The most influential man at hardware and software powerhouse Nintendo has found at least one phone game he enjoys. Visionary Shigeru Miyamoto recently name-dropped Rovio's Angry Birds in a conversation with Hookshot, Inc, noting that it's one of the few phone games he can dig. “There aren’t many games that I’ve played recently that have been truly convincing to me," he said at a Paris event. "That said, I have very much enjoyed Angry Birds -- especially the way in which it combines traditional and new game elements in exciting ways."

Miyamoto later praised the surprising depth of the game's flinging mechanic and the overall simplicity of its design. "Angry Birds is a very simple idea but it’s one of those games that I immediately appreciated when I first started playing, before wishing that I had been the one to come up with the idea first," he said.

Nintendo does its best to totally dismiss the App Store and phones in general, so these quotes strike us as a particularly notable. It's acknowledgment that something great can happen on our platforms of choice, from the mouth of Nintendo's visionary designer.

In an interview with Edge at the same event, Miyamoto admitted that he keeps tabs on the mobile space, but noted that Nintendo can be just as creative.

"I check up on them sometimes, but I don't have a lot of time," he told Edge. "I think we also have a history of having certain fun ideas and making a game out of it, and there's lots of other people also doing this [now].

"This kind of environment inspires us to try even harder, and create even more unexpected new things."

Miyamoto is in the middle of some sort of slow (and disputed) stepping down process that'll see him working on smaller games with smaller teams instead of big, blown-up AAA Mario and Zelda titles.

[via Hookshot Inc, via Edge]

  • Deamon34

    Rovios going to have an even bigger ego now.

  • bob

    I absolutely do NOT need Miyamoto's opinions on ios games to convince me theres good gaming to be had here.  If he can't find anything other than Angry Birds (and I like AB a lot) that he finds "worthy" than theres not much to say really other than he's pretty out of touch...which doesn't surprise me at all.

    • Cat Astrophy

      I don't even care about his iOS opinions when he's dumb enough to dismiss the platform in the first place.

      • Texazzpete

        There's nothing in the article to indicate Miyamoto was commenting about iOS gaming. 
        Unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know Angry Birds is available for practically every mobile platform out there.

      • Cat Astrophy

        Not in THIS article Nintendo hasn't. Dismissing mobile platforms also dismisses iOS.

      • Michael Robson

        Well, Nintendo kinda have been living under a rock. Have you seen the Wii-U? It's a resistive screen iPad :'(

        Nice knowin ya, Japan

      • Ryan J Gill

        God, why do people get so up in arms about this? Nintendo focuses on a different corner of the market. iOS is more comparable to PC gaming, and when was the last time any major 1st party console dev besides Microsoft put a significant amount of their IP on PC? He said he hadn't played anything mobile that caught his interest. Before getting an iPod Touch and iPad and specifically learning to mine through the muck, I hadn't either. It's not a gaming platform, it is a multimedia platform that can also play games. That one of the busiest and most influential men in the arena of dedicated gaming console development hasn't spent hours on end browsing the app store really shouldn't be a shock. 

        I point this out periodically, but when was the last time anyone saw a first-party Xbox or Playstation title on the app store? Or any real acknowledgement of iOS except for the Vita having a handful of under-realized apps that attempt to mimic it? I really don't get why the rage button gets pressed so hard when Nintendo isn't churning out Pokemon and Zelda for iOS.

    • Texazzpete

      You folks sure love these silly 'out of touch' comments, don't you?

      Miyamoto clearly said of the ones he's tried out, he hasn't liked many. He mentioned Angry Birds as one of the ones he's really liked. He never said ALL the games in the Appstore are crap or that Angry Birds is the ONLY mobile game he likes.
      The article doesn't even say if his smartphone is an iDevice! How the heck do you know he's talking about iOS gaming here?

      Do you have issues comprehending written English? 

      • bob

        whether he's specifically referring to ios or not doesn't matter at all.  The point is, he (and more generally Nintendo as a company) have made a lot of noise disparaging the quality (both potential and already achieved) of the games available for the various "phone platforms" (and lets face it, really its mostly about the idevices) while nintendo continues to trot out retreads of their five or so classic brands over and over again.  Nintendo chooses to ignore and basically look down their corporate noses at this new competitor at their own peril frankly.

