Concerns that the smartphone market is hurting sales of traditional platforms are overblown, according to Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto. Speaking with The New York Times, the industry veteran said gamers will continue to buy traditional hardware as long as the games are compelling.
"As long as we're able to provide an entertainment experience that people want to play, they're more than happy to purchase another device to carry around with them alongside their smartphone," Miyamoto said.
He pointed out that in the past few years, smartphone sales have surged in Japan, so much so that some are saying, "Maybe I don't need a console, or I don't need a portable gaming device." However, Miyamoto said Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS has been a "big hit" in Japan. The game is due out in the United States this June.
"And what we're seeing is that the people playing it primarily are adult women," Miyamoto said. "And adult women also happens to be the same group of people that has been rapidly adopting cellphones over the last couple of years."
Overall, Miyamoto said he believes the entertainment business is "unpredictable."
"Entertainment is this thing that moves around from place to place. You have a theme park like Disneyland, and that's a form of entertainment," he said. "And at the same time you have small, downloadable software for your smartphone that you can play, and that's entertainment. Nintendo's stance, over all, is that we don't know where entertainment will take us next."
Concerning the Wii U, Miyamoto said Nintendo thinks about what kinds of experiences families want in the living room with a TV. "Because we don't think that families are going to go away, and we don't think that TVs are going to go away," he said.
Addressing reports of slow Wii U sales, Miyamoto said he would like to see "a little more momentum." Regarding the long-term potential for the platform, he said he's not concerned yet.