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.

401 Comments

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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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mhder

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I won't use it... But for someone like my girlfriend who might just get frustrated from not being able to progress, she could use it to have access to different areas. Eventually they can come back to finish it if the skills catch up. Some might say why would they get better on a more difficult stage.. But there are some stages in games that are just a pain, often harder than some later ones. In my 20 years of gaming, I've seen guidebooks, cheat books/codes, game genies, internet walkthroughs, how to videos.. so this was just a matter of time. Much like difficulty, this is just another option. For those people who don't see any benefit... I don't get you guys. Do you ever think? No imagination? Things goes beyond what YOU want/need/use/enjoy. Ever thought that there are other people out there? Granted I fought through some evil games in the 80s but we had so few options then. Now, if a kid gets too frustrated, they will just drop it and go onto one of the other dozen sources of gaming.

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Zeldafan221

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I know, at least they aren't forcing you to use it. This makes you pay less for guide booklets for those who buy them, saves time so you don't have to go to gamefaqs or here. My only gripe with it is disk space, this takes up space they could be using for more levels.

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Adziboy

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I think it's fine. Like CowboyHipHop said, it CAN be useful. If you don't like it, don't use it - simple as that. It's not FORCING you to use it.

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johnnyv2003

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I see how some could see this as a negative, but if used right could benefit both experienced gamers, and less experienced gamers. Think about it... If a developer is able to implement a system where you can "fast forward" through difficult parts, then in essence you could make the game itself more of a challenge. This way for someone who wouldn't want demo play, they could receive a gratifying and insanely difficult game. Then at the same time, those who want to play it could just skip the parts that are deemed too difficult. Just from a development point of view, I think this will in fact increase the difficulty of games. Which as of now is a good thing. Everything is too easy to get through these days. Besides playing Punch-Out! Title Defense using the Balance Board, and COD4 on Veteran there have been few games to provide a challenge recently. If Demo Play can provide that for me, then bring it.

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redfield_137

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If Nintendo do not start making some extremely challenging games as a result of this I will be very disappointed. I'm really not a big fan of this idea at all because my lack of patience means that I will probably cheat myself out of playing the game properly. My issue I know, but I don't really see how this system will help anyone to become good at video games. Young children and casuals will just cheat through the game whenever any situation even remotely challenging presents itself.

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xgalacticax

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Sounds like something i could use in god of war on certain areas of the harder difficulties of the game because those bits are really annoying. nintendo games are a bit easy for that...but oh well.

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CowboyHiphop

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I'm guessing that most people displeased with this concept don't have very young children (or siblings) who, for the moment, don't give a care about the pride of overcoming a video game challenge unaided. In gaming, kids can have a lot going against them in addition to the game's difficulty. Age related physiological limitations for one example (massive controller + little hands = "I can't do it!" for hours on end). How about the ability to understand the concept of the wall jump and executing it in 3D space? With time most kids will get it, but depending on their age and talent that could be a long way and a lot of cries of "Do it for me!" away. Something like demo play could make certain games less frustrating until they're ready to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and triple jump over that chasm on their own .

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nate1222

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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SOLIDSIKES

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This.....is probably......the stupidest thing ever.....period. People who need this shouldn't play video games. I've been playing games since the 80's. To me that was the pinnacle of video game difficulty. Limited lives. Limited continues. No saving. I beat mega man 2 at age 6......Mega Man 2! To me still one of the hardest games of all time. Ghouls and Ghost was another. There are a many others too. NINJA FREAKIN TURTLES 1 ON NES!!!. I didn't need the game to beat itself for me. Thats pretty sad and pathetic. So Nintendo is basically holdin your hand while you cross the street. What a sad state of affairs. Who gets enjoyment out of shortcuts? What happened to a sense of accomplishment. Is that what what we are teachin kids today. Just give up....Eventually someone will do it for you.

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beamme

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This will be awesome for multiplayer games.

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supersonikk

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Nintendo have a really good image at the moment, but really it's all about the money - appealing to mass markets - and not the games.