      • Texazzpete

        Most of the comments bashing mobile gaming have been from Reggie fils aime and Satoru Iwata, NOT from miyamoto. Those two are key Nintendo executives and are not likely (and should not!) come out there praising their key competitor to high heavens.

        So you ought to 
        1) retract your original comments about Shigeru Miyamoto
        2) Realize that even the so-called 'retreads' are of higher quality than the usual Appstore fare.

      • clarence zhang

        Miyamoto enjoys angry birds? oh no, the game is so stupid in the eyes of so called hardcore gamer. May miyamoto is too old to be a game designer, what's wrong with him?

      • bob

        unfortunately, the "retreads" are also of a higher quality than most of the other games on their own platforms...

      • Texazzpete

        What do you care as long as great games are available? Stop trolling and learn from your mistakes!

      • Ryan J Gill

        I agree, Pete. From a business standpoint, no company is going to talk up its competitor. And I'm sure the console devs see iOS, as I said above, as something similar to the PC market.

        In other words, Nintendo is as likely to voice a concise business strategy around the app store as Sony is to do so around Steam.

      • capncoad

        You're doing guilt by association. Shigeru as a game designer isn't Nintendo and he's not making sweeping judgements of iOS gaming. The guy clearly stated he has little time to play games outside of work and he's giving praise to a very popular phone title. And step back and use some common sense here, Nintendo is a video game hardware company and their revenue and entire existence depends on the existence / performance of their hardware and the games they sell. It's absolutely expected they are going to try to shrug off iOS gaming. We're talking about a company who created Zelda, Donkey Kong, Mario, Metroid...They have an incredible amount of pride in their gaming hardware and software and most likely feel like the media and Apple fans pressuring them to acknowledge the superiority and success of iOS gaming and admit their own hardware strategy is flawed is a hard pill to swallow for a company as legendary as Nintendo. What i'm trying to say is try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their vision. Nintendo is NOT a phone company and they are not a 3rd party developer and have publicly stated they will shutter their entire business before making games for other companies. They're going to swing at smartphone and tablet gaming until they go to their grave. Which is hopefully never.

      • capncoad

        I would also follow up and say that I understand the other side of the fence too. A lot of tablet users and phone users alike get attached to their addictive indie games and have attachments to certain small developers which they follow, I think that's incredibly healthy for gaming to have such an indie base.

      • Ryan J Gill

        Very good post. iOS and its impact on gaming is very healthy for the industry. It has given many companies a platform they may not have otherwise reached, and has taken us leagues beyond the crap we could waste time on our smart" phones with a few years ago. But to assume that because phone gaming has gotten decent in the last couple of years means that console devs who have been at it for decades are going to bow their heads, write off their consoles, and start throwing in with tablets and phones is ridiculous. If that were they case, they would have been developing for PC all along.

      • Eli Hodapp

        I think what we're looking at is the internet commenter equivalent of "shoot first ask questions last." You don't want to waste time reading an article when you can just plop out a smarmy comment. 😉

      • bob

        I read the article and stand by all my comments.  Miyamoto is a pretty big player when it comes to Nintendo as a company.  The article itself states that his opinions are "particularly notable" given Nintendos historical stance on ios gaming. 

        Look, I don't really have an issue with Nintendo not wanting to give props to "the competition."  It only makes sense that they wouldn't.  The problem I have is with Nintendos implication that ios gaming is somehow a lesser form of entertainment - a lower grade of gaming - than the "magical" work that Nintendo creates.  Its hokum.  As a lifelong gamer since the mid seventies I'm blown away by the variety and creativity available on the app store (I'm being ios-centric here becuase I've never owned an Android device).  Some of the best and most fun games I've played in years have been on my iphone and ipad.  I own a PS3, Wii, Gamecube, GBA, a couple of DSs, and a couple different PCs right now but in the past two years probably 80% of my game-playing has been on the idevices. 

