Nintendo might have crushed some fans’ dreams with its Famitsu interview. The company told the popular Japanese gaming magazine that its upcoming hybrid console won’t be able to play Wii U discs or 3DS cartridges. It’s unclear if the Switch won’t be able to run digital games either, but if you were hoping to play your favorite 3DS titles on a 50-inch screen just for the heck of it, you may want to temper your expectations.
The gaming titan also clarified that the Switch is a brand new platform and not a direct successor to either the Wii U or the 3DS. According to a Reddit thread, someone asked a representative during the Nintendo Investor Relations’ Q&A if the console is replacing the 3DS. The rep reportedly answered that the company is still considering releasing a separate 3DS successor at a later date.*
Nintendo might have been merely trying to cover all the bases. By saying the Switch is not a direct 3DS successor, the company can release one without losing face if the hybrid ends up flopping like the Wii U. But it could also be seriously considering a new standalone handheld console, which is fantastic news for those immune to the hybrid’s charms.
*Update: This article stated earlier that the rep said Nintendo has plans to release a 3DS successor. However, Engadget’s Japan Editor (Mat Smith) said his answer’s exact translation is “We’re still considering a separate successor to the 3DS.” We can’t confirm the identity of Reddit’s source, however, and Nintendo still hasn’t gotten back to us with more details about the console, so take this with a grain of salt.
There was a no more exciting time to be a peripheral fan than 1999. For me, someone who loved the custom controls of the arcades, the Dreamcast was a fantasy. Its Visual Memory Unit (VMU) was a memory card with a screen that slotted into the controller — and a micro console in its own right. Games like Power Stone and Seaman let you load mini games onto the VMU to play on the go, but more interesting was its dual-screen potential.
The VMU could display information, like your health in Resident Evil or plays in NFL 2K, right on your controller. These features were ahead of their time — it wasn’t until the Wii U GamePad came along that we saw a company go all-in on dual-screen gaming (the DS and its successors don’t really perform the same task). But the VMU was only the beginning of Sega’s plan to expand the Dreamcast.
There was the Dreamcast Gun, a wired light gun that let you slide in a VMU or Jump Pack (for rumble support) into the top. There was the microphone attachment that slotted in underneath the VMU in your controller to let you talk to the weird fish-with-a-face virtual pet in Seaman.
Then there were the standalone peripherals. Who can forget the Sega Fishing Controller, which as well as making Sega Bass Fishing incredible, also acted as a Wii-like motion controller in Virtua Tennis and Soul Calibur? Not to mention Typing of the Dead‘s keyboard, Samba De Amigo’s maracas and Virtual On’s twin sticks.
For context, the Dreamcast was on sale for less than two and a half years worldwide, and just a year and a half in the West. The number of accessories, the number of innovative ideas realized in that time, is just ridiculous.
With Sega’s hardware days long behind it, Nintendo took up some of the slack. The Wii had add-ons for the Wiimote, including an analog nunchuck, a MotionPlus sensor pack and a “Classic Controller.” There were also peripherals that integrated a Wiimote slot into their design — namely a steering wheel and a gun — as well the standalone Balance Board for Wii Fit. Oh, and somewhat serendipitously, there was a maracas shell for the Wiimote to play Samba De Amigo.
That innovation in peripherals all-but died with the Wii U, though. The GamePad was certainly innovative in itself, but its all-in-one nature killed any chance for peripherals that weren’t Amiibos. But there’s a chance peripherals could return in a big way with Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch. A portable tablet with slide-on “Joy-Con” controllers, it takes the modular spirit of the VMU and applies it to the system as a whole. And a Switch concept by one artist, posted on Twitter and highlighted by Polygon, truly impresses me.
Ryan Salamanda imagines a world of add-ons that slide onto the right side of the main tablet to “augment” the controls. There’s a Yokai Watch attachment complete with a spinning disc and light-up button. There’s a Pokemon Snap add-on with zoom dial and shutter key. There’s even one with a fishing reel, as well as an attachment that mimics a GameCube controller. Salamanda’s vision of what was then known as the “NX” was that, for certain games, you’d be able to buy the game packaged with a custom controller.