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AlphaCommando

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Nobody gets better at anything by letting someone else do it for them...

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Silenthps

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nice! so I guess now nintendo and other devs can make games as hard as they please while still allowing casuals to have fun on them .

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cptpeg

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So you're going to pay money for a game and then sit back and watch the computer play it for you??? I really can't see the point in this and it seems like a waste of space on the game disc. I thought games were meant to challenge you, look at any Lucas arts adventure game, when you start playing them and you're not sure what's going on the game can take you days even weeks to complete, but if you have a walkthrough or you've played it before it onlys takes a few hours. I know I would feel ripped of paying full price for a game that I'd be finished with in a couple of hours. If a game is to hard try lowering the difficulty settings!

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RaddaRaddaRadda

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It's interesting, but I think the player should be rewarded for perservering through the difficult areas of a game. I have been stuck in one area of Final Fantasy IV (DS) for so long, to play the game makes me sick, knowing I'm probably going to have my arse handed to me by the same boss (for the umpteenth time). But seeing further scenes would make me feel like I've cheated; like I haven't really earned it.

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haloshalo

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marketing genius

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rgame1

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great, games strated out as somthing challenging, requiring you to think. now they just practically wipe your butt for you.

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Proman84

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Meh, this hardly warrants a patent.

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NightRain

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Their games were already easy now they want to make them easier??? Oh god... is this really necessary? Jesus... buy a guide or go look for clues on the internet, for god's sakes!

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Shtinky

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A better solution would be to allow in game web browsing then we could view gameFaqs or w/e while we played.

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Shtinky

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It's not good for RPG's, since all you're doing is watching a video. In other words all the levels etc that the person in the video attains doesn't translate to your game save. It's only good for linear games..

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gameking5000

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Good no more walkthroughs that I find useless

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ScionofEntropy

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I'll never use it, but I'm okay with it, for the people who actually need to. And a lot of video games already kind of have things like this. Maybe not to the same extent, I know, but to beat this dead horse once more: It's only an option.

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Harerazer

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I can't say I'll be using this or condoning it but like Madden's rewind feature isn't BS also? Like RAVE said, you don't have to use it.

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thaflu

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Decent idea. To anyone complaining, have you ever been stuck in a video game, yes or no?

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blangenakker

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Stupid Gamespot and there misleading titles, this can help if i get stuck on something but i think Nintendo has forgot there are other ways of looking up walkthroughs such as the Internet, books and magazines. Some times when i got terribly stuck on something and reading doesn't help i look it up on You Tube.

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Weddum

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I know you don't have to use this feature, but just implementing it is taking casual gaming way too far. What is the point of playing a game when you can essentially just let the whole game do it for you? If somebody can't finish an area in a game, then they should just practice up just like everybody else does. Nintendo want to appeal to the casual gamer, and apparently let them play equally with, as they call us "Veteran" gamers. This is not the way to go, this is just going to keep the casual gamers a separated crowd and never getting any better at the games as most of us enthusiast gamers will look down on them as a joke.

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Rui214

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Funny, there was a time when nintendo would fight tooth and nail to get something like this OFF the market (game genie). Also, comparing this to gaming tips is a joke. Last i checked gamefaqs don't come to your house to play the game for you. Getting advice is one thing but i have never had someone play my games for me, its MINE.

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RAVEZero

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You know, Nintendo isn't shoving this option down your damn throats people. You don't have to use it. Again with the whining...give it up.

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PSGamerforlife

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Nintendo has taken the whole casual thing...wwaaaaayy too far...

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firehawk998

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Thats how lazy people are becoming these days when games like Wii Sports that is supposed to encourage physical gaming comes with a feature plays the game practicly by itself. Though I wont be using this is program is pretty good for people who playing RPGS or platformers for the first time.

