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Miyamoto on PS3, Industry

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-a-nice-guy dept.

55

The Guardian Gamesblog has a talk up with Shigeru Miyamoto, where they get into his views on the PS3 delay, and the industry as a whole. From the article: "Any announcement about PS3 will affect Nintendo. But we don't see it as a competition between the two consoles, although the customers always do. It depends on what expectations people have of the PS3 and Revolution. Sony has taken a long time to create their machine but it is obvious that the direction we (Nintendo) are taking is different to the PS3."

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RTFA? No need for that. (3, Informative)

amrust (686727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942260)

His views on the PS3 were basically covered in the quote.

Why does this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942265)

This article appeared on the front page, but when you click the link you get:
404 File Not Found
The requested URL (games/06/03/17/163211.shtml) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.
After a few hours, then the link starts to work...What gives?

Re:Why does this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942457)

It always seems to be the very first link if it isn't a full article. I think as soon as it moves down, it starts working.

No suprise (4, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942332)

Nintendo is trying for a much different audience. Not the college kids getting together for Halo/Ghost Recon/Counterstrike matches, not the 80hours/week MMORPG addicts, not the fans who buy consoles just for sports games.

Nintendo is going for the casual "family" audience. Nintendo is going for what made the original NES great. I hope they can pull it off. Nintendo right now is competing with themselves, not MS or Sony.

Re:No suprise (2, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942408)

Why is the market (supposedly) segmented like that?

Shouldn't any machine capable of playing the FPS games also be capable of playing the "family" games?

Is it that parents don't want to own a machine that is capable of playing GTA?

Is it the plastic case around the machine?

Re:No suprise (4, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942484)

IMHO it's a matter of price. In the XBox/PS2/Gamecube generation the price separation was less, but still there. In this coming generation the price separation is widening. To buy the XBox-360/PS3, gaming has to be a higher priority in your life to justify the money. That narrows it down to harder-core gamers, which tends to mean more intense games. The market it appears that Nintendo is going after wants a bit more, the way technology always seems to deliver, but isn't willing to make it a high priority, financially.

The price is gonna drop you know? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944617)

seriously, console manufacturers design with long term cost cuts in mind these days. Sony and MS will hit the hardcore up for whatever they can and then gradually drop the price, subsidising losses with software and accessory sales.

Re:The price is gonna drop you know? (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945422)

Still, the price of a PS2 isn't nearly what I expected it to be - though I do see the original XBox for about $100. I think I saw the PS2 at Best Buy last month for like 179 and scoffed loudly enough for the entire store to hear, but now I see it on Amazon for 149. And yes, I know all of their sales associates have copulated with the Devil's rigid, icy member. I hate them too.

I'm sure I could get a well-loved console for next to nothing, but I don't want that.

The Revolution doesn't have to be that cheap in order to grab some market share. Yeah, the 360's prices are inflated because of production shortfalls, but I don't think it's gonna get that low that quickly. Besides, these days people spend $300-400 on MP3 players - and almost everyone I know has one.

Re:The price is gonna drop you know? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946040)

And Nintendo will be doing the same. They all play that good old game, "Know your market."

Gamer = High Priced (1)

airos4 (82561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948674)

And then the Neo Geo was spawned, where we all found out that there is indeed an upper limit to what the "average gamer" is willing to pay.

You know, this is an attitude that ticks me off that is being championed. "Ganers" do not have unlimited wallets or the desire to have those wallets vacuumed. Yes, I am willing to pay more for hardware or software that is substantially different or more advanced. No, I am not willing to pay more for something that is extremely similar but has a "gamer" label slapped on it. Sound cards and system cases are not inherently better because of a blue LED and the word "Gamer" in the title.

Just put out a quality product, compete in the market, and gamers will notice and buy your stuff. Promise.

Re:No suprise (3, Insightful)

ectal (949842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942572)

I think Nintendo is mostly betting on the existence of a market that doesn't want to spend $400-500 for a console that has a huge catalog of $60 titles that can mostly be sliced into categories like Yet Another Shooter Part IV and Major Sports Game Early January 2007 Edition.

In other words, it's all about the software. A good comparison comes from looking at the Nintendo DS and the PSP. The PSP is an amazing and sexy little piece of hardware with a catalog of same-old, same-old games. The DS is an unsexy, somewhat dated piece of hardware with a great catalog of games that often defy categorization (of course, it's sprinkled with the usual trash titles, as well). The DS is dominating the PSP.

