Miyamoto Talks Iwata and Yokoi’s Influences on Switch, VR

In an interview with TIME magazine, Mario creator and “Creative Fellow” Shigeru Miyamoto talked a bit about the Nintendo Switch’s design philosophy, and how to make VR work for him as a developer.

When asked about the design philosophy of the Switch compared to the late Gunpei Yokoi’s idea of “lateral thinking with withered technology,” Miyamoto said:

As a company, we take in all different kinds of new technologies as they become available. […] Companies […] tend to want to move forward and be at the top end of everything. But at Nintendo, we really place importance on finding something unique, something that only we can do. […] But as a company, Nintendo really puts the idea of fun up front, and I feel like that perspective was something Mr. Yokoi had established. […] In my younger days, we had a tendency to want to move forward so quickly, and we several times had Mr. Yokoi kind of hold us back and say, “You need to look, step back and observe everything.” […] And so we learned from him the importance of really putting ideas into forms of play. […] It’s not that Mr. Yokoi was against new pieces of technology. Sometimes, when he would get a new technology, he would just stare at it for an entire day. For example, he had this magnetic object that would float, and he would just put it on his desk and stare at it and play around with it and really observe it. In that sense, I felt like a lot of people were able to trust him, because he was really open and keen to observe things.

Miyamoto also talked about late president Satoru Iwata’s contributions to the console, saying:

Mr. Iwata, Mr. Takeda and myself provided feedback and made decisions, but ultimately Mr. Iwata was the head of development, so he put a lot of thought and time into Switch. I think that the idea of Nintendo Switch being a device you can take out and anywhere, and the idea of it being a system that really allows networking and communicating with people, I think that’s something Mr. Iwata put a lot of emphasis on. Because Mr. Iwata was tech-savvy, a lot of our discussion involved trying to figure out how to make the technical things like network capabilities or servers or whatever fun. For example, think about when we added the ability to use a browser on the DS. As time goes on, all of these services become more and more advanced, and so we need to think about “How do we incorporate mobile devices or new browser features that come up?” That’s something Mr. Iwata and I discussed a lot, really trying to decide what to do and what not to do in our hardware.

Finally, when asked about his opinions on the Nintendo Switch having VR support, Miyamoto said:

In terms of being together online in virtual reality, I think a lot of the problems have been solved or are starting to be solved. This is something that we’re looking into, too. But when I see people play virtual reality, it makes me worry, just as for example if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality, it would probably make them worry. Another issue and challenge that I think everybody faces is how to create an experience that’s both short enough while also fully fleshed out in virtual reality.

The Nintendo Switch launches March 3rd for 299.99$.

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Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  1. catazxy
    February 14, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Only a madman expects VR on Switch, perhaps they could do it on Switch 2/Pro, but don’t hold your breath.

  2. Personaknight
    February 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Wasn’t the whole point of Hd Rumble supposed to be how their VR would be different from other vr though? They Delayed the switch Last year because they wanted to explore Vr possibility. Hd rumble screamed Vr to me when we first saw it, but on the matter of switch being able to run it…well I don’t think Nintendo wants you to strap a tablet screen to your face so more likely a separate peripheral that uses the controllers.

  3. Personaknight
    February 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Well, if you can do not videogame Vr on phones I don’t see why you can’t do not game Vr on switch. Good luck with selling it though.

  4. Mr0303
    February 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    “if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality, it would probably make them worry.” – ever the Nintendo mindset.

  5. Jay
    February 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I want Switch VR so I can go to a virtual bar, hold a glass and feel the bartender put ice into it. Then feel as they fill it up with alcohol. And proceed to get virtually drunk.

  6. OSad
    February 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    News image is *very* misleading, Miyamoto nowadays looks a lot more like an aging lich than human being.

  7. Cerea
    February 14, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    New version that “does” vr next year I guess.

  8. Zombie_Barioth
    February 14, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    To be fair, they had the whole kids and 3D debacle to deal with. The effects of VR raises it’s own concerns, so they would want to avoid another PR disaster. It has similar issues, nausea, vomiting, eye strain, ect.

    And then there’s the Wii-remote fiasco, people were throwing it and hurting themselves, no doubt people cause accidents while using VR too.

  9. Mr0303
    February 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I was more referring to the “think of the children” mentality.

  10. Zombie_Barioth
    February 15, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I know what you meant, I’m saying in this case its actually justified.

    For once its not just them being overbearing.

  11. Mr0303
    February 15, 2017 at 8:40 am

    The point is that they are focusing on the children as a main demographic, which I doubt it is.

  12. 2501
    February 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Maybe they worry about another Virtual Boy incident.

  13. Zombie_Barioth
    February 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    According to Reggie they’re trying to cater to as many different audiences as possible, but gradually.

    Kids/family will be at some point after the core/older one, so they’re probably looking at it from all angles.

    The potential health issues are a concern across the board.

    Also, ‘kid’ doesn’t necessarily mean young. A lot of teens fall into the core demographic.

  14. Mr0303
    February 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t care what Reggie said. I’m addressing what Miyamoto is saying.

    That statement specifically addressed children.

    kid – a child or young person.