Shigeru Miyamoto Wants To Unite Inverted And Un-Inverted Gamers

Shigeru Miyamoto Wants To Unite Inverted And Un-Inverted Gamers

During the same Nintendo developer roundtable where we were given a Tanooki suit history lesson, Nintendo godfather Shigeru Miyamoto discussed the new control scheme for Star Fox 64: 3D, and how the they may have provided the solution for a long-standing source of stress for him.

Miyamoto’s issue revolves around inverting the game’s Y-axis controls to play Star Fox, or any flight sim for that matter. It’s not the act of inverting (or not inverting) that bothers him, but the fact that choosing one or the other changes the player’s experience.

Below, Miyamoto explains how the 3DS, along with another classic Nintendo franchise, helped him find a new solution, which he declares to be the ideal way to play the new Star Fox.

“People often tend to prefer Star Fox as sort of a space shooter or a dogfighting game, but really when I see the game and when I play it, what I find is really fun about it is, not so much just the shooting, but actually the way you fly around objects and under objects, and how it is that you’re flying through space.

“The big challenge I’ve always had with games like this in the past is that, when you’re playing the game, the audience divides into two groups. One [group]tilts the control stick up and they expect the ship to fly up, but then there’s another group that, when they tilt it up, they expect the nose of the ship to dive down. They’re using the actual controls of the aeroplane and causing the nose to dive down.

[asking audience]”Who wants the plane to go down when they tilt the control stick up? [Some people in the audience raised their hands.]

So that’s a pretty good number.

[asking audience]”Who thinks the plane should go up when you tilt the control stick up? [The other half of the audience raised their hands.]

“The people with their hands up in the air are people who grew up on Sega games.

“I’ve always felt that if the industry could just settle on one standard, it would be a lot easier for us developers. So, I’ve always felt that at some point, we need to find a point in time when we can unify these two groups together.

“Well this time with Star Fox 64: 3D for the 3DS has the circle pad, and this is where the discussion happened again, with the circle pad. You’re not tilting it, you’re sliding it. So it’s really not like the control stick of an aeroplane, and when you slide it up, you really feel like you should be going up. And when I was playing Ocarina of Time 3D, when I slid the control stick while shooting the slingshot, I wanted to be able to aim up by sliding on it. So I went into my troubled mode and I tried to solve the problem. Of course the hardware has the gyroscope…

“So if you have the gyroscope and you’re using that to pull the slingshot, and then you’re lifting the slingshot as well. So you’re lifting up your hands, but it’s like you’re sliding the stick up more.

“And I thought; ‘this is my chance to bring people together!”‘

“So both The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64: 3D have gyro-based controls. But for Star Fox 64, what we did was we developed it in a hybrid manner, and I think where it’s best suited is using the gyro for the up and down motion, while steering left to right using the circle pad because that’s going to give you the best control. That motion… but with the side-to side you can still use the circle pad, giving you the best visual focus.

“So that was the main thing I wanted to say about Star Fox 64: 3D.”

So there you have it. Miyamoto has permanently bridged the divide between inverted and non-inverted gamers… right?

I guess Miyamoto doesn’t want players to actually use the 3DS on the go. I’d hate to see Star Fox 64: 3D go down in history as the game that started the most unintentional fights on the subway.


  • For gyro controls I’ve got no opinion – but if he goes the extra step and locks in the y-axis on the thumb pad then he’s going to have issues.

    If I buy a game and I can’t set the y-axis to inverted (I’m old) then I won’t play it. If when I get Ocarina or Starfox home I find I can’t play because he’s locked the controls I’m not go to spend the time to re-learn. I’m going to take it back and tell the store clerk it’s broken.

  • “I’ve always felt that if the industry could just settle on one standard, it would be a lot easier for us developers.”

    How would it be easier for developers? Its just reversing the Y axis. Its, like, no thought at all for developing.

  • Why the heck does he care and why does he feel he has to lock people in? Seriously let the player choose.

  • This kind of sounds like a bs way of incorporating a “never before allowed” control structure for marketing/justifying the 3DS. It kind of feels like they’re breaking something that worked for the sake of novelty.

    Gyroscopic movement has its place, and that place is an optional extra for novelty and the kids who are more concerned with “wheee!” than beating the level (like on Mario Kart Wii). Oh, and NOT on a device that has the screen and motion controls in the same place.

  • The Wii U Touchscreen controller. The lack of titles for the 3DS and DSi shop and now. The changing of controls.

    I think Nintendo have lost the plot.

  • I move the top of my head forward I look down, I push the stick forward I look down it’s pretty simple.

  • Um, isn’t tilting the device back and forward going to make keeping the 3D effect in view more difficult?

  • This is like saying, “We need to unite left-handers and right-handers.” We did that by just letting people do things the way it was most comfortable for them.

  • Is it just me or does it depend on the game? sometimes I invert and sometimes not. I probably invert more often than not, but there’ve been some games where that seemed counter-intuitive; I dunno why. Possibly it depends on whether the game is cockpit view or not, whether the game is flying a space-ship or else from the POV of a character ala a FPS…I honestly can’t figure out right now without a controller in my hand and/or the game in front of me which I used and want for which games. What was the default in the original SNES version of Starfox? did it HAVE an option to invert? I agree the new one had better…But so a game like say Afterburner would presumably have been the opposite? I dunno, this is driving me crazy now lol

  • You think that’s bad, there’s people like me who invert depending on the game, like Simon. FPS’ – when I’m being stupid and playing on console – = uninverted. Flight sims… That depends on the game. Something arcadey like Lylat Wars I’ll leave uninverted, something more like a flight sim I’ll invert. In F-Zero I specifically remember needing it inverted because… That’s just how it’s meant to be, in my head.

    The whole world is letting this ‘accessibility’ bullshit go to their heads. Stop configuring my things for me, then locking them out. Stop changing things to be more flashy and not letting you roll back. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY IS WINDOWS RAPIDLY PHASING OUT THE MENU BAR?

    Anyway I’m already ranting so I’ll cut it off here. Let people choose. The end.

    • That is a rant that should not be cut off. Go tell it on the mountain, and shout it from the rooftops

  • The slidey analogue is pretty horrible, anyway. And I disagree, sliding it “up” (which is really forward to some degree) doesn’t make me want it to tilt the nose up. It makes me want the top to tilt forward, looking down. You don’t lean forward to look up, you lean back.

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