Volume 2 of Iwata’s interviews was posted earlier today. Unfortunately, all I have for you right now is the Google translation. Once again, not a perfect translation by any means, but info can indeed be pulled. This time around they discuss the Wiimote, and how the idea for it came about. They also have some new guy in on the interview, never seen him before. You can check out his picture below. I wonder what he does!? (yes…i am joking) Thanks to Youwei for the heads up!
*UPDATE* Reader Okok managed to do a translation once again! Huge thanks to Will, Youwei, and PasstheWiimote for translation info as well!
“It is OK to reset the rule of both-hands-control”
Wii Remote was influenced by the consept of Nintendo DS. Genyo Takeda, the chief of Integrated Research & Development(IRD) of Nintendo, told that there were many choices, such as putting a touch panel on the controler, or using a mouse/track-pad for pointing device. DS’s touch panel control is so intuitive because users can touch the screen directly. They wanted Wii to be as intuitive as DS, and this was a difficult problem.
Over the past few years, there have been more than 10 teams researching on the new interface. These teams consisted of 3 people or so, and they were planning peripheral devices which can be bundled with the GameCube software. “Donkey Konga” and “Mario DDR” were their projects, and there were some project which is useful for designing the Wii Remote.
Akio Ikeda, the member of team #5 of IRD and he has involved in “Pocket Pikachu” “Kirby’s Tilt ‘n’ Tumble”(GBC) and these GC peripheral projects, is in charge of the electric design of sensors of Wii Remote. Ikeda believes that the controller should be a part of human body rather than a part of a machine. Key words for Wii Controller are “simple” and “confort”. He also admit that DS has influenced Wii. His mother have told him “I want to play DS a little”. Because “drawing somthing with a pen” is very familar to her, she were interested in DS. He realized that familiarity is very important.
Kenichiro Ashida, the member of designing team of IRD, have been involved in designing Nintendo’s controller from SuperNES. In the process of designing controller, Ashida make a prototype of styrofoam or clay, and Shigeru Miyamoto, the chief of EAD, advise him. Ashida told that the industrial design(ID) of gaming console linked closely to its software, and it was difficult to designing Wii controller because of vagueness of Wii software.
Shiggy Miyamoto studied ID at the college too. So, he was able to became the chief of ID team, and gained power relationship. That helps Miyamoto to create gaming machine and controller, said Miyamoto jokingly. (Accoring to Shiggy, who studied ID usually have creativity, because they have expriences to create something into real-world, not only inside the PC monitor. So he recommanded Nintendo to emply who studied ID.) Miyamoto have a long association with Ashida.
Miyamoto told that they are always seeking for “the design that matches with Nintendo”. But this time, the challenge is to persuade users and game-designers who are accustomed to classic control method. In a way, this was something like a battle, said Miyamoto. Although he did’t want to fight , they have to challenge these people because these people tend to be conservative. So, accoring to Miyamoto, there are “brothers-in-arms-like” relationship between Miyamoto and Ashida’s designing team. Through developing Wii, Miyamoto feel like they can pass the term of the ploblem of “which should come first, the software or the hardware?”
From NES to GC, Ashida feels that the evolution of controllers was “adding” functionality. This time, there are not only “adding” something, but also “subtracting” or “multyplying” or “dividing” something. There were a lot of advices and requests from game creaters, and they responded to these requests. This process was awesome experiences, said Ashida. They made great amount of mock-ups. The turning point was when the consept of Wii became clear. The consept of “a machine for all people in the household” and the consept that “it is OK to reset the rule of both-hands-control” make him feel the future.
10 years ago, Miyamoto once said “you shouldn’t play mario if you want to play in one hand”, and that’s was a kind of a belief of the company. But now, Nintendo make its one-hand controller. In a way, this seems like disavowing Nintendo’s past. “Why can Nintendo make controller like this?”, asked Iwata in this interview. “That’s Nintendo,” answered Ashida. “It cannot be an answer”, said Iwata, and All laughed. To put “that’s Nintendo” into another way, people inside Nintendo see a great value in “different” idea. Probably this helps developing Wii, said Takeda. Iwata agreed with this, and said that Wii is not built up by one great idea of one people, but by many idea of many people.