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GDC - Miyamoto Delivers Developer-Focused Keynote

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-the-master-speaks-you-freaking-listen dept.

Nintendo 84

The legendary Shigeru Miyamoto brought attendees of last night's Game Developer's Choice Awards to their feet when he received the Lifetime Achievement award. Today, Miyamoto had the chance to share the vision Nintendo used when designing the DS and the Wii. In a keynote focused solely on development, he outlined the three keys to their corporate vision, and the elements that make up his own outlook on game design. No explosive new titles or plans were announced, but in its own way Miyamoto's quiet call to arms was powerful and exciting. Read on for a few notes of my own, and links to coverage from other sites.With an enthusiastic introduction from GDC director Jamil Moledina, the keynote beings. A GDC 07 Keynote Wii Channel is shown on screen, and the crowd goes nuts as a Jamil and Miyamoto Miis are displayed. Bill Toyden is there as well to translate. Miyamoto-san is here today to illustrate three points about the Nintendo vision, and their corporate outlook.

The first is the concept of expanded audience. He illustrates using a very humorous story about the notching up of the 'wife-o-meter'. Miyamoto's wife, historically not a big gamer, has been converted by games like Nintendogs, Wii Sports, and the concept behind the Wii.

The second concept is balance. At Nintendo, engineers and software developers work closely together. He talks about the development of the Wiimote, which was a long process involving numerous iterations and members from a number of different teams. They took the balance to the extreme, taking software and hardware discussions down blind alleys and in numerous directions. They wondered if they even needed a new console, with the advent of popular handheld systems.

He sees console-making as a responsibility, though. They have to make games, make fun games, and make tools available to allow game developers to make new and interesting experiences.

The third concept is risk.The company took on the challenge of questioning what exactly is a videogame. The DS and its games are the perfect example. The ultimate goal was fun, again. The Wii was the ultimate risk. GameCube was just a half step, with the large A button. With the Wii they had to choose to keep evolving the hardware or go down a new path.

There were concerns for everyone in the company. Miyamoto acted as an evangelist inside the company. "Don't think about what will be lost, concentrate on what will be gained." The more he talked about it with Mr. Iwata, the better both of them felt about it. It wasn't until last E3 when they knew the risk was worth taking.

Corporate vision is essential, but corps don't make videogames: people do. (Lots of cheers at that statement.) He wants to share his own personal vision, then. His primary focus in development is not individual elements; the vision that he keeps is the core element of fun in the game. He imagines the face of the gamer while they're playing the game. As an entertainer, he wants to be entertained.

Emotion, then, is what he focuses on. He wants things to be positive, but whatever emotion you're aiming for is fine. As long as you want to draw out something in specific from a player, you've succeeded.

I know these notes are very brief, but Mr. Miyamoto spoke at length in very high-level terms. Overall, I will say that the crowd seemed less attentive than it did at the end of Sony's event yesterday. Applause were still very loud when he brought his comments to an end, and my feeling was that many developers were affected by his words. On the way out through the crowds, many people were talking about how the statements he made applied to the work they did every single day. So despite Nintendo's decision not to make news today, Mr. Miyamoto still managed to affect the lives of the people in attendance today.

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Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enabled (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281068)

I think that shows that they are refocussing on who their core customers are.

Which is great for more games like The Sims (Wii Sims), Nintendogs, Cooking Mama, and casual RPGs, but not so great if you're a hard-core FPS/Sports gamer, unless you're into things like Wii Sports or maybe Extreme Aussie Rules Football, or Real Rugby.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (2, Insightful)

nicolastheadept (930317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281304)

No. Its good for everybody: EXPANDING markets.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281702)

Which is great for more games like The Sims (Wii Sims), Nintendogs, Cooking Mama, and casual RPGs, but not so great if you're a hard-core FPS/Sports gamer

Nintendo have never really made very many FPS games anyway - Metroid's about all. It's not as if they're going to try to stop people making FPS games for Wii. There are some decent-but-flawed ones out at the moment, and I'm convinced it's only a matter of time before someone comes out with a game that's Goldeneye good. My problem with the entire console FPS genre has always been that a gamepad is never anywhere near as good as mouse and keyboard. Goldeneye and Halo try, but in terms of control the best I've had on a console was DS Metroid Prime. Why? Because it has a proper pointer! And Wiimote + Nunchuck ought to be at least as good as Mouse + Keyboard for this kind of thing.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18287056)

Main problem is that the ubisoft shooters did not get the controls right they mapped a plain wsad control to the wii, that does not work, the wiimote is good for shooting and aiming but not good for directional control mouse replacement, the nunchuck should enable directional control and the wiimot should be pointer only, that schema probably works best, strafing could be done via the z button on the nunchuck, I am pretty sure the next bunch of fps games will do exactly that.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288560)

Get Rayman's Raving Rabbids. Based solely on the videos shown for it, I got a copy for my PC (no Wiis here...). Many of the minigames are silly, some are stupid, (and most are fun) but the on-rails shooter segments are frickin awesome. Yes, it's on rails. However, the experience is a hoot.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18282436)

I beg to differ, this change will at least decrease Divorces for gamers, and that is great. /sarcastic_undertone off

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (1)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283096)

You should try "Monkey Wars" from Super Monky Ball on the Wii. It's pretty fun, and awesome. By no means is it a complete FPS, but it definitely shows the potential for those games on the platform.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283764)

Not enough time, too many good games ... although, actually, I saw my first 1 out of 5 star review on G4TV for a Wii game a couple of nights ago ...

