Nintendo Thinking About Minecraft on Wii U, 3DS

The popular crafting game is a good fit for the Wii U Gamepad and 3DS, Nintendo execs say.

Nintendo has been thinking about bringing Minecraft to Nintendo devices, according to comments made by Nintendo executives.

Shigeru Miyamoto and Shinya Takahashi, heads of Nintendo's internal development teams, said to Kotaku that they believe Mojang's popular crafting game would be a good fit on the 3DS and Wii U. According to them, the touch control of the Wii U Gamepad and the 3DS would allow Minecraft to reach a wider audience than ever. In Takahashi's words, "We've always thought internally that using the GamePad would probably make for a Minecraft that's very easy to play. And, of course, if we were to do something with Minecraft on the 3DS, similarly we would probably do it where it would be easier to play and could probably reach a lot of kids."

Their focus for a possible Minecraft port is to make it appeal to as many users as they can. This does not seem to be an obstacle, however, but rather an opportunity. Both executives see a wide, untapped market in Japan where the game has yet to really take off. "What's interesting is that, in Japan, Minecraft is not popular in the way it is in the U.S. and Europe," Takahashi explained, "so we've also thought that, if we were able to do a partnership like that, it might bring opportunity to help make Minecraft more popular in Japan."

Miyamoto also revealed that he has never actually played the game, but this didn't stop him from hinting further at the possibility of bringing it to Nintendo consoles. According to him, only Nintendo hardware would be able to mesh the widespread appeal of the touch-based mobile version of Minecraft with the precision of console controls. "Our hardware is the only hardware that you can do both the touch control and stick control," he said.

Minecraft is available for the Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, and mobile devices, and is coming to PlayStation 4, Vita, and Xbox One some time in August.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

256 comments
Mayleene
Mayleene

Minecraft has never appealed to me on any platform or device.

Milennin
Milennin

While I like Minecraft, I just can't imagine how much of a downgrade it's gotta be to play it on my 3DS instead of PC.

orpheus010
orpheus010

skeptical on how well it would run on 3ds

imortality101
imortality101

Minecraft would be huge if it came to the 3DS. I'd say go for it! If this happens you could reach millions of gamers and hopefully be able to update the game. It would be a smash hit!

TPSISO9000
TPSISO9000

Late for the western audience but still a brilliant move if they do it now. The complainers here are stupid, outside of not doing it sooner why does anyone care? If they make it and you want it, buy it and if you don't then... don't! The "it's not a system seller" is probably the best. How popular is Minecraft? Didn't they suggest a somewhat untapped market? Even if it doesn't move consoles, I'm glad most people don't use that as the only measurement of software viability or the only new games made would be COD and Halo.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Minecraft would be a perfect fit for 3DS and Wii U, but I remember Notch saying he didn't want to bring his game to Nintendo systems. I suppose if the money is there it could happen, though. I personally kind of hope it ends up on both systems.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

A popular game that mostly appeals to the pre-teen demographic and has a simple building block concept/design with low hardware requirements? Will never be on a Nintendo console obviously.

DarkE0n
DarkE0n

As far as the "too little, too late" comments are concerned, I work at a bookstore and and kids (yes, kids. A gamer is a gamer and Nintendo had always capitalized on that concept) are asking for the Minecraft books on a daily basis. There is no shortage of popularity in this game.

That being said, I've been gaming for over 20 years and I suck at this game. If these kids are the next generation of gamers, then I welcome them with open arms.

ck02623
ck02623

Weird that it didn't happen before now, but I suppose Nintendo has always marched to the beat of a different drum.

Maverick6585
Maverick6585

It's surprising that they haven't already. It's not like it's a very graphically intensive game, sothey can run it on the Wii U and 3DS's hardware. 

gokartmozart89
gokartmozart89

It's so obvious that it should have been a Wii U launch title...

hystavito
hystavito

Are any sandbox games big in Japan?  Minecraft is like super sandbox, especially in something like creative mode, but really in survival too.


I'm not sure, but I get the feeling Japan is more old fashioned when it comes to video games, and they still prefer linear games, focused goals, traditional progression.  Or maybe I'm way off?

tane100
tane100

Late, Nintendo. Too late

leeko_link
leeko_link

Wait a minute, Minecraft is not popular in Japan yet? So Sony is not releasing Minecraft in Japan? That's just a shame, hopefully Minecraft for Wii U and 3DS could change that. It's kinda weird about that since Microsoft did release Minecraft for Xbox Live in Japan but no one in Japan likes the Xbox 360.

agamersparadise
agamersparadise

Nintendo should try and get Minecraft on the Wii U. My little cousin practically bought an Xbox 360 just to play Minecraft with his friends, and he has a Wii U. It seems this is a popular game amongst the youth, and a large amount of them own Wii U's. A game like this could  help boost Nintendo's online population, which is still behind when compared to the competition.

Heirren
Heirren

Why doesn't nintendo just rip off minecraft?  The game is in no way original.  It rapes its visuals from an earlier gaming era and rapes its gameplay from a toy company.  I've never understood the fascination with the "game" but I bet nintendo could do a much more with the concept. 

