The 2011 Game Developer’s Conference is only a few weeks away and the big announcements are starting to emerge. Keynoting this year’s event will be Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who will be speaking on: “Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future.”
Few people are better equipped to offer a historical perspective on the video game industry than the man who runs Nintendo. The company’s various platforms have been popular mainstays in each and every console generation since the NES and their first-party game offerings are among the industry’s most enduring. It should be an interesting talk, especially as Iwata — who joined the company in 2000 and has overseen the release of the Wii and DS, the insanely popular “Brain Age” series and, soon enough, the highly anticipated 3DS handheld — turns his attention to what the future holds for the industry.
Last year’s keynote came from Sid Meier, the architect of the “Civilization” series. His topic, “The Psychology of Game Design (Everything You Know Is Wrong),” put forth the idea that developers need to focus on tapping into the psychology of their intended audience.
Much has changed in the year since Meier’s talk, a fact that is evidenced by the choice of Iwata as the keynote speaker. Nintendo has undoubtedly been the most successful console developer in terms of reaching the broadest audience possible. The casual vs. hardcore dialogue that seems to always be happening invariably turns to the Wii/DS and the revolution they’ve caused in bringing new customers to the table.