Nintendo Gets It

march 24, 2006

Nintendo gets it. Nintendo Chief Executive Satoru Iwata said that the current game consoles are pushing more power, better graphics, and realism. What they are missing is creativity and innovation. Game stores, he explains, are becoming like book stores that stock only encyclopedias: "There would be no paperbacks, no romance novels, no magazines." He also thinks that if a creative game like Tetris were shown to current game publishers, none of them would have anything to do with it. I do not agree fully with that point. Look at Lumines for the PSP, that was a risky move, yes it was only for a portable gaming system, but it is still a way risky move. The current game design for the next gen consoles are more "how do we harness the incredible graphical powers of this machine" rather than "how do we make a game that is excitingly fun and memorable". Hence, we have a whole slew of first-person shooters and driving games -- both of which push gaming hardware to the limits. What we don't see are a lot of 2D puzzle games since those would not take full advantage of gaming hardware, and would be seen as one of those "old" games. I agree with Iwata, game developers should focus on fun rather than power.