But just because Nintendo's strategy is working so well in the handheld market, with they've owned for years, that doesn't mean any of this will matter when the Revolution comes out. The home console market is not the handheld market. I'd like to see the Revolution do well, and I think it will. But I'm a little bit of a fanboy, just praying it doesn't sink.

If nothing else, we're set up for a much more interesting console battle than the last round.

Sony and MS have overshot me completely (3, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942643)

38-year-old father of 12-year-old twins here.

I have no interest in either the cost or the catalogs for either the 360 or the prospective PS3. The Revolution interests me both for my kids and for myself, and is far easier on the pocketbook to contemplate.

The other two consoles are positing the existence of a much, much wider hardcore gamers' market than exists, and pricing themselves out of a significant share of that.

Nintendo is also, astonishingly, the only player that's projecting any sense of fricking fun with its products. It's amazing.

Re:Sony and MS have overshot me completely (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943452)

I'm a pretty "hardcore gamer" type.

I can't even fathom spending $400 on a console.

Why do that when you can build a decent gaming PC for $600? The mouse is a superior controller, you can get joysticks if you want, you have the internet connection already, and you can play a huge array of games.

Four players per machine on a console (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944212)

Why [spend $400 on a console] when you can build a decent gaming PC for $600?

Because on the PC, you typically need a cluster in order to handle four simultaneous players (combination of one or more of you, your kids, their play dates). Such a cluster costs $2400 and needs an extra monitor for each player. A console, on the other hand, costs only $200 to $400 and can use the same monitor that you already use for your DVD player. It would be different if you could plug four gamepads into a machine and have PC games actually recognize them, but most commercial PC games tend to restrict themselves to one player per machine. Not all four-player games are split-screen; many, such as * Party or Bomberman, use a shared view instead of a split screen.

you can get joysticks if you want

What good will buying four joysticks do if the game will only let me use one at a time per PC?

and you can play a huge array of games

Which does include independent games, granted, but notably does not include any games similar to Smash Bros. or Katamari.

Re:Sony and MS have overshot me completely (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944383)

Depends of the game, playing platform games (mario-style, especially 2D) or good ol' Double Dragon or Ghouls and Ghosts plain sucks on a keyboard.

On the other hand, you can't beat keyboard'n mouse for FPS or 3D RPGs.

Re:Sony and MS have overshot me completely (1)

Psiven (302490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945611)

So you don't want to spend a ton of money, but want the precision control of a mouse? Someone should really make a console that has those things.

Re:Sony and MS have overshot me completely (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14947517)

Sounds like the Revolution to me. The Rev controller kind of sounds like a "3D mouse".

Re:Sony and MS have overshot me completely (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944512)

I've been playing games for twenty years and I honestly can't agree with "360/PS3 is for the hardcore market". I would call myself hardcore, but the Xbox had very few worth while games and the 360 so far has none and well I don't see anything on the PS3 worth watching.

The MS and Sony market is the "upgrade" market. They just remade their current consoles with better stuff inside it. Then upped the price and continued down the same path. There really is nothing remotely hardcore about them or the catalog of games they'll produce. Games are now more casual than ever with very few exceptions (Devil may cry, RPG and such).

Re:No suprise (2, Interesting)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943866)

"I'd like to see the Revolution do well, and I think it will. But I'm a little bit of a fanboy, just praying it doesn't sink."

I didn't used to be a Nintendo fanboy. I didn't play the GBA too much, and I played more PS than N64. But then I bought a DS. Once I saw how cool and useful the touch screen was, I was more than ready to listen to whatever they were pitching for their innovative new console, especially at the $150-$250 price range. Unless it's the next Virtual Boy, I'm planning on picking one up shortly after it comes out. You know, as long as I can get Smash Bros. or something for it.

Re:No suprise (1)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943071)

With the GameCube vs PS2, it's:

- The controllers (very easy to use and understand, big green main button)
- simpler hardware design (mechanical eject lever vs. the bizarre arrangement on the PS2)
- four contoller ports, standard
- price
- first-party game catalog focused on family fun

Re:No suprise (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943277)

With the PS2 you have

- The controllers (extra buttons make it flexible for use in a number of roles, like the N64's was, and the GameCube's isn't)
- I'm not sure what a mechanical eject lever is, but I'm pretty sure the PS2 has one too now. Not that there was anything wrong with a completely ordinary DVD-drive tray
- Price: hardly relevant anymore. They're both rock-bottom.
- Third-party game catalog focused on variety and just good games.