Sigh. I guess that means it's time to see lots of sub-standard games ported to the Wii ...

Wii Ports coming from DS and PS2 (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18284572)

Sigh. I guess that means it's time to see lots of sub-standard games ported to the Wii ...
It does seem like there are a lot of ports coming to the Wii, especially from the DS and PS2 platforms. The 1UP Yours [1up.com] podcast a few weeks ago talked about this phenomenon in detail.

On one hand, there is the negative connotation that ports are generally "sub-standard". On the other hand, the DS and PS2 are extremely popular platforms with some amazing games on them. And having a large game library (more choices) isn't such a bad thing. After all, many of the successful consoles in history have had humongous libaries, often filled with "sub-standard" games and ports (SNES, PS, PS2). If anything, it's a good thing that the Wii is building a hefty library, since the GameCube scene was relatively bare.

We as arguably "hardcore gamers" (who spend time posting on Slashdot, reading reviews, watching G4TV, etc.) will fortunately know what games to avoid, and what to pick up. So in the end, it's not so bad for us. After all, there are quite a few people that do buy and enjoy these "sub-standard" games (to each their own).

Re:Wii Ports coming from DS and PS2 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18290876)

On one hand, there is the negative connotation that ports are generally "sub-standard". On the other hand, the DS and PS2 are extremely popular platforms with some amazing games on them. And having a large game library (more choices) isn't such a bad thing. After all, many of the successful consoles in history have had humongous libaries, often filled with "sub-standard" games and ports (SNES, PS, PS2). If anything, it's a good thing that the Wii is building a hefty library, since the GameCube scene was relatively bare.

Well, I am looking forward to the Guitar Hero for the Wii. That should rock!

And the lineup for this year seems crammed full of good Wii games - my only concern is the paucity of decent RPG titles. Now if we could port a certain Molyneux game from the xBox ...

Re:Wii Ports coming from DS and PS2 (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302036)

And the lineup for this year seems crammed full of good Wii games - my only concern is the paucity of decent RPG titles. Now if we could port a certain Molyneux game from the xBox ...
Lionhead Studios [wikipedia.org] , makers of Fable [wikipedia.org] , were taken over by Microsoft Game Studios, so unfortunately for you, there's no chance of it being ported over to the Wii. That's too bad, since there were some pretty cool things revealed about Fable 2 at GDC.

As for RPGs for the Wii, I am looking forward to Super Paper Mario [1up.com] . It sounds like it's more platformer than RPG though, but should still be a quality game.

Of course, I still have to get a Wii first. It's March and it's still out of stock. Until it's just readily available at Best Buy or Costco next time I'm there, I won't be getting one. I refuse to do the whole waking up really early or calling stores constantly, etc. thing. There shouldn't be work involved in buying a console, especially one that's many months after ship ... *grumbles*

Re:Wii Ports coming from DS and PS2 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318453)

I think you can buy it online at Costco online [costco.com] and they will ship it to you.

The bundle they chose is pretty sweet, unlike the one I saw at EBX.

Re:Most interesting thing was the Wii as wife-enab (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18284702)

The shooter levels in Rayman Raving Rabbids represent another good example.

I can't wait for a real FPS to go on the Wii, and that's coming from someone who detests the genre.

Best part: DS wifi chat in audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18285174)

Best part of this keynote was the crazy DS wifi group chat going on in the audience. Tons of gamers, many with Nintendo DS's = crazy chatting going on. Perhaps the biggest live DS group chat in history. Heh.

it's more of a tracking device, really (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281082)

The first is the concept of expanded audience. He illustrates using a very humorous story about the notching up of the 'wife-o-meter'.

I have a wife-o-meter, but I was under the impression that it's only useful when I'm out with my girlfriend.

Re:it's more of a tracking device, really (0, Offtopic)

nbehary (140745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281204)

Replying to this to cancel a screwed up moderation....since when are moderations immediate? (taking effect w/o hitting the moderate button....anyone else seen this?)

Re:it's more of a tracking device, really (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281644)

Yeah, welcome to Web 2.No.

Re:it's more of a tracking device, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18282200)

It's part of the new discussion system. Been like that for a while now.

