Nintendo, with the Wii U and even the DS and the GameBoy before it, has always made a point to spread gaming to the widest possible market. That strategy worked brilliantly for the motion-controlled Wii console, with everyone from children to the elderly in nursing homes enjoying what the system had to offer.
That same strategy of marketing to such a wide consumer base hasn't been as successful for Nintendo's current console, the Wii U, which is currently lagging way behind Sony and Microsoft's gaming machines, despite releasing a year earlier. In a new interview with Edge Magazine, Nintendo's own Shigeru Miyamoto had some comments about 'passive' game players, which indicate that the company may be looking to focus more on the core gaming crowd that some say it has ignored in recent years.
"[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland," Miyamoto says in the interview. "Their attitude is, 'okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.' It's kind of a passive attitude they're taking, and to me it's kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games]."
Miyamoto, the brainchild of iconic Nintendo franchises like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, sits on Nintendo's board of directors. His comments mark the first time a high-level Nintendo executive has publicly stated intentions to shift away from casual customers, according to Edge's sister outlet CVG where excerpts of the interview are published.
He goes on to say that people today take games for granted, thanks to devices like smartphones and tablets, meaning Nintendo no longer needs to push into such a wide market.
"In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population," he says. "Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It's a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people's daily lives."
Recent partnerships with third-party developers for games like the upcoming Hyrule Warriors and the recently announced Pokémon fighter Pokkén Tournament do seem to indicate that Nintendo is changing its strategy by creating games that will appeal to a more "hardcore" gaming crowd.