Iwata: 'Stories and better graphics don't grow game audiences'

Iwata: 'Stories and better graphics don't grow game audiences'
Michael French

By Michael French

January 7th 2008 at 2:06PM

Nintendo boss unconvinced that overly sophisticated games will grow 'gamer population'

Your excellent technical demo, high-detail concept art and polished game screenplay won't help grow the audience for games - at least according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Kotaku reports that the format-holder boss reiterated to Japan's Asahi.com the firm's strategy on advocating physical interaction with games via the Wiimote and DS touch screen as a way of gaining player buy-in over engrossing storylines.

He said: "[The Wii reomote] is an extension of the argument of straightforward and easy control we started with the DS, but putting it in the living room makes it different. As big screen televisions increase, what kind of game machine can you make? Targeting highly detailed graphics and epic stories are options, and in that situation, the gamer population doesn't increase. The answer was creating the sensation of really playing sports on the television screen, and it's a new type of physical interaction."

He also added that Nintendo maintains that its new input mechanisms have helped grow the audience for games, won over those sceptical of the games medium, and disproved conventional thinking among the masses that games encouraged bad behaviour and were a meaningless pursuit.

Iwata also said that if you ask people why they don't play games they will say that it because they are too difficult and they take too much time. So Nintendo has paid attention to making software that is easy to mainpulate with our controllers and which people can get into during short commute times. This in part, he said, explains why Brain Training is a "social phenomenon" and why the Wii has been such a big hit.