When the Wii U was unveiled at E3 earlier this month, it left a lot of unanswered questions. Enter Shigeru Miyamoto. The long running Nintendo developer, famous for creating loved characters like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong opened up to Game Informer recently about the new system and how it’s development dates back to even before the original Wii.
Miyamoto told the magazine that the idea of a new HD console was originally being tossed around when the company was in the early stages of developing the original Wii console. For several reasons, they decided not to go HD, but given the recent rise of popularity of HD TVs, they knew it had to be included with the new console. “We’ve seen the increase in HD TVs be very dramatic, so we felt this time is was important for us to include HD functionality in the system,” Miyamoto said.
Miyamoto also noted that Nintendo is not putting any restrictions on how developers choose to use the new platform, and that includes the motion control and the touch screen. He noted that developers may have felt limited by the Wii-mote’s button layout. “The number of buttons on the controller was somewhat limited compared to what developers were used to developing for.” Miyamoto believes that some developers felt like they had to use motion control to achieve the type of gameplay they wanted.
Of course, with the Wii U, Nintendo aims to fix all that. How? A more traditional button layout on top of the touch screen and motion features. “Yes, it does have motion control and it does have a touch screen, but it also has a full complement of buttons to go alongside that,” he said. “So it’s really going to be up to the development teams to decide if they want to take advantage of button control, motion control, the touch screen, and they’ll be able to leverage their own creativity and find the gameplay style that’s going to be best suited to the games they’re developing.”
Miyamoto went on to talk about the creation of the Wii U and it’s controller. “The concept for Wii U came from, “where do we want to take the future of home console gaming?” Particularly with the thinking that the home console is something that’s connected to the TV, we started to think about how we can leverage the TV and interact with it in different ways and use that to change the living room entertainment experience. What we didn’t do is look at in terms of how can we connect a portable gaming device to a console.”
“One of the challenges with the home console is that up until now for the home console to function is it has to be connected to the TV. Particularly now when turning on the TV doesn’t instantly bring up an image, it takes time for the picture to come up, or someone else is using the TV, that then creates barriers for people to use the home console. What we thought was what can we do to make this device that anyone can access instantly at any time regardless of what’s happening on the TV? How can they use this controller to very quickly turn on the system, see what’s new there, see what their friends have been playing, and have instant access to that. What we decided is that in addition to the TV screen that the console is going to use, we needed an additional screen that is quick, easy access to everything that the system has to offer.”