Wii Sports Resort: the character

Nintendo and iconic gaming characters are pretty synonymous. They’ve got like 50 while Microsoft is pretty much at one and Sony, well, lets just say that Crash Bandicoot didn’t really work out. So what’s next in the pipeline? Who’s the next big gaming star? According to Miyamoto its not a who, but a what. The legendary game designer says the island in Wii Sports Resort is going to be the next big gaming icon.

In the latest edition of Iwata Asks, Miyamoto discusses the island and why he thinks we’ll all be in seeing it lots. “… one part of Nintendo’s business has been creating a whole host of characters which we have then licensed out,” said Miyamoto. “But I’ve always thought, seeing as we are a games company, that in addition to characters resembling people, why couldn’t we also turn the actual stages of games into characters?”

Evidently this idea has been kicking around in Nintendo’s head for a while and since Wuhu Island, as it is known, is so polished and put together it will be able to show up in an entire series of island games. RPGs, adventure and city-building games are noted as some of the uses for having a location that is a “character.”

If you get past Miyamoto’s term of calling an island a character, it’s clear to see that Nintendo is actually grasping at a cool idea. A geographical spot that shows up in a series of games instead of a character who shows up in a series of games. It can have its own history, legends and story, and the characters can be constantly switched. Of course if all they do with the island is make mini-games for Miis then they’ll be squandering all its potential.