Did he dance around and sweat a lot? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281162)

And what's Japanese for "developers, developers, developers, developers?" [google.com]

Re:Did he dance around and sweat a lot? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281182)

Debereporesu, Debereporesu, Debereporesu, Debereporesu, ...

Re:Did he dance around and sweat a lot? (1)

Quzak (1047922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281592)

Yes, but that does not roll off the tongue quite like. "Anata wa baka desu" x4

Re:Did he dance around and sweat a lot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18285156)

I think 'diberoppaasu' or 'deberoppaasu' would be more accurate... Just to be a Japanese spelling nazi.

Yawn... (0, Flamebait)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281296)

That was alot of talk about nothing. Atleast, nothing new. Yes, we get it, Nintendo is targeting a more casual audience. We got that at E3 and have basically got that since the Wii was announced. I hope his translator was paid by the word. Poor bastard. Man that was boring.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281586)

Well, this was the Game DEVELOPERS Conference. I don't like the direction that Sony took it with all the media announcements.

It reminds me of when people were disappointed when no new consumer hardware (iPods) were announced at the Mac Developers Conference (who's name escapes me right now)....

I'm Glad Miyamoto focused on what the damn thing was for instead of building the hype machine...

Re:Yawn... (-1, Flamebait)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281710)

... but, he didnt. He mostly talked about the development of the Wii. Tell me one thing developers might have gotten from his long winded keynote?

Sony, yes, they abused it a bit to showoff. That said, they atleast announced stuff relevant to developers. The new best practices and GPU tools immediatly come to mind. Also, if what they demoed is actually their answer to live, and HOME is opened up to developers, it is very important to the developers to see the direction Sony is taking things.

Nintendo announced nothing. Sadly, I forgot the Slashdot hive mind was so pro Nintendo. Being quasi-ever so slightly critical of Miyamoto is going to get you modded to trolledom. I really have to stop posting to the game section of Slashdot...

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (0, Offtopic)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281972)

Nintendo announced nothing. Sadly, I forgot the Slashdot hive mind was so pro Nintendo. Being quasi-ever so slightly critical of Miyamoto is going to get you modded to trolledom. I really have to stop posting to the game section of Slashdot...

So, how's that stock price and game adoption rates working out for you at Sony? Seems to me the market is sending a very clear signal to you, even if you want to ignore it.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282028)

Sigh... yes, this wonderful leap of logic. That because I said something critical of a Miyamoto speech, im a Sony fanboy. Your grasp of logic amazes and staggers me, good sir.

For the record I own a 360 and a Wii, not that it is relevant to the conversation at hand.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282154)

For the record, I own a Wii and PS2, xBox, and GameCube - and probaly one-quarter of the games are for the PS2.

Used to own Sony stock too. Sold it, bought Nintendo stock, right after E3, when it was obvious what was going to happen.

Reality is a harsh mistress.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282090)

Thats quite a leap... dissaproval of a Miyamoto speech + disgust at percieved Nintendo bias on Slashdot = Sony fanboy. Despite the caustic tone he takes in when criticizing the Nintendo worship, I've seen nothing that indicates he's a Sony fanboy.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282208)

I don't believe I used that word.

oh, and in my reply to him, I meant games purchased since November (in regards to PS2 being about one-quarter of console game purchases).

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18283640)

Will, you could say so much more in so little.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (0, Offtopic)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282250)

And hopefully this post illustrates the source of my caustic tone. Slashdot is a group of mostly intelligent people and I have had some great conversations here. That said, when it comes to certain subjects ( like the Wii, or the PS3 in reverse ) it just breaks into a hive mentality. I wish I wasn't interested in gaming, as I would avoid these conversations completely if so. Nicely, I have really good karma from posting to the rest of the site, I can afford to burn some here. Glutton for punishment I guess.

Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283192)

And hopefully this post illustrates the source of my caustic tone. Slashdot is a group of mostly intelligent people and I have had some great conversations here. That said, when it comes to certain subjects ( like the Wii, or the PS3 in reverse ) it just breaks into a hive mentality. I wish I wasn't interested in gaming, as I would avoid these conversations completely if so. Nicely, I have really good karma from posting to the rest of the site, I can afford to burn some here. Glutton for punishment I guess.
Just ignore Will, he's one of the biggest Nintendo fanboys here. That's not a bad thing per say, unless it really clouds judgement (like he just did, jumping to conclusions and calling you a Sony fanboy). I've had arguments with him where I was arguing for Nintendo, but he got all confused because I didn't say "Wii" and "The Sims" in every other word, and started arguing against me. :) (Sorry Will, have to call it as I see it, heh)

That said, I do think that Miyamoto's keynote was very relevant. While it may be fairly obvious to you and me that Nintendo's current key to success is targeting the casual gamer, it may not be to the other game developers at the conference ... especially the ones that are "heads down" on their particular hardcore games.

