At the E3 Nintendo Developer Roundtable that followed day two of the gaming expo, Shigeru Miyamoto and Katsuya Eguchi — the latter is the producer on Wii Sports Resort, Animal Crossing City Folk and Wii Music — spent additional time with the press showing off upcoming Wii wares. The two also fielded a barrage of questions from the crowd.
One question asked of Miyamoto was Wii Music's qualifications as a game. You know, a game game. Since Wii Music has no discernible scoring system, no goals and little in the way of those squishy innards that makes a game a "game", isn't it just a "musical toy"? That was the question posed by one European journo.
"Yes, that's right", Miyamoto curtly replied "And that's why it's better than a video game".
That will, of course, be debatable to the Wii owning masses, especially those who bemoaned the lack of games that appeal to them. The Marios, the Zeldas, the Metroids, the... Kid Icari.
Whatever Wii Music is, it's better than what the gaming public saw at Nintendo's E3 2008 media briefing. The cacophonous display of a DJ Ravi Drums waggling and stomping like a madman, followed by a ear splitting executive performance didn't win over many of the folks we talked to at E3.
But the more mellow demo, minus the on stage fanfare made Wii Music seem much more interesting.
Like many gamers, I've yet to go personally hands on with Wii Music. The available melodic and percussive options — from guitar to steel drums to vibraphone to harpsichord to toy piano to singer to tuba to dog suit — may make rearranging the Super Mario Bros. them fun. Plus, your Mii can beat box. That's like hours of fun right there. All those options might not make it a game, but there's at least one person who doesn't see anything wrong with that.
Miyamoto said that he sees Wii Music as a viable educational tool, saying that "I really think that half of an elementary music school could be dedicated to this". His intention, it seems, isn't to court those already on board with Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but, literally, everyone else.
The famed Nintendo developer said "I'm hoping that through Wii Music, we'll get more drummers, more musicians and more people interested in music".