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Shigeru Miyamoto talks about 'Wii Music'The designer of such iconic games as "Donkey Kong," "Super Mario Bros.," and "Legend of Zelda" spoke with CNET News about what will make Nintendo's newest game a hit and why it could help create a new generation of musical stars.
[ music ] ^m00:00:05 >> Hi I'm Daniel Terdeman, I'm with CNET News and I'm here with Shigeru Miyamoto, the senior managing director for Nintendo - one of the great video game designers in history who invented Donkey Kong, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, and now Wii Music the newest game from Nintendo and thank you very much for taking some time to talk to us. I wanted to start off if you could sort of talk about where the idea for Wii Music came from. >> Well when we first came up with the concept of the Wii console itself, one of the things that we wanted the Wii console to be was a device that would be playing a central role in the living room, connected to the TV that everyone in the house would relate to. And so we felt that in order for the console to really take on that role, we needed to have several key topics available for people to play as software. And those were sports, we wanted to have something related to health and fitness, and then we thought that music was again, another important topic, another subject that everyone in the house could relate to. We started by experimenting and we took the interface for Wii, the Wii remote and nun chuck, and our initial experiments were finding ways to use the Wii remote and nun chuck to perform different instruments. And then the other experiment that we did was using the Wii remote to conduct and orchestra, and we found from the results of those experiments that both of those produced both a very good feeling and an experience that was very fun. >> Can you talk a little bit about how the game evolved from original concept to finished product; how ti changed over that development process? >> Well really the way that it progressed through development was not really so much how it changed but really just the very concept itself. Initially we started off with the very simple concept of performing with instruments and of course we were developing Wii Music at a time when music games themselves as a genre, were becoming very, very popular. And so I think the tendency with any development team when they're making a game for which there is already an established genre, is often times they will look at the other games in the genre because you're trying to create an experience that on par with what the other games have to offer. >> And the sharing element, you create songs and the videos and you can share them with people. How important an element to the overall Wii Music experience do you think that's gonna be in for it's success? >> Well obviously there are a number of different ways to experience and enjoy Wii Music. One of those if for people to come together in one place and perform songs together as a group. But the other of course is as a single player, there's a tremendous amount of depth to Wii Music; in a sense that it has some recording functionality, you're able to go in each song and Wii Music is comprised of 6 different parts. And you're able to lay down each of those parts individually, performing that part yourself, laying your performance of the next part on top of that. So say performing the drums, layering the drums on top of the baseline and then layering the harmony on top of that. It's possible for you to create a version of say, the same song that your friend might be working on and the two versions that you and your friend have created can end up sounding very, very different depending on the instruments that you've chosen and the arrangement pattern that you've chosen. >> How important for Nintendo as a company and as a business is Wii Music, given the current economic environment? >> There's 2 facets to your question, and one is in relation to kind of Nintendo's corporate objective and really our mission. And that's to put smiles on people's faces with the software that we create. And so looking at Wii Music and the entertainment that you get out of it, I feel very strongly that that's a game that can put smiles on people's faces, which I think is something we could all use in times like this. From a business perspective, I think that historically it's been shown that entertainment industries typically aren't as adversely affected by rough economic times as other industries. >> Between Wii Music or the latest Rock Band or the latest Guitar Hero, what do you think it would be that ... what would be your argument for why they should choose Wii Music? >> In my mind I see Wii Music as being more along the lines of a new kind of musical instrument. In that sense what I mean is that you can bring Wii Music home and within a few minutes everyone in the family, regardless of their gaming skill, can in just a few minutes immediately pick up Wii Music and start playing a wide variety of different instruments without the barriers that you would normally have of having to learn an instrument, having to learn to read music. You can experience this joy of creating music without those hurtles. >> Thank you very much Mr. Miyamoto, it's been a pleasure talking to you. I'm Daniel Terdeman from CNET News. [ music ]