Miyamoto Unimpressed by Modern Games

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Miyamoto Unimpressed by Modern Games

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The legendary game designer wouldn't play games if he didn't make them.

"I think it's the lack of time in general," he told The Guardian. "And maybe I don't see so many titles that I find fascinating enough that I want to spend time playing. Time is precious and a game has to be worthwhile, right?"

"Another problem is that there are so many games on the market today that it's difficult to find the right one," he continued. "In many ways I think I am in a similar place to the average game player. This is one of the greatest challenges for the industry right now."

Miyamoto's point isn't that games are getting worse, but that our standards are increasing so quickly its difficult for games to keep surprising players.

"Yes, it's become more difficult [to surprise players]" he said. "In the past it was just, you touch a button and something happens on screen and this was surprising enough to people! Like magic. Nowadays we have experienced players and players with no experience and we must accommodate the needs of both groups. It's becoming increasingly difficult."

Though the franchises he's created tend to rely heavily on iterative design, with the occasional giant step forward like Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time, Miyamoto seems to value innovation over all else. When asked which of his games were his favorites, he mentioned Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros before finally seeming to settle on Wii Sports. "With this game we kicked off an adventure into something new. I want to be able to do this bold step many times in my life," he said.

The interview is a solid piece of work by "Grauniad" writer, Simon Parkin - free of the usual fawning adoration that interviewers tend to heap upon the developer. Miyamoto is even described as "indignant" at one point, when asked if the 3DS's poor initial performance compared to the DS was due to the platform's 3D tech being a "gimmick."

"Actually, 3D is really the most normal thing because it's how those of us with two eyes usually see the world," said Miyamoto. "TVs are the unusual things in 2D! We don't look at stereoscopic as a gimmick. It's rather the most normal way to display things."

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Here's a way to surprise players Mr. Miyamoto. Why don't YOU come up with a NEW original IP?

I'm kind of getting tired of the constant stream of negativity coming out of Miyamoto recently. It's about at the point where I see Miyamoto's name in the news and I assume the story basically boils down to "Miyamoto talks about how gaming was better when Nintendo ruled the world" and I move along.

He can throw stones in glass houses all he wants, I'm going to be over here playing all these awesome non-Nintendo games.

Rearrange that title and add a few letters and you get. "Modern gamers unimpressed by Miyamoto"

Seems to still be accurate.

I joke... I joke..mostly.

DVS BSTrD:
Here's a way to surprise players Mr. Miyamoto. Why don't YOU come up with a new original IP?

Because ponies.

Seriously, that's all I got.

Besides, apparently Wii Sports was a new and original IP.

Doom-Slayer:
Rearrange that title and add a few letters and you get. "Modern gamers unimpressed by Miyamoto"

Seems to still be accurate.

I joke... I joke..mostly.

Well, it IS true. I'm not sure anyone should be that concerned with what modern gamers think, especially when they aren't making games for them. ;)

DVS BSTrD:
Here's a way to surprise players Mr. Miyamoto. Why don't YOU come up with a new original IP?

Actually, the original article does touch on Miyamoto talking about opportunities to create new IPs. Though you have to find it incredible that Mario has survived so long with core games that are still generally accepted as good/maybe even great, when other iconic characters such as Sonic and Megaman have been pulled through the dirt by their respective companies. And that's totally discounting IPs like Crash Bandicoot, who went from strong competition to bargain bin garbage, or Spyro, who is only around in name-only as a ridiculous cash-in.

And it also ignores that Nintendo has managed to keep Zelda as a strong, reliable franchise even when they attempt some new frontiers in terms of visual style and control scheme. It's only really the DS games that really fell on their face, since Twilight Princess is by no means bad. Skyward Sword has its issues, but it at least is a little more successful as a core motion controlled game than its competitors.

"I am not that concerned, actually. Nintendo and I have always hoped that games would someday become a more accepted part of our daily life. Every month this becomes closer to the reality we live in.

"Games have grown and developed from this limited in-the-box experience to something that's everywhere now. Interactive content is all around us, networked, ready. This is something I've been hoping for throughout my career.

