Get the latest news about PS4 at PS4Daily.com and Xbox One at XboxOneDaily.com!

Rayman creator Michel Ancel says innovation is Nintendo’s greatest strength & weakness

6194-michel-ancel

In the latest issue of Official Nintendo Magazine, Ubisoft’s Michel Ancel discusses his thoughts on Nintendo and why they’re one of his favorite companies in technology. As you know Rayman Legends was originally supposed to be a Wii U exclusive title before Ubisoft decided to delay the title by seven months so Ancel’s team could retool it as a multi-platform release.

“Nintendo’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is innovation. It’s a company that takes a lot of risks. Few people understand that innovation involves risk-taking, because you don’t control everything on the market.

“Today, the biggest surprises seem to come from Nintendo. People may like those surprises or not, but that’s a fact. Miiverse was a surprise, the GamePad was a surprise. What will come next? I can’t wait!”

It’s not surprising to see Ancel’s opinion on Nintendo, considering when it was originally announced that Rayman Legends would be delayed, Ancel campaigned hard to keep the game as a Wii U exclusive. What do you think? Do you share Ancel’s opinion? Let us know in the comments below.

Continue reading:




  • swic11

    i completely agree with the risk part, the wii u is not selling very well, and I know Nintendo has plenty of good games coming out… But it seems that they are always coming out and not out. They screwed their first year up bad. The only good things coming for them now that nex gen consoles are coming out is that they are going to be the lowest price point again.

    • Fred

      Don’t forget the other thing they have going for them…Nintendo’s games are usually the most fun to play!

      • swic11

        that goes without saying. there are so many games that I will buy day one because I know without even looking at trailers that they will be great. But the fact still remains that they are not out yet, and no one but Nintendo cause their poor sales.

  • Zuxs13

    I agree, and many of their risks I enjoy, unfortunately the masses don’t tend to understand them. I love motion controls (for certain games) and the game pad is a huge advantage for some simple things.

    I think Ancel takes some good risks, I thoroughly enjoy Rayman.

  • The Clockwork Being

    Time after time we keep telling those other fanboys that Nintendo is all about innovation but yet they shove it away and keep criticizing. The Nintendo controllers are a proof of that. The fact that Nintendo can keep its 25 years+ franchises still relevant at this point are a proof of that. I mean look at some of the other games from other systems. GameCube game ages very well compared to some PS2 or Xbox games. By constantly innovating, Nintendo keeps itself in this industry. Just when everyone thinks Nintendo will stop at New Super Mario Bros they give you the innovative Mario Galaxy. If the gameplay is always innovative then it I will take gameplay over power any day. And if you want to brag about Wii vs PS3 or Xbox360 graphics, tell me why Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 look like HD games?

    Edit: It might be important to add that when other companies don’t have anyways to innovate they simply see what Nintendo is doing and try to copy the innovation. Wii U is announced, Smart Glass comes out of nowhere and PS is pushing the Remote play with the Vita like crazy. Kinect 2.0 which is now Microsoft’s primary way of taking the gamers that were attracted by Nintendo’s innovation with the Wii.

    • greengecko007

      Agree and agree. Just one little thing though, Playstation Remote Play has been around for a lot longer than the Wii U, and is completely different than what Nintendo is doing.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Eye Toy for PS2 :)

      • bizzy gie

        True, but there was Gamecube?Gameboy connectivity before PS3/Vita.

        Remote play is very similar to what the GamePad does in terms of off-tv play.

        • greengecko007

          For the upteenth time, show me how Gamecube to Gameboy Advance* connectivity allowed you to stream games to a separate handheld device. Gamecube to Gameboy Advance funtionality was limited to displaying a minimap in a handful of games, and the tingle tuner in Wind Waker. That is not even close to Playstation Remote Play.

          “Remote play is very similar to what the GamePad does in terms of off-tv play.”

          The Gamepad’s off tv play is somewhat similar to remote play for the Playstation* Again, remote play came long before the Wii U and it’s gamepad.

          • bizzy gie

            I was noting that it was the first second screen experience for gaming. I didn’t know it had to be similar to PS3’s remote play. You said it was before Wii U yet NOTHING like what the GamePad. Playstation Remote Play has been around for a lot longer than the Wii U, and is completely different than what Nintendo is doing.

