The Inspiration Behind the Wii: The Design Team Speaks Out

Where did the design ideas of Nintendo,s Wii originate from, and what were the influences in developing the game machine? The president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, decided to quiz his development team and ask these questions in a series of interviews. The first of these segments was published in Spong.

Genyo Yakeda, head of Wii development, said that a major influence of the Wii was taken from the DS. "The DS had a big influence…When making the Wii controller, the Nintendo DS concept was already around. We kept in mind how we could follow the DS’s path. As many people had been predicting, we even considered including a touch panel on the controller and even considered something that’s like a PC mouse or track pad in that can be used as a pointing device."

The innovative motion-sensing controller for the Wii went through a brainstorming period of time in which Nintendo staff development teams were given free reign to create and consider new control devices. Yakeda said, "When developing a game machine, you need an interface between the human and machine. Years back, we created over ten teams of three people, and had them freely consider plans for including special controllers or peripherals with GameCube software. From this project came things like the Donkey Konga controller and the Dance Dance Revolution with Mario mat controller, but they also had numerous ideas and plans that were used for the Wii controller."

The concept of a new game console machine that was aimed at the casual or non-gamer again originated from Nintendo,s handheld DS console. Akio Ikdea, one of the Wii team members said, "Personally speaking, when my parents had an interest in the DS, I was surprised. It seems that they first began to have interest when seeing the DS on television and in magazines and thinking ‘If it’s a pen, I can also use it.’ I thought this to be very important."

How important these observations are, by the Wii design team, will be put to the test with the release of the Wii in the next few months. However, early indications seem to show that the Wii team has made the right decisions. Early praise from the press was virtually unanimous at this year,s E3 convention. Now, the final judges will make the final call on the success or failure of the Wii-the general public.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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