"With this success comes a new challenge of course: how do we make our titles relevant in this world of games. How do we keep going when everything has changed? It's a huge challenge. But it's a good one. It's what we always wanted."

As a Japanese developer, I think Miyamoto has a healthy attitude towards the industry. Of course, he targets a different kind of audience, but he fills a niche that seems unfulfilled by any other company. Despite clinging to a small core of franchises, Nintendo has done incredible things since the days of the NES, keeping those franchises relevant and remarkably strong when other companies have failed. It's striking for a Japanese company to have that kind of ability to transform itself, when their company structure is all about conformity. Nintendo has done extremely well expanding its market, even if said market is not where people expected them to go. It was a smart move on their part not to compete with the experiences we already get from the PC, XBox 360, and PS3. After all, Miyamoto wants to "surprise" people. He's not going to do it by pumping out Setpiece Tour Shooter 2012.

I am curious as to what Miyamoto does think up next after Pikmin, Nintendogs and Wii Sports. Pikmin was just incredibly endearing and bizarre, whereas Nintendogs and Wii Sports broke ground into casual territory. With Wii Sports and Wii Fit, I actually got to connect with my non-gamer family with video games, something I could never do with my other favourite games like Skyrim or Ragnarok Online.

Haha, oh the hypocrisy. Come up with a new IP that isn't just changing the main character every now and again, and then we'll talk.

PurePareidolia:
He can throw stones in glass houses all he wants, I'm going to be over here playing all these awesome non-Nintendo games.

Did you read the article?

Miyamoto's point isn't that games are getting worse

Honestly I think this is to be expected. He's been in the industry for so long and he's seen a massive change in how games are played and received. Remembering people thinking Super Mario Bros. was an amazing new show of what technology could do having so many different levels rather than one screen barely without changes. He idolizes his young career when the industry was small and the future was open to reveal anything. Who can blame him for missing those days? He makes some decent points, but he's most likely struck by the same nostalgia so many of us gamers are struck with when it comes to certain games.

I think he has a point. Just about all games that come out now left their imagination at the door. It used to be that most games had a wacky imagination and didn't need to explain themselves. Most of the time when a really fun game does come out it has to be on Xbox live or Psn network to survive.

Amen Miyamoto. I couldn't agree more. Sticking around here, I was starting to wonder how alone I was. I tire of new games very quickly. And certainly it's not all that fun looking at the list of new games each year. Not as much as it used to be.

Back in 1996 or so, it was "Oh God! It's a new game!".

Now it's... "Oh... God. It's... a new game.... yeah."

Good points Mr. Miyamoto. I hope that means your new franchise will deliver. But 3D isn't normal. It isn't normal to try and force the brain to see a 2D image as if it's actually got depth. If it was then why do so many people get headaches doing it? And why is it I simply can't see the 3D on the 3DS at all? All I see is a blurry mess when I try it.

xyrafhoan:
After all, Miyamoto wants to "surprise" people. He's not going to do it by pumping out Setpiece Tour Shooter 2012.

So he does it by pumping out a generic platformer that only sells because it is a mario game?

Capchta- come along pond

Hell yeah capchta

Well, thank goodness he's here to save us with wonderfully imaginative and surprising titles like Wii Sports.

LilithSlave:
Amen Miyamoto. I couldn't agree more. Sticking around here, I was starting to wonder how alone I was. I tire of new games very quickly. And certainly it's not all that fun looking at the list of new games each year. Not as much as it used to be.

Back in 1996 or so, it was "Oh God! It's a new game!".

Now it's... "Oh... God. It's... a new game.... yeah."

This attitude has more to do with the present state of multi media then with the quality of the games themselves.

Well, I'm just pissed the fucking 3DS is region locked, change that please, I'd like to buy games for it when I go on holiday.

Well, I am not impressed by his games either. So at least we have somewhat in common ;) .

Yopaz:

PurePareidolia:
He can throw stones in glass houses all he wants, I'm going to be over here playing all these awesome non-Nintendo games.

Did you read the article?