But yes, Sony's multitap stupidity does just suck ;)

Re:No suprise (1)

the_hoser (938824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944502)

Tell me about it... jeez... I had to go through six different multitaps to find one that worked for my ps2. After playing my gamecube for so long I kinda took the 4 controller thing for granted...

Some of the new GC games coming look really sexy... as well as some of the ones that just came out...

I'm having a blast with Chibi-Robo right now...

Re:No suprise (1)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944608)

"- The controllers (extra buttons make it flexible for use in a number of roles, like the N64's was, and the GameCube's isn't)
- I'm not sure what a mechanical eject lever is, but I'm pretty sure the PS2 has one too now. Not that there was anything wrong with a completely ordinary DVD-drive tray"

GCN controller has the same number of buttons as the N64... they just rolled the C-Buttons into a stick... The C-Buttons were designed to be camera control buttons, but got outfitted to a numerous amount of other uses.

The problem with the dvd-drive is that the motor wears out. My PS2 which I've only had for 3 years is making this weird grinding noise whenever it ejects. I've seen PC CD-ROM drives go longer than that without grinding noises.

Re:No suprise (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945634)

- Power switch on the back turns the unit off, but not on. Doesn't retract the drive tray, unless you flip it to "on" while the tray is out.
- Power switch on the front, when pressed, pulls in the drive tray and resets the console.
- Power switch on the front turns the unit on, but not off, unless you hold it down, which is as far from obvious as you can get. Also pulls in the tray before turning the unit off, which isn't all that obvious either.


Wow. You turn the switch on in the back. You leave it on.

...

...

Wow.

Re:No suprise (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946636)

You know, for the first month or two, I myself thought it was pretty retarded to put the power switch on the back of the unit.

Until one day I held the reset button in longer than normal. *blink* unit turns off, sucks drive in (sleep mode)...

Ahhh. Much nicer than reaching around to the back.

And yes, it makes sense to suck the drive tray in. It's turning off for gods sake - you don't just leave your computer CD-ROM tray sticking out as you tell it to power down, do you? :) jeeesh.

Re:No suprise (1)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945015)

There's plenty wrong with an "ordinary" DVD drive tray. It's inherently more complicated and fragile than a simple mechanical door, so you have to keep it away from children.

When I say "bizarre", I'm referring to the combination of the drive tray and the power button, which you must admit is just strange:

- Power switch on the back turns the unit off, but not on. Doesn't retract the drive tray, unless you flip it to "on" while the tray is out.
- Power switch on the front, when pressed, pulls in the drive tray and resets the console.
- Power switch on the front turns the unit on, but not off, unless you hold it down, which is as far from obvious as you can get. Also pulls in the tray before turning the unit off, which isn't all that obvious either.

Compare GameCube:
- lid button opens the lid. Pushing down on the lid closes the lid.
- power button turns the unit off if it's on, and on if it's off.
- reset button resets the unit.

Obviously the PS2 is attempting to emulate the behavior of a typical ATX PC at the time, but why? Also, referring to the new PS2 and the current prices isn't so relevant, as the consoles are about to be replaced; the differences between them were more important years ago.

Re:No suprise (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946676)

The "power" button on the front of the PS2 is 2 things:

1. If the unit is in "standby", pressing the button brings out of standby and boots.
2. If the unit is "in use" and the button is tapped, it acts as a full-reset button for the system. This causes the system to reboot, and hence drags the tray in so that it can boot whatever is in the tray.
3. If the unit is "in use" and the button is pressed >2 secs(?), it places the unit in standby, after ensuring the drive tray is "put away". This way it doesn't stick out for others to mess with.... In addition, the LED on the front of said button changes to RED to indicate standby.

You can also wake the unit by hitting the drive-eject button. Will cause the machine to boot, but not suck the drive tray in (because you pressed the eject button, the drive tray happily zooms out for you..) Then you must either hit the reset button to reboot again and suck in the drive tray, or hit the eject button one more time to suck in the drive tray.

It's not that difficult, and makes perfect sense. PS2 didn't want you to physically turn the unit off; possible damage to drive tray if it's left open and someone comes by and gives it a good whack.

Re:No suprise (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943381)

Shouldn't any machine capable of playing the FPS games also be capable of playing the "family" games?

It should, but the reverse isn't necessarily true: a machine capable of playing the "family" games may not be capable of playing the high-performance FPS/driving/simulation games.

So it makes sense that a company like Nintendo, who has always had a focus on gameplay over glitter, would distance themselves from the textured-polygon arms race -- but I don't understand why Sony and Microsoft, and their developers, seem so hesitant to wade into the "family" waters. Have they forfeited that market to Nintendo already? Is there just a lack of developer creativity?

