Miyamoto: E3 banter on long development cycles, used games

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 23:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Shigeru Miyamoto is at E3 this week and is in the mood to talk about all things Nintendo such as longer than usual development times, and why Nintendo doesn’t really have a stance on used games. Find out what all the Mario maestro had to say below.

Long development cycles happen

Speaking with GI International, Miyamoto touched upon release delays, and how Nintendo could always add more members to a team in order to speed up development, but that would mean a drop in quality.

You could say that Nintendo should just multiply its development team staff by four times and then everything would be fine, but unfortunately things aren’t quite that easy,” he said. “Our focus is always on delivering the highest quality content, and simply increasing the development team size isn’t going to allow you to achieve the level of quality that we strive for.

“You really have to kind of bring those people up gradually and help teach them how to develop games in order to achieve that consistent quality level. So that’s one challenge that we’re always engaging with and one we’re progressing on.”

He also said the technological difference between platforms such as DS and 3DS, and then Wii and Wii U, developers need time to learn the hardware in order to order adapt to such large changes.

“I think gradually as we’re adding more staff and we’re increasing our capabilities… and in the future as the hardware generation change doesn’t result in significant change in the hardware environment or capabilities of the hardware, then what ends up happening is you have a smoother transition, as you saw from the Gamecube to Wii.”

With new hardware, also comes changes in the market, and this can hinder or help a company’s bottom line. It all depends on the consumer’s reaction, and because the later can be an unknown element when releasing new tech, Miyamoto believes “aiming for a specific numerical goal is almost silly,” which we told you about earlier.

A Take-Two approach to used games

While some publishers decry the used game market, some even stating it hurts revenue streams. Miyamoto is of a different opinion on the matter: he feels piracy is more of a problem than whether customers are buying second hand instead of new; Nintendo doesn’t even have a “stance” on the former.

Instead, Nintendo’s philosophy is similar to that of Take-Two’s: make a great game and consumers won’y want to part with it.

“We don’t have a particular stance on used games,” he told CVG. “For us it’s less about used games and it’s really more illegal copying of games that we’re really worried about. By creating the games that we create and selling those games, it enables us to then create new versions of those games.

“We’re more worried about piracy and we think used games are a whole other story. In fact, from our perspective you want to create a game that people will want to keep and keep playing for a long time. That’s the approach that we always take and that’s the best way to avoid used games.”

Another part of keeping consumers happy is designing a gaming system that is convenient to use in the living room space, and with Wii U, Miyamoto feels its benefits can’t be understood until it has been experienced.

“I definitely think I have responsibility, certainly with the Wii U hardware itself,” he told CVG. “First and foremost we designed this to be a system that is incredibly convenient to use in the living room, but the challenge with the Wii U system is you don’t really understand the benefits of it until you have experienced it in your living room.

“What we’re finding is that people that own the system and that have played the system enjoy it – their satisfaction level is quite high, but the challenge is we haven’t had enough Nintendo software to provide a broader audience incentive to go out and purchase the system.

“It’s particularly clear at E3 this year that with Pikmin 3 and the other games that we’re showing, I finally feel like I’m fulfilling my responsibility by providing people with the type of software that we think is going to make them want to purchase Wii U. And then once they bring it in to the home and they start to understand what kind of convenience it brings through the Gamepad and TV, I think we’re going to start to see people really enjoy it.”

You can read more of Miyamoto’s thoughts through the links.