BIZ: What is your response to people who love, say, Super Mario Galaxy, but who are not so interested in things like Wii Music?
SM: My attitude is that obviously for 30 years now I’ve been making games and for the vast majority of time I’ve been making the type of games that the loyal Nintendo fans enjoy. Those are the types of games that my career is based on and we’re going to continue to make those types of games. In fact, we have many of those types of games in development right now.
BIZ: Would you like to be able to make more games for the broadening Wii casual gaming audience, or do you think your time is better spent on other projects?
SM: I think it’s very important for us to not only take the types of games that we’ve seen in the past and continue to polish them and make them more immersive and more extravagant, but we must also look at ways to make video games accessible to more people. Like any traditional craft, the more and more you refine those classic styles of games, the harder and harder it is for more people to enjoy them. For me what’s important is not only do we have to come up with new ideas for games that we have seen over the years, we need new game experiences like Wii Music and Wii Fit that will reach out to a broader audience.
BIZ: With the popularity of games like Spore and LittleBigPlanet, what role do you see user-generated content (much like the music videos players can create in Wii Music) playing in games moving forward?
SM: I think user-generated content and the ability to give people these sets of tools that they can unleash and share with others is something that’s going to continue to expand and become more popular. Especially given the advent of the Internet and how people are connected all over the world today. We’ve looked at that already to a certain extent with the Miis and the Mii Contest Channel. Rather than us spending the time to create the best Miis that our game designers can think up, it’s much more interesting to give a topic or challenge to the game players out there and let them do it. Obviously, the Mii Channel is limited with the amount of parts it has, but it’s fun to challenge gamers with how creative they can be to design different types of Miis and then share them with others. Wii Music is another example with how we allow gamers to share the music videos they create.