The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
June 16, 2009

Nintendo unmoved by rivals’ plans

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Filed under : General

00002_1.jpg  Nintendo’s veteran games developer Shigeru Miyamoto has told the BBC that the firm is "not worried at all" by Microsoft and Sony’s new controllers.

The Japanese firm has enjoyed huge success with its Wii console, in large part due to its motion control system.

At the E3 games show in Los Angeles, both Microsoft and Sony have shown off new control systems which aim to make gaming more accessible.

Mr Miyamoto said Nintendo was flattered by the approach taken by the firms.

He told BBC News: "The fact that both of those companies are looking at getting the gamer off the couch, taking advantage of motion control, and getting them to control the game by moving their body shows that they have looked at what we have done with Wii.

"And now they are moving in the same direction. To that end we are very flattered, he said.

While both the Sony and Microsoft showcases at E3 have featured new technology and techniques for motion controllers, Nintendo’s event was decidedly low key.

The only "new technology" on offer was a modification to the Wii controller, called the Wii Motion Plus, which was announced last year, and a pulse measuring device called Wii Vitality Sensor, although that is still in the early stages of development.

"Just as we enable you to see the centre of your body balance with Wii fit, the Wii Vitality Sensor enables you to see the information related to the inner world of your body," said Nintendo’s chief, Satoru Iwata, at the event.

There was a mixed reaction to Nintendo’s announcements.

Patrick Garratt, editor of Videogaming 24/7, said: "Nintendo’s conference was infinitely more impressive than last year’s, but I can’t help thinking a tiny, very vocal minority moulded the firm’s line-up after the reaction to the 2008 announcements.

"There were a lot of calls for Nintendo to show it has learned a lesson from sticking to mass market products like Wii Music in its E3 presentation, and I’d really hoped they were above it."

He added: "That said, it’d be churlish to be disappointed at Galaxy 2, the Wii Super Mario Bros game and Metroid.

"It’s worth noting that the second 3D Mario title – and Miyamoto’s subsequent announcement that a Zelda Wii reveal’s likely for next year – means it’s extremely unlikely we’re going to see the back of Wii for a long time yet."

Mr Miyamoto said Nintendo was using its experience in motion control to perfect game experiences.

"What we’re really focused on at this point is taking all the experience we gained over the past five years and applying that in a way that creates extremely deep game play experiences that takes advantage of motion control," said Mr Miyamoto.

"Based on the announcements we’ve seen here [from Microsoft and Sony] they are still in the initial stages and are trying to create experiences that at this point don’t seem like they have the type of depth that we’re able to provide with Wii Motion Plus."

Nintendo also showcased a number of titles at the event, including Metroid: Other M, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Kingdom Hearts 358/2, and a new James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club game on DS.

Also on offer were two new Mario games: Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Brothers Wii.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 features giant worlds (such as those found in Super Mario Bros 3) and is a follow up to the first 3D Mario Galaxy; New Super Mario Brothers Wii is a four-player take on the classic 2D Mario found on the SNES but with a very retro feel.

Mr Miyamoto denied that he was re-inventing the wheel.

"People may mistake the game as a straight port of Super Mario Brothers Nintendo DS. This is an all new game. The levels are not the same, it’s all new content.

"I think the idea of taking a four-player element of a classic game adds a new element of fun to the Super Mario Brothers series we have not seen before," he said.

Source: BBC News

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