As a fellow engineer in the games industry, I have been to a number of conferences and will say that keynotes like Miyamoto's are generally more common than the one Sony presented yesterday. A lot of the time, it is fluff, because we do need to be reminded about what games are for, who are audiences are, etc. Many of us are so focused on the technical and business details, that we can't see the forest for the trees. Now, the other talks going on at GDC will tend to be more detailed and developer focused. But I wouldn't mind at all listening to the keynote Miyamoto gave, especially considering it came from such a luminary in the industry.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283486)

Well said.

That said, the last thing I want is Nintendo telling 3rd parties to make casual mass appeal games. We already know Nintendo will do that and when it comes to Nintendo platforms, historically competing directly against Nintendo is not a good idea.

What convinced me to pickup the Wii this generation was titles like Red Steel. It looked like 3rd party developers might pick up the market that Nintendo neglects. If his message was make games my wife will like, I can't help but cringe a bit. I like gaming and for the most part, I like gaming how it is. I dont want hundreds of party games popping up, I already know there are going to be enough. Nintendo should be appealing to 3rd parties to develop exactly the type of games they wont.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283666)

What convinced me to pickup the Wii this generation was titles like Red Steel. It looked like 3rd party developers might pick up the market that Nintendo neglects. If his message was make games my wife will like, I can't help but cringe a bit. I like gaming and for the most part, I like gaming how it is. I dont want hundreds of party games popping up, I already know there are going to be enough. Nintendo should be appealing to 3rd parties to develop exactly the type of games they wont.

You'll notice I didn't reply to the slurs against me from the parent - I calls them as I sees them, and (not amazingly) that's how the market is reacting.

However, while I too was initially attracted to the Wii by Red Steel - as someone who did fencing with various weapons (sword, cutlass, epee) - I quickly realized that although this would make a really cool Star Wars light saber dueling game, it was not the biggest aspect of it.

The FPS parts of Red Steel don't appeal to me, quite frankly. I spent too long as a marksman in the Army and the little inconsistencies really throw me off such things - boring technical aspects like the bullets not flying right, no kick, that kind of thing. Throws me off of many movies as well (one surprising exception was Smokin Aces, which was well done from a mechanistic realism aspect).

I still have hopes someone will do this right, but expect that the really good FPS implementations will be initially limited to the PS3 and xBox360, although some of the Wii-designed titles may be as fun to play (mostly due to the controller(s)).

And probably that - the Wii-designed FPS titles - will be done by a third-party. It takes a certain mindset to deal with that. And Nintendo probably doesn't have enough of those people. At least the dev cost won't be high.

I really expect we won't see decent top-of-the-line FPS from Nintendo until probably the next gen console they are working on. Call of Duty is maybe half of the way there with COD3, but that's third party. And the multi-console strategy they're using means we shouldn't expect major revolutions in FPS until some other third party develops them.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18284464)

You'll notice I didn't reply to the slurs against me from the parent - I calls them as I sees them, and (not amazingly) that's how the market is reacting.
Sorry if I offended you. :) I do enjoy the dialogue that we have, as someone who also regularly visits the game articles here. You do bring a very specific viewpoint of the industry (the mostly casual one), which I am particularly fond of since that's what I work on.

And probably that - the Wii-designed FPS titles - will be done by a third-party. It takes a certain mindset to deal with that. And Nintendo probably doesn't have enough of those people. At least the dev cost won't be high.

I really expect we won't see decent top-of-the-line FPS from Nintendo until probably the next gen console they are working on. Call of Duty is maybe half of the way there with COD3, but that's third party. And the multi-console strategy they're using means we shouldn't expect major revolutions in FPS until some other third party develops them.
I am surprised you haven't talked about Metroid Prime 3 [gamespot.com] for the Wii. While Red Steel was widely panned by critics and players alike, I am hoping that Nintendo does show developers the right way to use the Wii controls in their only first-party FPS title.

If anything, I don't think we'll see any decent FPS games for the Wii from third parties, since many of them will be ports. I imagine much of the development time is going to be spent on porting the engine from the 360 or PS3 to the Wii hardware, with unfortunately not much time focused on the control aspect itself. A lot of people were hoping that Red Steel would stand out, having been created from the ground up for the Wii, but being a launch game (with its compressed schedules and such) really hurt its development.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18290842)

I am surprised you haven't talked about Metroid Prime 3 [gamespot.com] for the Wii. While Red Steel was widely panned by critics and players alike, I am hoping that Nintendo does show developers the right way to use the Wii controls in their only first-party FPS title.

Well, it's mostly because, for some reason I don't know, I have never been interested in Metroid Prime.

Not sure why, but if it's supposed to be for casual or family gamers, maybe it's the advertising.

It just ... looks boring.

I'm sure it's a fine game. If I was an FPS kind of player, maybe I'd be excited. But I'm not.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18302064)

Well, it's mostly because, for some reason I don't know, I have never been interested in Metroid Prime.

