Miyamoto hints at Wii character personalization

Nintendo's main man was fond of Revolution name, has fun with copycats, worries about demand of Wii.

by

Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's celebrity game designer and the mind behind Mario, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda, is rarely seen without a smile and the exuberance of a boy on Christmas Day.

It's rare to hear the industry vet say something negative about anything, but in an interview with CNNMoney's Chris Morris, Miyamoto does talk about something that he didn't initially like--the name "Wii."

"When we first thought about it, myself and others felt that the name Revolution was very appropriate to what we were doing," he told CNN. Like several of the Nintendo faithful, he did eventually come around, citing the Wii's main mission of being as nonthreatening to nongamers as possible. "So we thought [Wii] was more friendly and inviting," he said.

One way of getting the non-gaming crowd into games is to actually put them into the game. Those who saw the Nintendo pre-E3 press conference this year will recall the doubles tennis match played between company bigwigs Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime, Satoru Iwata, and a contest winner. Each player's character (save for the contest winner) had cartoonish representations of themselves rather than a generic player model.

Miyamoto implied that this process of personalizing characters may not be limited to just those with the best parking spaces at the company. "We have some different ideas about how to take advantage of that functionality--and we will be sharing that type of functionality with third parties."

On the mainstream console front, Sony first put characters' faces in games with the PlayStation 2 game Tony Hawk Underground in 2003, and further explored the idea with the EyeToy camera peripheral (Nintendo did allow gamers to put their faces into Perfect Dark for the N64, but it required a Game Boy and the Game Boy Camera peripheral and wasn't a highly touted feature). Microsoft has already announced a camera for the Xbox 360, due for release this fall. While Miyamoto did not go into detail, his carefully chosen words could mean a camera peripheral is in the works for the Wii.

One of the biggest bits of news at this year's E3 was the pricing of the PS3 at $599 for the high-end model. Miyamoto, like other gamers, did a double take when he heard the news. "I knew...it was going to be expensive. Even then, it was a bit of a shock. But I think it's clear that they don't want to lose a lot of money per unit."

Sony was also behind one of the other surprising announcements of the expo--the PS3 controller would be motion sensitive, like the Wii's. One word often associated with Nintendo is "innovative." How does Miyamoto feel about Sony's...sincerest form of flattery?

"That always seems to happen and we kind of expected it," he said. "We've gotten used to others copying what we do--and we're having a lot of fun with it."

Discussion

311 comments
gigabrowser12
gigabrowser12

Crazy guy 92... they did copy nintendo, nintendo had this technolodgy, FOR THE ORIGINAL GAMEBOY, IN THE FORM OF A GAME PACK!!?!?!?

crazyguy92
crazyguy92

MGSseries4life-good stuff on that Nintendo coypying SONY for those of you who didn't see that comment itz the patent that shows SONY waz the first with the motion sensing "Nintendo fanboys just don't want to face it. loll pathetic: Its not a copy Sony had this controller idea since 1999! so technically speaking it's Nintendo that stole the idea cause they know that Sony does only right stuff: PS3 controller patented in 1999 Patent number: JP11099284 Publication date: 1999-04-13 Inventor: KOBAYASHI HIROAKI; YORIZUMI MINEO Applicant: SONY CORP Classification: - international: G06F3/033; G06F3/033; (IPC1-7): A63F9/22; G06F3/033 - european: Application number: JP19970265541 19970930 Priority number(s): JP19970265541 19970930 View INPADOC patent family Abstract of JP11099284 PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To instruct an operation by the movement of a small controller that is close to the movement of a character by making the controller movable, detecting its movement and outputting a signal, and switch-recognizing the direction of the movement on the basis of the outputted signal. SOLUTION: The controller detects an angular speed by a detection section provided in a connecting section that connects the right and left operating sections of a controller unit 82. For example, rotation in the direction of rolling in relation to the right and left operating buttons 55, 56 of the left operating section is detected as an angular speed in the direction of rotation in the XY plane by the detection section 70 with the Z axis as the central axis. The detection section 70 is comprised of a movement detection section 71 made up of an angular speed sensor 72 and an amplifier 73, and a direction detection section 74 made up of movement direction recognition switches 79, 80. Therefore, movement can be instructed by the movement of the controller without operating the operating buttons 55, 56, etc. " -so for u Nintendo fanboys, can you pleez stop saying sony copied NINTENDO. All Nintendo did waz re-ignite a spark that SONY fergot about-they sort of reminded sony.

bku512
bku512

Who's "COPYING" Who now?

