Train2Game News: Nintendo legend Hiroshi Yamauchi passes away

Hiroshi YamauchiIt’s with a heavy heart I report the death of Nintendo visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi at the age of eighty five.

Mr Yamauchi ran the firm for 53 years, and was its second-largest shareholder at the time of his death. In that time, he took what was a small-time collectable trading card company and built it into one of the most recognisable and successful video games brands today.

Mr Yamauchi took over at Nintendo after his grandfather suffered a stroke. He utilised the work of legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who had made Donkey Kong, as a way of breaking into the US arcade game market. Mr Miyamoto’s later work was pivotal in the success of Nintendo’s home entertainment systems, titles such as Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and Starfox became commercial smashes and household names.

Mr Yamauchi, one of Japan’s richest men, also used to own the Seattle Mariners major league baseball club before selling it in 2004 to Nintendo’s US-based operation.

The company confirmed the news in an emailed statement. A spokesman said the firm was in mourning over the loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning. He died of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan and a funeral will take place on Sunday.

Mr Yamauchi is responsible for shaping the games industry in to what it is today and we thank him for all he did.

Train2Game News: Nintendo Wii U is the “Swiss army knife” of gaming

E3 saw Nintendo reveal more about the Wii U, with one analyst dubbing the upcoming console the “Swiss army knife” of video games.

The one hour presentation saw Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto discuss how the tablet controller can be used in conjunction with the current Wii-remotes and how a “social window” allows new ways to play while allowing users to connect with others.

“For 30 years, game machines … couldn’t take on a more important role than the TV itself,” said Miyamoto  “We knew our next system was going to have its own dedicated screen even if it had to be small. We wanted it to be the first screen people went to when they went into the living room.”

Using the mini-monitor on the game pad was demonstrated by Pikmin 3 and how it uses it to monitor your strategy and the game world as you play through a TV, along with showing off a variety of other things the Wii U can do.

Nintendo has made the console a “Swiss Army knife” said P.J. McNealy of Digital World Research. “Nintendo has a history of creating hardware devices that it takes advantage of over time, whether it was voice commands, the touch panel, the accelerometer, or the gyroscope.”

As of yet there are no price or release date details for the Nintendo Wii U. Games shown for the console however include Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3 and a Wii U version of Batman: Arkham City.

What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Wii U? Do you have a clearer idea of what its about after the E3 presentation?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Nintendo deny Miyamoto “retirement” reports

Shigeru MiyamotoTrain2Game blog readers will have read news this morning that that Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto is retiring. Nintendo, however, have denied that he’ll be stepping down from his position.

The legendary game designer had told Wired he wanted to retire from his position to “be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers”

However, Nintendo have told MCV that Miyamoto isn’t going anywhere.

Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s role at Nintendo is not changing,” said a Nintendo spokesman. “He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo’s development efforts.

“In discussing his priorities at Nintendo in a media interview, Mr Miyamoto explained how he is encouraging the younger developers at the company to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software. He attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products.

“Mr Miyamoto also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind that sparked his initial interest in video games.”

Miyamoto has previously stated how he’s keen to teach younger game developers, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, the Nintendo man wants to teach when he eventually does retire from game development.

What are your thoughts on this apparent misunderstanding?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Mario creator Miyamoto on “retiring” to work on smaller projects

Shigeru MiyamotoSuper Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed he wants to step down from his current role as Head of Nintendo Development to get hands on with smaller projects.

“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire.” The 59 year old Miyamoto said in an interview with Wired. “I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position.”

“What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers” he said

“Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small. I’m not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time. I’m interested in doing a variety of many other things.” Miyamoto added.

His words could be construed as a desire to create smaller titles in the mobile game mould.

However, Nintendo have denied that the legendary game designer will be leaving his current role.

“This is absolutely not true,” a Nintendo spokeswoman told Reuters. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned.”

The Train2Game blog has previously reported that the game design veteran wants to teach game development when he eventually retires. You can find out Miyamoto’s thoughts on the role of a game designer here on the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Miyamoto’s comments?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Wired]

A must read for Train2Game students: Nintendo ‘Godfather’ Shigeru Miyamoto on the role of a Game Designer

Train2Game Game Designers should strive to make their work as unique as possible. That’s the lesson to take away from comments made by the father of Super Mario and Donkey Kong in a recent interview.

“In the past, game design was all about which game was the best on the hardware that was available,” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto told The Guardian.

“That still holds true in the current world, but for the Game Designer, it’s important to understand the overall system.

Plus, it’s important to understand all the mechanisms in games, otherwise the movement or the gameplay would not be right. If that is good, then it will be evaluated as a good game.”

The Nintendo legend believes Game Designers should be unique; it’s likely that those on the Train2Game Game Design course do believe that they have unique ideas to bring to the industry.

“But games nowadays are at a higher level, and the devices are higher-technology, so generally speaking, people can [and should] make good games.

Nowadays, it’s really important that the designer should be unique, and that their individuality should show through in the production itself.”

Continuing on from this, Miyamoto added that a Game Designer should never do something just because it’s popular.

“It’s costly if you do something because other people are doing it, but the focus should be: ‘Because people are not doing it, we’ll go this way.’ Uniqueness is important.

Finance-wise, you can put more budget in, but your energy has to be focused on something, otherwise it won’t work. For me, if you tell me, ‘I’ve seen this before,’ or ‘I’ve done this before,’ that’s challenging.”

Earlier this month, the Train2Game blog reported that Shigeru Miyamoto wants to teach when he retires.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Miyamoto’s comments about Game Design? How useful is it for you that one of the most iconic people in the industry has said what he thinks the ideal designer should be?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum

 [Source: The Guardian