendo can do.

@GreatPlayer
"Repetitiveness" lol. I think that's Sega your talking about.

Blue-Thunder

#47

Blue-Thunder said:

@GreatPlayer
That message has got a lot bigger in the last couple of minutes :-). What you consider the 'truth' and what's happening are probably two different things.

Nintendo are doing what they always do, making consoles and making good games. On this site Nintendo have said they are not looking for new IPs because every style of gameplay they need to explore they can do with the IPs and characters they have. You see this as a weakness which I find strange.

You coming across like someone who hasn't really been playing Nintendo games.

Gridatttack

#48

Gridatttack said:

True words. Ninty focus on games are different from what the other big companies are trying to achieve.

@GreatPlayer Splatoon says hi :P
I cant see a single recycled character there. Do you see one? :>

GreatPlayer

#49

GreatPlayer said:

@Blue-Thunder Yes, and this result in games having the same feel because the same characters and styles were used, even though fans argue that they are different franchises. Due to the recycling of characters and styles, the games alienate other non Mario gamers, and Nintendo fans keep complaining about other gamers ostracizing the wii u console. Don't you see the cycle?

Also, i don't see how new franchises cannot be developed even though every style of gameplay can be incorporated into existing franchise. For Toad Adventure, for example, it has a new gameplay but can't Nintendo develop new characters and new enemies for the game? I start to think that Nintendo liles to play safe even though it hurts the development of its business in longrun.

Blue-Thunder

#51

Blue-Thunder said:

@GreatPlayer
I think all Mario games feel different. All the Mario kart games are different. Mario 64 is different to Sunshine and Galaxy is totally different and Mario 3d world is different again.

The characters Nintendo have are legendary that is why they are using them.

HappyHappyist

#52

HappyHappyist said:

I think that would just confuse people.
"This is a nintendo game, right?"
"No, it's in the Nintendo genre though."
"Then why is it on PS4? And what the heck qualifies to be in a nintendo genre?"

earthboundlink

#54

earthboundlink said:

@GreatPlayer I just don't get it when people say Nintendo repeats itself too much. It's true that it has recurring characters that have existed for a long time, but there are new IPs coming out all the time. Splatoon is the most recent announcement, but don't forget things like Pushmo, Steel Diver, Dillon's Rolling Western, Sakura Samurai, and Wonderful 101. That's just the new IPs I can think of from this generation off the top of my head.

But Nintendo saves its premium work for its AAA IPs that everyone recognizes. Go to any random stranger and ask them about Assassin's Creed, Gears of War, Battlefield, etc., and they will probably not know what you're talking about. They will know who Mario is. So Nintendo puts its best efforts into the IPs that will get great recognition and not languish in the bargain bin because people didn't want to take a chance on them.

And other than Mario, I can't think of any character who is used more than twice in a console generation of 5 or 6 years. And that's only if you count all games involving Mario as the same series (Mario sports, Mario Kart, and Mario Platforming are pretty much only linked by similar aesthetics).

GalacticMario28

#55

GalacticMario28 said:

That's a very interesting statement. I completely agree with it. This is part of what makes Miyamoto who he is.

GN004Nadleeh

#56

GN004Nadleeh said:

you can be odd and goofy all you want just make it so you can still play what everyone else is too

Darknyht

#57

Darknyht said:

@GreatPlayer Captain Toad uses the same characters because it grew out of Mario 3D World, it would be silly to replace him with someone else, move him to a new IP world and come up with new enemies. Capt. Toad as a character is the insane Mushroom Man that collects stars for Mario because he wants to help and being suicidal is a way to do that.

I am also sure they use Mario is so much because they need something to differentiate their otherwise generic sports games. What is there unique to sell Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, and every other Mario Sport game without the Mario IP? Remember, Mario is their mascot.