Not sure why, but if it's supposed to be for casual or family gamers, maybe it's the advertising.
I've never played a Metroid Prime game either, but I've also been a huge fan of the original 2D Metroid games. I think it's supposed to appeal to people like me, who also happen to like FPS games. But since I skipped out on the GameCube, and Metroid Prime DS didn't interest me, I guess the advertising failed.

However, I am interested in the one for the Wii, to see how Nintendo handles the controls for that game.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318509)

However, I am interested in the one for the Wii, to see how Nintendo handles the controls for that game.

Well, the graphics look good, but if you've actually played a FPS on the 360 or PS3 on a real HDTV (40 or more inches, using an HDMI cable that 2/3 of consumers seem to forget), they may pale in comparison.

Not sure how the Wii-mote and Wii controller work with it - may add to the experience (or not).

I would love to play 300 with a Wii - done properly the nunchuk is your shield and the Wii-mote is your sword.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319501)

Well, the graphics look good, but if you've actually played a FPS on the 360 or PS3 on a real HDTV (40 or more inches, using an HDMI cable that 2/3 of consumers seem to forget), they may pale in comparison.

Not sure how the Wii-mote and Wii controller work with it - may add to the experience (or not).
No doubt that the graphics on a 360 or PS3 shooter will be better than one on the Wii. But that's not what I'm looking for.

I first started playing FPS games on the PC, titles such as DOOM, Quake, Counter-Strike, Half-Life 2, etc. I'm much more comfortable with the keyboard/mouse setup, than I am with the dual-analog stick in consoles. I always feel like a putz when playing shooters on the 360. What interests me is that the Wii controls, done right, could be a lot closer to the keyboard/mouse setup: nunchuck controls movement, and the Wii-mote offers precise control of the view and targeting.

Re:Miyamoto's keynote is quite relevant (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18320021)

Good point. I did see a review of a game for the Wii (finally) that showed one where they messed up the implementation of the controls, so that it got in the way. Most so far have been good, but they may have had major assistance in getting it right.

Wish you luck - a good FPS for the Wii would be nice.

Nintendo's vision may not apply to others (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18284388)

What convinced me to pickup the Wii this generation was titles like Red Steel. It looked like 3rd party developers might pick up the market that Nintendo neglects. If his message was make games my wife will like, I can't help but cringe a bit. I like gaming and for the most part, I like gaming how it is. I dont want hundreds of party games popping up, I already know there are going to be enough. Nintendo should be appealing to 3rd parties to develop exactly the type of games they wont.
I don't think Miyamoto's message was "make games my wife will like".

To me, I took it as this:
1) Nintendo's vision is to focus on casual and new gamers
2) Here's what I did to make sure I always kept that in mind: wife-o-meter, balance, focusing on making things fun, etc.
3) Here are the results from our efforts: huge success of the DS and Wii, and more importantly, wife-o-meter is high
4) ...
5) PROFIT!!!

Now, other developers will have different visions in mind. Some of them may focus on the casual gamer as well, but many will focus on traditional hardcore gamers too. There are other ways to succeed in this business, besides focusing on just casual (just ask the Gears of War guys). And as you stated, we don't need hundreds of party games on one system. Diversity in the game catalog is important, so yes, Nintendo should want 3rd parties to pick up in genres that they don't excel at (or care to do).

But anyway, I see the keynote as simply, "Here's what we set out to do, here's what I did, and how I succeeded." ... and it's up to everyone else to take out of that what they will. Maybe you come away with actual things to do, or maybe just insipired to succeed in your own niche area of the games industry. That's not such a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact.

Re:Yawn... but in the real world ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18284012)

What a lame comeback. Anything critical of Nintendo or even the slightest bit positive for Sony and you little cretins throw around the fanboy label.

Here's what ./ should do. Create a little Nintendo section for you kids and give it an icon of a masturbated penis with the N logo on it.

Re:Yawn... (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282210)

... but, he didnt. He mostly talked about the development of the Wii. Tell me one thing developers might have gotten from his long winded keynote?


I think Zonk covered that.

it is very important to the developers to see the direction Sony is taking things


The same with Nintendo, and what better way than for perhaps the most influential man in gaming to bare whole his vision of what video games are all about?

Nintendo announced nothing.


Because, as I understand it, the GDC is about developers. The idea that everything it has to involve some big announcement is absurd. It's much more about getting together and discussing the issues of the industry than it is about the tools used. That some companies take the chance to unveil new tools and useful things to developers at GDC is no surprise. However, it isn't the central focus.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282338)

That said, he has already explained his vision. Pretty much everything he said was a rehash.

You are 100% correct, its a developer conference ( although becoming less and less so every year ). So, where was talk about innovative ways to use the wiimote? Or Nintendos plans for online support? Or integration with DS's. Etc.. etc.. I can't imagine any developer got anything from that keynote. Again, if developers didnt know that Nintendo wanted wives and non gamers to be interested in the Wii, they have been hiding under a rock for the last year.