Surprise! Nintendo can be both. (4, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942577)

I agree that Nintendo is trying to pitch to a family audience the other two have been outcooling themselves away from. It's not necessarily that they wanted to be focused only on their core of support, though. The DS had launch titles and so on being pitched with the supposedly-edgy theme "Touching is okay," and seemed to be attempting to bring their demographic up the age chart a while.

It's not clear that it happened for them. In retrospect it looks like the DS has thrived because it was trying to do something a little different, unlike the competition -- but did it really crack that older demographic?

Personally I am the family market, with two 12-year-olds. I'm also the older market: I'm 38, and I've bought my share of games, though none for myself in the last year-plus.

The Revolution is where my money will go, no question, for the simple reason that it's going to be far less expensive to buy for my kids, it has a tiny sense of innocence to it which I think you kind of fricking want in a game, and it's going to be actually interesting to see new titles because of the funky controller.

So they got me in both senses. Even if I was just buying for myself, what would make me want a PS3 or XBox? The incremental changes in hardware specs are dullsville. Shaq sweats on screen, but the game mechanics still don't let him rebound with any realism at all. At that price, too, for my limited taste in games now, no way. (That's leaving alone the cost of real HD, which I'm not going to be picking up in the next year or two.)

Both MS and Sony have vastly overshot me, as a market. Nintendo hasn't, and they're trying to rediscover the fun in the whole thing. They win my cash.

Re:Surprise! Nintendo can be both. (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14947140)

The Revolution is where my money will go, no question, for the simple reason that it's going to be far less expensive to buy for my kids, it has a tiny sense of innocence to it which I think you kind of fricking want in a game, and it's going to be actually interesting to see new titles because of the funky controller.

While the console itself is important, and I think your image of it is dead on, it's not just the console you need to buy: there are games too. There will undoubtedly be a healthy amount of more adult-oriented titles (not the focus, but they'll be there, especially 3rd-party-wise), and although the system will probably cost less, will the games? The upper bound retail price (at least on Amazon) for both DS and PSP games is about $40, with both having some games cheaper than that. PS2 and GC games both sell for around $50 (or less, like before). This is their business model, they make much more off the games than consoles. If the games start costing less, they've either (a) become a company that doesn't want profit (you can believe this one if you really want to), or (b) started spending less on development, etc. to keep their profit margin. It's possible it might cost less to develop revolution games, but I'm just trying to show that "costs less" and "innocence" aren't assumptions one can really make at this point (though Nintendo probably wants people to). I agree that the games themselves will probably be pretty awesome with the addition of the controller, though.

Re:No suprise (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942706)

The positioning (and pricing?) of the Reveolution has always meant that you will buy it plus one of either Sony or Microsoft's consoles. At least it has for me.

Sports/driving/FPS from Sony or MS and inovative, quirky and fun games from Nintendo.

Re:No suprise (2, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943393)

[Nintendo's not going for] the college kids getting together for Halo/Ghost Recon/Counterstrike matches,

In my experience, there are at least as many casual college gamers as those who consider themselves "hardcore". The casual ones seem to have given up on modern games, only playing things like old consoles and casual PC games (and, of course, when I pull out Guitar Hero).

You might say that this is the "casual" audience, but then there are people like me who really used to be gamers but have burned out because of how ridiculous games/the industry are today.

The real question is... (3, Insightful)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942511)

... can Miyamoto's vision of a PS3/XBox 360 peacefully coexhisting with a Revolution in the same living room be real? He states it himself when he said that the customer sees the systems as competition. He's going to have to find a way to convince everyone in the world that they are both worth the time and money.

I love Nintendo, but it seems like Miyamoto's sitting there, looking at the cup of hemlock. Just like Socrates. Both are/were in high spirits and thought their course of action was for the best. Hopefully Nintendo avoids this fate.

On further reflection, it's not quite that good of an analogy, as Socrates was ordered to drink his...

Re:The real question is... (2, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942662)

I think it is and here is why, that is the state of things in the US right now many households eather have 2 or three consoles attached to one TV or PS2s Xboxes and Gamecubes attached to diffrent TVs. I see no reason for this to change for the new generation because even if the consoles are exspensive there are always going to be diffrent tastes in games among the people in a household.

Re:The real question is... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942679)

Idk about the XBox 360, but the revolution and the PS3 are clearly different, since the PS3 is a computer and a media server (or at least is supposed to be).