            However, when I state that there was Boy/Cube connectivity, there has to be a relation?

            I stated that off-tv play was similar for both devices. Never once did I bring that Wii U was first (although PS3’s off-tv play had a lot of problems).

          • greengecko007

            “You said it was before Wii U yet NOTHING like what the GamePad.”

            Interesting that you highlight the word “nothing” because that’s not what I said, you even quoted me.

            “Playstation Remote Play has been around for a lot longer than the Wii U, and is completely different than what Nintendo is doing.”

            If you are asking why I corrected how you proposed a relationship, it’s because typically in relationships you present subjects in reverse chronological order. Example, modern day birds share many characteristic with the extinct dinosaurs. Although, I’ll admit that it was a really nitpicky point on my part, so I apologize if that was unclear, and probably unnecessary.

            Anyways, my reason for commenting was to show my support of someone’s opinion, yet also give a small correction, in that Sony’s remote play is in no way a result of the Wii U.

            My question for you is, what exactly are you adding to this conversation? GBA/Gamecube connectivity was before remote play? Alright, but how is that relevant? That functionality is completely different from both gamepad integration and remote play.

          • bizzy gie

            completely different=nothing like

            You stated that remote play was before Wii U and not copying and they are “completely different”.

            I was just noting that Gamecube and Gameboy had connectivity before PS3’s and is “completely different”.

          • TheAquacharger

            In Animal Crossing it was how you could go to the Island which was a seperate AC game all together. You could download and play old NES games from AC onto your GBA as well. Sonic allowed for you to take your Chao on the go and play A LOT OF mini games with it.

          • greengecko007

            I can’t speak for the other games you listed, by the Tiny Chao Garden in the GBA did NOT allow you to play a lot of minigames. In fact, there were no mini games. The amount of content in the tiny chao garden was laughable. The only thing you could do with your chao was feed it. The chao’s growth was stunted and even though it could level up its stats, it would not gain actual points.

          • TheAquacharger

            You could play Rock Paper Scissors with it, feed it, pet it, bounce a ball with it, play a crane game with it, play a nights game with it (you needed another game to be able to do this [and I can't remember which one], it was weird), play a PSO game with it (needed PSO), race it, a pachinko game with it, and quite more. I used to load a chao onto my GBA and play with it for about 3 hours a day with different mini games. Problem was a lot of them you needed other games to access. On the core it had just the racing one (depending on which sonic you had), RPS, crane game, Pachinko, and basic tamagatchi stuff like feeding it, playing with balls with it, etc.

          • greengecko007

            Ah I see, so there wasn’t several minigames you could do with your chao, but 1 or 2 depending on what game you were using the Tiny Chao Garden on, which didn’t actually require any GBA/Gamecube connectivity. These basic functions could all be done with the starting chao they gave you. In fact, it was pointless to use a gamecube chao in the Tiny Chao Garden because gamecube chao couldn’t gain stat points.

          • TheAquacharger

            Er it was needed? Or was it on one of the Sonic GBA games (never played them. I used the download play one from SA which did raise stats)

    • Lil J Moore

      Sony and MS fanboys hate me when I say that Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 look far better then most ps3 and 360 games.

      • sdmac200600

        Same but it’s a fact. And it’s sad cause they aren’t even 720p. They are 480p. Nintendo takes time to polish their games Sony does to an extent does and we aren’t even gonna talk about Microsoft

      • http://twitch.tv/dve2k DVE

        Go replay Galaxy 1 and zoom in on the water and look how fucking good the graphics are. Im like the Wii was a non HD inferior machine to the PS3/Xb360 and it looked breath taking :)

        • Matthew Stapleton

          Agreed, the special effects of Super Mario Galaxy were nothing short of amazing.

