Miyamoto says devs should avoid games that "look and feel the same"

Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto believes developers should focus on making unique experiences and not only on graphics and power.

Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken out in a new interview with Time to say developers should avoid leveraging the power of new consoles to make games that "look and feel the same" and instead key in on creating unique experiences.

"From my perspective, with regard to the more powerful hardware systems, to me what still remains incredibly important is the developers maintaining a focus on creating unique games because if all that everyone does is uses the enhanced power to create more and more games that look and feel the same, then all that it becomes is a competition about the power of the hardware rather than the uniqueness of the experience," Miyamoto said. "That, to me, is where developers should be devoting their effort."

The Wii U is Nintendo's first high-definition platform, and the company is bringing its tentpole franchises to the platform, including new entries in franchises like Mario Kart, Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

The system has gotten off to a slow start, selling 3.45 million units worldwide thus far. Nintendo has acknowledged it is to blame for the sluggish adoption, but believes sales will pick up when marquee titles arrive this year and into next.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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1148 comments
koospetoors
koospetoors

It feels mighty ironic reading this after seeing the release of Super Luigi U...

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

Been hearing a lot of these "Nintendo only re-hashes games". I guess I'm not seeing it. I cannot claim to be an expert on Nintendo games but I have played plenty of them across several platforms.

IMO, Nintendo has made games that attempt to mix the familiar with the new. There are some things you'll see over and over regardless of what game it is. The red mushroom will make Mario larger; You kill things by stomping on them; you will jump...a lot. Nintendo also shelves old ideas and then brings them back in later game, invoking feelings of nostalgia. For example, the last time Adult Mario rode a Yoshi was Super Mario World. They bought that back in New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. We haven't seen the Tanuki Suit since SMB3, now it's in Super Mario 3D Land.

But I believe Nintendo is getting flack for the "old". The plot does not change: Mario goes through eight worlds to fight Bowser (and occasionally his cohorts) and save Princess Peach. The destination hasn't changed between Mario games. But improving the platforming mechanics, adding new power-ups, new enemies, changing up level design to suit the power-ups has altered the journey to a great degree since Super Mario Bros. But it's just that the new features are bundled with many of the old established features/themes of the Mario games for some people to notice.

It's the new that Nintendo adds that keeps the game from getting stale. If not, Mario games would have died off long ago. If you look at a Mario game and focus on the fact that Mario games have the same plot; traveling thought the same number of worlds;collecting coins for a 1-up; Bowser being the final boss; etc...then you miss out on all the changes Mario Platformers (2D and 3D) have undergone.

I will admit, New Super Mario Bros. 2's decision to focus on coin collecting isn't very innovative. You've been doing that for ages. There are power ups help you collect more coins. Not much of a change there.

My main focus was 2D and 3D Mario platformers. I can't say much for Zelda or other Nintendo IPs. I can only assume that Nintendo treats all their IPs in a similar fashion, mixing the tried and true with the new.

TL,DR version: Mario has been able to stay relevant for 30 years because Nintendo has bought something new to the table with each game release (2D or 3D) to keep the gameplay fresh. New ideas have been added while old ones are re-used. Many people focus on the old and come to the conclusion that Nintendo has been rehashing Mario for 30 years. If every game played similarly to Super Mario Bros. on the NES, except with a new coat of paint, such a feat would not be possible.

 

GreenReuben
GreenReuben

I'd just like the say gamespot seems to be a lot more positive about Nintendo lately, I stopped visiting the site because the few Nintendo articles came across as really negative so I appreciate this change.

wowwow27
wowwow27

nintendo=half the price, games will start to trickle out once the next gens go on sale.

omar_q
omar_q

Slightly ironic.


Slightly. 

jchristenberry
jchristenberry

I'm a firm believer that nintendo needs to pack it up as a hardware company and go full software. 

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Devs should avoid games that "look and feel the same" ?? 

you mean Mario and Zelda games

lingo56
lingo56

"The Wii U is Nintendo's first high-definition platform, and the company is bringing its tentpole franchises to the platform, including new entries in franchises like Mario Kart, Zelda, and Donkey Kong."

Wait you guys are seriously saying that in the same article that says that? Fail.