Re:The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942926)

Your analogy is terrible because it assumes that the Revolution was a mistake that dooms both Myiamoto and Nintendo as a whole; this is simply not the case. That fact is that in any market the best way to be successful is to have a high quality produce that is (noticably) different from your competition. The fact is that Myiamoto was stating the obvious, that people assume that 2 similar products are in direct competition; but is a Toyota Echo really in competition with a F350 with the dualies?

I'm not sure whether or not the Revolution will be successful; I do know that the XBox 360 and PS3 will provide similar features, have similar graphical quality, a similar price point, and a library which is nearly identical (even games which are exclusive will be ballanced out by another game on the opposite platform). The Revolution is Different than either the PS3 or XBox 360 which can only benefit Nintendo in my opinion. What Nintendo's success comes down to is whether Nintendo (and third parties) can create games which take advantage of the uniqueness of the Revolution and provide new experiances; games like Nintendogs, Trauma Center, Meteos, Electroplanktin, and Brain Training were for the Nintendo DS.

Re:The real question is... (1)

realityfighter (811522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945780)

Wow...what a great troll! You even managed to fit some ancient Greek philosophy in there - good for you!

Competition is good for everyone, as long as the competition exists in the media and not in business practices. The console flame wars are ensuring that more people will buy all three. (Just like boy band rivalries ensure higher record sales on both sides.)

That said, Nintendo's marketing has tried to convert to a sort of "intra-genre" format. They're framing the current media storm so that they are on one "side" and Sony and Microsoft are allied together on the other. The Nintendo side being affordability and innovation, and the "other" side being expensive and conventional (again, according to Nintendo's marketing.) This is taking the steam out of Sony and Microsofts mutual rivalry by making them seem homogenous - removing the level of difference between them. (And I can't say Sony and Microsoft are doing anything to truly differentiate their consoles - but then again, this is part of the boy band rivalry formula: the two products are the same except for how you *feel* about them.)

So when Nintendo says they aren't competing with Sony or Microsoft, that their product is totally different and will occupy its own niche, their real message is really that: A) their product will be so valuable for its cost that it won't matter if you have another console already, and B) it doesn't really matter whether you buy a 360 or a PS3, and there's certainly no point in buying both. Their message seems to be getting into the mainstream, because even their critics are using their competitors' products mashed together with a slash between them.

Re:The real question is... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14945847)

Allow me to clarify. When I say that Miyamoto may be staring at the Hemlock, I mean the idea that consumers (will) view the Rev as a completely differt product. Your average non-gamer consumer, or what have you is not nearly as well informed. I'm surprised all the time by people who don't know what an X Box is (no, I don't live on a farm). Or people who buy a game expecting it to work on any old system (mostly parents). Just listen in on a few conversations at Wal-Mart or Target. Many people genuinly have no idea what games are. The same people have trouble understanding why a DVD player won't play their old VHS cassetts.

Nintendo says they're a company that makes games. The other guys say they're making multimedia living room computers or whatever. Joe Consumer sees the word "vidoe game" when he reads Nintendo, Playstation, or XBox (Not really on Microsoft). That's a mighty hurdle for any company to vault.

Re:The real question is... (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946273)

I think Nintendo has the perfect way to coutneract that particular issue. When you're in Wal-Mart, and there's two demo stations with standard controllers, and a 3rd demo station with a remote control that people are waving around, you're gonna notice a difference.

Re:The real question is... (1)

realityfighter (811522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946281)

Then maybe this move on Nintendo's part is a good thing. Sony and Microsoft are drowning each other out in similar rhetoric, a shared library of ports, and a general dissociation from the game content that their machines run; that can't be helping that hurdle get any lower.

This is why I call their strategy "intra-genre." If Nintendo gets the word out that their console is significantly different, Nintendo effectively separates itself from the other two consoles. Effectively this puts their product in a different "genre" than the XBox or the PS3, allowing it to flourish in it's own space. This effect can be seen in the PC section of Frys, where games are categorized by genre. You can pick a "best in category" for each genre (FPS, Adventure, Strategy, Puzzle) without comparing, say, SWAT 4 and Civ 4 - you shouldn't compare them, because they're in different genres. What's more, you have reason to buy BOTH of them, because they're both the "best" in their respective genres.

Now I know you're thinking, "Yeah, but it just won't work." There are several reasons to think that it will.

