Nintendo doesn’t know what cool is

Monday, 30th June 2014 02:03 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo doesn’t know how to be cool, according to Shigeru Miyamoto.


Miyamoto, who was responsible for Mario, Pikmin, Star Fox, The Legend of Zelda and many more popular Nintendo properties, told the LA Times that Nintendo can’t get on board current industry trends.

“It’s not that I don’t like serious stories or that I couldn’t make one, but currently in the video game industry you see a lot of game designers who are working really hard to make their games seem really cool. For a lot of us at Nintendo, it’s difficult to decide what cool is,” he said.

“In fact, it’s a lot easier for us to laugh at ourselves. It’s almost as if we’re performers. Our way of performing is by creating these fun, odd and goofy things.”

Fun, goofy things like the musical Tomodachi Life re-enactment of Nintendo’s E3, for example.

Nintendo has a reputation for ignoring whatever the rest of the industry is doing, which served it very well with the Wii and 3DS as well as its decision to talk directly to consumers with Nintendo Direct. The Wii U is having a harder time, unfortunately.

Thanks, Gamespot.



  1. salarta

    Miyamoto’s missing the point.

    It’s not about “being cool.” It’s about having some more mature stories mixed in with the ones made mainly with kids in mind. People like silly things. The first Metal Gear Solid was silly. Bayonetta was silly. Godhand was silly. If Nintendo was purely a developer or publisher, their focus on kid-friendly content would work just fine by itself. But because they’re also a console manufacturer, they need more variety. Otherwise they’re like a movie theater focused primarily on showing Pixar films.

    They don’t have to do exactly what the rest of the industry does. They don’t need to throw aside everything to make shooters or sex up all of their games or anything like that. They just need to do the broad strokes. They look like they’re starting to realize that a little bit with games like X and Bayonetta 2, but they still have a ways to go.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Telepathic.Geometry

    Maybe he’s just saying Nintendo doesn’t know how to make mature content.

    Sounds about right to me. Not everyone can do mature, and maybe not everyone should try, especially if they’re no good at it.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. xxxGamesMasterxxx

    @Telepathic.Geometry And what is “mature content”?

    Blowing someone’s head off in Call Of Duty or shooting at cops in GTA?

    #3 6 months ago
  4. TheWulf

    And I don’t think there’s anything in general wrong with them being dorks, you know? After all, introverted dorks are my favourite people. The problem, I think, comes largely from how Nintendo is structure. Nintendo strikes me as Valve but without the guiding hand of Gabe Newell.

    What happens is that power exists in a vacuum, then, as there’s no one to really stop them. There’s no one to stop someone from bringing in Team Ninja for a new Metroid game, and making it indisputably sexist, generally for the purpose of straight, white males who’re too annoying, obnoxious, and sexist for actual women to pay attention to them. To give them something to ‘relieve themselves’ to.

    Yeah, that’s not EVER something I want Samus to be.

    So their problem is that they have too little in the way of regulation. I’ve been getting that feeling from them for a while, now. Miyamoto has slumped back into creating games from the ’80s, no one’s told them why this is a bad idea. Another believes that Zelda needs to be made more stupid and less puzzly for an audience of lobotomised Westerners, no one’s told them them why a bad idea. Mario Kart 8 is just a rehash of the Nintendo 64 bit version (with mostly recycled music from that) and a cheap anti-gravity gimmick, no one’s told them why this is a bad idea.

    (As an aside: Seriously, Nintendo, if you want to see what a progressive kart racer looks like, look at All-Stars Racing Transformed. They actually revolutionised it with fresh and ingenious new gameplay mechanics, as opposed to relying on gimmicks, and they made every lap of the incredibly long tracks different from the last (rather than just repeating them. Oh, and there’s no incredibly obnoxious fake swing jazz.)

    It just seems like they’re collapsing in on themselves. Mostly because a bunch of greedy businessmen looking to make a cheap buck, or holding the company back to a time when their products weren’t nearly as profoundly innovative, or designing things purely for a western audience. Those things are bad.

    For Mario, they need to look at Galaxy to see how to move forward. For Zelda, they need to look at Wind Waker’s world/dungeon design and Twilight Princess’s theme and story to see how to move forward. For Mario Kart, they need to look at Double Dash to move forward. And so on. And so on.

    The new Super Mario Bros games are having me think that Miyamoto is becoming a bit of a hack because, frankly, they’re a bit shit. But worse, the first Mario game was average at best as a platformer. HERESY, I KNOW. GASP. SUMMON THE FAN-ARMIES. CALL THE HERD. But really, it wasn’t that good.

    Now, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, and Yoshi’s Island were much better. For the 3D era, all of them were good, from Mario 64, to Sunshine (a bit of a weak game, but it had its moments, and lots of them), to Galaxy.

    Why Miyamoto is looking at, hands down, the weakest moment of Mario’s history for inspiration for new games is beyond me. I mean, I want a new Super Mario Galaxy title for the WiiU/3DS, or at least something equally that innovative with new gameplay mechanics rather than just gimmicks. But I’m not getting that. I’m getting the first Super Mario Bros, over and over and over.