Miyamoto's point isn't that games are getting worse

Honestly I think this is to be expected. He's been in the industry for so long and he's seen a massive change in how games are played and received. Remembering people thinking Super Mario Bros. was an amazing new show of what technology could do having so many different levels rather than one screen barely without changes. He idolizes his young career when the industry was small and the future was open to reveal anything. Who can blame him for missing those days? He makes some decent points, but he's most likely struck by the same nostalgia so many of us gamers are struck with when it comes to certain games.

Let me be specific - It sure must be hard to surprise players when you keep on releasing the same games with minor tweaks every single time. On the other hand, there's plenty of games that are surprising and awesome and worth my time that I can play at any given moment so he can be nostalgic or he can be competitive and give me a reason to buy a Nintendo game for once.

Relevant captcha: jump higher

As much as I love the games he's help make I always feel like he refuses to see the flaws in anything he's helped make. Case in point, wii sports, sure people played the hell out of it and some even got a wii just for that one game, but I don't see how it was a "bold step". To me it always felt like a glorified tech demo for the wii, fun for a while but shallow and forgettable.

erm... except, what we call 3D in relation to 3D tv, films, games, etc isn't strictly speaking 3D. not in the same way we percieve the world anyway. we already see 3D, and we don't actually need more than one view point (tv only has 1) to do so.
so no... 3D isn't the norm miyamoto. you know i like you good sir, but you should know how steroscopic 3D works, especially if you're going to make a statement about it. else people like me will jump all over you.
I'm not speaking as to the worth of the 3D componant, i'm just saying that it's a common misconception that 3D is bringing tv/film/game closer to how our eyes naturally work. and it's kiiiiiinda scary when the big dog behind the games hardware developer most pushing it doesn't seem to be aware...

Funny that, I seemingly hate all the games HE comes up with.. I find them all boring and uninspired.

If you think something is bad, you won't find anything good in it.
Also, this is coming from NINTENDO. pffffAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!

"Actually, 3D is really the most normal thing because it's how those of us with two eyes usually see the world," said Miyamoto. "TVs are the unusual things in 2D! We don't look at stereoscopic as a gimmick. It's rather the most normal way to display things."

This is such a fucking dumb thing to say on so many levels.

Make new IPs god damn it! Do Miayamoto and Nintendo really not get how releasing the same five IPs for the last twenty years might make it difficult to surprise gamers? I mean last original game they released was Pikmin over decade ago now and coincidentally was the last Nintendo game I actually really enjoyed playing.

"Actually, 3D is really the most normal thing because it's how those of us with two eyes usually see the world," said Miyamoto. "TVs are the unusual things in 2D! We don't look at stereoscopic as a gimmick. It's rather the most normal way to display things."

Well at least my "unusual" 2D TV does not give me headaches within seconds of looking at the screen.

That is not even how my eyes view the world as my eyes allow me to focus on objects I want to view. 3D just shoves everything in your face making it very hard to focus my eyes on what I want to see thus straining my eyes.

DVS BSTrD:
Here's a way to surprise players Mr. Miyamoto. Why don't YOU come up with a new original IP?

Or, at the very least, make a Metroid that doesn't suck.

Or rerelease a HD version of fricken Final Fantasy VI!

PurePareidolia:

Yopaz:

PurePareidolia:
He can throw stones in glass houses all he wants, I'm going to be over here playing all these awesome non-Nintendo games.

Did you read the article?

Miyamoto's point isn't that games are getting worse

Honestly I think this is to be expected. He's been in the industry for so long and he's seen a massive change in how games are played and received. Remembering people thinking Super Mario Bros. was an amazing new show of what technology could do having so many different levels rather than one screen barely without changes. He idolizes his young career when the industry was small and the future was open to reveal anything. Who can blame him for missing those days? He makes some decent points, but he's most likely struck by the same nostalgia so many of us gamers are struck with when it comes to certain games.

Let me be specific - It sure must be hard to surprise players when you keep on releasing the same games with minor tweaks every single time. On the other hand, there's plenty of games that are surprising and awesome and worth my time that I can play at any given moment so he can be nostalgic or he can be competitive and give me a reason to buy a Nintendo game for once.

Relevant captcha: jump higher

OK, so you said he shouldn't throw rocks in glass houses because there are pleny of awesome games that aren't made by Nintendo. That statement right there indicated that you were talking about quality, which was not what Miyamoto was talking about. If I got this wrong then I'm sorry.

