Wii Music more than just a game?

According to market research firm Media Create Wii Music led Japanese sales charts as the top selling game for the week of October 13 to 19 with 92,000 copies sold. Wii Music is a music video game for the Nintendo Wii that simulates playing musical instruments using the Wii Remote and the Wii Balance Board. The game is part of Nintendo's Wii Series and Touch! generation of games.

In an exclusive interview with CNET News, Shigeru Miyamoto, father to legendary game franchises such as Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda talked about Wii Music. In order to appeal to a broad demographic, Miyamoto discussed how the Nintendo Wii was designed to cover key software topics such as sports, health and fitness, and music. Wii Music is one component that is meant to fit in to this vision.

Developing a music game that was different from rhythm matching games gaining popularity at the time such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band was a clear goal for Miyamoto. In Miyamoto’s own words, “My role was to really encourage our team to break away from what other music games were doing and do something different.”

Providing the player with the freedom to create their own music was another goal, “I wanted to break out of that mold and focus on musical creativity, and create something that is more free-form and offers players creativity and the freedom to play the game in the way they want. Because that's what musical creativity is all about and that's where the joy of creating music comes from,” said Miyamoto.

Miyamoto’s innovative thinking and vision becomes clear during the interview when he is asked why someone should choose Wii Music over Guitar Hero, or Rock Band. Miyamoto envisions Wii Music as more than just video game stating, “In my mind, I think of Wii Music being along the lines of a new kind of musical instrument. You can bring Wii Music home and within a few minutes, everyone in the family, regardless of their gaming skill, can pick up Wii Music and start playing a wide variety of musical instruments, not just making sounds, but actually making music. So in that sense, it's like this new musical instrument that allows you to become a creator of music and a performer of music without the barriers that you would normally have of having to learn an instrument, learning to read music, and learning musical theory. That's something no other game or any other interactive experience can offer.”

Miyamoto also talked about two guiding principles he adheres to when developing his games, encouraging non linear game exploration and ensuring the game is fun for both the player and any potential observers watching the player play.

With the holidays approaching it remains to be seen if Wii Music will become a system seller similar to the Wii Fit and Wii Sports.

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