Re:Yawn... (1)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283546)

He also announced nothing because Nintendo has a pending stock deal that bars them from talking about any future plans... This has been covered extensively by various game news sites.

Re:Yawn... (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282498)

He talked about developing games, rather than about all the impressive non-game things his console does. Sounds relevant to me!

Philosophy matters more than technology.

Re:Yawn... (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282762)

Why? Don't you want GDC to become the next E3? Over hyped? booth babes? They already have an expo that's going to probably explode next year because sony's trying so hard.

My question is where's microsoft? I didn't hear much from microsoft themselves this year. But I fully agree, GDC outside of this speech sounds like it's going the way of E3, media fluff, with out an actual focus on the developers yet again.

So, what about new games? (3, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281406)

No explosive new titles or plans were announced

Surely all of the people who pointed out how Phil Harrison didn't mention new games yesterday [slashdot.org] are going to come here and point out that Miyamoto didn't either, right? Right?

Rob

Re:So, what about new games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281778)

You realize that this is a DEVELOPER'S conference, not a consumer media blitz like E3, right? Right?

Re:So, what about new games? (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281808)

Yes, I realized that. I was referring to the people commenting under that link which you obviously didn't look at.

Rob

Re:So, what about new games? (4, Informative)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282776)

Miyamoto was prevented from making forward looking statements because Nintendo recently asked the Japanese government to sell their Nintendo holdings on the open market, requiring a quiet period similar to those around other stock offerings.

Re:So, what about new games? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18285404)

And I'll point out that Miyamoto didn't spend his talk taking credit for other people's inventions, like the Sony keynote did.

Plus there's little doubt that the Wii has some great titles coming up, but the only title I can think of for the PS3 that isn't a sequel to a PS2 title is LittleBigPlanet, and that's only because it was mentioned in yesterday's story. Other than that (and the mass of PS2 sequels that are all still vapor) I can't think of any PS3 games coming out soon.

Re:So, what about new games? (1)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18300440)

[...]but the only title I can think of for the PS3 that isn't a sequel to a PS2 title is LittleBigPlanet[...]

It may not be a sequel to anything, but I swear I've seen it someplace before. [garry.tv]

Good (5, Insightful)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281426)

I'm glad Miyamoto discussed topics more pertinent to the developers than gamers. I would much rather have a conference with substance, than let the GDC turn into a media blitz for industry shaking announcements.

As for expanding the audience: Unless you are still living in your parents basement, abhor social interaction, or prefer to game alone, you should be very excited about Nintendo concentrating on everyone, instead of just the gamer. Why? Because it will let you share your passion with more people. Your parents. Your non-gaming friends. Your loved ones. As a hard core gamer myself, but a human being first, I am *delighted* that my fiance is joining me in my love for gaming.

I guess I'll miss out on realistically rendered acne. Sigh.

Re:Good (0)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281828)

[i]I'm glad Miyamoto discussed topics more pertinent to the developers than gamers.[/i]

Like what? Name one thing new Miyamoto actually told developers? That entire keynote was a rehash of exactly what Nintendo has been saying for the last year. If there was a developer in the house that didnt know Nintendo was targeting a more casual audience with the Wii, that dev has been living under a rock and is probrably in the wrong profession.

It was boring and content free, simple as that. Had Sony held the same keynote, there would be nothing but Phil bashing going on in this thread. But since Slashdot has become so rabidly pro-Nintendo, all objectivity has been lost in this regard.

Re:Good (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282314)

Firstly, Nintendo can rehash that message as many times as it wants. It's absolutely imperative that this message penetrate, because it's the message that prevented the industry from crashing and burning again. Without games and systems following the principles Nintendo has outlined, the Japanese portion of the industry would have continued it's drastic hemorrhaging and largely disappeared. There's a reason the DS is so popular there.

Secondly, there's a lot more to the keynote than "target casuals". There wouldn't have been the profound impact Zonk described if it was only that.

Finally, if Sony had given the same keynote everyone would be wondering why they were talking about the development of the Wii when they had nothing to do with it.

Re:Good (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282412)

I'm not seeing anything that indicates that the absense of Nintendo's message would cause another industry crash. I know people like to mourn the death of innovation here, but from my point of view the industry has just matured to the point where innovation comes in smaller steps or one-off games. There's plenty of innovation to be had, and Nintendo is just a part of that. Theres a lot of crap, but there's always been a lot of crap. Even back in the NES/SNES days.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282670)

The Japanese market for video games had been shrinking for some time up until the release of the DS. Before that hand held came onto the scene, it was a much discussed issue. There didn't seem to be anything that was slowing or stopping the crumbling of the market and a lot of people were at a loss for what to do. The effect was also beginning in the US.

The DS revitalized the Japanese Market which, starting at a peak in 1997, had shrunk steadily to 60% of its former size by 2003. Here's a brief report on a study [gamespot.com] released in 2004 concerning this. It wasn't a straight decline, as evidenced by a few notes in this [www.fpcj.jp] report, but a severe decline none the less.

