Nintendo pins hopes on GameCube
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Ninetendo is using the launch of its new GameCube system to challenge the belief that computer games are for kids.
Chief games designer Shigeru Miyamoto, called the Steven Spielberg of video games by TIME magazine, said GameCube would attract gamers of all ages from children to grandparents.
The Japanese company has a reputation of catering predominately for a younger audience with titles such as Mario Brothers, Pokemon and Zelda.
But Miyamoto said GameCube -- already released in Japan and the United States -- is reaching out to a broader audience.
Competition is tough in the video game markets there, with GameCube, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's Playstation2 fighting for supremacy. In Europe, only Playstation2 has been released so far.
In the best-selling games lists, Xbox has titles like Halo, Dead or Alive and Wreckless, while Playstations2's gamers have Metal Gear Solid 2, and Final Fantasy X.
Miyamoto, whose past credits include Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong, is now designing games for GameCube.
"The new Nintendo hardware is designed to be a platform for small children as well as their grandparents to use," he said, stressing the importance of family involvement to guide children.
"Video games, like any form of entertainment media, has to be used with consideration," he said.
"Children should be encouraged to do as many things as possible, and addictive-like game playing is not healthy."
To keep up with the current trend of online gaming, GameCube wields a broadband connection. But Miyamoto would not confirm when software for network gaming will be created.
"It is up to the software developers to decide if they want to create games that utilise the connection, but I do not personally have great interest in network gaming," the designer said.
Miyamoto, who has designed games for Nintendo since 1977, fears that online gaming would take the focus away from making good offline games.
"I believe that once an online game is created, the developer has to follow the fast growth of the Internet, and the system needs much maintenance. I don't believe that all future gaming should be online," he said.
Miyamoto is touring Europe to promote the delayed launch of GameCube in Europe, which is now due in shops by May.
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