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youngsexynerd

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nintendo what has happened to you??? im sorry but i honestly dont even see nintendos stuff as video games an video game systems anymore, i mean realy there last gaming console was the gamecube, the wii is just a toy, not a console. idk but i think im done with nintendo untill they get serious for gamers again

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brettneo3012

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This is actually a good thing for "hardcore" gamers. It allows for Nintendo to make harder games for the hardcore, but also it doesn't leave the casual gamers behind. This will allow for more series to evolve. Also people need to understand that your not going to be forced to use it. If you don't like it, don't use it.

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LordelX

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So letting players skip difficult parts of the game are or but achievement points are a bad idea? Nintendo is looking to take any feeling of accomplishment out of playing video games.

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the_requiem

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It's funny that people are ranting about a in-game walkthrough system on a website known more for walkthroughs and game guides. Didn't sites like GameFAQs etc. sprout up exactly for that reason? To help folks who get stuck? Unless you're someone making a living off writing walkthroughs and cheats, I don't see any reason to whine.

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especensor

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Hmmmm... Well I'll never be using this probably. Neither will probably most if not all people here. But what can you expect? Its a GAMING website. For young people being introduced to gaming, you can't argue that its a bad idea. As long as its like really subtle and won't intrude on you unless you specifically go out of your way to turn the feature on.

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Wicked_Spades

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Interesting concept. I love Miyamoto though. The guy's an absolute genius. Any hardcore gamer is going to have a negative opinion on this subject. I'll stick to casual ;)

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faceman420

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smdh...

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underture224

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yesssss now grandma can beat super mario ! ! ! !

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lightning_kf

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Flint247 Am I one of the only ones on here who think that this guy is one of the many small voices of reason on here? I mean, it's not like this demo play feature is an OPTION instead of being jammed down your throats like a lot of games nowadays. Besides, anyone remembers GAME GENIE? I think that's what it was called. Or when you got stuck in certain areas of a game (which ALL of us have done one time in our gaming life), we have used cheats, called a friend for help, let someone beat a stage for you and whatever else. So don't act like this is a disgrace to gaming when it's been happening for DECADES. One of the reasons why I LOL at gamers a lot, cause all they do is b**ch b**ch b**ch and moan moan moan while bragging about meaningless graphics, "achievements and trophies" when good gameplay, replay value and FUN with a decent challenge added to the mix. And before anyone starts acting tough online, I own a PS3 too and consider the trophy system to be pointless as hell. I hate repeating myself, but I will WAIT until I see what this demo play is before I pass my decision on it.

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gnrlstuart

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hmm, only use it if your uber stuck, if your a hardcore, dont use it.

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SavoyPrime

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Nintendo's theme music for this generation should be Dumb It Down by Lupe Fiasco. This is just getting beyond ridiculous. They should be encouraging new players to become better at gaming by being challenged, not allow the game to pass the hard parts for them.

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S_Pac_316

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Ok, maybe I was over-reacting to this a little. We the veterans won't be forced to use this and more power to the younger generations or the casuals.

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Brettsky128

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Oh Nintendo....Used to be the leader in video games, now you're reducing them to nothing. It's a sad time to be a gamer.

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Sepewrath

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@DivineMeliadoul How is making a walkthrough available for people who get stuck in games abandoning the core. You people seem like you just cant wait to say that, but you don't realize how stupid it sounds. Go ahead respond back and explain exactly how this hurts you as a gamer, will the console snatch the controller out of your hand? does this mean that Nintendo will never make a Mario, Zelda or Metroid again? Think about these statements before you make them, you only make yourself look foolish. Your not forced to use this, if you want to be stuck on one part for a week, no one will stop you. Don't attempt to push off your gaming ideals of everyone else, especially since I'm sure everyone here has used a cheat in a game before. So don't pretend your upholding some kind of gaming purity.

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Arclight_Blue

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with that in place hopefully, nintendo can go all out with their core games without being concerned on making the game too difficult for casuals.

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Arturo84

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agree with MuscleCarMan

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goshyn00

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k... so what's the difference between this and just watching a game walkthrough. why even bother playing the game at all. that's just stupid. i can see getting help, but just have a friend play it instead and watch them do it. i thought wii was all about coop gameplay.

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redoAlf

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that's what gamefaqs is for :)