It seems that Nintendo might be getting ready for a significant shift in its own approach to game and hardware development in the coming months, as it plans to appeal to its hardcore fans once more and drops any attempt to energize its passive fan base.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the most important game creator working inside the company, is quoted by CVG as saying that there’s a segment of players who approach their hobby as equivalent to a movie or a visit to Disneyland, an experience where they are not expected to contribute anything.
He states, “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.”
The original Wii home console, which was launched in 2006, was a great commercial success and managed to outsell the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 because it appealed to a large number of casual gamers who only bought one or two titles for it.
Miyamoto acknowledges that the home console and the first DS platforms were very successful in expanding the audience of games.
As the world evolved, the spread of smartphones led to a situation where gamers now have access to a wide variety of potential games.
Shigeru Miyamoto adds, “Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It's a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people's daily lives.”
The Wii U home console has been under-performing since it was launched and is not threatening the Xbox One from Microsoft or the PlayStation 4 from Sony in any way.
Nintendo says that it will stick by its home console for the foreseeable future and will try to make it more attractive to long-term fans, a trend that has started with the launch of Mario Kart 8 and will continue with the introduction of Super Smash Bros.
A similar concept is being applied in the development of the new Zelda title for the Wii U, which is supposed to arrive in 2015.