First month sales of Nintendo's newest Wii-branded game, the ambitious and unusual "Wii Music," released last month fell far short of the mark set by May's "Wii Fit" in its first month.
But Nintendo is not expressing concern yet.
"You'll see in [the NPD sales] that it did about somewhere [like] 65 or 66,000 based on our internal numbers for the two weeks that was reported," Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing, told Multiplayer in an interview at the New York Grand Hyatt yesterday.
By comparison, NPD reported that "Wii Fit" sold more than 687,000 copies in its first month of sale.
These aren't blockbuster numbers, but Dunaway offered an explanation for the game's performance: Read More...
Slight change of plans, readers.
I'm now presenting my hour-long interview with Nintendo's chief game designer Shigeru Miyamoto from last week in three parts instead of two, since the final third of our interview went in a very unexpected direction. It would have been too distracting to run today. (Trust me!)
Yesterday, in Part 1, we dove deep on Miyamoto's development process for the unabashedly radical "Wii Music."
Today, here's the middle part, in which we discuss the possibility of "Wii Music" DLC and IGN's Matt Casamassina reaches a new level of Nintendo relevance as Miyamoto name-checks him while discussing his harsh review of the game. And more good stuff... Read More...
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, once a rare presence, is now a frequent fixture of the marketing push for Nintendo's big games.
Earlier this year the game designer did the rounds to discuss "Wii Fit." Then in July he talked up E3. Last week in San Francisco, he took a break from sitting near me at a charity dinner, to talk to reporters about "Wii Music."
To be honest, I was beginning to feel like Miyamoto interviews were becoming a little too familiar, like you knew what he'd say before you ever read one.
Then I wound up sitting with him for an hour at Nintendo's Redwood City offices last week. The result was the most interesting conversation he and I have had since I first talked to him in May 2004.
What follows is the first half of a full transcript of the interview, with the latter half running tomorrow. A shortened version of part one is live on MTVNews.com. This first half of the mammoth interview covers much of the "Wii Music" part of our conversation, which branched far beyond what you may have already heard about that game, covering:
- Why he wishes the game came out before "Guitar Hero"
- His biggest failure
- The game's radical dismissal of things like high scores
- How the design of "Mario" and "Zelda" influenced the project
- What he thinks of the game's graphics
- How Wii MotionPlus could change the game
- And much, much more.
Hardcore gamers are split on "Wii Music."
It's not "Rock Band" or "Guitar Hero" -- it's something entirely different. Given the accessibility of "Wii Music," however, it seems especially designed to engage the younger crowd.
A few weeks ago, I was speaking with Nintendo Treehouse employee JC Rodrigo, who was demoing "Wii Music" all day. He'd recently attended the Austin City Limits music festival in Texas and spent several hours with kids checking out "Wii Music."
What kind of music did kids create with their Wiimotes?
Another week, another round of games' covers to review to help out box art designers. Here goes...
"Fable II: Limited Collector's Edition" (Xbox 360)
What the Box Tells Us: When you first receive the box for the collector's edition of "Fable II," you'll see the protagonist crouching on a gray-white background. But then open it up and remove the cardboard...
Pros: And it's like a whole new cover! The box art is sideways and features the good guy on the front and the bad guy on the back. Kind of like a mullet.
Cons: The cool sideways box art is hidden under the boring cardboard cover.
Love It or Leave It: Love it. Read More...
If you keep up with video game news, you probably know what "Wii Music" is. You probably even know how to play it -- shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as if you were playing one of the game's more than 60 instruments.
But you may have no idea what it's like to play the game. How is it structured? What actually happens when you boot the game up? How do you progress? The game comes out in just a few days and even I didn't know the answers to these questions until this week.
I've played my retail copy of "Wii Music" for a couple of hours over the last two days and can explain how this game really works.
I also think I've finally figured out the very unusual way the game is designed to appeal to you. Winning isn't an option in this game. There's something else... Read More...
I played "Wii Music" on Monday morning with three other members of the MTV News team. We taped it and aired some of what ensued on TRL today. Check out the above segment to see how things went down. (Hint: we had fun.)
For more information about "Wii Music," check out the accompanying article I wrote to brief the MTV faithful on what this game (or non-game?) is all about: 'Wii Music' Encourages Creativity, But It Won't Let You Win
(Videos not viewable by users logging in from Canada or the U.K.)
Miyamoto: ‘Wii Music’ Is ‘More Interesting Than A Video Game’
It was not the mocked stage presentation of "Wii Music" that prompted my skepticism about Nintendo last week. It was something else, something less flashy but more pervasive.
Several times throughout the week, I witnessed the company, its most ardent fans and the E3 press fail to communicate with each other. These misunderstandings -- these wrong answers to right questions and right answers to wrong ones -- were not always Nintendo's fault. But the fissures are real and must certainly be a concern to company and fans alike.
First, though, no one should get too hung up on "Wii Music." It's not the problem.
I'm trying to find some time to post my impressions of "Wii Music," the newly announced Wii game that you can't lose and that didn't seem to go over with the E3 press corps as well as "Wii Sports" or "Wii Fit." My short take: I liked it better after I played it today.
For now, though, chew on this:
At a Nintendo developer's roundtable event this evening in Los Angeles, a German journalist asked Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto if it would be more appropriate to call "Wii Music," which lacks goals and points, a "toy" rather than a "video game."
Miyamoto replied tersely: "Yes, that's right. And that's why it's more interesting than a video game."
I hadn't seen that side of Miyamoto before! Could it be -- in this case as in so many before -- that he's right? Are we too hung up on traditional video game constraints to appreciate something more free-form?
(Also: other blogs seem to have posted this already, but in case you missed it, he confirmed that a new "Pikmin" game is in development. "We are making 'Pikmin,'" he said. He did not elaborate.)