Shigeru Miyamoto is a great game designer, we all know that. He's an incredibly insightful and intelligent man. Likewise, that we all know. Yet, lately his interview responses sound, we dunno, canned? Take these recent responses regarding Wii Music:
When we created the Wii, we identified areas that would appeal to everyone in the household... One was sports, another was fitness, and one was music.
Wii Music has been an answer to my long life as a struggling musician... The one problem I've never been able to resolve is that while I wish I was good enough to perform for people, no matter how much I practiced I never felt my performance was good enough.
Kids are learning more about the fundamentals of music then they realise... When it comes time to learn to read music and play a real instrument, Wii Music might make them more interested in taking on the challenge and sticking with it long-term.
That's interesting, but we think we read that interview at E3 and 1,034 times after that. (Hey, he's a walking press release!) It's not that these answers are simply stock answers, but rather, softball answers from softball questions. Granted, the average Wii Music consumer probably does not read every Miyamoto interview. The average Wii Music consumer may not even know who Shigeru Miyamoto is — so these innocuous blank replies from Miyamoto might be Wii Music marketing strategy. (Note: The game failed to crack the US top ten in its first 11 days on sale.)
Too few have challenged him on his claim that Wii Music is teaching the fundamentals of music or addressing confidence issues. If kids want to learn music, they should start with a kazoo or rhythm sticks or, hell, a piano. People want to perform, but can't play an instrument. So the answer is swinging a Wii Remote? Being in one's living room swinging a consumer electronics product does not overcome the inability to play music. Being in one's living room, practicing a musical instrument does. Learning musical instruments is hard. Consumers, and Miyamoto, it seems prefer shortcuts and instant gratification. Good thing Wii Music offers just that.
This could all just be us missing something entirely. (Yes, blame us.) Then again, it very well could be the symptom of something larger. Remember when Miyamoto said that Wii Music's development was relatively easy and didn't challenge him?