Yamauchi suggested Wii to IGN in early 2004?


I realize Nintendo obviously has been planning Wii for a few years, but I always assumed Iwata to be the father of the console. A find on the GA Forums linking to an IGN article suggests that Yamauchi may have, in fact, conceived the less tech, focus on gameplay strategy. From the thread: “The former NCL president dismissed the quick arrival of a next-generation console. Nintendo has no plans to release a so-called ‘next-generation’ videogame console at the next year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. We will rather make a new proposal that uses the GameCube at its core.”

Is there a history major in the room willing to shed some light on the facts? On a side note, the ex-Nintendo chief always reminded me of some Japanese mobster. It really was all in the family.


  1. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Nintendo begins work on their next console in about a month after the current gen system launches. Of course, by “begins work,” it means, “think about.”

    In one Miyamoto interview that I’ll try to find the link to, he referred to an early Wii meeting in 2003. Hiroshi Yamauchi left the board of directors in June 2005. So I’d say it’s highly likely that he contributed something to this console.

  2. I remember Nintendo planning to increase the longevity of the GameCube with a hitherto unknown peripheral a few years ago. This was supposed to change everything around for GC. No doubt it must have been the wii-mote. I’ve always heard that Yamauchi is still connected with the company, giving his input. The DS, I believe, was derived from him. I can imagine the Wii was also his idea, especially when it was being developed around the same time as the DS.

  3. Wiimote = megaton of yore!

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if the “lo-tech”, creative input device approach was at the behest of Yamauchi’s insistence.

    The man has a cutting and razor sharp business acumen when it comes to videogame habits and trends.

  4. I’m pretty sure some interview with the Wii developers actually cited Iwata as coming to them and saying that they wanted something as small as 3 DVD cases and much more efficient than the Cube.

  5. Nahh… Yamauchi wouldn’t have made that idea, what he would have said is “make something new that makes a big profit that can get new people playing Nintendo since teens don’t like Mario anymore”, remember he was against the n64 for having expensive hardware like Rambus, and how Mario is kind of getting a younger target audience and Link goes to old gamers.

    Miyamoto I’m sure came up with the controller idea and Iwata being a game developer and not a business suit made it work in real hardware. Proof is how many Nintendo games were being handled by third parties, leaving 1st parties with free time for brainstorming new games and using the wiimote.

    All this happened right before Nintendo unveiled the Donkey Kong bongos, why? Nintendo said they had a completely new addon that was going to change the idea people had of the gamecube: THE DONKEY KONG BONGOS?? maybe they decided to hold on to the wiimote and wait until the new console they had secretly working… an upgraded gamecube? the nintendo On??