newten5
newten5

I didn't initially like the name Wii either, but I think I'm getting over it. I didn't like the name DS, or 360 either, and Playstation sounds like one of those playskool plastic do-hickies you buy your preschooler, but I got over it... Still Revolution would have been the coolest name for a console ever.... ROFL!!! omg that just made my day.....playskool plastic do-hickies lmao reminds me of those adverts with the babies playing with plastic balls on brightly coloured tables and such.....rofl!!! "Lets play!" hahahaaa Sorry i'll stop now :P

newten5
newten5

You know, Nintendo invented controllers, rumble packs, analog sticks, the list goes on.......and they try to make consoles more innovative and fun all the time - the drums in that donkey kong game for gamecube, the original zapper...... even if they do make an eye-toy/camera like device I think they deserve to copy at least ONE thing for once. I mean they get copied ALL THE TIME! lol All sony could think of by themselves was the eyetoy, and that wasnt madly popular was it? Well they might have made the first memory cards... I cant remember if Sony or Ninty did that first. But yeah, they don't think of much by 'emselves... Imagine if Nintendo had somehow copy-righted game consoles or something.....the world would be so different......

olthof
olthof

yeah, ssbfan, Nintendo had the "eye toy copy" back on the N64 in 1996!! haha whats that, like 6 years or more before the eye toy came out? you could put your face on a perfect dark on the N64.. so how is that copying?! lol, u got nothing sony

olthof
olthof

right on miyamoto miyamoto! haha, Nintendo ftw!

ssbfan
ssbfan

im getting sick and tired of all these sony fanboys! and nintendo isnt going to copy sony with the eye toy, nintendo has had that idea 2 years before the eye toy came out. sony broke into nintendo's base and stole the blueprint for the eye toy. god i hate sony...

BENZINO4677
BENZINO4677

People who don't play video games are not playing them because of the controllers its because they think a: its for kids b: that its a waste of time they could be doing something more productive or c: their old and think all of the above. Secondly if Nintendo wants to bring video games to the masses like Sony and Microsoft they need to do something about their third party support.......it sucks. Also nobody copied Nintendo's controller the technology has been out for years.

Katana2570
Katana2570

Nintendo Rocks! let's see the Wii for $150!

Lorifix
Lorifix

I have to say, I usually find Miyamoto's optimism disturbing, but he makes a good point.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

nintendo making its own camera pheriphal is not copying the eye toy!!! they had the idea on n64 before sony used it in tony hawk

crazyguy92
crazyguy92

LOL....I shouldn't have said anything on this page, full of Nintendo's fans. I don't hate Nintendo, I just prefer SONY. I prefer the games made for the PlayStation rather than the ones on Nintendo. For example, Pikmin, or Smash Bros., great games (i love Smash Bros.) but I would prefer to own a game like the ones in the Jak series, or God of War. And for those of you who say UT07 isnt exclusive to the PS3 CONSOLE, it is, the only other thing itz coming out for is PC, and PC isn't a console. I never said a graphics chip is innovative, I said that the PS3 graphics chip is great, itz the most powerful on the market today, not exactly innovative, but i would call it awesome "EddyPee". And again, I say that Sony might've copied Nintendo or might not have (most likely did). But, as i said before, the controllers are used completely differently. Sony is just using the gyro as a little thing, just for like changing view, or driving a car or a plane. For Nintendo, the motion-sensing technology is THE BASE OF THE WII. Without the motion-sensing the Wii wouldn't have much going for it. Sony and Xbox are going for the overall Entertainment system. Nintendo is going for straight-up gaming, thatz why the "heart" of the console is the controller. Thatz all i have to say for now, cuz i can't insult Nintendo-I'll get jumped by every Nintendo fan reading this page..lol

TensiNothing
TensiNothing

ahh Wii, hurry up! get here faster... faster I said!. I can't wait for Wii Sports,MP3,Zelda,THDJ and others.

EddyPee
EddyPee

Crazyguy92, a grapichs chip is not innovative, they've been around for quite some time, and Sony were quite clearly copying Nintendos controller-the developers only got to know about it a week before E3. By the way, its 'its', not 'itz'.

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

"we've come to expect it". be prepared to expect my foot in your ass, then we'll see how much more you smile.

DFTricks
DFTricks

YEAH :D I helped the news ^^

badamAR
badamAR

So this is a hint that Nintendo is going to make a camera.

Lord_Quade
Lord_Quade

Nintendo is the original trend setter i dont like how Sony copyed Nintendo but i just cant wait to see nintendo do better

RedG375
RedG375

It looks like some of the Wii's secrets are finally unraveling: - First was the controller. - Then Connect/24 was revealed. - Next was the speaker in the controller. - Now character personalization. Let's hope there's more to come!

