Are you happy with Nintendo games, or would you prefer something more *strokes beard* intellectual?

When it comes to attracting as many people as possible to gaming, it's hard to argue that anyone has done more than Nintendo in recent years. The Wii is as familiar to old ladies as it is to young boys. Yet despite appealing to all family members (even pets), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes that more can be done to grow its audience. How? By fitting all future Nintendo consoles with mind-control technology.

Above: Old ladies like Wii

That thing about mind-control isn't true. The real answer is that Iwata wants to get more adult-type people playing Nintendo by making experiences that are more intellectually engaging. Or, at least, that's how I'm interpreting it. To be honest, this is all based on a pretty cryptic answer Iwata gave at a shareholder meeting and it's tricky to decipher. Anyway, one cheeky shareholder had the audacity to suggest that Nintendo should make software that adults could enjoy more.

(That same shareholder also asked Mr Iwata 'is it possible to run a business with the mysteries of the universe as a theme?' Which makes me think that random drug checks should be carried out at these shareholder meetings.)

This is Iwata's response to the bit about more adult stuff:

"There are two aspects of the suggestion "there should be software which adults can enjoy further" that I would like to touch on. One is that even though such software titles already exist, we have failed to make them widely known. And second, because games were originally entertainment mainly enjoyed by children or young men, even though we have been working hard to expand the age range and offer entertainment which can be enjoyed by a wide range of people, we still have more work to do.

"If I understand your request correctly, you want Nintendo to develop games which fulfil people's intellectual curiosity by combining culture and entertainment in a clever way, so I would like to consider it as a future challenge for us."

Above: This is what Satoru Iwata looks like. Because it is Satoru Iwata

What's he talking about? No one can be sure for certain. Probably not even Mr Iwata. And definitely not me. He could just be hinting at more Brain Training. But for the purposes of this article, let's suppose that he's mulling over the possibility of Nintendo embracing a philosophy that would see the Mario fun factory create games that were more intellectually fulfilling for the player. So, hypothetically speaking, would such a prospect be exciting?

The way I see it, I'm quite happy with the majority of Nintendo's creative output. When it actually gets around to it, Nintendo produces some of the most engaging games out there. It doesn't matter if you consider yourself an intellectual or not - if you appreciate games, Nintendo can do things that will make you happy. I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't come away from Super Mario Galaxy 2 thinking 'it was good, but it could have been a little more intellectually stimulating'. I definitely didn't do that. But then I am only a few rungs above Forrest Gump on the Ladder of Intellect.

Above: Not intellectual. But very good all the same

Undeniably there is an absolute lack of thought-provoking narrative in Nintendo games. Or very much narrative at all really. Perhaps it would be interesting to see Nintendo tackle a proper, challenging story for once. But that would seem very un-Nintendo to me - its games are always satisfying without the need to weigh players down with story.

And, of course, Nintendo games *look* like they're for kids, which has always been a bit of a problem for some folks. But presumably these are the same people that miss out on Pixar and Studio Ghibli movies because they're just cartoons and obviously not intended for an adult audience. Silly people.

How about you - do you think it's time Nintendo grew up a bit? Would you like Nintendo's next intellectual property to actually be, like, intellectual (whatever that even means)? Also, if you fancy having a crack at reinterpreting the Iwata quote or discussing the possibility of running a business with the mysteries of the universe as a theme, please feel free.

Thanks Siliconera for spotting the quote.

July 11, 2011




  • - March 20, 2012 2:55 a.m.

    Adult games for adults and kid games for kids, just like movies. Ive played nintendo all my life. The reason the Wii is sucesful inovation,repeat customers and games, adult market and hHD would send it through the roof. Inovation, YESSSSSSSSSS, to the idea Mind Controller, thats the future, a mind controler and touch screen. DONT LET GO OF INOVATION.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - July 18, 2011 5:09 a.m.

