Shigeru Miyamoto changed the gaming industry five times

SHIGERU Miyamoto is celebrating his 70th birthday and few people have changed the gaming industry like he has.

He has worked for Nintendo since 1977 and has shaped the games industry in unimaginable ways.

Did you know that Miyamoto-san worked on the Pokémon series?


Did you know that Miyamoto-san worked on the Pokémon series?Photo credit: Game Freak

Beginning with Donkey Kong in 1981, so many games were made due to Miyamoto-san’s influence.

Here are five games that show the world the impact Shigeru Miyamoto has had on the industry.

Super Mario Bros. (1985)

While Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong and then started his own series with Mario Bros., it wasn’t until Super Mario Bros. that Miyamoto-san found the right formula.

The screen scrolled smoothly, which seemed impossible in the 1980s, and the amount of game it could fit into the NES’s tiny memory is a marvel.

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Technology aside, Super Mario Bros. gets tutorials right, teaching the player the mechanics of the game without ever saying a word.

Every side scrolling platformer has been influenced by this opening level, even games released this year.

Pokémon Red and Green (1995)

The mastermind behind the multi-billion dollar franchise is actually Satoshi Taijiri, but his idea would never have come to life without Miyamoto-san’s guidance.

Miyamoto-san was the one who convinced Nintendo to work with Taijiri on his idea. That’s why in Japan the protagonist Ash is called Satoshi while the rival is called Gary Shigeru.

Shigeru Miyamoto is also the one who suggested creating multiple versions to encourage cooperative play and trading with friends, a staple of the series.

It’s possible that without Miyamoto-san, the Pokémon series as we know it wouldn’t exist at all.

Super Mario 64 (1996)

While we already mentioned Mario and how it defined 2D platform games, a decade later Super Mario 64 did the same for 3D games.

The camera has been redesigned from the ground up, as well as how Mario should now move in a 3D space.

Super Mario 64 used analog controls thanks to the N64 controller, which would become a staple of 3D games in the future.

Analog soon became the standard on all controllers, and designers to this day try to emulate Mario’s smooth 3D movement mechanics.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

Shigeru Miyamoto, of course, created the original Legend of Zelda game and introduced gaming to one of the first truly open-world titles.

However, Ocarina of Time broke with the mold again and brought something completely new to the industry.

Originally designed in the first-person perspective, Miyamoto-san was the one who switched to the over-the-shoulder perspective, making puzzle-discovery and puzzle-solving even more magical.

Often regarded as one of the best games of all time, it leaves a lasting impression on all who play it.

Nintendogs (2005)

If we were to list everything that Shigeru Miyamoto was involved in, we wouldn’t be finished before his birthday, but few of his games have made quite the impact like Nintendogs.

It has spawned an industry of simulator-style games, with almost 24 million players around the world adopting a digital pet.

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It’s considered the game that made gaming a mainstream success and almost everyone had a Nintendo DS at home.

And it’s all thanks to Miyamoto-san, Shetland Sheepdog Pikku, who inspired the concept behind the game.

Written by Dave Aubrey and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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