Nintendo has reenergised its ambition to entertain its most passionate fans, as opposed to catering for the widest possible market, according to new statements made by one of its senior executives.
Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine, which goes on sale on Thursday, Shigeru Miyamoto said his team does not want to focus on making content for people who "passively" enjoy games.
"[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland," he said.
"Their attitude is, 'okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.' It's kind of a passive attitude they're taking, and to me it's kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games]."
Miyamoto's comments mark the first time a Nintendo executive, and a longstanding member on its board of directors, has publicly outlined intentions to shift away from casual customers.
Nintendo's trendsetting Wii console, which shipped in 2006, reached 100 million sales after triggering a frenzy of interest among people who are not typically considered games enthusiasts. Titles such as Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Wii Music (the latter of which was designed by Miyamoto), were marketed as games for everyone and sold tens of millions of units across the world.
Yet the Wii U has not managed to recreate that winning formula, having sold about seven million units since its launch in November 2012.
'Taken for granted'
In an age where Apple and Android smartphones have become the leading games platforms for the casual audience, Miyamoto says Nintendo no longer needs to reach out to those customers.
"In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population," he said.
"Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It's a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people's daily lives."
Edge magazine's exclusive interview with Miyamoto comes as part of a wider feature on Nintendo, with the publication visiting its new R&D offices in Kyoto and speaking to developers behind every major upcoming Wii U game.
Among the broad range of topics discussed with Miyamoto, the famed games developer explains how Splatoon was nearly a Mario title, why he believes Nintendo should not abandon hardware, as well as expanding on previous comments made at E3 regarding what he perceives as "creative immaturity" within the development sector.
He also is asked about the inherent challenges of playing games on both the TV and the Wii U's touch-screen GamePad - a hardware design choice which has been routinely questioned within the industry.
"Of course we had some concerns," Miyamoto says. "After all, we're human beings: our eyes cannot see two objects at the same time. But we were sure that, even with that kind of, say, weak point, we would be able to make something unprecedented and revolutionary."