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Friday, January 16, 2009

Iwata interview on the origin of Wii

Nintendo put up this great text transcript of an interview conducted by Satoru Iwata - President and CEO, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

He interviews his Wii design team in quite a bit of detail. Kinda funny to have a bunch of people interviewed by their boss. I'm reading the first volume, there are 6 volumes, each volume 3-4 pages.... so this could be a lot of talkin'.

One of the most surprising bits the team reveals is that they started working on developing the Wii shortly after the GameCube came out!

But in this first volume, the team talks about how they were really focused on making the Wii small and energy efficient-- they wanted it to use as little power as possible, to keep it on "24 hours a day" ... I assume they are talking about Wii Connect 24.... they used advanced semi-conductor chips to achieve this.

The focus for such tech is usually to create better graphics & faster processors, but they talk about not wanting to go in that direction:

In the case of the GameCube, we discovered that the power consumption could be reduced to between one-third and one-quarter of the consumption of the GameCube's semiconductors. I was really impressed with these results. Of course, I was surprised by the data itself, but it was also the moment at which I was struck by the originality of Nintendo. Normally, when making new devices, companies compete with each other on the basis of “How much faster is the CPU, how much more memory is there, and how many more polygons can be displayed?” But Nintendo posed the question “How much can we decrease power consumption and maintain performance?"

Wii has gotten a lot of flak as being "2 GameCubes duct-taped together"; basically graphically "last-gen" opposed to the other superior power of the other consoles. I would have preferred that Nintendo made the Wii more powerful so as to not look dated this gen, but I do like the new direction that it clearly went for in gaming. There's tons of untapped potential to it. The problem is that a lot of third parties don't understand that potential or how to make proper use of it.

The interview is pretty interesting if you're curious about the little details of the origins of the Wii.

*read the full interview here*



bubby said...

why would want to decrease the power?

bubby said...

im a big nintendo fan but the wii was disappointing to me if only it had better graphics

Don said...

Nintendo wanted to decrease the POWER CONSUMPTION, as in using less electricity. I think their reason "why" for that is pretty self-explanatory.

If better graphics is your thing, then the Wii U looks to try to address that problem with its improved graphics that (arguably) compare to Xbox360/PS3 quality.


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