The DS was explicitly Nintendo's answer to this problem, and it's undeniably worked.

Re:Good (1)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282780)

Potential barriers to the advance of gaming:

1.) Rising costs to the gamer.
2.) Rising costs to the developer.
3.) Increasingly difficult, and intricate games.
4.) Reduced ROI.
5.) (opinion) Increased difficulty in entering the field of game development.
6.) (opinion) Decreased quality of work (what term would I use here?) for developers.

If I thought about it for a few more minutes, I could probably give a bigger/better list.

Anyhow, consider the state of things. If the Wii and the expanded market concept never entered this race, the console market would be in a pretty bad position IMHO.

Re:Good (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281884)

There wasn't much developer-focused stuff there either. It was a big fluff piece, which didn't say anything that anyone following the industry didn't already know. Its pretty disappointing, since a man like Miyamoto should have better things to say.

Re:Good (1)

fuo (941897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282308)

Agreed. My GF is far more impressed by the number of hearts i have in Zelda:TP than she ever was by my Realm Rank in DAoC (and the RR took a few more YEARS to achieve). And that's good. 4+ hours of TV a night was starting to get old.

Re:Good (2, Funny)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283174)

Unless you are still living in your parents basement, abhor social interaction, or prefer to game alone...

Have you been spying on me?

Re:Good (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283240)

I'm glad Miyamoto discussed topics more pertinent to the developers than gamers. I would much rather have a conference with substance, than let the GDC turn into a media blitz for industry shaking announcements.

Thank you for saying this. GDC is not E3. It's not for the press, it's not for the public, it's not for big announcements. It's for us developers to get together and discuss shader implementations, development methodologies, and gossip about the interworkings of company politics. In the language of sociology, it's "backstage." It's a big conference for us to get together and be relaxed and honest about where we are and the gritty, boring details about what we need to do to get somewhere better.

Once you turn it into E3-2.0 (CES 3.0?), you're taking that relaxed exchange of ideas and destroying it. Reggie would never have said what he said if he thought there was an E3 level of attention on him. You'd never see game developers divulging all the little secrets of design and development they've learned over the years. Really, on a business level the whole thing shouldn't exist, as the entire event is just one big festival of helping your competitors to make better games.

But it does exist, it does persist. Please don't hijack the developer's conference into a public-facing press event. It's for us for a reason. It's us with our pants down. You don't want to see us with our pants down. Trust me on this one.

Developer-focused my ass. (3, Informative)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281430)

I've heard about constraints on Nintendo giving info due to stock goings-on [gamasutra.com] , but labelling this as "developer-oriented" instead of "boring fluff" is a cop-out. It wasn't interesting: especially to developers. Interesting would be demos of new motion-sensing and touchscreen concepts. Interesting would be the forward direction of Nintendo platforms and the tools Nintendo will be providing. Miyamoto parroting earlier propaganda is not interesting.

Re:Developer-focused my ass. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282094)

Yeah, it does sound like pretty much what we've been hearing since the final vision for the Wii was made plain many months ago.

Unfortunately, saying fluffy feel-good but largely meaningless and regurgitated things is what being in Miyamoto's position is all about. If he was still just a designer, he would have probably been free to talk about more interesting things. It's too bad, since it means Nintendo's most widely recognized "personality" and of course phenomenal designer is not the best person to have speaking at an event like this.

Oh well. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Developer-focused my ass. (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283130)

Eh, Phil Harrison is hardly a designer, but he had the sense to get actual designers on the stage and have them show cool stuff. And his fluff, the Game 3.0 BS, was still developer-oriented. Even the demos were good for giving ideas and showing strong direction. "Here's what you can do"; this is the sort of stuff that gets developers going "hey, that's cool, if I took that and used it here..." or "how can we be a part of this."

Nintendo just needs to back up the hype about motion sensing being the "next big thing" and "revolutionizing gaming" by actually showing it doing so.

Indie Dev Program? (3, Interesting)

JoelMartinez (916445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281630)

What ever happened to their indy developer program? seems like this would have been the perfect audience to mention something to

Re:Indie Dev Program? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281920)

Did they ever have one? Back in the pre-Wii days, I heard a lot of speculation on Wii being indy-friendly due to the low dev-kit cost, but I don't recall anything concerning an actual program. A quick Google search doesn't seem to turn up much.

Re:Indie Dev Program? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18286606)

They were supposedly releasing a dev kit for making downloadable games not too long ago and soon after there were reports of the dev kits selling out faster than they can make them.

Re:Indie Dev Program? (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283930)

Was it not MS who released the "dev kit" for potential X-Box developers?

I had not heard of Nintendo doing something like that.

More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (4, Funny)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281728)

Can't find a Wii for my son anywhere anywhere, but he was really happy when I told him we could make one out of duct-tape and two gamecubes.

