Nintendo Wii U: Shigeru Miyamoto Discusses All Things Wii U With Cnet

Legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto has taken the opportunity to sit down with popular technology publication Cnet to discuss Nintendo’s forthcoming console, the Wii U. Although Shigeru Miyamoto was cautious not to give too much information away, the interview still makes for an interesting read as it explains why Nintendo have decided to create such a unique product. Enjoy.

Scott Stein: What were the influences for the creation of Wii U?
Miyamoto: There was nothing external that influenced us. What really brought about the idea for it stemmed from our original concept for the Wii. We talked about it as the system that would never sleep, using something like Wii Connect 24–meaning, people would be able to access the system very quickly at any time. But, what we found was that as people started getting larger TVs, turning on the TV began to take more and more time than it used to. It was no longer instantaneous. So that became a barrier for people, and people who were watching TV would essentially make the system unavailable for somebody who wanted to play a game or see what was new with the system that day.

And so, with those challenges in mind, we started to look at what we wanted to do for the next system, and started to think that if, we can’t continue to always rely on the TV, we need to create a dedicated screen just for the system so people can quickly and instantly interact with it, regardless of what was happening on the TV.

Is this a true synthesis of the Nintendo DS and the Wii–a point you see gaming evolving towards? 
Miyamoto: I think so. I think that what’s going to be unique is it creates a new structure, in that you have your own screen, but you also have your TV screen, and those two can interact with one another. And that’s going to create a lot of new things that you can do, not only just with games–obviously, it will create new game play–but it also creates new ways to interact with things like web services, or even, as a simple example, photo viewing: how you can view photos on the small screen and transfer them up to the big screen. This new structure, in my mind, is not just a new structure for game play, it’s a new structure for TV in the living room, to the point where people will look at this device as something they want to have alongside their TV because of what it brings to home entertainment, perhaps even to the point where they’ll think, “why didn’t TV manufacturers come up with this?”

Speaking of that, could the Wii U potentially act as a second screen not just for Wii games, but for TV as well? 
iyamoto: Well, yes, I think it would be possible for television manufacturers in the future to think about what might be possible knowing that this structure exists, and even building functionality into the TVs that might take advantage of them.

Are there any games you’ve been excited about making on the Wii U? 
Miyamoto: The experiences we have on the show floor demonstrate some of these ideas. The multiplayer games are quite fun, there’s also another experience called Panorama View. There’s a video running on the TV of a car driving down the street, and with the new controller you’re able to view the same video but 360 degrees around you in that same video. The combination of the controller with the screen, and particularly with the gyro sensor, is very fun.

Speaking of which, it looked like the Wii U offers augmented reality where one screen interacts with the second screen in a way we’ve never seen before. 
Miyamoto: I’m actually very excited to see how all the talented game designers around the world are going to look at that with the same eyes that you did and how they’re going to take advantage of it.

How do you see the Wii U as compared to what Apple’s doing with the iPad? 
Miyamoto: I have to be honest, I don’t really know everything that Apple is planning right now, so it’s hard to say. When I look at things, I feel that Nintendo is looking at video games, and how we make the most compelling and fun video game experience. And then, within that framework, how can we use that to create new and fun entertainment within the living room setting? So we’re really looking at it strictly from an entertainment perspective, and when I think about the things that Apple is talking about in terms of cloud computing and things like that, I’d say that they’re just two very different areas that we’re both looking at.

Is this device something that would ever leave the home, or does it stay in the living room? 
Miyamoto: That’s a good question. I think obviously less so for outside the home, but more so people will start to ask, “oh, can I take it to my bedroom and sit in bed and play games?” Regardless of what the technical possibilities are in terms of how far you can take it from the system, for me it really is a matter of it’s a device you’ll want to have sitting on the cradle in the living room so you can access it there at any point and interact with the system that’s in the living room at any point, and that system is connected to the TV. So, for me, my feeling is it really is a device that, if it’s not there in the living room, people are going to have a hard time interacting with the system.

So that’s where the 3DS takes over? 
Miyamoto: Yes.



  1. Am I the only one thinking that they’ll be lucky to have it out by Christmas next year when they didn’t have any games at E3?
    Also, I wonder why Reggie kept insisting the games on the floor weren’t real games. Was like he was worried they wouldn’t be good and so didn’t want people to judge the system completely on them.

    1. Maybe because they AREN’T real games and are in very early stages of development and may not even ever be released. Stop jumping to conclusions.

      1. Nah, not jumping to conclusions. Just think he was being defensive about something that, from what I’ve read, he had no cause to be defensive about. All initial hands on articles I’ve read so far have been positive.
        But It’s early days. More info will be released over the coming days and what’s been shown so far was to highlight the controller more than the system.

  2. The 3DS takes over one’s life once they leave the Wii U. Mind control? Or just a simple addiction? Either way, Nintendo’s takeover of our life has been leaked! Run for the hills!

  3. Worrying that those demos wouldn’t really show off the new system is a very valid worry. A lot of the first wave of games for any new system usually do not do it justice visually-speaking. As the developers learn the system, that’s where we usually see the really pretty stuff.

  4. I love nintendo but I admit I was disappointed by the name. It’s not horrible but still. The controller seemed ok to me at first. I thought it was just an updated controller for wii but since it will have HD graphics there is going to be a console since wii isn’t powerful enough. When they showed the video of the third party people, I instantly hopped on board. I’m getting this day 1. I like sony and ms but they’re shows weren’t good. MS focused on kinect (not a worthy investment for me) and sony had a lot of games I knew about already. The vita looks cool but having to pay for a 3g plan is lame and why not go with 4g? I have at&t but I still won’t get it since they would make me pay an additional fee.

    1. Mario 3DS has a ZELDA level. It’s a top-down LttP level where Mario jumps up at you.

  5. I’m sick of people complaining CONSTANTLY about the name. Yes, not everyone likes the name, we get it. Personally, I’ll be calling this thing by a nickname “U” as opposed to the full name, which I think sounds a bit better.

    And it’s not like the name MAKES the console, people…Oh well, haters gunna hate, I guess.

  6. Have anyone noticed that they only show one wiiu controller at the time(?). Surly it must support multiple controllers, right? If other players had to use the wiimote… that would really suck :/

  7. i don’t care about the name nintendo have given for this console- it’s the quality of games that comes with it. and judging by what i saw at that press conference yesterday, i have every reason to believe this wii U will regain some of the core gamers nintendo had lost through the wii.

    1. i agree, it’s not the name that makes a console, it’s its games. sure, maybe Wii U isn’t the best name ever, but i don’t care one bit about it.

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