Imavnas
Imavnas

"Final fantasy isnt and exclusive" The good ones are, lol. Chronicles sucked for the Gamecube, and considering the Wii version isnt very different (at least from prelim. reports), you can expect that one to suck as well. FF3 is about the only exclusive FF game going to a Nintendo system (the DS) that could POSSIBLY be good. Possibly. "May i just remind you that the graphics doesn't matter the gameplay is the most important thing" I dont understand why gamers keep on telling themselves this flat out lie. Sure gameplay matters. Its a ridiculously important part of a good video game. But I doubt youd give a damn about Metroid Prime 3 Corruption if it looked like an N64 game. It would just feel outdated. No matter how new or fresh or innovative the controller could be. Even back in the days of sprites, graphics mattered. The good games had a well defined artistic quality to them. The sprites in some of the old classics were drawn more appropriately, the backgrounds were better suited for the story they were presenting, etc etc etc. The only reason this argument keeps on getting refueled is because too many developers are focusing entirely on graphics and not on gameplay. You need both for a good game (unless your developing a game for the blind).

mad7334
mad7334

600 for ps3 250 or less for Wii. hmmm under 50 dollars for wii games, above 50 for ps3 games. hmmm better gameplay with a new way to play games for half the price or more expensive system with an imitation of what nintendo's doing. Sorry but nintendo is doing better as of now.

Crog1471
Crog1471

Crazyguy92's comments are on page 5 by the way

Crog1471
Crog1471

i just want to comment on crazyguy92's comment on nintendo. I have a ps2, gc and xbox and he says that nintendo only have few decent exclusives. I wounldn't exactly call the metroid, mario and zelda series decent. They are unbielevable. Nintendo have the greatest game of all time (ocarina of time) on the N64. He also says that sony has great exclusives like killzone (horribly overrated and no where near as good as metroid) Jak and daxter(good games) and ratchet and clank(good games) Final fantasy isnt and exclusive. e.gFinal fantasy chronicles on gc. Unreal tournament isn't an exclusive. He also comments on if nintendo are so innovative why haven't they got a powerful graphics chip like the ps3 does. May i just remind you that the graphics doesn't matter the gameplay is the most important thing and if the ps3 has always had the motion sensitive controller like the wii's why didn't they unveil it last years e3.

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Teh $ONY will be pawnt! Go Miyamoto! U r way ahead than that Kutaragi!! :lol:

goat2001
goat2001

This generation of console wars is going to be tough for sony to win. Not only do they have to play catch up to Microsoft (Estimated 10 million consoles shipped before they even sale one unit) but their staggering price of $499 for the piece of junk and $599 for the real deal. Microsoft probably won't win Japan but Nintendo has a good shot especially since there is such a huge price gap and the console very well may be revolutionary.

enoslives7
enoslives7

What a dork !!! The wii is a joke, and will be crushed by the PS3 . Just look at how good the gamecube did.............

RicRock
RicRock

Anyone remember the gameboy camera? That was a rite laff even back then, and the graphics were atrocious. It's not like eye-toy was a fresh idea anyway. Nintendo are just being a little more creative than their competition and some people can't handle it. Innovation isn't a dirty word after all

Kingadam21
Kingadam21

For all those who say Sony didn't copy Nintendo...pull your head out of your as* and realize you're wrong. We're not saying Nintendo created this out of the blue. We know the technology has existed for a while now. But anwser me this: Do you really think Sony would have added a functionality to their controller that they've done before and failed (not for their consoles) if Nintendo wasn't doing it? Think about it, if Nintendo did not add this feature to their controller nobody would have...IDIOTS!

DazKurupt
DazKurupt

That guy is like the Willy Wonka of games...lmao , I hope there are alota mature games for nintendo this time around. Might get one if it looks like there developing games for more then just kids.

sparker1976
sparker1976

Miyamoto is the man! He is a super genius! (You get the feeling I like him?)

thisiharat
thisiharat

Can wii get him to change the new name back to the old name Revolution. It'd be best.

Bengameaholic
Bengameaholic

Quick thing, why is it that people that like Sony seem to have a go at Nintendo and likewise in the other direction? Can't you just like them all? Let them all copy each other and produce equally amazing systems in their respects? Just a thought. And on the topic, go Miyamoto!

wisebandit
wisebandit

I still prefer the name REVOLUTION. But history will teach me and maybe others.

i_like_evil
i_like_evil

I like that... how a video game company bigwig can relate with us.. This has been a really good day for me. A really good day indeed...

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

I didn't initially like the name Wii either, but I think I'm getting over it. I didn't like the name DS, or 360 either, and Playstation sounds like one of those playskool plastic do-hickies you buy your preschooler, but I got over it... Still Revolution would have been the coolest name for a console ever....

markbridges
markbridges

@jaimecerna "Nintendo clearly has the upper hand over Sony" Yes, they clearly do.

markbridges
markbridges

"That always seems to happen and we kind of expected it," he said. "We've gotten used to others copying what we do--and we're having a lot of fun with it." @ Miyamoto: You rock!

bunty_007
bunty_007

Sony wants buisness "now!!!"?