      • Andreas Sunde

        Just imagine how gould 3D Mario will look on the Wii U.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      Another way to interpret that is that Nintendo is doing it the hard way for themselves. Sometimes to hard. The pad is expensive, and a cheaper solution for a “nearby” experience is to make an app that makes the console work with pads or smart phones. That makes Nintendos approach the difficult one, but Microsoft the easy approach. If you already have a tablet, why would you buy yet another that is limited to one experience/console? I honestly think that Nintendo should reconsider the pad now, they had one year to prove its unique experience and kind of failed to tell the masses about it. I dont see how their upcoming blockbusters will prove this either (Pikmin3 and W101 as possible exceptions). MK8? DKCF? SSBU? None of those games seems to demand the pad without turning it into a gimmick on pair with “shake the control” on DKCR for Wii. Off-TV play is so far the only reason, but its not enough. Rayman Legends worked just fine without the pad, some gaming sites even gave it a higher score. I could see it implemented in games like Metroid, Star Fox, RPGs etc, but where are those games? Coming in 2015-2016? Thats kind of late for a console released in 2012. Dont misinterpret me here. I do not say its not a cool thing. Its just not cool now. Everything with it is halfhearted. Even the last update where the pad could be used as an extra screen but without mapping the controls, not even for the Virtual Console games. Its not good enough. Its almost there, but still not hit the spot. And that actually goes for Wii U as a whole concept. Everything is almost there, but nothing hits the spot. Close call for everything.

      • greengecko007

        The gamepad has so much potential, but for almost a year it has been used for menial and near useless things. Pikmin 3 was a step in the right direction at least. The micromanaging on the gamepad was cool, but it could also have been done just as easily with menu prompts without the gamepad.

        • blindtiger

          i know sometimes it could seem pointless and the same effect could be done in a menu but i love it. i also loved the gmu for dreamcast. the second screen is so immersive to me. games so far havent even scratched the surface on gamepad interaction. ubi is doing the best work to date but there is plenty more to explore. i have a tablet and hate gaming on it because i want buttons! like a gamepad! the ps/vita setup costs twice as much and xbox/smartglass is even more than that.

          • Jonathan George Anaya

            I have a few tablets and smart phones in my house already. The Xbox One allows for 16 smartglass devices to be connected at any given time… Think Madden with Coaches creating plays and sending to the players with controllers ;). Think Project Spark but with 16 people working on one stage together! That’s like Minecraft on steroids!

          • blindtiger

            vita and smartglass are really cool dont get me wrong… its just that wii u is so much cheaper, the gamepad is better than a tablet and, of course, nintendo games…

      • Veries Seals

        Everyone does may not like gaming on there phone or iPads. I for sure do not! I have had iPads, android tablets and super smart phones and none of them entice me that they are good ways to play serious games, not the casual in am on a small trip games. If you want an iPad, which is always over priced, so is sony vita method or Microsoft’s smart glass method, you are actually spending more money than to buy a great Wii U. Everyone does not have tablets or good smart phones. Why should we buy smartphones or tablets just to shoot a missile or assist in someone else’s games. They are no more than side kicks to real gaming devices. I will play with my game pad anyway, which in included with the console and the console is at a very reasonable price.

        • Magnus Eriksson

          The problem with your argument is that there is already quite many who owes a pad or a smartphone. An app will enchance the uses of the products they already own, without the need to buy a new similar product with a limited use. If Nintendo had released a pad with the same uses as for example an Ipad, but with the extra feature to play games, it would be one thing. But the reality is that its similar to a pad, but worse in every aspect but to play Nintendo games. That is actually a quite bad selling point, when viewed from that perspective. And I believe that is the perspective of most people, and the reason why Wii U is failing. The extra screen could be a cool thingy 3-4 years ago, riding on the wave of the pads. Now there is much cooler gaming devices in the horizon, like Ocolus Rift or PS¤ rumoured experiments with similar products. The extra pad seems superfluous compared to that. I cannot understand how it will be able to compete with those products in the future. Its possible that the pad could be evolved into something like that for next Nintendo gen as they have been experimented with those things in the past. But that is about five years away. And with the current installation of Wii U it is unlikely that Nintendo will get back necessary 3rd P support for a hypothetical product like that.