Other companies do the same thing. Sega has Sonic the Hedgehog starring in multiple genres including: 2D & 3D platformers, racing, educational, fighting, puzzle, pinball, party mini-games, tennis, golf, fishing, billiards, bowling, and RPGs. They have also taken Tails and spun him off into his own adventures. Namco has done the same with Pac-man and so has any other company that has famous mascots.

unrandomsam

#58

unrandomsam said:

@WanderingPB I haven't lost my taste for them. I really liked Oracle of Ages/Seasons (Never played it before up to now I had no idea what was going to happen all the way through - I was more interested in Oracle of Ages in the first 5 mins than the whole of A Link Between Worlds). New Super Luigi U. Warioland 4 (Never played it until recently). I liked some of the mod's for NSMBW (Like the Newer one and the Summer Sunshine one) and the one world in NSMBU that has the red and blue switches.

Mario Kart needs to beat All Stars Racing Transformed (Which is the new benchmark) it has a balance of tracks that need racing skill / luck / skill with items an extensive world tour that teaches you basically everything about the game. Best player wins 99% of the time.

Nintendo was the one who changed the difficulty curve. Certainly Gamecube and GBA (And early DS). Start a game and be awful at it then get better over time. That never happens any more.

unrandomsam

#59

unrandomsam said:

@earthboundlink Its premium work should go into new IP's - Rare managed it make something make it brilliant and people will buy it. It can be a new IP or something that hasn't been made before. Once is enough though unless it can be improved massively. (Or Super Mario Bros 2 (Japan) style is ok as well just a harder version).

Andremario

#60

Andremario said:

Nintendo is the genre and they specialize in fun. They already have separated themselves from everyone else. People will eventually tire of first person shooters being so abundant and nintendo will be there when people are looking to get their "fun" fix. You can only make so many bro games before it gets redundant. This is why I will always be a nintendo gamer and why others will eventually choose quality over (status) quo.

WanderingPB

#61

WanderingPB said:

@unrandomsam yup…ur response answered my query about ur perspective taste. U sound intelligent and im sure we could debate this topic in depth being both gamers at heart but im just going to point out a few things…

The original NES Legend of Zelda founded what oracle of seasons/ages BUILT upon if ur picky about the Zelda games u prefer…hey i hear ya join the millions that complain about the game when it comes out then praise it when the next one is released or just complain about it not being the Zelda game u wanted…i fell victim to that insanity years ago until i learned to appreciate how unique & different each game of the series was…of course Link between worlds is not like oracles/ages but neither is ocarina of time or Majoras mask…so ur saying it wouldve been better to improve solely on Oracle/ages than create those other classics? Negative my friend this is where ur argument fails in my opinion…the exploration of each unique title serve as tool to improve the experience and make a better game in the series…and yet u want something like Oracle or better…well they have and this is why Legend of Zelda games can only be compared to other Legend of Zelda games…while i would love another Oracle/ages i wouldnt be against the creative growth of the franchise thats just obtuse

And for u to even compare the MarioKart franchise to Sonic Allstar Racing Transformed which is using mariokart as a foundation…im just going to shake my head and politely disagree b/c i don't want to have this go on longer than it already has…good luck gaming my friend enjoy that fun of urs makes me more empathetic to the developers who have to deal with our krazy gamer requests LOL!

GreatPlayer

#62

GreatPlayer said:

@Darknyht ...and linked by similar styles too.

@earthboundlink ... your response really speaks to why there is a disconnection between Mario fans and other gamers. Mario fans just want more Mario appearance while other gamers will say,'another one again?' The year 2014 is not a mascot era; the 1990 was. Even back then i did not recall sonic characters appear so frequently in Genesis (perhaps in GG when they seem to test out new ideas in that console).

ChuJelly

#63

ChuJelly said:

There's no company like Nintendo for understanding that the primary purpose of games is to have fun and to feel good. They set themselves far apart from a lot of other game developers, and if the feel of Nintendo's signature magic is enough to separate it as an entirely unique genre, I'm all for it. :)

PlywoodStick

#65

PlywoodStick said:

Miyamoto doesn't literally mean "there should be a Nintendo genre". He's simply alluding to the fact that they are among the last few veterans who remember and stick to their roots, creating very distinctive games. Most other games are "samey" feeling with each other, at this point.

unrandomsam

#66

unrandomsam said:

@PlywoodStick So are almost all of Nintendo's looking back over say the past decade or so. I bet there are less than 10 that were given the full amount of resources that were a new thing. (Not a sequel or enhancement of an existing game)

Zombie_Barioth

#68

Zombie_Barioth said:

@unrandomsam
"Samey" as in games in the same genre looking and feeling the same. Many modern FPS would look the same if you didn't know better. Nintendo isn't trying to make a COD or Halo killer, or changing an existing IP to attract the same audience.

