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Miyamoto discusses hand-me-down smartphones as gaming devices

Shigeru-Miyamoto1

During the annual shareholders meeting for Nintendo this past week, some interesting conversation has finally been made available to the public. One of the questions posed by a shareholder was that some people are worried that Nintendo will stray away from the business of making and selling video games and focus more on health devices, like the QoL platform discussed by Satoru Iwata at the beginning of this year.

This particular investor stated that he would like to be an investor for the long term, but he’s worried that the new direction of the company could be something that’s not compatible with his vision. Here’s a snippet of the question as posed:

Question: It seems to me that the hardware-software integrated platform business will not last forever. Is Nintendo not going to change this business model? If not, I am concerned that failure of the next hardware system could be critical. In order to wipe away my anxiety, I would like to hear about Nintendo’s dreams for the future, especially from Mr. Miyamoto.

Miyamoto’s answer spoke not only of hand-me-down smartphones, which are how many new gamers are exposed to the world of gaming, but also on the fact that he doesn’t believe that sort of gaming is sustainable.

The entertainment business inherently has a lot of ups and downs. When I joined the company over 30 years ago, Nintendo had a great amount of debt loans. Now, it is sometimes said that Nintendo is too cash-rich, but this is essential for us to try new endeavors. I am sorry for the shareholder who just asked this question, but I cannot predict what is going to happen 10 years from now. It is true that I have a sense of fear in that “hand-me-down smartphones,” as pointed out by another shareholder, are becoming hardware systems on which to play games due to their prices being lower than that of our most inexpensive video game system in our history. However, I do not believe that will completely control the future of video games.

To help assuage some of the fears outlined by shareholders, Miyamoto continued by saying that he doesn’t believe the entertainment industry is going anywhere and that “new forms of entertainment are always born.” He states that Nintendo needs to work with a “clear consciousness” and that the appeal of video games is not transient, but something that’s instinctual.

[source Nintendo]

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  • http://Website.com/ Shane Michaels
    • Shota

      flappy bird was crappy and people liked it lol

    • Magnus Eriksson

      I think Nintendo SHOULD start to work with games on mobile phones. Not necessarly develope games for the mobile market, but they should make some sort of integration tech where people who owns a Nintendo console also could use it with their phones. Next gen that will certainly be possible.

      • Carlos Webster

        You know, I agree.

  • wober2

    I really hope we do not find ourselves in a single device future. Your phone is everything or something like that. I would miss some clutter and enjoying electronics as physical objects. I hope nintendo will make good industrial design decisions that attract people to their next console/handheld. If people will pay $250 for a gorgeous looking thermostat, they may for the next nintendo hardware.

    With that said I think the wiiu is boring/semi ugly, 3dsXL and 2ds are the most attractive right now but I love the NES / gameboy pocket / gba advance sp / gba micro / gamecube for product/industrial design.

    • Epicstuf

      Wii U is boring? ALERT, non-Wii U owner!

      • wober2

        I am a proud wiiu owner thank you very much :)

        Anyways, the console that plugs into the tv is a slightly rounded and elongated wii. I think this is partly why there is so much confusion with the wii with non-gamers. Both the wii and the wiiu actual consoles seem minimal and very utilitarian they are not emblematic of what of the interface or the experience would be like. They look like better made small dvd players.

        The wiiu gamepad looks looks clunky I think it has more to do with the amount of plastic surrounding the screen then it does the size of the controller with a screen. The glossy plastic on the front also gives it a slightly cheap look too. I know they will eventually give us a redesign, I cant wait to see what they can do.

        With all that I do still love the console. I think as a company wanting to not be outdated by old cell phones they need to make objects that people want even if not powered on.

        • companyoflosers

          in regards to the glossy plastic, i just bought a skin for my wii u with a matte finish. when you take away that glossy finger printy mess, its actually pretty good. Nintendo consoles are never by any means cheaply made. if anything i think Nintendo builds their hardware and accessories to withstand abuse more than any other console maker. there are demostration videos out there showing what happens when you drop an xbox vs a playstation vs a nintendo console. the nintendo console almost always comes away looking the best.

    • http://Website.com/ Shane Michaels

      I love the Wii U’s look. It looks like sleek, well designed hardware, and yet also like something that belongs, like a set top box or a fancy Blu Ray player. Conversely, how many people have a Blu-Ray Player? If everyone has one, then Wii U doesn’t need to be able to player Blu-Ray disks. It’s not really necessary, especially considering the whole, off-screen element.

