Miyamoto confirms Wii 'demo play'

Nintendo's famed designer tells USA Today that in-game walk-through system will debut this holiday with New Super Mario Bros. Wii.


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Nintendo's strength during this generation of gaming consoles has been its ability to appeal to mass-market audiences by propagating a more intuitive control scheme with the Wii Remote and catering to alternative genres with games like Wii Fit. In January, the publisher tipped its hand on one more way it hopes to open gaming up to the masses, introducing an in-game walk-through system called the "Kind Code" by way of a United States Patent and Trademark filing.

A concept sketch for demo play.
A concept sketch for demo play.

Speaking to USA Today as part of a post-Electronic Entertainment Expo interview, Nintendo's top designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, confirmed that the helper system, tentatively titled "demo play," is indeed on the way and will debut this holiday season with New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

"In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they're ready," Miyamoto said of the system through his translator. "And yes, we're looking into this for future games, too."

As detailed in the USPTO filing, the demo play functionality lets players pass through a particularly challenging area of a game or see the conclusion of a lengthy story by surrendering control to prerecorded footage. Gamers would be able to jump into and out of the action when they so desire, which would be facilitated by a scene-selection menu. Nintendo's patent noted that the system was specifically for games that fell into the role-playing, action adventure, and action role-playing genres.

The patent also noted that the saved-game data would be served through a network, making it "unnecessary to include the digest saved-data in the game program" and "possible to reduce a storage capacity necessary for a storage medium."

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Avatar image for waZelda

No reason to hate the system because you're not going to use it yourself. It will be useful for those who have problems with some parts of the game. Also, let's say you hate water levels, and encounter one in NSMB wii. Put on the walkthrough, then go do something else until you are near the end of the level. That way you can skip the levels that you hate.

Avatar image for Zelda9696

This is so lame. I understand what shopy01 is saying but still if people get stuck on a moderately hard part are nintendo saying they'll just let them get a free pass through every boss and hard bit of the game? It defeats the purpose of the game. I fully intend on getting NSMB Wii but I won't be using this.

Avatar image for FPS1337

a demo for new super mario bros.? is that what this is saying or is it saying something else?

Avatar image for superluigifan10

im gonna put another controler and put it on demo play to have acpu buddy and race to see who gets to da flag first

Avatar image for Shopy01

why is everyone whining? it's an option. if you don't like it don't use it. duh! i have been playing games for nearly 20 years. and i need help sometimes. i love Zelda games but i always need help. i think this is a great idea. i got the last Zelda for wii last Christmas and the next day i had to go and buy the guide. if that game had this option it would have saved me $30 and i wouldn't have had to stop playing. some hardcore gamers think all the games should be made for them. but i'm a hardcore gamer and i love the different types of games. i think everyone should be allowed to play. and that different types of games are made for different types of players. i love that nintendo has made games for everyone. and every skill level

Avatar image for skullzerodeath

Some of us suck some of us dont 9 times out of 10 the person who owns the game wins....

Avatar image for FrogDude14

Great, this makes winning the race to finish a game first against my friends so much easier :D (Nintendo's being a jerk yet again)

Avatar image for darkbuster_exe

Really can't imagine this working too well, for anything but the most linear of games. RPGs usually have issues such as level, stats, & equips, which will most likely not translate very well to anyone's save file who actually would need this. Not to mention that if the game plays itself, you'll have no way of managing a character's growth or possibly prevent conflict with how the player has been managing themselves up until that point. Even a game as simple as Zelda will have problems. Let's say this was in Phantom Hourglass. How would this calculate how to handle the Temple of the Ocean King, with a proper solution that corresponds to your inventory & how far your supplies would allow you to go? This will be fine for a simple "A to B" style game, such as the Mario & Sonic platformers, but anything requiring the the player to make decisions, react, manage, or involve randomness will fall flat. RPGs & strategy games are already out

Avatar image for ChamomileBaths

This isn't a bad idea to make the hardcore games less hardcore for those who would enjoy a good action game but not be able to play it. For example, much of that Wii Fit crowd would enjoy having that option during an adventure game BUT it needs to be seamlessly implemented. If anything this could lead to more hard core games. They can make harder games and when it gets to be too much the lesser players skip a section.. Easy for everyone. The only true multicore game on Wii is Mario Kart Wii right now, but this could bridge a gap and make games like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, The Conduit, Red Steel, and Litle King's Story easier for everyone.... Good move, if they take advantage of the opportunities it opens up.

