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Shigeru Miyamoto - JPop.com
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Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto


Shigeru Miyamoto was born in Sonobe (now Nantan), Kyoto, Japan. As a young boy, Miyamoto loved to draw, paint pictures, and explore the landscape surrounding his house. Stories describe his fascinated discovery of hidden caves, lakes, and other natural features which were linked to his later work. For example, The Legend of Zelda was inspired by Miyamoto's maze-like Japanese home; he'd often go exploring in the wilderness and caves. Another example is the infamous Chain Chomp enemy of Mario fame. Read more on Last.fm
Shigeru Miyamoto was born in Sonobe (now Nantan), Kyoto, Japan. As a young boy, Miyamoto loved to draw, paint pictures, and explore the landscape surrounding his house. Stories describe his fascinated discovery of hidden caves, lakes, and other natural features which were linked to his later work. For example, The Legend of Zelda was inspired by Miyamoto's maze-like Japanese home; he'd often go exploring in the wilderness and caves.

Another example is the infamous Chain Chomp enemy of Mario fame. When Miyamoto was a child, he was attacked by a neighbor's dog, which was kept at bay by a chain attached to a post. In 1970, he enrolled in the Kanazawa College of Art, and graduated five years later, though he would later remark that his studies often took a backseat to doodling. In 1977 Miyamoto, armed with a degree in industrial design, was able to arrange a meeting with Hiroshi Yamauchi who was a friend of his father and the head of Nintendo of Japan.

Yamauchi hired Miyamoto to be a "staff artist" and assigned him to apprentice in the planning department. Nintendo In 1980, the fairly new Nintendo of America was looking for a hit to establish itself as a player in the growing arcade market. After successful location tests using prototypes, then-NoA CEO Minoru Arakawa ordered a very large number of units of Radar Scope, an arcade game. However, by the time the arcade machines could be produced and shipped to the U.S., interest had vaporized, causing Radar Scope to be a huge flop. To stay afloat and clear the costly inventory of Radar Scope, Nintendo of America desperately needed a smash-hit game that the unsold machines could be converted to play.

Yamauchi assigned Miyamoto, the task of creating the game that would make or break the company. After Miyamoto had consulted with some of the company's engineers , and composed the music himself on a small electronic keyboard, Donkey Kong was fully conceptualized. When the game was complete, the chips containing the new program were rushed to the U.S. and Nintendo employees worked around the clock to convert the Radar Scope machines. It was fortunate that Nintendo had so many units on hand, because Donkey Kong was an overnight success, and not only saved the company, but introduced the character who more than any other would be identified with Nintendo. The three most famous characters Miyamoto created for the game were Donkey Kong, Jump Man, and Lady.

It was Mario, a character who descends from Jump Man, that has found the most success, and since his début in Donkey Kong he has appeared in more than 100 games spanning over a dozen gaming platforms. Miyamoto is usually listed as "producer" in the credits of Mario games. The few exceptions include the Super Mario Land series for the Game Boy, which he had virtually nothing to do with. (Gunpei Yokoi, Miyamoto's mentor, produced the Super Mario Land series.) In early U.S. releases, he was sometimes credited as "Miyahon", a mistransscription of the kanji in his name (本 — which can be read as either hon or moto).

The mistranslated surname was Miyamoto's development nickname in the 1980s (having a nickname was a common practice among Japanese game developers at the time). At E3's convention in 1997, Miyamoto revealed that he was constantly working with around four hundred people on a dozen or so projects at a time. Despite being an influential figure in video games and responsible for multi-million dollar franchises, Miyamoto is said to be very humble, insisting on settling for an average income, and often rides a bicycle to work. Competition with Sony and Microsoft Holding the intellectual reins of the Wii was Miyamoto's first taste of the hardware battle. He has claimed his peers within the industry have been "too focused on hardcore gamers". His belief that his project could out-sell Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 is influenced by his business motto; "Games should be something everybody wants to play". However, he admits changes had to be made before the Wii was a serious contender.

"There was a time when Nintendo was not influencing the world in the way it would have liked", Miyamoto claims, "That's why I've spent so much time trying to find new, exciting control systems we can use". In the first 6 months of straight competition, Wii outsold both its rivals, with gamers buying twice as many as Xbox 360 and four times as many as Playstation 3. When asked about his vision of rivalry in the future, he has high hopes for his "team". He says "My dream is that the Wii becomes this device everybody sees as being the natural thing next to the TV". Awards and recognition Shigeru Miyamoto (right) with fellow game designers Michel Ancel (left) and Frédérick Raynal as well as French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres (center-right) on March 13, 2006 above the Palais Royal gardens in Paris. Shigeru Miyamoto (right) with fellow game designers Michel Ancel (left) and Frédérick Raynal as well as French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres (center-right) on March 13, 2006 above the Palais Royal gardens in Paris. Miyamoto was the first person ever to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame in 1998, an award that outlines his lifetime achievement and dramatic effect on the video game industry.

In March 2005, Miyamoto was among the first honorees in 2004 to receive a star on the Walk of Game: a section of San Francisco's Metreon Center that is modeled on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. On March 13, 2006 Miyamoto received a French honor by being inducted Chevalier ("Knight") into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, alongside game designers Michel Ancel, and Frédérick Raynal as part of the French video game policy effort. The main character of the infamous PC game Daikatana, Hiro Miyamoto, was given his last name as an homage to Shigeru. On November 28, 2006 Miyamoto was featured in TIME Asia's "60 Years of Asian Heroes" with Hayao Miyazaki, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Bruce Lee, and the Dalai Lama. At the Game Developers Choice Awards, on March 7, 2007, Shigeru Miyamoto received the Lifetime Achievement Award for a career that spans the creation of Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda. He was also given credit to the company's recent revolutionary systems such as the Nintendo DS and the Wii. He was the Keynote speaker at that conference, along with Eiji Aonuma and Satoru Iwata. Shigeru Miyamoto has also been chosen as one of the 100 TIME Magazine's 2007 Most Influential People of the Year.

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