Miyamoto Says Wii Success Unexpected

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Nintendo’s legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto spoke at length with GamePro about the launch of Nintendo’s Wii. He spoke about his concerns with Wii Sports and the reaction of the system from the American audience. “I prepared myself for the possible reality that the Wii might face an uphill battle in America, so to see that it has become this big of a hit here and that it’s selling as well as it is in Japan is a huge relief. It’s left me very excited and it’s something that I wasn’t particularly expecting.”

“One of my concerns was that people who were interested in cutting-edge video games wouldn’t be that interested in Wii Sports. The fact that we bundled it together with the software wasn’t simply us saying, ‘Let’s put the game in there and make the people feel like they are getting something extra when they buy the system.’ The real idea was that this is a game that we absolutely want everyone to play, because it really shows you what the Wii can do. So this wasn’t the idea of bundling something together to help sell the system. [Wii Sports] was designed to help promote the system.

So by having it with every system, then those people who are maybe more hardcore gamers – if they have it they put it in and they play it and then they start to realize how fun the game is, how fun the system is and they can also use it to promote it to other people. It is really great to see that Wii Sports as well is being enjoyed by the hardcore gamers,” Miyamoto said.

When asked if Nintendo ever intended to sell Wii Sports separately from the system, Miyamoto responded by saying that: “There were actually some people in our sales group who said that we couldn’t bundle it, and that we really needed to sell Wii Sports as a separate product. So originally our intent was to develop it as a stand-alone piece of software.”