9 Interviews

Interview: Shigeru Miyamoto on DRM and banjos

CVG meets the masterful mind behind Mario

There has been a noticeable lack of Miyamoto in Nintendo's recent media output, and we're not okay with that.

Despite featuring Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and Pikmin 3 during the E3 Nintendo Direct, the legendary games developer hasn't even made a cameo appearance. Fortunately for us, we were able to steal a few moments with him during E3, just long enough to what he thinks about DRM, the future of the Wii, Twitter and get an update on his banjo skills.

[ Wii U: All news | Wii U games | All videos ] [ E3 2013: Game trailer & video library ]

CVG: Pre-owned game preventions have become a huge issue on other consoles at E3 this year. What is Nintendo's stance?


MIYAMOTO: We don't have a particular stance on used games. For us it's less about used games and it's really more illegal copying of games that we're really worried about. By creating the games that we create and selling those games, it enables us to then create new versions of those games.

We're more worried about piracy and we think used games are a whole other story. In fact, from our perspective you want to create a game that people will want to keep and keep playing for a long time. That's the approach that we always take and that's the best way to avoid used games.

Nintendo has said on record that it underestimated the resources required to develop some Wii U games. What lessons have you personally learned working on your own debut HD projects such as Pikmin 3?

What I learned the most is that the HD visuals are really particularly suited to Pikmin 3, and I say that because I think the lesson I learned is that the high resolution graphics are really good at portraying lots of little details within the environment.


But also of course in completing those HD visuals it's taken a lot of time, and what's particularly important is that in that process of developing the games you really need to stay true to that core game design. Because if you don't then it's very easy for a game's production values to overshadow what's going on with the gameplay itself.

Of course at the same time if you don't have that core game design locked down then the development keeps extending and extending as you try to polish the quality of the graphics along the way.

Wii U has had a slow start. Do you personally feel the responsibility to help steer the ship around with software?

I definitely think I have responsibility. Certainly with the Wii U hardware itself, first and foremost we designed this to be a system that is incredibly convenient to use in the living room, but the challenge with the Wii U system is you don't really understand the benefits of it until you have experienced it in your living room.

"From our perspective you want to create a game that people will want to keep and keep playing for a long time"

What we're finding is that people that own the system and that have played the system enjoy it - their satisfaction level is quite high, but the challenge is we haven't had enough Nintendo software to provide a broader audience incentive to go out and purchase the system.

It's particularly clear at E3 this year that with Pikmin 3 and the other games that we're showing, I finally feel like I'm fulfilling my responsibility by providing people with the type of software that we think is going to make them want to purchase Wii U. And then once they bring it in to the home and they start to understand what kind of convenience it brings through the Gamepad and TV, I think we're going to start to see people really enjoy it.


Miyamoto-san, you have millions of fans across the world. Have you ever considered joining Twitter?

Every once in a while I post on Twitter via our official Nintendo Twitter account, but it's scary (laughs). Maybe I'm not supposed to say this, but I do use Twitter myself to communicate directly with friends on occasion. But don't look for me - you won't find me!

Finally, how is your banjo playing going these days?

Banjo I rarely play at the moment. I play guitar more and I play guitar regularly.