Avatar image for Malco_Vincenzo

@ Rottenwood "If the so-called hardcore gamers didn't spend all their time whining at Nintendo over their mainstream product, perhaps Nintendo would work harder to cater to us." are you serious? why do you think sequals are made? because people want more of a good thing. this is why we're on Halo 3, MGS4, FF14 is coming, Tekken 6 and so on. Nintendo needs to cater to the hardcore because the hardcore players buy the most games. Back on PS2 I had over 40 games in possession. my buddy's a hardcore Nintendo fan but only has 10 games for his. Where's the new starfox? Kirby?F-Zero? Why is there almost as many Mario Party Sequals as there are Final Fantasy sequals? why is it that a crappy PS3/360 is still better than a lot of "good" wii games.(I.E. Haze>Dead Rising Wii Edition) us hardcore gamers wanting hardcore games doesn't affect whether or not they make hardcore games ,contrary to your belief. Them wanting the money from fat people and soccer moms is the reason for that. Gamers weren't considered hardcore back in the NES days and those games were great. when river city ransom beats out dead rising in terms of quality we have a problem.

Avatar image for Malco_Vincenzo

oh great, i thought the point of a game was to play it... this is what happens when casual gamers don't buy mario cuz it's too hard. now excuse me while a go beat ninja gaiden sigma

Avatar image for MrHatnClogs

I think a part of me just died a little inside......

Avatar image for Hvac0120

If you could pull up the console web browser when a game was paused, then you could peek at a walkthrough. I guess the point here is that it will let you witness HOW to beat something and will let you skip past it if you just want to get on with the rest of the game. Sort of an okay idea, but will be tricky if Microsoft and/or Sony decide they want something similar. It could cause issues with trophies and achievements, which are in place for bragging rights.

Avatar image for DivineMeliadoul

Wow seperath i don't really see how having an opinion equates to pushing my values on everyone, but i certainly apologize for offending you. Looking back on it perhaps I was a bit harsh. I simply feel that game companies should make the games and let guide companies and the internet provide the help. Peace be to you. :-)

Avatar image for Damnation_6

DUMBEST IDEA EVER!! Sorry...had to write it with capitol letters.

Avatar image for pwnzord

@ Porcupine_Face Wait are you implying that Nintendo makes these games because of pressure from whiners? These games don't have limited appeal to just hardcore players. There are casuals that pick them up as well. Yes it is true they spend longer on developing those games, hopefully because they don't want to tarnish their hallowed reputation. But it doesn't mean they have to because they want to. If Nintendo so chose they could fastrack us Metroids all day and they would sell based on name alone (at least for awhile). Bottom line is Nintendo cares about money, Microsoft cares about money, Sony cares about money. They don't care about you, your favorite franchise, or how much you whine. The focus of any of these companies will be to do whatever it takes to generate more revenue. If that means making a Zelda, they'll do it. If it means making a balancing board, they'll do it. If that means making an in game system to go past a problem area, they'll do that. But it seems that you and I both agree that is the stuff that Nintendo does, and neither of us were particularly surprised by this move. But seeing as how we're not getting another full fledged Zelda anytime soon, but we are getting a heart monitor it is easy to see the direction they've taken and whom it is they are going to work towards pleasing for more of that cold hard cash.

Avatar image for flazzle

You know, this could also make developers more apt to put in exceptionally hard challenges as well. Think about it...

Avatar image for Porcupine_Face

@ forhekset You act like the time put into this idea is taking up a dramatic amount of time that could be spent making a game incredibly better should they ditch this idea. This concept is as simple as recording one playthrough and throwing it on the shop channel. And I'm sure Nintendo isn't pulling their best developers off their monitors to work on this. New jobs were probably created and that's always a plus. @ pwnzord Nintendo definitely cares about the whiners and the hardcore or we would not have sequels coming up to Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid, and Zelda. These games take a rediculously longer time to make than games like Wii Play and Wii Fit and they will not even sell as well. So why would Nintendo waste their time making 1 Zelda when they can make 5 Wii Play clones and make way more money? Because they care. All that being said, this 'demo play' idea is incredibly lame but whatever. This is the kind of stuff Nintendo does. What's actually surprising is that there's people that are still shocked when they do annoying stuff like this.

Avatar image for Jshaw71

seems like another way nintendo is making games easy, too easy for non gamers, oh well at least it's optional...

Avatar image for Flint247

If you don't like it, then don't use it. It's OPTIONAL. >_> Plus, I don't see it any different since we have walkthroughs and videos online to begin with.