    Samus gets sexualised to appeal to losers.

    Mario Kart 8 is just a cheap reboot as a cash-in.

    And the new Smash Bros? Don’t even get me started! The person heading that up believes that balance is a BAD thing! And the overly objectified Samus (now with heels!) has been made the by far and wide the most powerful character, because there are horrible perverts at Nintendo.

    And there’s no one to tell them why these things are bad ideas. That’s why they’re failing, and why they continue to fail. Their golden era was probably the GameCube, followed by the N64. Ever since the Wii, they’ve been barrelling downhill. Sure, the Wii had a short time in the sun with casual players, but ever since the advent of mobile devices, that’s dissipated.

    It’s a disaster. And unless they look at what made the N64 and GameCube so popular, they’re going to die off as a hardware provider, they’re going to become a software developer/publisher, like SEGA.

    Though, frankly, I wouldn’t object to Nintendo games on the PC. :P At least if they get their head screwed on right and we return to Metroid Prime’s Samus.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. TheWulf


    Actually? That’s nonsense. Twilight Princess, as far as story and theme go, were amazing. It had a darkness to it, but it wasn’t grimdark, it wasn’t gothy. In fact, it was balanced perfectly by Midna’s sassy humour. It was, to be frank, one of the best ‘dark’ games I’ve ever played. It balanced the components of its theme perfectly, and never once toppled.

    Now, yes, Twilight Princess was a little bit weaker in the gameplay department, but that can easily be fixed. Though if you want a mature story from Nintendo, you need look no further than that.

    I would mention Retro Studios, too, but that probably wouldn’t be fair. I mean, that’s not technically Nintendo. Unless we’re talking of having Retro Studios design ALL of Nintendo’s games from now on. Though, you know, considering the amazing job they did with the Prime series, and now the equally fantastic job they’ve done with Tropical Freeze, I wouldn’t object to that.


    We have a solution.

    Let’s make Retro Studios the new Nintendo. They’re better at being Nintendo than Nintendo is!

    #5 6 months ago
  6. The_Red

    I think Miyamoto is mistaking living inside your bubble with being cool. One can avoid or reject current trends (Like Devolver is doing to F2P) and still feel modern and relevant.

    Also, guess what Miyamoto / Nintendo? Hotline Miami is odd, fun AND brutally violent. In regards to mature content, Nintendo is just worried about its family friendly status.

    #6 6 months ago
  7. Legendaryboss

    Its not working, the facts speak for themselves. At somepoint (if they haven’t already) they will were realise this. Besides that viewpoint makes publishing Devil’s Third & Bayonetta 2 all the more the stranger.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. Sam Malik

    @TheWulf Sexualizing Samus? Uhh….she wore a bikini in the NES days. She now whears a more proper space suit underneath. But heels? What the heck is wrong with heels?

    As for MK8 it added anti-gravity for newer tactics. Every time you bump into something that isn’t a wall you get a boost. That includes other players. It goes beyond just adding personality. And don’t bring up that crap of Sonic Transformed. As much as I perfer Transformed over MK it did just as much as MK did in terms of change.

    And Zelda…you do realize that Hyrule Warriors is a spin-off, right? Like that semi-rail shooter Link’s Crossbow Training, right? And that Aonuma’s Zelda game is gonna take the series back to its non- linear roots, right? And that Zelda is like Nintendo’s equivalent to Nickelodeon’s Avatar series with mature plots, right? (I’m talking maturely handled. Not immaturely handled. Even Wind Waker was mature)

    You have a few issues. You write off mechanics as gimmicks. You tell them to do stuff they’ve been doing. You state that they sjould be doing what they did with the GCN and 64, both of which did not do too great. You state that they do cash grabs when they do things fairly unlike companies like EA. Do you really know what you are talking about?

    #8 6 months ago
  9. Sam Malik

    @The_Red everyone has their own definition of fun. Maybe HM wasn’t fun to him. Of course knowing that this is Japan (with their humor and all) HM is probably just tame when compaired to the crazy and not-so-serious stuff they do. Have you ever lost a fight by being eaten by a monster with a fried shrimp for a head? Or how about making a lawyer fight in a fighting game by gathering evidence to attack? Or how about losing a RPG fight to a hamburger and a bowl if soup?

    #9 6 months ago
  10. polygem

    All of these teen twen hardcore mature gamers complaining…forget it – nintendo aren´t for you exclusively anymore. be prepared for them to become even more cheesy, childish, colorful, weird…even more nintendo. happily floating in their bubble, fanatically laughing .

    it is the best strategy they could ever have.

    so glad that nintendo is confident again and understand that this is all they need to be successful…and that they are not listening to some kids on the internet asking them to become just like the competition so they don´t need to be ashamed when telling their cool friends that they own a nintendo and enjoy it, not having to fear their laughter.

    nintendo will become even more nintendo centric…and that´s a good thing.

    #10 6 months ago

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