          • Veries Seals

            As interesting a the occulus rift is it is not going to be price friendly. Also VR glasses will also not always be the best for controlling aviators. It will be a cool novelty item for the rich, but I cant see it catching on anytime soon. Also tablet play is just not viable platforms for serious gaming. Yeah if I want to play angry birds or candy crush bring it on, but those are not serious games that push the limits of innovation and the mind. They are more mindless play items. This is what you get with the Wii U game Pad that you may be overlooking. It is an all inclusive device that comes standard with every Wii U console. The advantages to that is you never have to worry about things such as compatibility. Unlike a smart phone or table that runs and app, that has 700 different specs and ways of doing things. You app may work well on one device and run horribly on another. All PHONES AND PADS ARE NOT THE SAME! Also you have already purchased a PS4 or XBox One with there standard controllers. You have to put down your controller and pick up a phone or pad, just to use that feature. Is that really the type of gaming you want. NOT ME! Now lets look at price points. Spend $399 plus tax here in the US. That put the PS4 to $427.92 with no game, no extra controller. You add in a game and controller you are looking at $557.92. Now let stack the cost of the PS Vita on just for remote play, a basic Wii U function, That is another $213 (thats with tax included), now we are looking at a total of $770.92, just for these features. One game and an extra controller. The Wii U does this all in one box for $321 (thats with tax) you get the deluxe model 32 GB with a free game. That still leaves you with 449.92 cents to get extra controllers and games with. That will buy you quite a few games and other accessories for the same price. So is the vita route or smart glass, really smart? I don’t think so. The Xbox One prices are even higher and the cost of consoles are even more across seas with our fellow game brethren.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            Interesting… pad=not good. WiiU pad=good. Nintendo have been unable to convince people about this. You know that? Your subjective feel about it doesnt matter in that picture. Dont get me wrong here. I use the pad everyday for watching You Tube, surfing the net and readin pdf from the TV screen. But from an objective perspective, its a failed product and its understandable why. If people are unable to see that, then theyre blind of love. :)

          • Veries Seals

            I have plenty of reason why I felt the the Game pad was innovative and not a failed product. Maybe the way you chose to use the pad make you feel that way. But I am sure that there are others that feel like it is not a failed product such as I. I use my Wii U for just about everything. It is now the center piece of my entertainment. No, sir, you cant call it failed because you just choose to use it for a few task while others may enjoy their game pads just fine.

    • andrewjcole

      Nintendo is good at innovation, and MS and Sony are good at copying Nintendo. They know how awesome Nintendo is and they want to be “just like them”. Like big brother Nintendo.

      • Matthew Stapleton

        I love the phrase:

        Nintendo Innovates, Sony and Microsoft Duplicates.

    • The True Gamer

      Innovation is important, but in the case of the Wii u it costs consumers potentially $200 extra a system. The Wii u could sell great as a $149 system without innovation. GameCube wasn’t innovative. It was a fun game system, and Nintendo needs to focus on games and not how to fit innovation into each system. Take 3DS. It’s a powerful piece of hardware that is ruined by a gimmick. 2DS is proof of that. I would buy a Wii u in a instant if it was under $149, and I would be happy if their was no necessary gamepad. I didn’t need innovation to have fun with Mario games and smash bros in the past, and it isn’t needed now. I think Wii u could be very successful if it ended the necessary gamepad idea.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Gamecube had quite innovative controls, and it was a powerful console too.

        • The True Gamer

          You could say the same about the Xbox and playstation. Nintendo focused on quality games, instead of gimmicks.

  • mrjoedawgbrother

    My daughter and I started playing Rayman just the other day. Then we lost 4 hours and didn’t even know it. Great, great game. Then I showed her the original PS1 version. 1995 baby!

    • Fred

      Did she like the old one? I hate the old ones. First Rayman game I enjoyed was Origins. Legends is even better.

      • mrjoedawgbrother

        She was not impressed with the fact you don’t get the fist or the ability to float until later in the game. She liked it graphically though.

        • andrewjcole

          She’s gonna be a great game reviewer someday. You just watch.

          • mrjoedawgbrother

            I appreciate that sir. I’ll be sure to tell her while she continues to be frustrated at the first Uncharted.

          • Andreas Sunde

            In her defense, the gunplay in Uncharted is fucking broken.

  • Cesar Barroso

    hang in there Wii U, hard work always comes with fruition. Sooner or later!

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      I think they need it sooner than later.

  • Martholomew

    Nintendo has always been innovative, especially with input devices. NES had the first D-pad, N64 had the first analog control stick, Wii had motion control. But in my opinion, Nintendo has put too much emphasis on the WiiU gamepad in their marketing of this console.