Avatar image for pwnzord

Part 2 "If the so-called hardcore gamers didn't spend all their time whining at Nintendo over their mainstream product, perhaps Nintendo would work harder to cater to us." I believe the "us" you're referring to is any person that would NOT be considered a hardcore gamer. If that is correct I am even further confused. This is exactly how they cater to their latest demographic. Just browse through the comments on this new article and you'll see many people clamoring for more difficult games and the majority of these hardcore gamers seem to be in opposition. Tantrums aside, who cares as long as they purchase your games. And in response to an earlier post you had, just because the casual gamers may have more shiny money than the hardcore gamers doesn't mean you spend as much of it as they do on games. Which what it's all about. They don't care about providing us experiences they care about taking as much money off of each and everyone of us as they possibly can. Nintendo has gathered a new audience and they're wrestling with catering to the very old and the very new and everything in between. It's not an easy task, but it's plain to see this isn't intended to bring those that have been playing since inception back into the fold. The truth is Nintendo doesn't care about the whiners, I would like to know how they've pandered this generation to the hardcore crowd.

Avatar image for pwnzord

@ Rottenwood "Actually, the product is intended for a mature market, at least in part. It's the teenagers, and not the adults, that can afford to spend countless hours trying to solve a video game challenge." I believe a better description here would be it is intended for the beginners and those who have only recently just begun to play video games. I know teenagers AND adults that both have oodles of time and ones that have zero time. Yet still there are arguments on both sides that don't mean time spent = happiness from a game. "Those with less time can use this to protect their investment in case they get stuck somewhere." Not sure if you've ever tried to sell a video game but these things are far from being an investment. They're not protecting their "investment" they're making a product that they purchased more accessible to them. They don't appreciate in value. Part 1 (man these 1500 character limits are short)

Avatar image for burns112233

What ever happened to easy, normal, and hard? If a person can't play it on hard then play it on easy. Now we have, if you can't play it on easy, then let us play it for you. WTH!? Some people are like well this is for people who don't have time to play games. Well if they don't have time then why are they buying games to begin with? If all they want to do is to see someone playing then go on Youtube search for a video walk through and watch someone play. There I saved you $50. I don't know about anyone else, but I buy games to play them which is why I won't use that feature.

Avatar image for uglykidspike

i consider myself to be well within the 'hardcore gamer' market, by no means a great player but i have some skill. i have a big problem with missions that involve shooting moving targets while mounted or riding on a moving object or vehicle. (think, the hourse and kart escort mission in twilight princess or attacking the tower in starfox adventures, which, screw any of you, was a great game.) and the ability to skip these bits and get on with the game seems like a good idea to me. so whilst i can understand some people seeing this as a cheat or a wimps way out i can see it being a very useful tool to open up the entirety of a game that may otherwise be spoilt by one mission

Avatar image for just_nonplussed

i'm dismayed at all the ignorant, selfish comments from people that seem to just want to moan and complain. no one is forcing you to use the option. it is for people who are having difficulty. again, let me state my utter dismay for the majority of commentators here. well done, you make gamespot less fun and more childish.

Avatar image for Barighm

Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. We already have easy modes and stuff, so why should they go so far as to create help onDemand? Perhaps Nintendo plans to make their games a lot harder to appease Hardcore gamers, so they needed to create some mechanic to instantly help those who can't handle the difficulty. Maybe the real issue here is not that games are too hard or easy, but that there should be a much easier way to adjust a game's "hardcore-ness". Perhaps instead of hard or easy modes, you have Hardcore and Casual mode. Maybe a menu in Hardcore that allows you to tweek the game to make it more interesting, add challenges, restrict what items you can use, change how encounters play out...that sort of thing. And Casual...the game just starts and plays normally. This way, those who just want to have fun will see "Casual" and can just start the game, and those of us who want a badass game can just hit Hardcore and rock on.

Avatar image for Rottenwood

@forhekset Actually, the product is intended for a mature market, at least in part. It's the teenagers, and not the adults, that can afford to spend countless hours trying to solve a video game challenge. Those with less time can use this to protect their investment in case they get stuck somewhere. If the so-called hardcore gamers didn't spend all their time whining at Nintendo over their mainstream product, perhaps Nintendo would work harder to cater to us. As it stands, if I'm running a corporation, I'm going to aim my product at the audience that spends money and doesn't have a tantrum every time I attempt to please someone else.

Avatar image for Boomarley

I wonder if there will be an option to simply skip the trouble area without seeing the demo. I would rather just come back to it on another playthrough and try to deal with it then rather than have the solution spoiled for me.