      • wober2

        I am in so in love with that gamepad docking station! I think that thing was made so well. Not the prettiest but the functionality is the best I can think of for a dock.

      • Rinslowe

        It certainly doesn’t attract too much attention in a negative sense. Upright is the best way to go for aesthetics imo.

    • MerryBlind .

      err…. I find all models of 3DS ugly as fudge. The DS Lite was incredibly sexy, yes, sexy; the 3DS XL is extemely bland and 2DS doesn’t even look like a finish product.

      I think the Wii U is alright. It looks fine, though a bit too ‘safe’. The PS4 for comparison is a gorgeous device. Sony really nailed its design I find.

      • wober2

        I like the 2ds wedge shape. I thought this was such a creative solution to a semi-tablet design. The colored edge is a nice touch too. I do dislike the the different size screens, this looks horrible. But it makes me crave a full tablet tablet from them some day.

        The 3dsXL was miles above the 3ds in build quality and had some gorgeous limited released covers that were drool worthy imo.

    • Ghazbaran

      The only thing I dislike about the Wii U is that now PS4 controllers feel too small, but that’s getting fixed with the upcoming Gamecube adapter

  • Stuart Thomas

    There are a lot of idiots in the world and a lot of those idiots buy into the “cow clicker” style of game and throw their money at this shite, it’s sad and shows how retarded the human race is becoming. Idiocracy depicts this pretty well. I will forever trust Nintendo’s judgement as its always been sound and very rarely have I experienced a truly terrible game. All companies make mistakes, some companies learn from their mistakes like Nintendo and some companies don’t get it, like EA. Nintendo i have your back, i have always thoroughly enjoyed your consoles and your games.

  • MARIO’SMOUSTACH

    I always thought that Miyamoto walks down the street like this:

    • MARIO’SMOUSTACH

      There we go

  • Juan Benitez

    I WANT THIS SHIRT SO BAD!!!!!

    • Squid

      Thx

  • Mr Ninty

    i will never buy or play games on smartphones. if you want to play a game on the road then buy a 3DS or PS or even a gameboy like a real man

    • brian

      Unfortunately, I can’t bring my 3DS to work. On the other hand, my smartphone is in my pocket at all times. Therefore, I play games on my phone at work.

      • JudgeMethos

        Depends on the job. I bring my 3DS & VITA to work.

  • Arthur Jarret

    A lot of comments here disregard gaming on mobile phones out of hand. There are a lot of terrible, crappy games on Mobile – and even more free-to-play shite where loyal customers are known as whales.

    However, there are good titles to be played on there too. Just like any other platform – it has games worth playing. Refusing to do so simply means you are limiting yourself and missing out.

  • Volgana

    I think his opinion is wrong, but its his company its his decision. In my mind mobile devices seems more attractive day by day. Of course there is no rich true gaming content yet, but these thing change day by day. If he cant see that … well its not my money its his that he will lose. Hope i am wrong.

  • Keith

    As a T-Mobile USA Inc sales representative, I can safely say that in no way, shape or form can a smartphone replace or fully replicate a gaming console or a handheld gaming console. It’s just not the same.

    No matter how advanced a smartphone or tablet can be, it just isn’t a dedicated gaming system. It’s not technically designed to be.

    Sure, millions upon millions play, purchase & poorly support mobile phone gaming. Mainly because it’s cheap & mostly because everyone already has a smartphone.

    However, the mobile gaming experience solely relies on the two basic principles: The type of phone you have & the app you’ve downloaded.

    Unfortunately for these millions of poorly educated consumers, there is no “one size fits all” mobile gaming experience. App developers surely try their best but Android, Apple & Windows operating systems differ, along with hardware.

    Most, if not all apps are flawed because of software & hardware constraints. Even the infamous Angry Birds performs extremely better on a Wii U or even a PS Vita vs any smartphone.

    Mobile gaming is definitely convenient, but it’s just not truly a gaming experience. Nothing can compare to a Wii U, 3DS, PS4, PS Vita & the Xbox One as far as gaming goes.

    Just because mobile gaming is cheap, convenient & easy to access (I.e. at work) doesn’t mean it’s worth replacing a gaming console.

    A smartphone is just that….a phone 1st & apps 2nd!!

    Argue all you want with that statement but I sure as He-double hockey sticks didn’t buy my smartphone for non-communication purposes lol

    A gaming console is designed for gaming only. Manufactured, developed & released for a highy advanced gaming experience.

    Most of us Americans are just lazy, cheap & uneducated consumers who settle with 99¢ or even a free poorly preforming gaming experiences on their smartphones vs a dedicated gaming console….

