Nintendo: Industry must innovate

Satoru Iwata says future health of industry is dependent on creating experiences gamers can't anticipate.

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If the games industry wants to be prosperous and successful, it must create innovative experiences that catch gamers by surprise. That's according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who told investors this week that the future of gaming is not about enhancing graphics or power, but rather about creating all-new experiences for players.

"It is natural that there will be more things that battery-run devices can do thanks to technological advances, and game consoles will become more powerful," Iwata said. "However, if we try to linearly pursue this direction, software development will become so complicated that we will eventually face a situation where cost recovery becomes a serious issue."

To this end, Iwata said it is not important for the industry to focus only on beefing up power and graphics, but rather on launching all-new initiatives.

"Therefore, we feel that we are nearing a saturation point in terms of simply improving performance or enhancing graphics," he added. "What is far more important for the future of video games is whether we can make new propositions in other aspects and create games out of something that people never expected to see in the form of a game."

Discussion

307 comments
bannermanner
bannermanner

Innovation?  Yes.  But Iwata-san's definition of innovation these days seems to translate loosely to "gimmicks."  To that I say "no thank you."

Battle_Pants
Battle_Pants

I agree with the argument that the gaming industry most innovate. I also agreed with the argument that games does not need nice graphics to be good. 

 But i don't see Nintendo as that innovative. Sure both Wii and Wii U had a new controller but that's about it.  Seems like they empty all their ideas on the controller. Nintendo is still releasing the same old Mario and Zelda games. For me it dosen't matter if the system is the most powerfull or has the most awesome controller, for me it's about the games, and there is where the main focus should lie.

jark888
jark888

Virtual Reality is the way for future of gaming. Example of it is the one in the movie called "Gamer" staring Gerard Butler. It could go even further than that later on. 

I consider Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, an insightful visionary in gaming industry.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Um, you are about 10 devs and a year late on this one. We know the industry wants innovation. So do it and quit talking. I know easier said than done, but this is Nintendo saying this with a Mario game every 3 months.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

While Nintendo has created a new control scheme. Thus innovation of sorts, Which MS and Sony seemed to have taken notice of. They have Surface and Whatever Sony decides to name their new controller.

Nintendo could have beefed up the Wii U a bit more so that it can last the whole 8th generation. So Nintendo has innovative ideas, But having a console that can attract 3rd party developers is important. The Wii U is O.K for the year 2013, but what about after?

hystavito
hystavito

Sorry but we're not anywhere near that "saturation point".  I mean come on, look at big movie effects and game trailers, cutscenes, etc.  Nintendo is just saying this because it's not their strong suit, every company does this.

I've said this so many times over the last several years, I want gameplay and innovation and etc etc, AND increasingly better graphics.  The hardware costs keep going down, and software development complication is no excuse.  What, have we reached the plateau of human knowledge and capability in computer graphics?  :)

RageSet
RageSet

Nintendo is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Innovation takes time, especially when it comes to interactive art. When Nintendo announces it is working on a new Mario, Zelda and etc and those titles take years to come out, people say Nintendo has no titles to support their console. If Nintendo rushes those titles out to the public, people claim Nintendo isn't innovating any longer and abusing their I.P's.

Outside of a few high end development companies and the indie crowd, Nintendo and its internal development studios are the last major innovators left. I dare you all to name a company that can design such simple to control titles that contain tons of depth like the majority of titles developed by Nintendo and their studios. 

hotpugz
hotpugz

I agree with Nintendo. Let's just get 60fps next gen. Too many damn sequels end up spinning off into completely different genres that have nothing much in common with the original game except the name of course for $$$. Hopefully Nintendo take their own advice.

vault-boy
vault-boy

I pose a very simple question... why can't we have both? 

the_real_luigi
the_real_luigi

       Nintendo, you are correct for the most part, however you need to concentrate on the power of the gaming console as well. Innovation will only get you so far! Quit being so narrow minded and focus on the whole picture! We need innovation AND power. You guys used to give that to us during the years of the NES, SNES, and the N64. But now you've slacked off and lost your direction! LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS! Quit being so damn cocky with your beliefs and look at the facts too! Sheesh... 

           3 or 4 years down the line when the developers have already maxed out your systems capabilities Sony and Microsoft will have better looking games being released with more support from third party developers because those developers won't be able to put the games on your weaker powered console because they would run to sluggishly. 