    I would like more intellectual games, but don't let them detract from our old style Nintendo games, because Nintendo is the only company I know that can make Nintendo games.
  • Fuzunga - July 14, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    I love all their original IP before the Wii came out.
  • Manguy17 - July 12, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    I would like to see nintendo try somthing more mature with a stronger narrative, they might be really good at it. also they are better known to most people, so if they really pushed somthing it would show people that there is more to gaming than mario, bowling and call of duty.
  • RedOutlive10 - July 12, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Honestly the not so serious stories in Nintendo games were always a good thing to me, sometimes I don't want to uncover government conspiracies or battle russians, koreans or w/e invading america, I just want to stomp turtles and stuff like that without serious plots or deep thoughts, just pure gameplay fun. The problem is that the Nintendo platforms lack the other options due to poor third party support, so things will get really one sided, Big N really has to reach the third party devs and get their games because otherwise their consoles will be empty and behind the others. Also, the time of gimmicks is gone, the Wii stopped making money for them faster than the PS3/360 for Sony/MS, so it kinda failed the test of time, this new "casual" market might as well think of video games as a fad, or may not even buy new consoles since their use of it is basic without the need of better graphics and what not.
  • Yahcoo - July 12, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    The problem with nintendo is that if they get a game with a dark plot they seem to hide it like they did to madworld
  • Ariel - July 12, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    To anyone that has ever played Majora's Mask, or just a Zelda game in general, you know that this article here ^^^ isn't indicative of all Nintendo games. I implore the writer, one Mr. Matt Cundy (obviously a pseudonym) to read this article about the thematic brilliance and emotional intelligence of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and then tell me that Nintendo can't pull off intellectual. It's a long one, but seriously, please read it. It will change your view of the game and the franchise if you haven't read something like it before. This article is the hallmark of the Zelda community, almost a scared item, and I implore everyone to read it if they have the time. The game is much deeper than you think.
  • LucasP - July 12, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    Most Nintendo characters don't even have a voice, how would they even try to make games more intellectual? We have been doing fine with "non-intellectual" Nintendo games for over 20 years, I don't think that they should change the formula.
  • UsernameLoser - July 11, 2011 11:43 p.m. CAT AND DOG MAKIN' OUT. Thanks, Cundy, now I regret choosing another video hoping to see actual violence instead of a Wii-down.
  • Spybreak8 - July 11, 2011 10:53 p.m.

    Just look at Mass Effect as inspiration, I think you'll get something Nintendo.
  • HankVenture - July 11, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    @shawksta really... u think Super Mario Galaxy had an intellectual story?? REAlly? plus no one is saying we need to have a "intellectual" mario game because it's mario and that would be just foolish. Honestly if we are talking about an smart or serious story line, I don't think nintendo could even do it. I mean they published Metroid Other M which was suppose to be somewhat intellectual with it's story line and we all saw where that went..just turned a strong woman into a crying little helpless girl Recaptcha: Aturpor SLAVES! lol
  • EnigmaSpirit - July 11, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    I want more story, but if they start pumping out gritty shooters I am going to switch. I am a Nintendo guy for many reasons, but I have to admit I have been wanting more story elements. If they go in more of a "Square Enix" direction with that than a "Every other studio ever pumping out shooters" then this could turn out well.
  • Mooshon - July 11, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    For me, what's always been the problem with Nintendo is cartoon burn-out. After a while of playing Mario, Starfox, Zelda etc I just want the option of play something dark and shooting some sh#t up - without having to connect up another console! Nintendo never seemed to have grasped that concept of variety. They have always been a handful of AAA Rezzy Evil or GoldenEye / Perfect Dark to supplement their in-house games but that's really not enough to satisfy anyone long term. Combine their power franchises with 3rd party Bioshock, Batman, Mass Effect, Battlefield et al and they'd have a force to be reckoned with to be sure. I think that's what he's meaning. If he's not he should be, and I'm out.
  • codystovall - July 11, 2011 8 p.m.

    @Plan10FromOuterSpace You mean pokemon black and white?
  • rabidpotatochip - July 11, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    Want to make Mario more intellectual? Give him a pipe! /thread Personally, I think it takes all types to keep us entertained. Nintendo made their decision to cater mainly to the casual market and I respect that; I don't want every game in my house to be a serious affair. What I could see happening is that the Wii never really dies but instead remains a haven for casual gamers and that Nintendo puts out a different, higher-end system for us competitive bastards.
  • dcbernman - July 11, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    So basically, got back to the SNES days? Nintendo's understanding of gameplay is great, but if a game doesn't have a story that grabs me by the nuts and hurls me through a brick wall, I'm generally dissatisfied.
  • StrayGator - July 11, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    Professor Layton and the Malefic Profanitus: PA Gabe - go for it!
  • DecoyOctorok - July 11, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    @shawksta Agreed. Rosalina's Story is the reason I consider the first SMG to be the superior game. It was such a welcome and unexpected addition to the game and it really added a lot of emotional depth. Super Mario Galaxy is definitely the game that I would equate to a Pixar movie.
  • meh - July 11, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    I agree with n00b. New IPs on nintendo's system that were somewhat adult failed miserably. I also think that Nintendo creating a new IP are slim to none. Look what happened to Punch Out!! Wii. Everybody who new what the game was bought it, but the casual audience who recognizes characters like mario and zelda probably didn't know what Punch Out!! is, so they didn't buy, or didn't care. So if nintendo releases something new the casual audience that buys mario and zelda in droves won't care because they don't recognize the new character and won't buy it.
  • codystovall - July 11, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    I thought paper mario was the intellectual version. but yes id like some more thought in my games.

Showing 1-20 of 33 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000