For one, there's the pricing. A two hundred dollar price difference is enough to make someone think that the two products are fundamentally different - a marketing strategy commonly used to sell indistinguishable products for vastly inflated prices. Why on earth then would this strategy work in favor of the cheaper product? Parents. When you're selling directly to the consumer, a higher price tag means a precision experience and a level of prestige, but when you're getting at the consumer through a second party - to wit, their children - the higher priced item is likely to come across as inaccessible and arcane, which is exactly how most non-gamer parents feel about the current generation of consoles. If Nintendo can get more parents to see their system as simple, cheap and fun - more toy than tool - then they have a much better chance of getting to their pocketbooks.

The pricing also means that anyone who can afford either of the other consoles can afford a Revolution, too. And the people who can't afford the other consoles...can probably afford the Revolution. It's a good market position to settle yourself in.

Another (small) contributing factor is the fact that the Revolution won't have hi-def support. This means that Nintendo isn't expecting people to plug the Rev into their expensive main TV; they want it plugged into a different TV, say, in a kid's room. This is a great way of illustrating how non-competition can give you an advantage; the 360 seems to demand to be plugged into the most expensive, biggest TV possible (and some people have postulated that the 360 is actually trying to sell these expensive TVs). The Revolution isn't as demanding, therefore it will get bought and plugged into smaller, more common TV sets.

Of course, there's the elephant-in-the-room controller. It doesn't look like a current game system or control like a current game system, so people aren't likely to associate it with the NESes and PlayStations of former decades. People, especially parents, really do think that console gaming is pressing little buttons in order - something that further enforces the idea of gaming as something arcane and distant to them. Of course, Nintendo is partly to blame for this image, as they were the ones that pumped up the "master the game" consumerism in the 1980s. (But they've noticed that point and click games like Bejeweled have become ubiquitous in the vaccum created by gaming elitism.)

On a similar note, how easy will it be, do you think, to port to and from the Revolution? Code will likely be technically portable, but the interface will be very different. The likely result will be an entirely different library of games, which is going to differentiate the product even further. (So far, this has worked very well in favor of the DS, even with games that were essentially tech demos.)

The only thing Nintendo really has to worry about is the image that their "different" system is inferior to more traditional schemes. To that effect, their name is going to carry a lot of the burden in selling the Revolution, and they are gambling with their reputation here, make no mistake; but the deciding factor in that will be the actual quality of the hardware, not the way they market it. Their marketing side is very strong.

Re:The real question is... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948116)

It's my hope that Nintendo can pull it off, and I'm with them all the way. I believe you're right that their pricing model (should be) is thier strongest point (if I read your post correctly). The more reasonable price is like the box is saying, "Hey, we're still in this for the fun."

They make most of the best games I've ever played (Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Smash Bros, Mario Kart...). I'd hate to have to sift through everyone elses trash to find a descent game for all time (I've had to do so as often as I was waiting for a new system from Nintendo, like now).

Re:The real question is... (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14946110)

... can Miyamoto's vision of a PS3/XBox 360 peacefully coexhisting with a Revolution in the same living room be real? He states it himself when he said that the customer sees the systems as competition. He's going to have to find a way to convince everyone in the world that they are both worth the time and money.


When he said that Nintendo is not competing with the PS3/Xbox 360, what he's saying is that the Revolution is intended* for a different living room than the PS3/Xbox 360, not that he sees it coexisting.

It makes sense in terms of how the companies see their products; Sony and Microsoft don't see their consoles as game systems, but as general-purpose entertainment/digital media systems. For both, they are components of the digital home. For Sony, the PS is the hub; for Microsoft, the Xbox is an accessory to your PC (that is, of course, running Windows). Whether you agree with their vision or not is beside the point; this is their vision of their products, and this is the market they're spending themselves into massive debt to capture. For them, gaming is just a way to get a foothold in your home to promote other technologies; q.v. Apple's iPod for another way.

Nintendo has been in business for over a century as a game and toy manufacturer. They see the game console as a way to play games. Ever since the fall of Atari, they've had the same analysis of the industry: The key to success is a high signal-to-noise ratio; the key to failure is a low signal-to-noise ratio. And although none of the "me too" titles released for the PS/Xbox families are as bad as, say, Atari 2600 Pac-Man, do you really need more than a handful of variants on any given genre in any given market? The repetition is contributing to a poor signal-to-noise ratio.

You don't need to agree with Nintendo's vision, either. It's clearly a different vision from what Microsoft and Sony have for what they're selling and how you will use it. And that's why they don't see the PS3 as a competitor.

* I find it funny that I originally typed "intendo" here

People will buy it. (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14947865)

He's going to have to find a way to convince everyone in the world that they are both worth the time and money.