179107199999
179107199999

I agree.So far Sony and MS have been leaking info about processing power capablilities and and video services.Nothing says at the moment how games are going to be more fun.Graphics are nice but I want something fun and a bit different.all this power and yet not much is done to make a game with weird physics or something.Its seems to me after the reach to 3d during the Ps2 Xbox and GC era games while fun began to stagnate.Its seems more innovation happened before this current gen.I do want a new way of fun.Power shouldn't dictate graphics.It should dictate how creative a Studio can become with a new game engine.Its cool see games get even more realistic but itd be hyper fun to see something surreal.

HydePark1980
HydePark1980

It's really hard to get behind the idea of Nintendo failing despite most gamers in this industry mysteriously acquiring psychic abilities and knowing their future.  No other company in this industry has faced the adversity that they have and yet they still stand strong.  As gamers I don't think we know what we're talking about when it comes to Nintendo.  I suspect that if they just listened to us all the time they would have been out of business a long time ago.     

dre256x
dre256x

I love Nintendo, i do.. But sorry innovation doesn't always speak great sales numbers, which last i check you need in order for your business to stay open. 

I love my yearly CoD & sport game releases, i love my 2-3 year battlefield releases, but what i think the industry need is to find the right balance of a little innovation, a little more fun and replayablitiy and stop thinking every freaking game is value @ $60..

Also does Nintendo realize they stand to make so much more money if they do games only and cut out hardware development...

megatronx2
megatronx2

RIGHT, question to all of those attacking Nintendo: how you would describe "innovation" and how you would go about "innovating" games if you would have unlimited resources?

deviant74
deviant74

Nintendo has and ace hid some place, watch out.  They did fuck up with just one controller.  plus I think they should have put and HDMI IN on the Wii U for there TV app.

The__Kraken
The__Kraken

"Innovation" is a word that seems to be thrown around wildly by many that take no heed of its definition and/or connotations. As such, it has been mostly devalued, much like the term "over-rated."

If what I have seen from Nintendo constitutes 100% true innovation, then I fear for the industry and its future, especially if it [the industry] pursues "innovation."

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@jark888 From what developers have said VR is a bit off yet, tech game oculus is pretty nice but according to some publishers VR will need at least 20ms or less latency to work with any online component. VR developers have acknowledge the poor internet infrastructure in America is to blame.  Publishers and developers are not willing to invest, at the moment, in tech that cannot be used online. 

Still though I think VR games single player would still do very well on pc and consoles, not every game has to be online all the time to be fun. And some games that are not heavily dependent on latency like Simulations, puzzle games could still work. 

But I consider Satoru Iwata one of the last legacy management of an old group that never was able to transition to western developers and changing tastes. He would do nintendo a better service to help usher in newer management that would be willing to risk expansion out of the cartridge mindset to a more formidable hardware platform.  

baxwam
baxwam

@demonkingx5  Funny I  do own one. But I think I figured out the U means in Wii U. Under-clock. Yes the Wii Under-clock Its CPU under clock and GPU under clock. Im not comparing The Wii to the Wii U cause that would be silly. Just every thing is inside in is under clock because Nintendo was worried about grandmas electric bill LOL 

RageSet
RageSet

@hystavito Whether you want to believe it or not, we ARE reaching the point of Uncanny Valley in terms of 3D graphic performance. Even in this gaming generation, games like L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain feature extremely life-like facial and to a lesser degree body animations.

Within the next two to three console cycles, we will reach the point when graphics simply can't be improved...what then? Likely PC gaming will reach that point within two hardware cycles.

There is a reason why Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are taking conservative approaches to the hardware in their next generation consoles, they want to milk several more generations out of the public if they can. Yet, PC hardware companies like Nvidia and AMD are pushing hard in graphic performance and eventually the console makers are going to have to match what they offering.

Out of all of the companies mentioned, only Nintendo is truly thinking ahead. Nintendo realizes that the next steps in innovation will be interface based and not in graphics. 

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@the_real_luigi "LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS!"

Last time they did that, it still backfired. If it didn't work for Nintendo then, it won't work for them now.

