Miyamoto Not Interested In “Passive” Players

A new interview from the upcoming issue of Edge magazine reveals that Nintendo figurehead Shigeru Miyamoto wants the company to distance itself from capturing wider demographics and, more specifically, “passive” players:

“[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland. Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].

Miyamoto’s words are somewhat surprising given that the Wii sold 100 million units by targeting both gamers and non-gamers alike. The Wii U, however, has yet to muster its predecessor’s mass appeal. It’s taken almost two years for the problematic console to achieve less than 7 million sales, a feat accomplished by the PlayStation 4 in just a few months.

In many ways, Miyamoto’s rekindled appreciation of the Nintendo faithful echoes Sony’s approach with their own system. Rather than vying for the attention of everyone and their sister, Sony made a concerted effort to market the PS4 as a product made by gamers for gamers, a strategy that has thus far worked quite well. It’s pretty hard to complain with 10 million units sold before the console’s first birthday after all.

A potential marketing shift of this nature wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Nintendo. Vetting the company’s efforts and resources towards appeasing their loyal fans might actually make the most business sense in the long run.

In a recent interview with David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games, the Shovel Knight dev praised Nintendo consoles for their “high attach rate,” a phenomena that can manifest itself into considerable sales. “Getting the game running on the 3DS might be quite a challenge,” he reasoned, “but compared to the iOS market, it may be a lot easier to make your game stand out from the competition.” D’Angelo concluded, “It could be possible your game fits more with what a Nintendo fan would buy.”

The Wii U also offers a similar platform for unique games that might otherwise go relatively unnoticed or wouldn’t fit the rival consoles’ mold. In other words, Nintendo has an opportunity to capitalize on its fanbase’s interests and reap the rewards of said fans’ devotion. Better yet, Shigeru Miyamoto, a mover and shaker over at Nintendo, now fully recognizes this.

The harsh reality is that the Wii U won’t sell the big numbers like the Wii did and it probably will lag behind the PS4 and Xbox One for the remainder of its life-span, but you know what? Nintendo can afford to lower its hardware sales expectations–it has to. Here’s the good news: the Big N can recuperate these losses by delivering exclusive games and experiences that no one else can offer, which is what the company has always done best. Once Nintendo manages that with the Wii U, and arguably it already has, the fans will most certainly open up their wallets–have you?

(Via CVG)

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About The Author

Former Co-Editor

Trace Wysaske lives somewhere in Washington, and when he isn't compulsively hunting Green Stars or felling the Lagiacrus, he's writing about everything from forlorn Japanese teachers to well-mannered crows. He still needs to play Ghost Trick.