FighterforJC
FighterforJC

LOL.  Nintendo isn't "thinking" about minecraft on Wii U, more like "dreaming." LOL>

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

Can't wait for Mario and Zelda skins in minecraft!

superbuuman
superbuuman

Thinking?..how about get it & put it on Wii U & 3DS already! :P

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

Why can't we all be happy that a good game is coming to a good system?

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

You sure the Wii U can handle those graphics?


It's a "better late than never" moment for Nintendo I suppose, but maybe also a "too little, too late" since everyone that wants it probably already has it. Either way, hopefully this is the start of Nintendo realizing that they need 3rd party software to stay relevant. I get you would normally buy a console for exclusives, but with 3 options, the last one I'd buy is the one that has no 3rd party games.

xDragonTeax
xDragonTeax

@orpheus010 It would be a Natural Fit on the 3DS, it already supports 3D Monitors on the PC version and they already have the Smart phone version of the game, it would run much better on the 3DS than on the smartphones.

xDragonTeax
xDragonTeax

@FLEEBS Notch also said ' LOL I GOT MONEY BITCHES !!! Jeb you are in charge of Minecraft now"

orpheus010
orpheus010

@rickphoenixxx There are Software engineers that play this game and have made amazing things with redstone logic.

gokartmozart89
gokartmozart89

@hystavito I never really thought about that, but it would explain why so many modern JRPGs tend to be so linear. 

gokartmozart89
gokartmozart89

@tane100 Maybe not. Their killer apps are finally just coming out this year. It certainly doesn't hurt. It definitely should have been a launch title.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@leeko_link Minecraft has a Japanese theme song. Yet its not big in japan sounds legit. even if Nintendo announces this Sony will just beat them to the punch as they have the Japanese version on hold.

leeko_link
leeko_link

@FighterforJC Actually it is an opportunity for Nintendo to think about Minecraft for Wii U and 3DS. Minecraft had not be released in Japan at all even on Sony's consoles so this is an opportunity for Nintendo to get license to the game for release in Japan for their systems because if Minecraft sells in Japan, then the 3DS and Wii U would also sells meaning that if Japanese wanted to play Minecraft, they need to buy a Wii U or 3DS to play it as PC and Sony PS3 and Vita's Minecraft aren't available to Japan.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@homelessgamer

Apparently when it comes to the gaming community (or fanboys) if they don't like something, no one else is allowed to like it or enjoy it :P

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@---Cipher---

You sure you thought this comment out thoroughly before posting it? If the 360/PS3 could handle it, then the Wii U would have absolutely not trouble, but of course I wouldn't expect you to know that since you used "graphics" as a basis of whether or not the Wii U could run it. 


I do agree that if Minecraft does come out on the eShop, it'd be pretty late at this point but considering that Nintendo has "no 3rd party games" (which is a lie) they've been doing really well and have had no problems remaining relevant. Just because they don't have the list of "overproduced, overhyped, AAA Western games" doesn't mean they don't have 3rd party support.

sanic_fast
sanic_fast

Maybe they can beat them to the punch but the Wii U is more popular than the PS4 in japan right?

imortality101
imortality101

@vadagar1 @Heirren  If you could have a portable minecraft on the 3ds if you didn't have an ipod touch or an iphone than this is the way to own your own building block worlds. So yeah.

poptart28
poptart28

Late to us maybe but like the article mentioned, the game has yet to take off in Japan where nintendo is thinking of releasing it for their system. Heck, maybe nintendo will help enhance the game the way only a company with more than 30 years of experience can do.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

The WiiU is doing better now sure but it still isn't selling much worth anything right now. Honestly this move should of been done near release. At this point it won't make difference.

I also really dislike Nintendo's blunt focus on only kids and what parents might get for kids. I see it more and more. I feel like grabbing the third parties they have been and getting bayonetta was just to help somewhat with their image. They really need to focus on their main audience. There is tons of old IPs they can revamp or completely overhaul and they won't. I know many people who would buy a wiiU if they did.

Nintendo drives me up the dam walls with their console decisions.

Sorry if this looks odd , posting from work on my phone.

sanic_fast
sanic_fast

Have you seen the sales for mariokart 8 and the Wii U? It boosted the sales 10 fold! (Not literally of course)

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@WolfGrey

I agree about the decision on this game, if anything, it should've been more of a surprise or something. I'm surprised that this article actually exists. 


I don't think they're focusing on "only kids and what parents might get for kids" I do feel like it seems that way due to the direction the rest of the industry has been taking. For me personally, I find it refreshing since I'm not really into what most Western audiences are into. 


They can do more though, I agree that much but they are but one company and to be fair, their biggest selling franchises are the ones that have that biggest "family appeal." I'm hoping that after the Wii U sales are much better and reached probably around 20m (hopefully by next year to encourage them), then we'll see them bringing back or creating more of the titles that the "older' crowd would prefer. 


For me personally, as long as I see stuff I like, I don't really care what it is or who it's targeted for.