LazyGamerX
LazyGamerX

hahah WHAT!! come on Nintendo if anyone is guilty of doing this its u guys.

smirvane
smirvane

Don't get me wrong but IMHO dressing Mario with a cat suit, is not exactly a unique experience as the result of Nintendo developers  putting a "devoting" effort on it.

Just saying.....

damacdon
damacdon

I'm saying realism doesn't necessary mean fun. Besides, most people get uninterested/bored of the graphics after the first hour or two.

Leonagard
Leonagard

Im considering buying a WiiU when it goes on a price cut only for mariokart 8 alone... Nintendo has always the best imaginative and inovative features on their franchises... also when the new Zelda shows up besides graphics... they play different from eachother and have lots of fun... look why the indie developers are geting a lot of merit for their creations, and AAA titles are stagnated on the same formula and mechanics, there are risks like Diablo 3 inovate and most ppl hate the way they chose to improve the game... cover shooters mechanics since Gears of War are all the same... Action Games got averything they could from God of War with quitcktinme events too destroy the gamming experience transforming a game into a movie to watch... modern FPS shooters can only improve the graphics and some minor features that bring nothing new at all, I miss the time I played the first fps wolfenstine 3D followed by Doom, Heretic... benig inovative is something hard to achieve... Maybe Destiny wiill bring back the immersion and fun the shooters have lost to me.

zorgan
zorgan

What Nintendo should have done with their system: First of all they should have abandoned the main screen altogether and concentrate on super charging the tablet controller only (with a super high res screen, multi-touch, long battery life, good speakers, Wi-Fi, and a good integrated sound card for headphone) the offering would have been clear and simple a High quality handheld tablet device that is light and compact and have all of his horsepower coming from a beefy external box and therefore would have the ability to play any of the latest games with ease including all the latest game engines. On top of that the benefit of playing on a small screen is that you will get better frame rate, smooth gameplay at 60 FPS, touch screen ability and comfortable controls all in the same place. I mean who wouldn’t like playing battlefield 4, MSG 5, COD Ghost or Mario and Zelda in full Glory HD at 60FPS anywhere in your house. (Bedroom, living room, toilet, and kitchen, you name it) innovation is good Nintendo but simple practical ideas are great too. The big breakthrough that Nintendo did with the Wii u technology is that they managed to totally owned how to stream games in Real-time to and external devices with zero latency at a minimal cost. That’s the big one and instead of concentrating on that they diluted the offering by adding TV+ hand held + cross functionality between the two and now we end up with a low spec tablet, a low spec Console, and a system that no one understand and does not sell. This is such a shame.

shiss27
shiss27

If there were a Mount Rushmore of video game important people, Miyamoto's head would sit where Washington's sits. Consequently, if there were a Mount Rushmore of video game characters, Mario's head would sit where Washington's head sits. So when he speaks, we have to read deeper in to it just based on respect alone.

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

I understand where he's coming from, but c'mon, Nintendo hasn't innovated much at all. In fact I'd say that the japanese industry is even more stagnated than it's western counterpart, indie games in the west have been far more innovative than anything produced by Nintendo in the past decade at least.

zorgan
zorgan

first of all keeping the Wii name was a very big mistake. No w Nintendo, it is a good effort for trying for something different with two screens but it is just not appealing and it does not feel natural to have to look at two screens while playing.I have tried the Wiiu many times in shops thinking: "ok lets give another go" and every time I ended up being confused on where to look and finished by playing only on the controller screen thinking whats the point of that. the fact that the screen is so large on the controller just make it look immediately like and handheld device. and honestly Nintendo could have build the system differently.

torrne667
torrne667

Er...POT AND THE FUCKING KETTLE OR WHAT!?!

taoninjutsu
taoninjutsu

Wow I think he's really projecting here, Nintendo is the definition of what he says shouldn't be done

btroof
btroof

The fact is Nintendo have a variety of Franchise games on DS & Wii. All of there games are unique for each character. They get good ratings because they make quality games. All Miyamoto is saying is developers need to be more creative.

I know plenty of games that look good but sucks and if u was an developer you might want to take his advice.

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

... I was waiting for the punchline, but it never came.

Zacmaccraken
Zacmaccraken

Lol!!! Just shut up Nintendo , you suck!!! Come talk to me again when you can actually make a game that does NOT have mario , zelda, kong or metroind on them........ You fat LIARS!!!

charliezard
charliezard

Please understand, you guys. He's not talking about sequels. He's saying that games created by all developers tend to be very very similar in gameplay and style.

