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



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  • Gnilres - July 11, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Wow, I never thought of it that way. Looking forward to more intellectual games. And...first?
  • Crypto140 - July 11, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    If only Satoru Iwata can use his "intellectual" buzz words on some of his games.
  • garnsr - July 11, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    It would be great if Nintendo came up with something that wasn't 25 years old. They can't really grow their current stable up, and they never seem to come up with a new premise that actually has any story, only Miis and peripherals for mini-games.
  • moflomian - July 11, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    I think that Nintendo can try to make more.. Uh... "intellectual" games. I hope they just mean more serious and less "LOOK AT ALL THESE SYMBOLIC REFERENCES!" Just make Fire Emblem for the 3DS as a start, and see where it goes from there.
  • Cyber6x - July 11, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    I agree that most of Nintendo's franchises are just about pure fun. Zelda is an exception with it's limited puzzles but I would love to see a New IP by Nintendo about puzzle-solving maybe even some adult themes like morality (Something Nintendo have rarely tackled) seeing as the Wii doesn't have that many of those kinds of games. Something similar to what Valve have been producing recently. The Wii U could help Nintendo build a adult image whist still keeping the family-friendly titles it's now associated with. Let's just hope they use it to it's full potential and not just new sequels to old IPs.
  • r.c.leclaire - July 11, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    I like the Pixar reference as I've used it in describing why some games come across as embarrassing and too childish to be seen playing while others do not. Certain games feel like a Pixar movie, where they are skillfully executed to be entertaining for both an adult and a child. But certain games are like bad Saturday morning Disney channel cartoons, where anyone over the age of 5 should be embarrassed if they play them.
  • shawksta - July 11, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    Advance wars,Earthbound,EveryMario RPG game,Xenoblade,Sin and punishment and Pikmin says HI! They are far away than what they normally do and isnt Metroid Prime mature enough? Im happy with their games, I dont know what Miyamoto's doing with his "New Nintendo Character" but we'll see. I like Nintendo the way they are, they keep getting better and their series are getting more deeper, . If by "Grow up" you mean "Release a bunch of shooters and gore" then fuck no.
  • Spacegrass - July 11, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    I think I've outgrown Nintendo. I think part of the problem is that, if their games have a plot at all, it's been recycled endlessly for generations; when was the last time you played a Mario game that wasn't about the princess getting captured again? That, and the characters are so divorced from reality that I can't relate to them at all. Still, I'm not asking Nintendo to start making games for me; Nintendo does what it knows, what it knows is making games for kids, and it does this quite well.
  • shawksta - July 11, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    @Spacegrass Your another blind one, Nintendo's games are Kid friendly, but they cater to everyone, otherwise, if they were for kids nobody would even play them to know how awesome their games are. Nintendo is technically the only company whose games that are Rated E are actually for EVERYONE rather than the crappy kiddy games we get from shovelware.
  • shawksta - July 11, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    Mario galaxy got intellectual with its story but then Galaxy 2 didnt have a bigger story but nobody gave a shit because Mario games are for fun to begin with and got 10s everywhere
  • Jasman - July 11, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    I just want to play more amazing Nintendo games like Mario Galaxy and Kirby's Epic Yarn. It doesn't concern me whether these games have an 'intellectual' narrative or not. Nintendo has always succeeded by placing design and mechanics first, and I'd hate that to change. To be honest, I think the term 'intellectual' is far too broad to ascertain any real meaning in regards to games development.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - July 11, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    Im pretty sure his comments on Nintendo 'growing up' are based on nothing more than the company image and presentation, Nintendo continue to innovate with both games and hardware and provide genuinely entertaining titles. There is however no reason Ninendo couldn't begin to explore some more serous titles once its new hardware is on sale, me and a good friend have previously discussed the idea of a more grown-up and darker pokemon game, with the core gameplay being the same but with a more adult story-line, possibly even exploring the moral issues of keeping and fighting these pokemon, its just a thought, but more adult themes could work well...if the company remembers to keep the games themselves innovative and fresh
  • n00b - July 11, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    no more heroes and zack and wiki two great intellectually stimulating games that nintendo "failed to make widely known" so i agree with Iwata
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • StrayGator - July 11, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    Professor Layton and the Malefic Profanitus: PA Gabe - go for it!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • codystovall - July 11, 2011 8 p.m.

    @Plan10FromOuterSpace You mean pokemon black and white?

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