As for Nintendo releasing the same title over and over. Well, I got nothing. Super Mario Galaxy was kinda original since it offered a lot to the series. New Super Mario Bros. offered a new Super Mario Bros. Zelda offered a new Zelda. The 3DS offers a great deal of ports with minor changes from the original games. So surprise isn't any element I relate to Nintendo right now.

Also if you think the rest of my post was regarded to you and intended as praise for Miyamoto you were dead wrong. I was saying that Myamoto is blinded by nostalgia and thus got a wrong impression. He's like those who wish those who wish they could live in the 70's or the medieval. He looks back with rose tinted glasses and fails to see progress, he fails to see what has become better. If that sounds like a compliment to you then I'll take it back and just call him an idiot, does that sound fair?

Same as with movies, we've pretty much seen it all so to make a twist that surprises is pretty difficullt. Just as him I am not saying movies are bad today but there are very few which make me go "holy banans didn't see that one coming"

Good lord. The amount negativity in this, over an entirely justified opinion. The last truly good game I played was in 2005 with Shadow of the Colossus. Whether you agree with me or not, I think there's certainly a criteria to be allowed an opinion along those lines.

Forgive me for liking an era where developers could try new things, where frat-boy gaming hadn't wilted the landscape of creativity, where a gamer could modify their games and platforms without being put on a virtual leash, where dynamic design was the rule, rather than the exception.

hey lets make a reality tv show of Shigeru Miyamoto.

next up wee sports. There was not a dry eye left in your home after playing one round.

Hes right you know... the Wii library of games is completly unimpressive....

A better title for this article would be "Miyamoto too busy to play many games and dislikes aspects of the current market compared to the way it was a few decades ago." Although I guess "Shigeru Miyamoto is dissing that thing you like!" gets more page views.

While his opinion is certainly something valid to have, there still seem to be some issues with this (keep in mind I'm adressing the points in this article, not the original interview). For example, this statement:

"Another problem is that there are so many games on the market today that it's difficult to find the right one," he continued. "In many ways I think I am in a similar place to the average game player. This is one of the greatest challenges for the industry right now."

While I will say that sometimes I don't know which game to get and what to avoid, I don't think this is an issue of games today but rather the means to which we are aware of them. For example, most of the stuff I have on my iPhone game wise was all stuff that wasn't easy to find through the main app store, but rather found through suggestions by others. But again, it seems much like how Miyamato is sometimes nostalgic for his games, he seems also nostalgic in how he remembers buying games. If it weren't for the fact that anyone can head online and check a forum or videos to see if the game they want to get is any good, he may have had a point there, but here I'd say Miyamato is probably wrong on this point.

Also, I've never understood this mentality of "Things were better when they were simpler" Sure they may have made us feel good, but how long could that have kept up before we got bored? At least with increasing standards matched with an increase in development we get games that far surpass what we could've imagined and make us want more. I'd say it's a healthy development, sparking companies to try and impress us net and to therefore see who can stay and who may need to go to the sidelines.

What I find funny about it though is that for someone who says they aren't surprised by most modern games now they sure seem to like only playing games that they developed, in other words games that could surprise him the least especially if he knows all the intricacies that went behind making it.

Also, I won't get into too much since other people said it as well, but yes, the 3D that Miyamato is talking about isn't the same way we view life as 3D. After all, I don't get headaches after 2 and a half hours when looking at real life in 3D.

With all due respect to Mr. Miaymoto, he clearly hasn't played Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Skyrim, Infamous, Radiant Historia, the Arkham series, Persona series, Bioshock, Telltale's adventure games... just to name a few.

Miyamoto...just retire. There I said it, get away from gaming, take some time off, if it strikes you, PLAY some new games, start to finish. And then come back stronger than before.

He's correct in one thing, when you work in the games industry there's very little time to yourself to indulge in other games. You immerse yourself entirely in whatever the project is at the time.

But seriously. Enough of this whining. If you're in a rut this exactly the mindset that takes hold 'BACK IN MAH DAY'. No, back in your day, rose tinted glasses are extra thick. So get out of projects and corporations and live for a bit again.
Does wonders.

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