Gravedigga13

#69

Gravedigga13 said:

now just imagine for a second that the wii u had the power of a ps 4---current nintendo games+3rd party games=overkill.
they could have been both cool AND nintendo. they chose the easy route, with old rusty specs and an expensive tablet.
im not in the position to judge nintendo, but i feel they are afraid to expand. as opposed to other companies, they do not have hundreds of people working on just one game, their teams are small. thats why we dont get enough games on the U. i have respect nin for their games, but other than that i think they are a bunch of greedy ppl, they are a company afterall

bizcuthammer

#70

bizcuthammer said:

In a way, Nintendo as a genre is already a thing. I can always tell when i'm playing a Nintendo-made game. They have a certain quality and quirkiness to them that few companies can replicate. Nintendo games seem to have a shine that other games don't. And while other games like CoD, Assassin's Creed, Halo and Madden get played for a year or so and then tossed aside for a newer, better version, every Nintendo game is made equal... Sure, as technology advances, so do the graphics and sound of Ninty's games, but I would never throw out Mario Sunshine or Wind Waker simply because they released Galaxy and Twilight Princess. Each and every game they make has its own unique greatness, which makes it worth playing and keeping for years and years. There is a difference between Nintendo and everyone else in the industry, and while it can be hard to put a finger on, you can tell that it is there.

bizcuthammer

#71

bizcuthammer said:

@Gravedigga13 sorry, but i dont get why small development teams are a bad thing. Assassin's Creed III had a gigantic dev team (over 100 people from 3 different studios) and all it contributed to was that game feeling like a bunch of half-baked ideas being thrown into a mess of a game. Sure some of the ideas there (colony building, sailing) were cool, but most of them were only half realized and felt clunky and incomplete. That comes from having such a huge team, with too many ideas and a lack of overall focus.

Also, how would smaller teams mean less games? If you have 8 small teams of 30-50 people vs 4 huge teams of 100 people, you get 8 games worked on at once instead of just 4.

Zombie_Barioth

#73

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Gravedigga13
Does "too many cooks spoil the broth" mean anything to you?

What Nintendo does isn't the "easy route" either, if anything their way takes more effort since they aren't relying on pure power and flash. The gamepad probably isn't all that expensive to make since they have $250 Wii U's and a single game covers any loss.

Neither of the other consoles are exactly the pinnacle of technology either, and the point of consoles never has been that. Affordable gaming is the name of the game here. Has Nintendo ever once bragged about 1080P/60FPS? Those beefy specs are what ate up Sony and Microsoft's profits last gen. The reason we're seeing 10-year cycles is because they have to stall long enough to make any.

RawkHawk013

#74

RawkHawk013 said:

And you guys are the "coolest" in our eyes for it! This is what a TRUE game creater says.

Pod

#75

Pod said:

He's right in that Nintendo's focus always rests squarely on the combination of finesse and surprise, and the engagement which arises from this. Few others in the industry are able to mobilize the same brute force of design experince in this field.

Darknyht

#76

Darknyht said:

@GreatPlayer The mascot era never died, it was just two of the industry players never managed to produce a stable of characters that reached the popularity of Mario and Sonic. Microsoft has Halo's Master Chief and well... Cortana. Sony has a small stable of characters but never has been able to make any of them reach the same brand awareness as Mario, Sonic, Mickey Mouse, or Bugs Bunny.

But that doesn't change that Mario Baseball sans Mario is just a very basic and generic Baseball game. I wish Nintendo had kept up the Major League Baseball (w Ken Griffey, Jr.), Play Action Football, Formation Soccer, NBA Courtside (w Kobe Bryant), and NHL Stanley Cup franchises; but for whatever reason they did not and we are now left with basic, generic sports games that need Mario to sell.

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