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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Miyamoto talks Wii, Calls Sony Flattering

Now that the Wii is out there and people are playing it for the first time, how does it feel to see their reactions?

"Because it's their first time, one thing I've been wondering about is how people who have been playing with standard video game controllers up until now, how quickly they're able to pick it up.

"We've found that people who don't normally play games are able to pick (the Wii controller) up and understand it and use it very quickly, but people who have been playing games for a long time have a little bit more of a learning curve, because they have to relearn."

I have to ask about the name, Wii. There have been a lot of jokes because of the play on words in the English language. How has the name been received in Japan?

"In Japan, a lot of gamers thought it was a strange name, and the comment we got the most was that it doesn't sound like the name of a game system. What we did find with the casual gamers or the non-gamers - because it does sound so different and unique - it doesn't sound like a game system. And that's a plus for them."

If you walk over to Sony's booth and look at the PlayStation 3 display, there's probably not a single game there that a non-gamer could walk up and play with any degree of success. Do you see Sony and Microsoft as being on the wrong path, or just a different path?

"They're talking about the next generation of the same old video games, it's the same old experiences with new graphics. And while there are people who enjoy that, we're really talking about the next leap in interactive entertainment, and really bringing interactive entertainment not just to video game fans but to everyone."

We learned at E3 that Sony has incorporated motion-sensitivity into their PS3 controller, and that it doesn't seem to have been in development for very long. What do you think of that? Do you think they copied the Wii?

"It's kind of what always seems to happen. But the fact that they looked at what we were doing and decided it was a good path is kind of flattering, it kind of reinforces in our minds that we're doing the right thing. What they've done is just take your standard controller and add in this motion-sensing device that's similar to what we did back on the Game Boy Color many years ago. Maybe if they were to completely copy and go with a remote and a nunchuk and two motion sensors, I might be a little more concerned. But I don't think they're anywhere close to that."
Have you acknowledged that you're asking gamers to all of a sudden move their bodies? There are sure to be lazy gamers who say, "I don't want to jump around, I want to just sit on the couch and move my thumbs when I play."

"The fact of the matter is, if you want to, you can play in much the same style as you did before. You can sit with Zelda and just with little movements you can control the game perfectly well. Similarly with tennis, by kind of slapping the Wii remote against your hand, you can play the game that way if you really want to. As people get better and better at the individual games, it may be that their motions drift from the more exaggerated to the less exaggerated. But at the same time, I tend to find that moving around a bit more tends to be more fun."


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