    There’s just no denying that….

    Sorry for the long post, just my 2 cents.

    • Keith

      Wow….I definitely spaced everything correctly & paragraphed my post to be easily readable. Stupid smartphone lol

      • SolarShane13

        You did :)

        Because of a smaller screen, mobile browsers tend to shrink the contents of the webpage to enable a less amount of scrolling. A tablet would display your comment perfectly fine.

  • SolarShane13

    “However, I do not believe that will completely control the future of video games.” Talk about how naive! The phrase “pride before the fall” comes to mind.

    “Mobile” devices are the way of the future.. These pocket sized computers and their tablet cousins are now reaching a point where the performance and level of graphics are out pacing dedicated console and handheld hardware. Just take Apple’s “Metal” for example. It enables developers to do insane things on a freaking iPad and iPhone. If Nintendo doesn’t wake up quick, they’re going the way of RIM, a slow, painful death.

  • Perfecto-Geek

    I think the future of gaming will be a fully mobile console…IE a device like the 3DS/Vita but one that is more powerful and will also connect to your TV so you can play on the big screen. This will eliminate the need for two separate devices and consolidate products/services for both Sony and Nintendo.

  • Aspettandogears

    good job Nintendo :D first image of watch dogs wiiU version

    • Komicturtle

      Buildings look the same. Foliage too. Let’s get the Wii U into the water to really see <3

      • Lilburrito

        You’re being fooled. Even if the Wii U version won’t look as good as X1 and PS4 version there’s no way it’d look even worst than the PS3 version of the game. That is not an official screen shot. Simply flame bait.

        • Keith

          Agreed. It’s not even a legit comparison due to it’s different screen shots. It’s like comparing 4G LTE speeds on different devices at different places around the U.S. & at different peak times to say that one network is faster than the other lol

    • Lilburrito

      There have been no official screen shots put out for the Wii U version of Watch Dogs as yet. That screen shot is clearly taken from the PC version on it’s lowest settings. Now please refrain from posting anymore of this drivel. We don’t need any more flame bait.

    • SkullScience

      Get a life you prick! As if we would take any notice from someone with a Crimson Omen Avatar!! Makes me ashamed to be an Xbox owner.

  • Keith

    If that were to happen (and that’s a huge IF) then there will have to be a handset monopoly. Example: a single IPhone device, a single Samsung device & a single Windows device to make yhe gaming experience comparable to a home console. Maybe even 2 devices in each category.

    Smartphones & their “tablet cousins” vary completely between each other. Some with less specs & some with the latest.

    Hardware & software constraints will greatly affect the the developer’s construction, visual effects, loading times & the consumers gaming experience.

    Do I believe that each console will move to a single hand held device which can be played like the Vita/3DS & the home consoles on our T.V.?? Absolutely I do!!

    But these dedicated systems ecosystems will always be a gaming system 1st, other applications 2nd. Whereas the smartphone & tablet ecosystems will never be able to fully fill those shoe’s.

    p.s. I’m writing this on my Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (one of the most advanced tablets available) so if it didn’t space out & paragraph out correctly then I’m sorry.

    • SolarShane13

      If you look at Android, you are absolutely right. There are so many phones and tablets, it’s crazy.

      But Apple? Only two devices, the iPad and the iPhone. Both the iPad and it’s mini variation have the same resolutions. The iPhone has one, soon to be two, maybe three. (If Apple doesn’t put the iPad’s resolution on the 5.5 inch model.)

      • Keith

        Yes but Android has the majority of the smartphone market share due to it’s endless hardware options. Apple does currently have 2 model’s of the IPhone & Ipad but that will be changing here real soon. The IPhone 6 & 6s will come in various designs, some with a physical keyboard, some not. It’ll also have different specs & hardware constraints so that it can evenly compete in the handset realm. So eventually, game developers will still run into the same problems on Apple due to different specs which may or may not function as it should be. Nothing can compare to a home or handheld dedicated gaming console. That’s why I think Nintendo is refusing to enter the smartphone world & for good reason.

  • SolarShane13

    Did he really call it the “hand-me down” market? What an insult! I guess my new iPhone 6 will be a hand-me down. Sorry, Miyamoto, but you’ve just lost even more respect.

    • C.S. Bailey

      Either you haven’t seen it a lot or didn’t understand. There are a lot of kids playing games on their parents old phones. Most of them will still connect through WiFi and receive updates.