In an industry in which drab shooters dominate, Nintendo has stayed away from them. 

When all racers follow the same AS REALISTIC AS POSSIBLE pattern, Mario Kart aims to be unique and eccentric. 

Almost every fighter that has ever existed follows the same pattern with the same HP based fighting, Super Smash Bros created an entirely new and unique system with very, very unique mechanics.

I could name many more. People keep talking about Mario, but they ignore the many other Nintendo titles which are quite unique and charming. Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Luigi's Mansion, etc.

Zelda and Mario may have had plenty of sequels, but their gameplay is tremendously unique. Mario managed to become perhaps the most iconic and definitive platformer of all time. Yes, these games have had sequels with similar patterns, but Miyamoto is trying to say that IPs need to be more imaginative with their core gameplay and foundations rather than following the same patterns that most shooters, racers, fighters, etc do today.

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

This is why Miyamoto is my hero. The only one in the industry to speak up or out against the copy -paste video game industry we are seeing these days. If you look at his history, all of his games have been unique enough to keep Nintendo floating even through the Wii years, lol. Don't miss-understand me I'm not a die hard fan of Nintendo but I am a die hard fan of Mr. Miyamoto. It was never his choice to continue pumping out the same titles all he did was create their initial inception and every time he did it changed the way we look at and play video games because of the unique experiences they offered at the time.

Dandyslayer13
Dandyslayer13

@blaze_boy30 Bravo Bravo! Well said! There is a reason Mario is one of the most recognized characters in history and its not because they released the same game over and over again.....

GreenReuben
GreenReuben

@omar_q Sure Nintendo experiences are often similar to other games in the same series but they don't imitate other companies so while the games aren't necessarily original the series are. Do they change up the formulas enough for it not to get stale for me (at least for the franchises I play) but yeah it is slightly ironic.

GreenReuben
GreenReuben

@jchristenberry There's no reason to believe they would be better off that way. If you want to play Nintendo software you should buy Nintendo hardware (Nintendo games will always run better if Nintendo's making the hardware) it's generally inexpensive and there should be a price cut around the ps4 release, also Nintendo and indies will do some cool things with the gamepad so you should at least consider buying one as a secondary console at some point.

Mugzippit
Mugzippit

@jchristenberry The company that had the highest hardware sales of generation 7 should drop hardware just because the Wii U's launch wasn't impressive when compared to its predecessor (which probably had the strongest launch of any console)?

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

@Ladiesman17 To be fair, one FPS game plays like almost all of them. One Mario game plays significantly different from other Mario games, considering the amount of them, and only plays similarly to ones that more directly relate to that installment. Mario Kart plays similar to Mario Kart. NSMB plays like other NSMB games. 3D Mario plays like 3D Mario, and each sports game plays like others in their series (Strikers, Baseball, Tennis, etc.). Then there's Paper Mario, and the RPG series, which play wildly different from the other games, but similar to other entries within those series. It's a similar face, but the games vary based on what series you're talking about.

Now Zelda is less flexible, only changing in things like level design and art design...and the plot, which has done more than enough to confuse the hell out of me by now with that screwed up timeline, but still, I think the point is more along the "experience" more than the IP's reappearance itself.

BludshedX
BludshedX

@Ladiesman17 Compare all of the Mario games and you will find variations that make the games totally different experiences. That's not to say they are all 100% unique, but compare Super Mario Bros. to Mario 64 to Super Mario Galaxy and you see much more variation as opposed to say.. COD 5, 6, 7, 8 and the Battlefield series... or all FPS games for that matter which share a similar gameplay style and feel but differ in graphical quality which ends up becoming the deciding factor for a lot of gamers.

That's what shiggy's referring to. Most developers are either locked into creating a particular type of game or copying existing games as opposed to coming up with a totally new idea/concept. All genre's were unique at one stage, developers were creative and took chances. Now days a lot of games are just copy cats of past successors. For some reason it's only the indie developers who have the balls to do it these days.

Dandyslayer13
Dandyslayer13

@Chupacabra3332 Look was a bad choice of wording on Miyamoto's part yes. But if you play Super Mario World then jump to Super Mario Galaxies and say they feel the same then there is something wrong with you. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine must feel the same as well then right? Oh and Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are all the same RPG series......

