i3 - November/December 2016 - 49

Hiroshi Yamauchi
President, Nintendo

Hiroshi Yamauchi reached out into the future.

H

iroshi Yamauchi
was a private man.
He shunned
his public role
as the face of Nintendo,
happy to keep the spotlight
on his company's products.
He appeared in public
infrequently, occasionally
speaking at Nintendo's
tradeshows and press
briefings in Japan. But on
those occasions, Nintendo's
core beliefs - which
mirrored his own - were
readily apparent.
He often expressed a
sentiment that resonates
to this day: "Users want
creative, innovative
software that they have not
experienced before and
in contrast, they purchase
hardware 'reluctantly' in
order to play the software
they want."
Yamauchi was also a
tough man. Experience had
made him so. At age 21,
while he was still a student
at Waseda University in
Tokyo, he was summoned
by his grandfather to take
over the reins at Nintendo
in Kyoto. However, his
vision for the company
went beyond the confines
of the playing card
business, so he cleaned
house and moved to list
Nintendo on the Osaka
Stock Exchange in 1962.
Yamauchi reached out
into the future - literally
C TA . t e c h / i 3

- with a device called the
Ultra Hand. The accordionarmed toy sold more than
one million units, and
brought Nintendo into
the toy business. Several
hits followed, including
the company's initial foray
into home video gaming
with Color TV Game 15 and
6 (1977), portable video
gaming with Game & Watch
(1980), and ultimately,
the first true home
videogame console of the
modern age, the Family
Computer System, which
is fondly called Famicom
in Japan (1983).
But just as the time
appeared right to expand
globally, the overseas
videogame market
collapsed. The west was
wary of a new game
console, but Yamauchi
pushed forward, hopeful
that the Famicom -

renamed the Nintendo
Entertainment System
(NES) in the U.S. - would
persevere. It did.
Yamauchi overcame
many challenges. Nintendo
alternated between
products that captured
the public imagination,
and those that were little
noticed. This did not faze
him. This was the cost of
taking risks to produce
products "not experienced
before." When discussing
new products at executive
meetings, he always asked,
"Is this going to be a brand
new product that no one
else has ever made?" If the
answer was yes, he would
support the idea even when
others were against it. He
was often asked how he
was able to turn a playing
card business into a global
videogame business, and
his answer was always, "We

were just fortunate."
Yamauchi had a knack
for judging and leveraging
talent. Gunpei Yokoi, the
inventor of the Ultra Hand,
rose from a position as a
company maintenance man
to create the Game & Watch
and Game Boy together with
his engineering partner,
Satoru Okada. Similarly,
Shigeru Miyamoto was
originally hired to be a
company artist, but his
imagination sparked the
creation of some of history's
greatest videogames,
including Super Mario Bros.,
Donkey Kong and
The Legend of Zelda.
But Yamauchi's most
surprising move may have
been to appoint Satoru
Iwata as his successor.
Iwata fully absorbed and
amplified Nintendo's
iconoclastic approach with
products as far-ranging
as the Nintendogs and
Brain Training games, and
groundbreaking platforms
including Nintendo DS and
Wii. Yamauchi always put
people in the right position
to do their best work.
Yamauchi made many
contributions to the
videogame industry through
his leadership at Nintendo.
He wanted to provide the
world with brand new forms
of entertainment, and that
continues to be the goal of
Nintendo today.
n
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

49


http://CTA.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - November/December 2016

Contents
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2016 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2016 - 2
i3 - November/December 2016 - 3
i3 - November/December 2016 - 4
i3 - November/December 2016 - 5
i3 - November/December 2016 - 6
i3 - November/December 2016 - 7
i3 - November/December 2016 - 8
i3 - November/December 2016 - 9
i3 - November/December 2016 - 10
i3 - November/December 2016 - 11
i3 - November/December 2016 - 12
i3 - November/December 2016 - 13
i3 - November/December 2016 - 14
i3 - November/December 2016 - 15
i3 - November/December 2016 - 16
i3 - November/December 2016 - 17
i3 - November/December 2016 - 18
i3 - November/December 2016 - 19
i3 - November/December 2016 - 20
i3 - November/December 2016 - 21
i3 - November/December 2016 - 22
i3 - November/December 2016 - 23
i3 - November/December 2016 - 24
i3 - November/December 2016 - 25
i3 - November/December 2016 - 26
i3 - November/December 2016 - 27
i3 - November/December 2016 - 28
i3 - November/December 2016 - 29
i3 - November/December 2016 - 30
i3 - November/December 2016 - 31
i3 - November/December 2016 - 32
i3 - November/December 2016 - 33
i3 - November/December 2016 - 34
i3 - November/December 2016 - 35
i3 - November/December 2016 - 36
i3 - November/December 2016 - 37
i3 - November/December 2016 - 38
i3 - November/December 2016 - 39
i3 - November/December 2016 - 40
i3 - November/December 2016 - 41
i3 - November/December 2016 - 42
i3 - November/December 2016 - 43
i3 - November/December 2016 - 44
i3 - November/December 2016 - 45
i3 - November/December 2016 - 46
i3 - November/December 2016 - 47
i3 - November/December 2016 - 48
i3 - November/December 2016 - 49
i3 - November/December 2016 - 50
i3 - November/December 2016 - 51
i3 - November/December 2016 - 52
i3 - November/December 2016 - 53
i3 - November/December 2016 - 54
i3 - November/December 2016 - 55
i3 - November/December 2016 - 56
i3 - November/December 2016 - 57
i3 - November/December 2016 - 58
i3 - November/December 2016 - 59
i3 - November/December 2016 - 60
i3 - November/December 2016 - 61
i3 - November/December 2016 - 62
i3 - November/December 2016 - 63
i3 - November/December 2016 - 64
i3 - November/December 2016 - 65
i3 - November/December 2016 - 66
i3 - November/December 2016 - 67
i3 - November/December 2016 - 68
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover3
i3 - November/December 2016 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20191112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160910
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com