      • Texazzpete

        If you have an issue with Nintendo, why transfer it to Miyamoto who has NEVER been dismissive of mobile gaming as a 'lesser form' of gaming?

        You made a silly mistake and jumped in guns blazing, bad mouthing one of the most revered and respected figures in gaming history. As someone who is probably in their late thirties, you should be ashamed of yourself and your obstinate defense of a shitty initial post.  

        The article is worded very clearly. This article says he has seen some virtue in mobile gaming when it's done right...Shouldn't that have satisfied you? At your age it is shameful that you jump to such poor conclusions. If you really were an old-school gamer you would RESPECT this man and keep quiet.

      • bob

        lol, butt-hurt much?  Why don't you relax.  All I originally said was that I don't particularly need Miyamoto's approval of ios games or gaming.  Was that really so bad?  But if it makes you feel better, I humbly offer an apology to Myamoto-san and hope that he will forgive my indiscretion...


        I definitely am an old-school gamer, I've definitely enjoyed many of the games this game designer has created over the years, and I will definitely continue to comment...even if it might offend the many fans of miyamoto...

      • Texazzpete

        Except that that wasn't ALL you said...apart from crazily stating that Miyamoto  said that Angry Birds was the only worthy mobile game, you started babbling about him being 'out of touch'.

        Strange...when exactly did you start having these memory lapses?

      • bob

        Apparently you missed the crucial "if" in the sentence you refer to from my initial post...

      • Ryan J Gill

        Now you're mincing words. The intention of your final sentence was pretty clear, and you even topped it off with "which doesn't surprise me at all." If we're going to break down every word and key in on "if," then to support your supposedly open comment, you would have said "which WOULDN'T surprise me at all."

        Just playing Devil's Advocate here.

  • NPeart

    I would exchange the whole appstore for one Miyamoto game.

    • James

      Something like new super mario brothers could probably sell for 29.99 and have no problem topping the app store too.

      Im gonna just gonna call it right now. Apple will buy nintendo. 

    • bob

      I sure wouldn't...

    • Michael Robson

      Thumbs way the F down. Pfft.

  • Austin Riddle

    Of course he likes Angry Birds, there's 4 versions of the same damn game on the app store, just like everything Nintendo does.  Mario Kart 16 anyone!?

    • Texazzpete

      So many versions yet still such high quality. What's the problem?

      • bob

        we get it.  Nintendo can do no wrong.

      • Texazzpete

        We get it. Your "nintendo can do no wrong" comment was just to mask your lack of any intelligent rebuttal 🙂

      • Ryan J Gill

        Nobody said that. Deep breath, friend, deep breath. This article's intent was to show a notable developer from a company that doesn't focus on mobile gaming giving props to the mobile sector. There's no need to defend mobile gaming from...praise?

  • Ryan J Gill

    One thing not mentioned here- I just read on another site (Nintendolife to be exact) that Miyamoto closed out his comments saying it would have (and I am paraphrasing here) been even better on DS.

    Based on the game's core design, I wonder how that would hold up in practice. On the one hand, I played AB on a PSP and thought it sucked compared to the iOS version. But other notable titles on the DSiWare store that I've played have held up just fine, being equivolent experiences to me or better (Plants vs Zombies, Oregon Trail, Zenonia, Earthworm Jim, Castle of Magic...the last two may not count haha). Plants vs Zombies, for example, I prefer on DS to iPod Touch/phone...but ultimately prefer on the iPad. In reverse, I say the same of GTA Chinatown Wars. I've owned it on DS (excellent controls) PSP (excellent presentation), iPod Touch (cramped for the touch controls) and iPad (best version between the screen real estate, touch controls a la the DS version, prettier even than the PSP version, custom radio, etc).

    But I digress, sorry. Back to AB. I don't think the D pad/shoulder buttons would offer new insights to the experience, based on my time with the Playstation Minis version. However, DS's touch screen would likely have us playing via stylus. That could be cool, but would it be "better?"Then again, the AB formula was designed with browsers in mind (Castle Clout, Crush the Castle), and just happened to work well on touch screens. So who knows?Any opinions?

  • Jaden Krall

    I want to play a Mario and Angry Birds crossover game now. XD