      • Keith

        Just another example of cheap, uneducated consumers. People need to understand that a $5.00 low, low budget movie that nobody’s ever heard of before is not the same as a high grossing movie. The same goes for gaming devices & titles. Floppy bird (even tho it was a huge success among today’s worthless crowd) will NEVER, ever compare to a popular gaming title for a dedicated gaming system. Parents never used to buy their children games just to shut them up or keep them busy….they bought their children a gaming console to enjoy the experience. Sad how cheap & uneducated today’s parents are….

    • Keith

      It won’t be a “hand me down” but it certainly won’t be able to successfully give you the gaming experience as a dedicated console, handheld or home gives. When I purchase a Wii U or 3DS title, I’m 99.9% certain that it will work flawlessly. However, the same could never be said for your extremely overrated IPhone 6. Uneducated people buy the IPhone for the same reason that people buy a PS4….because “everybody has one so I must have one” lol Not to intentionally say that the IPhone (or PS4) is a terrible product per say, but it is extremely overrated & the IOS ecosystem has numerous apps from popular developers (even console developers) that do not work as intended. And just because you choose it because “the IPhone has never let you down” doesn’t mean squat because as a T-Mobile sales representative, I know 1st hand of countless hardware issues that the IPhone has gives customers. The same goes for Android devices. So is the IPhone a “hand me down”? No. But is it or will it ever give you the gaming experience of a dedicated handheld or home console? Nope, not ever. It would be virtually impossible for developers to make that dream a reality lol

    • SkullScience

      What thing that can not be denied, as someone who has been an IOS gamer for years, is that the IOS/Android gaming scene is in severe decline in terms of quality. The casual market won and has destroyed the potential. There was a time, when Infinity Blade, Real Racing and many Gameloft titles really indicated that these platforms could rival the likes of 3DS and Vita for quality in terms of serious gaming experience. The past 18 months has been totally barren with Flappy Bird being the revelation. Dungeon Keeper being a disgrace to the franchise. Money grabbing micro-transactions being the norm. Now with the onset of micro-consoles (OUYA, Google Android Console by Razer, Amazon Fire, Madcatz MOJO) and the success of the Nvidia Shield, we can see controllers are required for serious games. I personally believe the 2 markets will become very distinct.

      • Keith

        Definitely agree!!

      • Jim Peterson

        Yes, I dont know why this hasnt been written about more. We keep hearing about the threat to traditional gaming from mobile (yeah right) but by are we not hearing about the MASSIVE decline in the quality of mobile gaming. A few years ago I honestly thought mobile gaming could replace handheld gaming for me, we were seeing a lot of AAA quality titles that were unique and took advantage of the interface and had great visuals. Now, nothing but shitty free-to-play garbage with no gameplay and purely designed to keep you making microtransactions. Even the ports of older classic games we were getting have dried up.

    • Jim Peterson

      He’s 100% right. Every little kid I know is playing games on their parents old iPhones. What, are you planning on keeping your iPhone 6 forever? Or do you just throw them out when you get a new model?

  • C.S. Bailey

    I haven’t really thought about hand me down phones until this evening, when I had to wait for a kid to get out of my way at the grocery store. He sucked at Candy Crush BTW…..

    • Keith

      Of course he sucked at candy crush….when we were his age we dominated our truly complex games for our game boy. And we played it because we wanted too, not just because our parents wanted to keep us quite & busy while shopping lol Why would we ever choose a mindless game like Candy Crush at his age when we had Mario, Zelda & Pokemon for our dedicated handheld system??

  • SkullScience

    What thing that can not be denied, as someone who has been an IOS gamer for years, is that the IOS/Android gaming scene is in severe decline in terms of quality but not quantity. The casual market won and has destroyed the potential. There was a time, when Infinity Blade, Real Racing and many Gameloft titles really indicated that these platforms could rival the likes of 3DS and Vita for quality in terms of serious gaming experience. The past 18 months has been totally barren with Flappy Bird being the revelation. Dungeon Keeper being a disgrace to the franchise. Money grabbing micro-transactions being the norm. The devs of Candy Crush Saga entering the rich list. Now with the onset of micro-consoles (OUYA, Google Android Console by Razer, Amazon Fire, Madcatz MOJO) and the success of the Nvidia Shield, we can see controllers are required for serious games. I personally believe the 2 markets will become very distinct. The smart-phone market is not trying to compete for serious gamers anymore. It will create a new market based purely on casuals rather than fracture it like many predicted. It will still impact handheld consoles but not as severely as imagined a couple of years ago.

  • Keith

    Also agree ;-)