    Families do not understand or care about the gamepad. Instead Nintendo should promote the WiiU as the HD version of the Wii, with tons of great new games this holiday season, at only $299. That is what will sell it. When Mom and Dad see that the Xbox and PS cost much more, and have mostly violent games, they will choose WiiU.

    • Fred

      I wish they’d make more games around the Gamepad. My favorite Wii U experiences are ones that you can’t have without the Gamepad

  • Nintenjoe82

    Nintendo’s insistence on innovation costs them short term because they have to keep dedicating their best minds to it rather than have them annualise all our favourite games. I think we’ll see a lot more Wii U software from them soon though, because they’ve expanded with all that Wii/DS money. The rate of amazing 3DS software shows just what that expansion can do. We just need Wii U sales to pick up or those resources will stick to the 3DS.

  • Ernie Sanguyo

    Wii U needs party chat. So I can play games and still talking to my friends at same time. Pressing home going to miiverse gets annoying sometimes. Don’t get me wrong but I do love miiverse it’s just that while playing games and trying to talk to my friend using miiverse back and forth pressing home really gets annoying.

    • darkcreap

      Yes, exactly. Wind Waker HD gets good integration, but it would be nice to actually do all Miiverse interaction without going out of the game.

  • Jack5221

    I agree with him. Its a strength because if people LOVE it they’ll go crazy and buy them like crazy. I remember when the Wii came out. It was nearly impossible to get one for the first 6 – 12 months because every time the store had them, they sold out in a heart beat. I remember I got mine by camping outside of Best Buy for 6 hours before the store opened. And then theres the weakness part. While it may sound cool, it doesn’t work out. Like the Virtual Boy. Other than VB, I can’t think of any other Nintendo console that really “failed” 3DS made a HUGE come back, and its only a matter of time before Wii U does too.

  • Lil J Moore

    Nintendo always step up in creating fresh and new ideas unlike Sony and MS who try to push pretty graphics on us. I want fresh ideas and a good story with great gameplay and nintendo always deliver in these categories. You have to take risks to see if it’s good and The big N has showed they aren’t afraid to try something new .

  • greengecko007

    Innovative? Sure, but risk takers? That’s a joke. Nintendo is famous for playing it safe. There is nothing risky about years of not selling anything at a loss. There is nothing risky about New Super Mario Bros. U/Super Luigi U. There is nothing risky about Wind Waker HD.

    • Lil J Moore

      Ok good point, but what does that say about Sony, MS, and the other game developers?

      • greengecko007

        Between Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, I’d say Microsoft takes the most risks, although all them tend to play it safe.

        • Lil J Moore

          How so? I like a example if you don’t mind.

          • greengecko007

            Microsoft revealing their Xbox One was a huge risk. Their initial policies created polar opinions on already controversial issues and they obviously lost some fans because of these old policies. They have since gone back on these policies, but releasing the Xbox One is still taking a risk considering how much bad PR they have been getting lately. There is also the fact that their console will be the most expensive of the three, which didn’t work to well for Sony last generation.

          • Yen

            The bad PR is kind of their own fault though. When they went back on the policy that’s playing it safe imo.

          • greengecko007

            It’s their fault because they took the risk of trying it… But yes, going back on their policies is playing it safe. Which is what most companies do the majority of the time.

          • darkcreap

            I see more risk in what Nintendo does.

            Eg: DS vs PSP. Dual Screen play and touch screen vs a more powerful conventional handheld.
            Eg: 3DS vs vita. 3D vs power. Although 3D is not really important for me it proves the same concept. Offer something different than better specs and same control system. At least Vita has the back touch screen, which is something innovative.
            Wii vs PS3/Xbox360: A not very powerful console with motion control vs two powerhouses with the same control paradigm as the previous generation. Just take SNES controller, put two joysticks and 2 more L and R buttons and you’ve got a modern xbox/ps controller.
            WiiU vs XboxOne/PS4: WiiU is completely different to their competitors. If you see XboxOne and PS4 they are almost identical in esence: two powerhouses with the same control paradigm as previous generation: dpad, 4 face button, 4 L/R buttons and two analog joysticks. WiiU offers that plus: touch screen, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer and dual screen play, which brings asymmetric gameplay among other things to the table.