Actually, I don't think so. I would guess that most casual gamers will find the Revolution to be an attractive proposition: Interesting console, acceptable price and fun games for the whole family. Hardcore gamers, on the other hand, don't need to be convinced to buy more than one console. If the Revolution turns out to have a few great games (Metroid Prime Revolution?), they will buy it.

Miyamoto-san in headlights (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942561)

This [guardian.co.uk] is the most awesome photograph ever.

Re:Miyamoto-san in headlights (1)

schapman (703722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943147)

Lies.. this one is clearly better WE'RE BACK [imageshack.us]

Re:Miyamoto-san in headlights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14944297)

Sorry, but this photograph [the-nextlevel.com] would be the best ever.

Wow. What a GREAT news story! (sigh) (3, Insightful)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942586)

So Miyamoto-san thinks there will be gamers for both the PS3 AND the Revolution? Their approach to video games are different? Wow! Who'da'thunkit?

Slow news day, eh? :)

Someone care to post the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942812)

for those of us who can get to slashdot but can't get to the websites it links to b/c of their job's content filter? Thanks!

Re:Someone care to post the article... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14944116)

A developer interview normally goes something like this. Turn up, chat to PR (if available, otherwise receptionist) meet head dev guy, chat about game and marvel at high level of caffeine-inspired dedication on display. But having an interview delayed because the developer is having his photo taken with the preceding journalist? Nah, never happened. Until yesterday that is, but then Shigeru Miyamoto isn't your average game creator. His mightily impressive CV - Mario, Zelda, Pikmin (hey, I liked it) - means he is revered by gamers of a certain age who grew up playing his seminal titles. My only other meeting with him was about five years ago on a roundtable discussion in Japan. The abiding memory is of a swarm of US journalists getting their copies of Ocarina of Time signed. Again, not something that normally happens in an interview. The interview was supposed to be part of the general Animal Crossing promotional push, but Miyamoto was happy to chat about far wider issues. Lovely.

Do you feel that Nintendo has been late in getting involved in online gaming?

I've been involved in looking at online gaming for a while now. We are responsible to the shareholders in the company so everything we do has to make sense financially. Until recently we have felt that we couldn't make money out of online gaming. It has been very difficult for online games to become an authentic business in this industry.

But there has to be an interesting aspect to online gaming to make it worthwhile. I am a game designer myself and what I want to do is make a variety of new games. If we have an online game I would have to spend all my time looking after one game. There are a lot of hurdles to be crossed to run an online game but we have fixed some of these, such as ease of connection and security. Now that the Nintendo wi-fi service has done so well we are ready to develop it further.

How important is it to widen the market behind gaming's core audience?

We need to widen the appeal of gaming to include more of the general public as it is hard to sustain the current audience. There is a big line separating gamers and non-gamers. We are trying to create games that excite everyone. From the hardware side we want to create an easy interface so people can say, "this I can touch". We designed the DS with this concept in mind. When we advertise the DS we never call it an advanced version of the Game Boy Advance but rather a new entertainment gadget. Our mission right now is to find subjects that will appeal to general people and create a new market.
(at this point, Miyamoto asks me what I had for dinner two nights ago. Thrown? You betcha.)
This question is how we advertise Brain Training in Japan and has helped us appeal to more people. Our research on Nintendogs has shown that many players are females in their 20s. What we are seeing is a lot of different people who never used to play games are playing on the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately we are running short of DS to sell!

Was redesign of the DS a belated recognition that how a product looks is as important as what it does? Can you explain the thinking behind the redesign?
The main aim was to make it much more portable. This is the upgraded and more gorgeous version of the DS. We have made it lighter and the screen is adjustable and brighter. Portability was the most important factor.

How different is it creating games now compared to when you started out?
When we started our mission was to create some new entertainment within the limited machinery available. Game and Watch is a good example, with a LCD screen. All you could think about were the tiny dots. Which ones can be displayed, which ones erased. So within those limitations we had to think about how we could entertain people. Today our ability to express ourselves is much bigger and wider. There are so many different functionalities we can chose from now and we can express ourselves easier. But how we are going to express ourselves is going to be more and more important to make the difference between each game.

Sony and Microsoft are focussing on the technical capabilities of their consoles, such as power and graphics. Nintendo's focus seems to be away from this now. Can you explain the thinking behind this?
In the very beginning we were confined by the technology and it restricted how we could express ourselves. That has changed now, but we think that games can't be improved by just focussing on the graphics which is the direction that most of the industry has been heading. Nintendo is very unique, we are an entertainment company. For a long time now we have been concerned by the direction of the industry. Our competitors are talking about beefed-up graphics and better technology. We could fight in that area but we think it is not necessary and we would rather focus on what Nintendo can do uniquely. We want to get a balance between powerful CPU's or beautiful graphics and making the technology comfortable and appealing. We created the DS and Revolution with this philosophy and concept in mind.

