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GDC: Miyamoto discusses the "Nintendo Vision"

Nintendo creative boss Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage at GDC today to discuss the three key elements that make up the company's - and his own - creative vision.

Nintendo creative boss Shigeru Miyamoto has used his GDC keynote to outline his own an his company's process of games development, highlighting the three key elements of what he called the "Nintendo Vision".

Although attending press were disappointed that there were no announcements relating to Nintendo product, the audience of games developers lapped up the refreshing and charming delivery from the creator of iconic characters such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario.

"It's important to understand that no matter how clear your own personal vision, it must somehow resonate with the vision of the company," said Miyamoto.

Starting with idea of expanding the gaming audience, something that Nintendo has been credited with most recently through the release of the Wii, Miyamoto revealed on stage the Wife-O-Meter, his own personal gauge of how to reach the mass-market

If Miyamoto's wife showed interest in the game, it was evidence of touching a mass-market consumer previously uninterested in videogames.

Miyamoto citing Tetris, Animal Crossing and Nintendogs as Nintendo's first titles to reach further than the traditional games consumer, but it wasn't until the release of the DS that consumers finally embraced Nintendo's idea of what a mass-market game can be.

"And then came Brain Age, a game that turned [my wife] into a true gamer. Thanks to this she's now accepted videogames as part of her daily life," said Miyamoto.

"She finally understands the unique form of entertainment found in videogames," he commented.

The second element that Miyamoto focused on was a devotion to the entertainment business, reflected by the company's attitude to staff collaboration.

"We don't have to worry about business applications, which leaves employees free to focus solely on entertainment," said Miyamoto.

"At Nintendo programmers and engineers are in the same building. There are not separated by acres, miles or oceans."

These teams, said Miyamoto, work together on products with no single person taking credit for a product. âAt Nintendo it doesn't work like that,â he said. "It's a group collaboration."

The third part of the Nintendo vision is risk and encouraging employees to take creative decisions in order to challenge the perception of what a videogame can be.

"We have always encouraged employees to do things differently," said Miyamoto. "The bigger the challenge, the bigger the risk."

"The GameCube was really just half a step in order to expand the gaming audience."

"It was technically advanced but I wanted to also give a wider prize. But with the Wii we asked ourselves do we continue to take a risk of trying to attract gamers or do we give up and simply evolve our products in the same way that we've always done in the past."

"But of course we dared to take the greater risk," he said

Miyamoto concluded that, "corporate vision is essential. But corporations don't make games, people do."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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