            If that is not taking risks, what is it for you? All Microsoft and Sony do is bring betters specs and the same control paradigm every generation. The only one there doing some little innovation apart from Nintendo is Microsoft with the Kinect. Maybe it is not working too well right now, but a least they try to bring something new. That is what entertainment is about.

          • greengecko007

            Nintendo releasing the DS was not a risk. Sony jumping into the handheld market against a company that has dominated that part of the industry for years was a risk.

            Nintendo releasing the 3DS was not a risk. It’s early support was a mistake and a result of poor planning, similar to the Wii U. Even the the 3DS struggled very much early on, it was initially sold for profit. Meanwhile, the Vita cost much more to manufacture and develop for, and was a risk for Sony. One that they are just now starting to get some return on.

            The Wii, I will give you. The Wii was a risk.

            The Wii U was/is not a risk. Nintendo is keeping games low budget, and releasing titles that they know fanboys will eat up early on. They also expected the console to ride on the success of the Wii.

            Lastly, do not confuse innovation with risk. I never said Nintendo wasn’t innovative, or that Sony and Microsoft are more innovative. In my opinion, innovation doesn’t matter that much. I would rather have a good product than a product that is poorly made but “innovative”.

          • darkcreap

            Exactly, I guess that is a question of likings. I prefer innovation by contrast.

            Yes, in that sense, in game costs, Nintendo actually avoid risks. That is a problem, since it prevents them from making certain kind of games that could be successful in the market. Nevertheless, I am a bit worried with the track that the industry is taking by making more and more big budget movie-like games. Excessive risk can also be harmful. My personal feeling is that that will eventually lead the industry to problems should the market shrink.

            Same applies to hardware vendors. Sony and Microsoft have highly subsidised their consoles expecting get profits back through licensing. That has worked for them a couple of years after the release of their consoles. Their problem is that they are highly indebted and probably not prepared for adverse situations. Sega stepped out from the hardware market because after several unsuccessful launches they were not prepared to continue competing due to financial problems. Should they have been in a better financial situation, Sega would have continued supporting the Dreamcast. Nintendo, in that sense, is playing wisely in my opinion.

        • wober2

          I feel like nintendo is risky/innovative with gameplay / microsoft with online / and sony with story telling…

  • only god can judge me

    I honestly agree with this statement.I love the fact that nintendo is the most innovative company ever to exist yet when being innovative you have to have the software to back that up.When they released the wii u it seems they jus slapped the u onto the wii and say hey that’s all we need and people will buy it automatically because of the wii with hardly any marketing and games to follow other than lazy ports which is partial to nintendos fault which shows that after wii they kinda was more laidback when and overconfident when relaeasing the wii u.I love my wii u zelda bundle just hope nintendo stays on the ball and keep releasing great games for the wii u they have a great innovative console on their hands just have to create games that will showcase their innovation.

  • ZeldaFanzzzz

    This is why I love Nintendo, a company that takes huge risk and brings out something innovated and AWESOME!!!

  • Jared Garcia

    I like to refer to Batman on this one.
    “WHAT ARE!?”
    I’M NINTENDO!”

    • Batman

      yes

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    I love the pic of him playing Rayman Legends on 360. Makes sense for a Wii U article.

    • ItzameyaToad

      You sure its Legends? It might be an earlier Rayman game(the one before Legends) ;)

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Perhaps. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s showing a 360 controller. :)

  • https://soundcloud.com/rauschenmaschine Kristian Kouvo

    Nintendo is the only true game company at heart. They make only gaming hardware and software – while Sony and MS does whatever brings money in and copies all the innovations (once proved succesful). Nintendo is the brain in the industry and the forefront pioneer. Competitors just aping their ideas. A fact of gaming world.

    • https://soundcloud.com/rauschenmaschine Kristian Kouvo

      Having the most powerful CPU is not an innovation, but maybe a serious heat and noise issue, not to mention possible lastability and stability threat.

  • HypocritesRROD

    Nintendo is the leader. Microsoft and sony are the followers. Haters keep criticising Nintendo’s innovations, yet they are don’t even hesitate and are very happy to blatantly copy Nintendo’s ideas. HYPOCRITES.