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

@smirvane Well, don't look at the cat suit more than it's the first co-op Mario game played in a 3D space rather than the usual 2D space.

Something people REALLY like to bypass...>_>

silvergol
silvergol

@Leonagard Diablo 3 the almost Unplayable game at launch days don´t was innovation ! hahaha

Even the new Simcity almost unplayable too don´t was innovation!.

Benny_a
Benny_a

@zorgan Seriously??? 99% prefer to play on their 32 Inch, 46Inch and 60 inch TV then on small 5-6Inch screen.

I dont need to play on my toilet, i can wait, play on cellular, use hendheld console.

Playing on BIG TV is a different experience

damacdon
damacdon

@Zacmaccraken Kirby, Fire Emblem, F-Zero, Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, Earthbound, Star Fox, Yoshi's Island, Pokemon, Pikmin, Ice Climbers, Professor Layton, Battalion Wars, Advance Wars, Wario land, Warioware, Golden Sun, Mystery Dungeon, Punch out, Pilotwings, Luigi's Mansion, Legendary Starfy and if want to include casual games: Wii Sports, Brain age, Wii music, Wii fit, Nintendogs and Wii play. 

I'm probably still missing a hell of a lot of franchises, but I'm just wondering what you were trying to prove?

shiss27
shiss27

@charliezard I understand. Miyamoto is speaking from a veteran's perspective. He has obviously brought unique experiences and wants the younger developers to follow what he did in terms of novelty in the early beginnings of his own career. 

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

@charliezard "As realistic as possible"? Since when have developers strived for realism? Blockbuster shooters are just as far from reality as any other genre, the only thing that's trying to be realistic is the aesthetic part.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@charliezard drab shooters dominating? really, I only own about 6 shooters and I have over 80 games. There are a ton of great games that are not shooters, sites just tend to talk more about the shooters because thats what more people are playing.

Dandyslayer13
Dandyslayer13

@Ladiesman17 With Zelda they change items as well in order to give the gameplay some change but yes Zelda is in need of some innovation and I don't mean Wii-mote innovation. Give me Gamecube Twilight Princess over the Wii version everyday of the week! And I want Skyward Sword but not the motion controls!

Leonagard
Leonagard

@silvergol @Leonagard I agree... about Simcity...Dont get me worng I like Diablo 3 gameplay on the action oriented aspects that feel new and better than any ARPG... Im not questoning any flaws on launch days... or AH and DRM...  Im still playing tis game sometimes... I play a lot of ARPGs and those are my favorites... D3, PoE and Titans Quest... 

WTF1555
WTF1555

@silvergol @Leonagard I also remember these horrible games Diablo 3 error 37, Simcity completely broken and glitches everywhere.

charliezard
charliezard

@stan_boyd @charliezard 

What I'm trying to say is that Nintendo games often clearly strive to be unique. Very few of them are as easily to describe as the average game on the market. Imagine attempting to define Nintendo games to people who have never heard of them.

Super Smash Bros is a fighting game. BUT the mechanics are nothing like other fighters. You fight with up to 4 players. There's  an adventure/platforming single player campaign.

Mario Kart is a racing game. BUT well you're not using real cars, and the tracks are eccentric and bizarre, and you throw banana peels at each other and you can hang-glide off cliffs, etc. etc.

Pikmin is a platformer, BUT... well I don't even know where to begin with this one.

Sure, Mario could be defined pretty simply as a platformer, I'll admit. But I think that is primarily due to the fact that Mario did more than any other game to create and define the term.

Leonagard
Leonagard

@damacdon @silvergol @Leonagard yup I have to improve my grammar... sorry if it hurts you... ;)  I tried my best to express myself. Try to understand... like a puzzle game lol...


stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@charliezard I can describe mario kart 8 pretty easily, remember mario kart 7, well now it has prettier graphics and some new tracks, oh and now you can use karts or motorcycles that are pretty much the same thing but look different. I can describe pretty much every zelda game, you go through forest, ice, earth and fire temple plus a few others and collect some kinda medallion so you can fight the end boss, sure the way you get to the temples have changed over the year, one game you get there by boat, another you fly on a bird and another you ride a train, but once you get to the lvls themselves its always the same game.