Now that it’s been over a month since Wii Music was released, how do you feel about it, Miyamoto-san?
We made Wii Fit because I enjoyed keeping close track of my weight, but I’d never been able to take my love of music that I had ever since I was young and turn it into a game. But with Wii Music, the team did it for me, and it was almost exactly as I’d envisioned! Until now, I’ve hardly ever actually played the games we’ve developed after they were released.
Because you have to start thinking about the next game.
But this time I rush home to brush up this or that aspect of a song, and when I haven’t played it for a while I can’t wait to get back to it. I can go on for hours. It’s scary. (laughs) I think the true test of a good game is one that you can’t stay away from. How about you, Iwata-san?
Viewing it as a player, I’d have to say this game is a time thief! (laughs)
You mean that in a good way, right? (laughs)
It’s quite frightening! I’ll sit down to play for just a bit, and before I know it, two hours have passed! I don’t know exactly why this time thief is always able to take me in, but when I play a sound that just happened to flow naturally and the end result was even a little beyond my expectation, I feel like I have been awarded a great reward. That’s the way I feel about Wii Music, but it seems like the reception among players is divided. There’s a clear split between those who absolutely love it and those who don’t quite get it. For the last few years, Nintendo has been introducing a lot of products the likes of which had never existed before, so we were expecting a difference in opinions, but nothing to this extent.
It seems a lot of people see the television commercial and think it would be fun to play in a group but then turn away because they don’t often have the chance to play in groups. However, the game is much easier to get lost in when you play alone.
I agree. Once you’ve delved into it on your own, group play becomes a lot more fun.
I know someone who saw the commercial and said it didn’t look fun.
That must have hurt your feelings. (laughs)
His own father made the game! (laughs)
What grade is your son in?
He’s in his second year of high school. He didn’t say a word about wanting it, but I bought it anyway. When I suggested he give it a try, he just mashed the A Button to skip all the introductory text by Sebastian Tute!
There’s nothing we can do if someone just hits the A Button even though the Tute will kindly explain everything! (laughs)
I guess not. (laughs)
My son has played electronic organ for years, so he can read music. When he started playing, one of the first things he did was to display music scores. He’d play through a song and then sigh as if to say “What’s the big deal?” And that was the end of it.
Too bad. It’s more fun not to look at the scores.
I know! (laughs)
Among those who don’t understand the appeal of Wii Music, there is one group of people who, like Kondo-san’s son, know music, try to do it the formal way, and then say the game is no fun because it’s too simple. And then there’s another group of people that know they can play however they want, but say they aren’t interested in that.
There’s another group of people who know enough about music but feel uncomfortable whenever they hear a note they don’t expect.
As someone who plays guitar, I feel that way sometimes, too, but I think there’s a lot to be gained from loosening up in that respect.
Me, too. There are times when I want it to do one thing and it does another, but it’s so much fun to play in exchange for the time I’m putting into it, that I can’t help but get sucked into it for hours on end.
That’s why I think that if you play for a while, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless.
The possibilities may be endless, but we should try to give players more examples of those possibilities. I’m afraid we haven’t done a very good job of that. For so long, games have been made with a “right” way to play them and players are expected to do whatever they can to approach that correct goal. We can say, “You can do whatever your creativity inspires you to do,” but there may be a lot of people out there who don’t know what they should do.
Wii Music is a tool that you use someway to somehow create something. Even those who have never played a musical instrument will, simply by fiddling around with it, suddenly find the strong desire to create something well up within them.
That’s why I think we need to give more examples about what this tool can do. We haven’t fully conveyed what can be done to get full enjoyment from the game.
Hmm, you may be right. Maybe we’ll be able to regain Kondo-san’s son’s interest.
I also get the feeling that some players who have enjoyed the game have trouble finding the words to explain adequately what it is they like about it.
That’s right. If only I could find the right words! That’s why I would never make a good preacher. (laughs)
Like my son, a lot of people may think that the game isn’t suited to them and that the best way to play it is by following the scores.
You can view the default arrangement any time, but it isn’t very rewarding to simply copy them. It’s more fun to play with a spirit of disregard for the examples.
Has anyone tried to make a video as far away as possible from a strict rendition of the original arrangement?
Did anyone do that?
I bet (Takashi) Tezuka-san did.
Somebody that’s so close to us! I’d like to know how it turned out. Let’s take advantage of the fact that he’s not here to talk about it! (laughs)
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