Print 16 comment(s) - last by foolsgambit11.. on Oct 28 at 2:02 PM

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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This game sucks!
By quiksilvr on 10/27/2008 12:44:00 PM , Rating: 5
You waggle the Wiimote to imitate an instrument? This is so gimmicky I shouldn't even have to say it!

RE: This game sucks!
By Inkjammer on 10/27/2008 12:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Are you seriously telling me you wouldn't want to wave a plastic wand around to the incredible dance-inducing beat of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!? Or toss wicked party so all your friends and family can see your mad, mad Turkey in the Straw skills?

RE: This game sucks!
By austinag on 10/27/2008 2:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is the kind of game you buy for the children of people you are mad at.

RE: This game sucks!
By someguy123 on 10/27/2008 3:19:23 PM , Rating: 5

i know he's saying it's to create music, but he doesn't mean some kind high caliber music. miyamoto is just talking about music in general. wii music is pretty much a bunch of instruments simplified to the point where all you need to do is make the beat. it allows people who really have no musical skill to do something somewhat musical without it sounding awful.

why is something easy, obviously directed at children and older adults looking for something simple and fun, seen with such hostility? do you think people who play casual games look at games like MGS and GoW and say "oh man this game is a piece of crap, why should i waste 30 hours on a game? it should never exist. i want MORE CASUAL GAMES!"

RE: This game sucks!
By Inkjammer on 10/27/2008 3:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
Saying Wii Music can be used to create music is like saying Mario Paint can be used to create serious art. I... wait. Mario Paint. Wii Music.

Oh god, this horror was foretold over a decade ago! Why didn't we see the signs!

By DanoruX on 10/27/2008 12:45:39 PM , Rating: 1 dead to me until Nintendo makes actual games again.

RE: Miyamoto...
By michael2k on 10/27/2008 5:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
Like Zelda, Metroid, Mario Galaxy, or Mario Kart, right?

RE: Miyamoto...
By DanoruX on 10/28/2008 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
Call me when Nintendo makes a new IP that isn't a gimmick. They haven't done that since.... umm...... pikmin? It gets tiring to see the same games with a new coat of paint over and over again.

RE: Miyamoto...
By peritusONE on 10/28/2008 12:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
A Nintendo representative (I think it was Miyamoto) said it best in a conversation with a games journalist at TGS earlier this month. The journalist said something about the Wii and games, and the response was (and I'm paraphrasing), "The Wii isn't a gaming machine, it's a toy."

I'll have to see if I can find that exact quote somewhere.

Wii Speak the Truth
By Inkjammer on 10/27/2008 1:08:19 PM , Rating: 5
"That's something no other game or any other interactive experience can offer.”
Yes, the sheer amount of shame to be caught in public playing it. Nintendo should have bundled Wii Music with a tiny pinke ukulele and renamed the game to "Wii Look Ridiculous".

RE: Wii Speak the Truth
By michael2k on 10/27/2008 4:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
That meme broke a long time ago after Wii Sports became popular...

I mean, the concept is the same. Simplify the sport to the point anyone can play without worrying about hurting yourself. Now you simplify the instrument to the point that anyone can play without being horrific.

By chmilz on 10/27/2008 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, if you're gonna fondle the wii-mote, at least have the actions mimic something realistic. You can't wave the wii-mote to mimic playing a guitar.

RE: Wii-masturbation
By lagomorpha on 10/27/2008 2:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like a good renter
By Spivonious on 10/27/2008 3:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
As a college-trained musician myself, this game looks to be more of a renter-for-parties.

Nintendo needs to get some third-party developers interested in the system. There has to be more uses for the Wii Remote than sports games.

RE: It looks like a good renter
By Disenchanted on 10/27/2008 5:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine this title will probably make Nintendo a(nother) boat load of money. Remember - who the heck thought Wii Fit would be any kind of fun? Wii Sports was just supposed to be a side note, something for people to play until some REAL games came out. A demo if you will. The LAST thing Nintendo needs is another third party developer. Look at all the shovel-ware available for the Wii as well as the DS.

The incredible success of the Wii caught many developers off-guard, leaving them scrambling to come up with any kind of game they could to make a buck. Hence, the unimaginative early games with controls that felt added in as an afterthought. Heck, even the developers owned or partially owned by Nintendo went bust or close enough to it to jump overboard (ie: Rare, now owned IIRC by Microsoft).

No, what Nintendo needs is a return to the mentality of the early days. Back when the Nintendo "Official Seal of Quality" meant something. Now if you look at the back of a game, it's just an "Official Nintendo Seal"...WTH does that mean?!? Nintendo doesn't need more third party titles, it needs a "crap screener" position added to the payroll.

Say what you will.
By foolsgambit11 on 10/28/2008 2:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen this game in action, I admit. But I'm open to the idea now. I mean, as a musician, I thought Guitar Hero was the lamest idea I'd seen in a long time. I mean, grown men doing glorified air guitar? But once I tried it, I realized the draw. It really is fun, once you put aside your sense of shame.

That being said, I can see this game setting the bar too low - too easy to promote continued game play, and too simplified to allow full, complex, rewarding creativity.

I really wish people would stop calling the WiiMote a gimmick, though. Frequently, the people who laugh at the WiiMote are the same people who whined when they couldn't get Rumble on their PS controllers for a while. As if that's less gimmicky than the WiiMote. The fact is, you can make games that don't use the motion features of the WiiMote (although it's not an especially ergonomic controller, I'll admit). But why would you? Metroid Prime 3 was a blast to play, once you get used to the new input format. It reminded me of getting used to maneuvering in a 3D environment on the N64 (either Goldeneye or Mario64, with their two different paradigms). Now it seems natural, but it took a while.

Maybe the problem is that we have a new generation of gamers who haven't had to deal with a paradigm shift in game controls like that? I don't know.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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