Re:More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282728)

Got a local EBGames? Call it every morning and see if they just got some in. I got mine because I just happened to be in one at a mall at the right time.

Re:More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (1)

Deaney (1014409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283786)

This is why I love living in Perth (Western Australia).
I completely forgot what day was launch day but just happened to be in a Big W (or some horrible Coles-Myer franchise) on launch day that evening and saw a kid carrying one, I asked the guy at the checkout there were any left (this is at about 8:30 pm on launch day) and the kid said "Yeah - there's one left" and he went and got me one.

With that said there is a HUGE shortage on any controllers.

Re:More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283788)

Got a local EBGames? Call it every morning and see if they just got some in. I got mine because I just happened to be in one at a mall at the right time.

They also have an online store product locator - for example, I've seen Wii consoles at the GameStop just to the east of Northgate Mall (not the one inside the mall).

You can check online and, if it says they have it, phone them when they open and drop in.

Re:More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (3, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283496)

Hehehe, wait 3-4 months. Not only will there be a few more games out but there will likely be plenty of Wiis to go around.

In the advent that there aren't, the market for games will shrivel up and you'll count yourself lucky not investing in it. ... Not that I think the Wii will fail in the short term. Just saying there is a bonus to waiting.

Re:More Wii's please, Mr. Myamato (3, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283812)

I got mine at a Toys R' Us, because I heard they were getting some in. I got there 30 minutes early, and they still had roughly 15 left by the time I had left. There were only a handful of people behind me, so I guess after the first wave left there must have been 10 or so left. Still quite a ways away from being widely available, but the demand is starting to approach supply levels. Given another two or so months, I'd expect to be able to find them on shelves.

In the meantime, if you really want one, find a bunch of stores in the area and make a habit of calling and figuring out when they get them in. Stores less frequented by gamers or the masses are better. Toys R' Us, Sams Club, etc.

Oblig... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281904)

comic [vgcats.com] I wub ROOO!

Amusing before-talk anecdote (5, Funny)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282088)

I was skimming the comments on kotaku, and found the following description from somebody at GDC:

http://kotaku.com/gaming/gdc07/gdc07-liveblogging- nintendo-242670.php [kotaku.com]

[Sony exec] Phil Harrison is sitting in the front row

[President of Nintendo of America] Reggie is standing off consulting with people, posing for pictures, etc.

A kid in the front row shouted at Reggie "REGGIE! You gotta kick some ass and take some names!"

"Like who?!" Reggie shouted back

"Phil Harrison, FRONT ROW!" The kid says

"I think we already did that" Says Reggie

The nearby crowd laughs, as is appropriate.

Let's hear some specifics... (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18283818)

Not sure if I'm very impressed. Some would call me a Nintendo fanboy; I got a Wii at launch, still think its a great system, but I'm not sure if this seems very reliavent. As someone who is interested quite a bit by game design philosophy, I would hope that a developer conference would put forth some inspiring new visions into the heads of developers who are studying implementations for upcoming projects. There's a lot more that can be done with the motion sensing hardware than is currently being done, and I'd hope to see developers eager to try out new theories and ideas.

That said, I'm all about defining an over-arching philosophy or view of the future of the industry, I think that is very important and a key difference that separates Nintendo from Sony/Microsoft, but at some point, you've gotta move from inspring people to follow your new direction, and actually identifying some ways in which they can actually do that. Where-as Sony/Microsoft seem to be pracariously leaning towards only discussing implementations and seem to not have any inspirational overall vision to present, Nintendo seems to be suffering from the exact opposite problem.

If there's anyone who can talk specifics regarding the philosophy of game design, it's Miyamoto, but I don't see any of that. I'm not talking about wowing the public with release dates and explosive pyrotechnics, I'm talking about presenting methods of opporation, new design ideas, things like that. I just don't see it here, I see rehashes of Nintendo's umbrella direction... which we've come to know and love, but let's see some specifics.

Re:Let's hear some specifics... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18284808)

Indeed, not very reliavent at all. But *very* cromulent.

Re:Let's hear some specifics... (1)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18287492)

I'm pretty sure, though not 100% but you might want to look it up, that Nintendo is involved in some sort of stock market move which means they aren't allowed to talk specifics about games etc... I remember reading recently that this GDC would be a boring one for Nintendo fans because of it.

Sony v. Nintendo keynotes... (2, Funny)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289500)

Sony came out with the intent of winning the affections of gamers with a flash and dazzle. Like a girl who wears her whale tail action with a semi transparent top when she's trying to hook you in on the second or third date.

Nintendo came out like the girl who doesn't have the porn start measurements, but baked you cookies and came over to sit with you when you had a really rough day at work and cuddled on the couch.

One looks great on the arm, but we all know which one loves us.

Re:Sony v. Nintendo keynotes... (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306836)

Let me get this straight - you're making console comparisons to women?

Something tells me you know nothing about either of those subjects.
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