Shigeru Miyamoto has said that he does not have an active role in the development of Nintendo’s new NX hardware.
Speaking in an interview with Fortune magazine, the legendary creator of the Mario and Zelda franchises said that while he is “observing and looking at the hardware”, he is “not actively participating and making decisions.”
“I’ve pulled myself back out of some of the hardware section and I’m really focused on some of the software that I’m involved in,” Miyamoto explained.
Miyamoto is widely seen as a key participant in the development of past Nintendo hardware, most notably the N64 and Wii. The analogue stick on the N64 controller was his idea, for example.
In the same interview, Miyamoto shared his thoughts about why the Wii U has failed to capture the imagination of consumers in the same way that the Wii had.
“I feel like people never really understood the concept behind the Wii U and what we were trying to do,” he explained. “I think the assumption is we were trying to create a game machine and a tablet and really what we were trying to do was create a game system that gave you tablet-like functionality for controlling that system and give you two screens that would allow different people in the living room to play in different ways.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, because tablets, at the time, were adding more and more fucntionality and becoming more and more prominent, this system and this approach didn’t mesh well with the period in which we released it.”
Shinya Takahashi, who is in charge of Nintendo’s Software Planning & Development Division (alongside Miyamoto) shared some thoughts about the future, and Nintendo’s current direction. “For us, the next step is to think about what is going to be that element that is really going to catch the attention of a large number of players again and get them excited.”
“We’re constantly thinking about … the needs of the players in terms of what we can do with our ability and our technology to capture that excitement and passion.”
However unsuccessful the Wii U may have been for Nintendo, the system has plenty of excellent games to its name. Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are all excellent titles. The Wii U may not be the best-selling console ever, but it at least has a library consisting of a number of future classics.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced the development of the NX system back in March, but very little is known about the hardware other than the fact that it is a “dedicated gaming system”. Iwata recently stated that the company is deliberately not revealing more until next year as it is concerned that competitiors might steal its ideas for themselves, lessening the surprise from gamers.
That hasn’t stopped many from speculating, however. One of the most popular theories is that the system will be a hybrid console/handheld, with the controller able to act independently of the console while outside of the home. If that theory turns out to be true, it would make the NX the successor to both the Wii U and the 3DS.