Avatar image for ASG_

Why don't you just give me an empty box instead? A game that plays itself, pffft.

Avatar image for dyns510

Those damn goombas will thwart me no more! Fast forward!

Avatar image for hm360

I think this is a very good idea. It totally casts aside anything anyone said for Nintendo turning casual. This was they can make the game as difficult as they want so it can be marketed to the core AND the casual since they can just let demo play take over for the tricky bits. I probably wont be using it much, though I'll admit to using a walkthrough occasionally on my JRPGs.

Avatar image for QWERTYCommander

I thought it meant you could download demos now, not some of this crap. Please Nintendo, don't go through with this idea. It ruins the joy of, ya know, ACTUALLY BEATING THE GAME.

Avatar image for daveneonfarrell

What a shame

Avatar image for forhekset

It's not the fact that it's a terrible idea that has people bothered. Saying if you don't like it - don't use it, does not cut it. What it means is they're spending time and resources on something that most people won't want. Time and resources that could be used to better effect elsewhere, and so everyone loses. It's a waste of everyones time. Instead of making games better or more games or whatever they're making this stupid thing. Just allowing it and deciding not to use it isn't good enough.

Avatar image for forhekset

Instead of pushing forward into a more mature market you're treading water backwards. I don't think I have any respect left for Nintendo.

Avatar image for Peaches1347

as long as they don't do this with games w/ a story. like in super mario bros sure its okay because it doesn't really have a story but like metroid or zelda then this would be really bad

Avatar image for prashanta7

wtf??? i agree with yamtza, i thought we'd be able to play parts of upcoming games. this is for four year olds

Avatar image for glennvolio

@thaflu Yes, I've been stuck in games - countless times. I remember one time when I was younger playing Zelda: Link's Awakening on the original Game Boy, and I was stuck in one temple. There was a locked door and I had no idea how to open it. I played this one level for over a week or so, trying everything I could think of (and probably going through scores of batteries) when, to my surprise, I finally discovered that you had to toss a pot at a door to open it - something that was not typically done in early Zelda games. I was literally doing backflips because the time I put into it paid off. I used no guides, no walkthroughs, and no help from friends. I never EVER would have had that satisfaction if I pulled up an option menu and had the game show me how to open the door. I'd've missed out on one of my favorite gaming moments, and it's a shame that that kind of thing is becoming an accepted mentality. I'm not saying that someone should have to put weeks of work into a game, but the sense of accomplishment that one can achieve from finally figuring the level out can not be replaced by a freaking "demo mode". I wasn't trying to flame; just giving my insights.

Avatar image for dentedhalo

this is a joke right???? i'll admit to reading a walkthrough when a game seems too difficult but I at least get past the difficult parts myself - why not just release the games as a video and be done with it - totally ridiculous!

Avatar image for yamzta

awwww man, I thought this was going to talk about actual demos for games that are going to come out...

Avatar image for CamiKitten

I guess this is a pretty cool feature for the casual gamers.

Avatar image for Lexxurious

Sounds like it may be useful only for children, I know I would never use it.

Avatar image for masterds64

My little brother needs this... But not me-I'm all for user friendly but christ isn't this a bit much? I'll play without this feature thx...

Avatar image for SicklySunStorm

I would prefer a few more decent games over something like this for the Wii, but hey-ho, what do I know? and cockneyscouse.... genius. I need one of those. Do you reckon you can get an unwanted 2nd born chinese child to play through import titles if you can't understand the text? They'd have a great incentive - play through successfully, and they'll have a roof over their heads for the next week. Fail, and they remain tied to that chair for the rest of their days......

Avatar image for cockneyscouse

I use Eastern European orphans for when I get stuck on a game. I whip them whilst sipping champagne until they beat the hard bits for me. If they succeed they get fed, fail and back to Romania. I call it slave boy. Are you interested Mr Miyamoto?

Avatar image for sgt-hawkins

this is auctually kinda good for people who have trouble with certain game parts i mean its pretty frustrating to do somthing over and over again

Avatar image for gonzalezj1

I like how so many people are complaining about the disk space this'll use. Maybe you guys should finish reading the article before you post. You guys are priding yourselves on finishing video games unaided yet you can't even finish a five paragraph article!? Wow.

Avatar image for LosDaddie

A much needed feature

Avatar image for AzelKosMos

Games, the new movies! :|

Avatar image for tommyc555

Nintendo is aiming at casual gamers very rapidly. NOOO!!! Don't give up on hardcore gamers, Nintendo