emptycow
emptycow

@179107199999 i think the wiiu is at risk of being the next dreamcast  with the way the wiiu is selling  they could be done already sony is going to over shadow the wiiu launch  by showing people the ps4  and soon after that microsoft will show the xbox 720 and most of the gaming world will be saying wii who

emptycow
emptycow

@megatronx2you dont need a stupid screen control  to have new ideas in games   all you need is new gameplay mechanics   that stupid ass screen control is only a gimmick what are people going to do with it  its not a intuitive control at all thats for sure nintendo should focus on making new ips  and less on gimmicks   nintendo should have done more to make a better motion control not put out that screen control  if you want to see Innovation  look at this game we need more new ideas like this  %s

emptycow
emptycow

@deviant74 nintendo has not made a great move in years when it comes to first party or 3rd party games the best thing they ever did was put motion controls on there system and now they abandoned it  dumb move vary dumb move

emptycow
emptycow

@The__Kraken the wiimote could have been the big next step in gaming if they just worked on it more the idea of  punching to punch in a game or pointing at your screen and pulling a trigger  for a shooting game is intuitive to nintendo this idea was just a gimmick i hope sony takes the next step with this idea  i think if the ps4 out of the box had two motion controls both with pointers and both with analog sticks this idea could work 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Serpentes420 @Battle_Pants Agree zelda and mario games are always very innovative each time a new game comes out, but they are still innovating on the same formula from 25yrs ago. 

I think games like GTA, ICO, Halo, Red Dead, Bioshock, Asssassin's, Xcom, WOW, Phantasy Star- have made tons more innovation than any sequel in nintendos catalog of games. 

Also fine post battle pants. 

jark888
jark888

@jenovaschilld If VR games could be highly successful without relying on online components, we could see more support to it.

SYDSSAFE
SYDSSAFE

@nintendoboy16   have to agree with the real luigi. I really want to care about Nintendo but for the past 10 or so years they haven't given me many reasons to do so. At this point in time if Nintendo fell off the map i don't think i would care that much, go back 15 years and my life would have been over. 

Its not like i hate Nintendo. I want their WiiU to sit on my desk alongside my upcoming PS4 and Xbox720 but they really arn't giving me good enough reasons to buy their systems at the moment. 

Giving Mario a water pistol isn't really what i call innovation and having played plenty of there old IPs in the past i really want something new. Is that too much to ask for? 

179107199999
179107199999

@emptycow @179107199999  its still early but I do see what you're saying. Consumers should look at the history of Sony and MS when they started adopting standards that hurt consumers.It feels like its only going to get worse

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow @megatronx2  

Mirrors Edge lost Money.  The only reason it had a sequel is the sequel was green lite before the first was released.

dre256x
dre256x

@emptycow  The screen is there as a choice for developers to use.. and there are multiple ways you can use said screen.. Depending on how you use it can make or break a gaming experience.. Nintendo themselves don't use it alot.. 

deviant74
deviant74

@emptycow Motion controls sold consoles but it didn't sell games.  Just wait once Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Pikmin hits. 

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow @The__Kraken  

I think Nintendo is happy with the innovation the current Wii mote had.  Thats why every major portable and home console of its generation now has motion controls.

SYDSSAFE
SYDSSAFE

@nintendoboy16 @SYDSSAFE I would never want any of the three big console companies leaving the industry. I think anyone who has that chain of thought needs to grow up a bit. I would however like Nintendo to rely on some of its older franchises instead of Mario/ Zelda, heck id love to see a new Iceclimbers or more Kid Icarus or even a star fox reboot. Nintendo have plenty of franchises they just need to alter between them a little better.  

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@SYDSSAFE Well that's your issue. I'm just saying that  even when Nintendo listens to the consumers. It ends up backfiring. The Bayonetta 2 controversy is a prime example of this. Gamers ask Nintendo for "mature" and "third party support", and when it comes... well, you know the rest.

The only thing Nintendo can do at this point that can make ANYONE happy (outside of leaving the gaming industry, but even that will come to some flip-flopping reactions) is patch some Wii U problems like slow loading.

mario113
mario113

@emptycow @mario113 @dre256x  they stand a better chance in the console market and still make their own games a lot of people fail to realise when sega moved to software only the lost a lot of reception, and a lot of their mascots are a shadow of thmselves look at sonic it wasn't until recently he has had a good game or two

dre256x
dre256x

@emptycow @dre256x  So if all the next system has a screen on the controller guess we all have to adapt to using as such...

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow  

Motion controls on a back burner?  Even now Nintendo continues to make Wii motes and  Wii U games that use the Wii mote.

emptycow
emptycow

@deviant74 @emptycow the ds was a good idea  the 3ds was just a graphics update of the ds with a 3d gimmick that every one turns off  nintendo always got to have a gimmick

emptycow
emptycow

@deviant74 @emptycow they never should have gave up on the motion controls it was intuitive it just needed more work  now on the wiiu the motion controls are on the back burner   that was a stupid move and it shows nintendo never had a real focus on innovating .... the motion controls for nintendo was nothing more then a gimmick and now they have moved on to another gimmick