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Nintendo creative director Shigeru Miyamoto teases a new franchise

Above: The tiny plant creatures of Shigeru Miyamoto's Pikmin 3.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Nintendo’s Wii U needs games. That’s the common cry from gamers that own the system or from those that are holding off on buying one. Those titles are unlikely to come from third-party publishers that are primarily committing to Sony’s and Microsoft’s new boxes. That leaves it to Nintendo to fill the schedule with attractive games.

Nintendo is trying to do just that, and it might release a new franchise in 2014 to help out.

Nintendo creative director Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that he is working on something new now that his latest game, Pikmin 3, is mostly finished. In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (as spotted by Polygon), the industry luminary talks about the recent system updates that improved the performance of the Wii U and how now the device just needs software.

“With the most recent version update, the system runs a lot better, and while there will continue to be improvement in the future, I think it’s to the point where it’s a convenient thing to have in the living room,” Miyamoto told Famitsu. “Of course, these sorts of updates mean nothing if we don’t put out games for it, and I hope people are looking forward to the games coming up.

“We’ll have Mario Kart 8 out next spring, and at that point we’ll have the whole lineup in place, so I think it’s about time we brought out a new franchise. I can’t give out details, but that’s the title that’s been keeping me pretty busy lately.”

The producer didn’t provide any details about the mysterious new game, but he did speak about his philosophy for new properties during a recent meeting with company investors.

“In my view, a new way of playing or new use of media is necessary for a ‘new product’ and creating a character is not the first thing to do,” Miyamoto told investors. “In this sense, Nintendogs, Brain Age, and Wii Fit are all new franchises. Few people see it this way because these games have no symbolic character like the existence of Mario, but they are actually contributing to our sales. I would like to continue developing video games with the view of entertaining a wide variety of people including the existing video game fans.”

It’s possible that Miyamoto’s new Wii U game could fall into this noncharacter territory.

For the rest of 2013, the Wii U has Pikmin 3 coming in August, The Wonderful 101 coming in September, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD in October, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in November, and Super Mario 3D World in December.


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