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Nintendo's late president Hiroshi Yamauchi said N64 lost to PS1 due to Japanese gamers wanting to play depressing games while being alone

Not one to hold back his opinions

Late Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi definitely helped Nintendo reach new heights, but he didn't exactly fit in with Nintendo's kind, family friendly image. He was often quite biting with his statements, and an interview snippet from a classic issue of Gamers' Republic magazine puts that on full display.

Back in the days of the Playstation, many thought Nintendo would easily trounce the newcomer. That ended up being about as incorrect a prediction as possible, as the PS1 became an absolute juggernaut. The platform's wealth of third party content helped make PS1 a success, but Mr. Yamauchi felt there was another reason for Sony's impressive gaming debut.

According to Yamauchi, the PS1 beat N64 because Japanese gamers "[like] to be alone in their rooms and play depressing games." Obviously, Yamauchi had a very short-sighted and negative response to the battle with Playstation, most likely due to being embarrassed by how things played out.

It's very clear that Nintendo has moved on since the days of the N64, and found new ways to thrive against competition. They've also gone out of their way to be respectful with public comments on other companies. There's no doubt some of Yamauchi's ideas still drive Nintendo today, but it's clear the Big N feels Yamauchi's brazen way of speaking is best left in the past.

Categories: Top Stories, Interviews
Tags: n64

Comments

Top Rated Comment
vinlauria
Mon Feb 03 20 06:10pm
Rating: 5 (Updated 5 times)

I mean, that could describe gamers in general, at least nowadays. Yamauchi's comment may have been scathing and having come from his bitterness over the N64's underperformance, but I think it's ultimately accurate when I see how gaming the world over has turned out.

At least outside of Nintendo, the only forms of multiplayer you see these days for the most part is online matchmaking and "eSports" garbage, and I don't necessarily disagree that ever since the PS1, this whole industry (gamers and corporations alike) has constantly acted like they've had something to prove over how much of a "big kid" they are now with adult and "cinematic" games. Frankly, this sentiment of "take us seriously, damn you!" has always been nothing other than embarrassing, as if they're afraid of the notion that anyone might actually treat video games as toys again. Oh, the horror if that were to come to pass! Somehow.

The whole of gaming needs to stop acting so stuck-up and thinking so loftily of itself. Maybe another crash is the slice of humble pie we need to reassess why we're in this.

vinlauria
Mon Feb 03 20 06:10pm
Rating: 5 (Updated 5 times)

I mean, that could describe gamers in general, at least nowadays. Yamauchi's comment may have been scathing and having come from his bitterness over the N64's underperformance, but I think it's ultimately accurate when I see how gaming the world over has turned out.

At least outside of Nintendo, the only forms of multiplayer you see these days for the most part is online matchmaking and "eSports" garbage, and I don't necessarily disagree that ever since the PS1, this whole industry (gamers and corporations alike) has constantly acted like they've had something to prove over how much of a "big kid" they are now with adult and "cinematic" games. Frankly, this sentiment of "take us seriously, damn you!" has always been nothing other than embarrassing, as if they're afraid of the notion that anyone might actually treat video games as toys again. Oh, the horror if that were to come to pass! Somehow.

The whole of gaming needs to stop acting so stuck-up and thinking so loftily of itself. Maybe another crash is the slice of humble pie we need to reassess why we're in this.

enthropy
Mon Feb 03 20 09:45pm
Rating: 1

This is why O love indies. Being as creative as possible and have some fun.

Personally, I believe it was Nintendo's draconian policies regarding 3rd party licenses, making them abscond off to the PS1 as soon as the opportunity presented itself, that really hurt the N64 in the long run.

I think the fact that Sony wanted to used CDs cause they owned most of the medium had a little to do with Nintendo backing out as well.

That is more the reason why N64 lost. Yamauchi may have been prescient towards modern gaming in his sentiment, but he really did get way too "Disney" in how he ran Nintendo.

What would you describe as "modern gaming?"

When I wrote that, I was mostly thinking about how the game industry has specifically progressed throughout Gen8 (largely for the worse, if you ask me), though giving it a bit more thought, some of these changes have been gradually building since the very days Yamauchi himself was referring to.

Around that time, gaming entered that particular sort of adolescence where someone who's largely still a kid insists that he's all grown up now and does everything in his power to appear as such. Most people who go through that phase outgrow it eventually, but there are a few who - even well into adulthood - still never shake that quite frankly juvenile desperation to be taken seriously and be seen as a grown-up, even when everyone else can already clearly see that they're fully grown and would treat them accordingly if not for the fact in their constant trying to act like an adult, they ironically come off as incredibly childish.

The game industry - if it were a single person (and sometimes I do wonder about that so-called "gamer hivemind" actually being real) - would be one of those overcompensating manchildren. It entered adolescence, started trying to act like a grown-up, and then never friggin' stopped - to the point that it's clear as day how developmentally stunted it truly is.

This and I'm pretty sure the disc/cartridge thing was a really big deal to devs as well. Especially considering it was part of if not THE reason FF7 went to the PS instead of the N64

Not surprising. I remember him saying essentially the same thing about RPG's when Squaresoft went over to PlayStation.

I think this IS that comment you're alluding to... Yamauchi's opinions on Sony and RPGs are kind of old news and I wonder why they're being brought up again.

Yeah, you are probably right, because it seems almost exactly what he said about RPGs. That was a long time ago, but that comment always stuck with me being a big RPG and Final Fantasy fan at the time.

k4mik4z3
Mon Feb 03 20 08:07pm
Rating: 2

Loved playing an emo protagonist lead a revolutionary group against an empire controlled by a twisted psycho on SNES. Way less depressing than playing an emo protagonist lead a revolutionary group against an empire controlled by a twisted psycho on PS1

Are you calling Terra emo???

Yamauchi was hard boiled AF. It was both extremely lucrative and detrimental to Nintendo.

Yamauchi May have been somewhat detrimental for business relations, but he sure didn’t held back on he’s opinion. I wonder what he would have though about modern trends? Also during he’s tenure has president Nintendo emerge has a gaming giant, he spotted talents like Miyamoto and made Nintendo branch to multinational success. He may have been hot headed, but he sure new how to be in command!

It doesn't matter what his opinions are as opinions are always subjective. What matters is that if it weren't for him, Nintendo could not be to what it is now.

I really think that someone like Yamauchi wouldn't be able to run Nintendo these days, at least not without heavy backlash for his grimy offensive comments.

I read it as dressing games at first, lol.

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