Nintendo's Miyamoto Talks With CNN: Our Take
Recently, CNN posted a translated interview with the rather beloved Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto on its website. Originally shot on CNN's Talk Asia program shortly before the Wii launched in November, the interview included some tough questions and even more fascinating answers. Miyamoto chatted a bit on the Big N's competition, violence in games, and fan feedback. It's fairly apparent much has changed since the pre-holiday blitz.
When it comes to Nintendo's feelings about the competition from Sony and Microsoft, Miyamoto quickly brushed aside any worries. "I don't think there is a company equivalent that has the know-how or skills with the technology behind the games, or has the history and experience in the entertainment industry". Miyamoto elaborated on Nintendo's edge by assuring his listeners that so long as the company maintains its edge, it will always have an advantage over the competition.
On the subject of violence in games, Miyamoto responded, "We make our games based on…using means other than violence…I think it is important to give children a product with a careful approach."
Finally, on the question of fan feedback, the Nintendo boss stated, "Instead of reading the blogs, I would rather stand behind a person playing the games and sense how the player is reacting to the game".
Given the fact that this interview resides in a significantly different gaming world – the one before the Wii's Christmas explosion – it's fairly interesting to see how many of Nintendo's viewpoints have changed.
For one, the violence. Nintendo has clearly taken a different approach than the previous two generations, with it now allowing some of the goriest titles to grace the Wii. Soon-to-be-released games like Manhunt 2, Scarface, and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition are sure to rewrite the "kiddy" script played out by Nintendo in the past. Miyamoto may not be so worried about the little tykes anymore, but the growth of the company and the console is indication that they're collectively ready to take back the market.
On fan feedback, Nintendo has recently launched an interesting tool that may prove exceptionally useful. The "Everybody Votes Channel" asks users various multiple choice questions. Although it currently poses ridiculous queries on dogs versus cats, it could easily be adapted for suggestions on future games.
Finally, on the competition, Miyamoto sounds, well, cocky. That makes sense now, but prior to the Wii's launch it was tough to imagine Nintendo's new console outselling the uber-buff PlayStation 3. The Big N boss is right though, as of now it is Nintendo's unique approach to gaming that is bringing back the mainstream love that made the NES so popular.
Nintendo is clearly turning a fresh face to the world. In some ways, the gamescape has changed significantly since Miyamoto's interview in November, indicating that the company is, in some ways, altering its policy based on the nature of the market.
It's about time Sony took note.