2005 was a poor year for game sales generally. Do you think consumers are bored with sequels and the same-old titles?
It's not necessarily that people are getting tired of videogames per se but the problem the industry faces is that it is creating titles that are similar to other ones. Platform holders usually say we have this great number of titles available but what really matters is variety of titles. Customers are more interested in variety and quality then straight quantity. Too many game creators listen to requests from existing gamers who simply want beefed-up versions of existing games. Also, shareholders may be worried about financing games that are different as they are seen as too risky. A lot of creators have lost the ability to create something new. But at Nintendo we are unique as we create new and innovative hardware. You don't always need big budgets. Look at Brain Training, which has been a great success and didn't cost much to create. One of my aims is to let game creators know that they shouldn't feel constricted by budget. If you have a good idea, we have the money.

Do you have any comments on the PlayStation 3 announcement?
Any announcement about PS3 will affect Nintendo. But we don't see it as a competition between the two consoles, although the customers always do. It depends on what expectations people have of the PS3 and Revolution. Sony has taken a long time to create their machine but it is obvious that the direction we (Nintendo) are taking is different to the PS3.

And that was that. I didn't get time to ask some of your more specific questions or more details of the Revolution (all will be revealed at E3). Miyamoto's business card may say Senior Managing Director but I got the impression he still enjoys creating games as much as he ever did. Or maybe he had had too much coffee, either way the industry could do with more like him.

The Pope talks about Brokeback's Oscar Snub (1)

FryingDutchman (891770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943098)

Seems to me that Miyamoto's view that the PS3 and Rev are non-competitors is shared by his audience - and that if he does feel that way then answering questions about the PS3 seems out of his realm of concern. Makes me wonder why, given the opportunity to talk shop with the Uber-mancer at Nintendo Guardian chose to base the brunt of their discussion on PS3. Are they trying to hype that near-dead horse into a fine paste? Or is it (as my title suggests) just nonsequitous sensationalism?

The Direction Miyamato is talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14943892)

The Direction Miyamato is talking about for Nintendo, IMHO is 'Oblivion.'

seminal (0)

StingRayGun (611541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14944583)

"means he is revered by gamers of a certain age who grew up playing his semenal titles."

sick, i'm not playing with anyone's semenal titles.

Except my own of course.

Which I am doing now.

More of the same? (1)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14947809)

Personally both the 360 and PS3 hold no interest to me whatsoever, and I've been playing games since the heady days of Monkey Island and FF VI. Both of them have very strong corporate agendas behind them, and they don't include gaming (remember, the thing you buy a GAMES console for?)

Microsoft wants to push Windows and their own online services into the living room, and they're not exactly responsible in the way they approach business. Sony on the other hand wants to push Blu-ray, not to mention having a recent history of treating customers like criminals which doesn't bode well for the DRM side of things.

Not to say that Nintendo didn't have its share of monopoly leveraging going on in the late 80's when they were convicted of anti-competitive behaviour, but they've since been brought down by market forces and appear to have gained a new focus. Kinda like the IBM of today.

Maybe every company needs to be brought down every once in a while when they get too big and turn too greedy in order for them to remember why people liked their products in the first place.

So in short, it's the Revolution for me. It's likely to be cheap, doesn't come with DRM bundled, takes an innovative approach to the controller (we hope) and it's built for gaming, period. The alternative is more of the same along with questionable agendas which may, or may not be, in my best interest.

Re:More of the same? (1)

j.bellone (684938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948657)

So in short, it's the Revolution for me. It's likely to be cheap, doesn't come with DRM bundled, takes an innovative approach to the controller (we hope) and it's built for gaming, period. The alternative is more of the same along with questionable agendas which may, or may not be, in my best interest.


So one of the reasons that you're buying the Revolution is because it does not come with "DRM" bundled? How exactly do you know this? It's going to be playing DVDs, therefore, it has DRM by default because of that. Nintendo is going to be sure that you cannot take the games that you bought from their online store on the PC. There's DRM right there. Do you think they're going to let you copy those CDs and give them to your buddy up the street? Nope. There's some more DRM.

I don't see why you put this company in a different light than Sony/Microsoft. Their console is going to have DRM as well.
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