Nintendo's Miyamoto inspires GDC crowd, but fails to deliver the goods

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Francisco (CA) - Nintendo's famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto inspired thousands of game developers, but only introduced one new product during his keynote at the Game Developer's Conference. Miyamoto outlined Nintendo's game design philosophy and challenged game companies and developers to make more universally appealing games. To illustrate the point he used the "wife o meter", an outline of his wife that progressively filled with red as she became more interested in games.


Huge lines form to get into the keynote

Rather than talk about new products, like Nintendo did last year, Miyamoto chose to take a nostalgic journey back to the beginnings of the company's games and consoles. He told the crowd that his wife wouldn't have even bothered watching his early games and thusly his wife-o-meter stayed low. However as the technology and the games advanced, his wife became more interested in games, mainly because she would watch Miyamoto's daughter play games.

Eventually games reached an interactive and cuteness level that finally lured Miyamoto's wife into playing. Speaking through a translator, Miyamoto told the audience that his wife now boasts that she can beat him any day in one game.


Shigeru Miyamoto

During this part of the keynote, Miyamoto held the audience's attention which is a testament to how much he is adored, admired and even imitated in the gaming world. Even Sony's Phil Harrsion, seated in the front rows of the auditorium, gave his undivided attention.

Miyamoto said Nintendo's goal is to expand the gaming market by making universally appealing games. He even challenged review magazines and websites to include a new way of rating games by gauging how non-gamers would like the game.

One game that could fit this universal appeal could be the upcoming Super Mario Galaxy. Miyamoto showed off a demo reel that had the classic Mario jumping, running and bumping things in three-dimensional outer space. The graphics looked color, smooth and everything stayed true to the Mario universe, except in a much grander and motion-sickness inducing scale. Miyamoto promised that the game would be released later in the year for the Wii.

So while Miyamoto only big announcement was of Super Mario Galaxy, he still earned a standing ovation at the end of his keynote. You have to remember that the majority of the audience was made up of game developers who universally adore Miyamoto, no matter what he says. Heck if the crowd had roses, you would have seen rose petals thrown at Miyamoto's feet.