It’s a great idea. The Dreamcast brought the magic of arcades into a 15-year-old me’s bedroom. The Switch detailed by Salamanda would let me bring that excitement with me wherever I went. Would I feel stupid frantically spinning a wheel on a bus? Sure. But I want it so bad, nonetheless.
I’ve been arguing on and off with my colleague Nick Summers all morning about whether this is a good idea. His point is that peripherals are great because they look and feel like a complete object. “Even the craziest of Joy-Cons can’t hide the fact you’re holding a 7-inch screen,” he says. That’s valid, but I feel like the need to make that complete object has stopped many companies from doing so. By producing small, focused add-ons, perhaps based around a reference design, Nintendo and its partners could make these peripherals happen for a much lower cost than producing one-off, standalone accessories. And if that’s what it takes for me to return, after 15 bass-less years, to that feeling of reeling in a giant fish, it’ll all be worth it.
Images of Sega peripherals from Sega Retro.
Source: Ryan Salamanda (Twitter)
We now know that Nintendo’s next-generation game console will be the Switch, a hybrid device offering portable and home gaming in one. But there’s a lot we don’t know. What games will it launch with? How much it will cost? What’s that screen like? Will it play games on a TV at 1080p? How long will the battery last? We’ll find out more about the Switch before its March 2017 release, and the answers to those questions, and more, will likely dictate our overall judgement.
Nonetheless, we’re nothing if not opinionated, and seeing Nintendo launch a new console has got us talking. So without further ado, here are eight Engadget editors with their first take* on the Switch.
*Other opinions are also valid.
The Nintendo Switch is both a portable and home console, and that’s brilliant news. In a year or two — once the Wii U and 3DS are inevitably retired — that means every Nintendo studio will be making games for the same system. Brilliant. If you’re a Switch owner, you should (emphasis on “should”) get a steady stream of titles every year, regardless of the support from third parties. Pikmin, Metroid, Fire Emblem. All of these franchises will soon be focused on the same console and player base, building out a library that’s attractive to more and more people.
The 3DS has a wonderful back catalog: I want that quality and diversity replicated on a big-screen TV. If Nintendo can deliver on that, I’ll be in, regardless of whether it has Mass Effect: Andromeda or not. As for the hardware itself? It looks a little finicky to me, with lots of intricate parts for children to break or lose. I’m worried about the ergonomics too — some of the different controller modes look a tad cumbersome. Sure, there’s an (optional) stand-alone controller, but that should be for home use only. When I’m out and about, I’ll be using the “Joy-Con” attachments — I just hope they’re comfortable over extended play sessions.
Even though we’ve been hearing rumors of a hybrid console from Nintendo for a while, the Switch’s debut still floored me. Once again, Nintendo is going in a completely different direction than Microsoft and Sony. Based on the little we’ve seen of the Switch so far, it seems like a far more intriguing attempt than the Wii U. In many ways it reminds me of the original Wii; it introduces entirely new ways of playing games — local multiplayer anywhere FTW! — though it might seem like a gimmick to some.
If anything, the Switch shows how far we’ve come in mobile hardware. NVIDIA claims it’s powered by a custom Tegra processor that has the same technology as its current desktop GPUs (we’re still waiting for more specifics). The demo video shows off complex titles like Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At the least, the Switch seems more powerful than the Wii U, which was Nintendo’s first foray into HD gaming. Instead of pursuing 4K like everyone else, it looks like Nintendo is trying to redefine what’s possible on mobile.
In the end, Nintendo is going after the gamers who will prioritize the flexibility of gaming anywhere over bringing the most pixels possible into their living room. And after seeing both Sony and Microsoft work themselves into a tizzy to support 4K, and in the process confusing the heck out of consumers, I can’t blame Nintendo for trying something different once again.
Senior Editor, Database
I’m a sassy young woman living in the big city and working hard for my money. I got no time for games. Well, not like I used to, anyway. I love the console experience for how big and immersive it can be. However, as I’ve gotten older it’s been increasingly hard to find the time and energy to sit down and focus on an expansive world that requires dozens of hours to explore. I’ve gravitated more toward my Nintendo 3DS, but it’s not on the same grand scale, by design.
Thus it’s no coincidence that the Switch reveal video was very much a lifestyle showcase, featuring people in my general “young adult” age group and how they would use the Switch. No more scheduling time every night for Zelda, no more declarations to “treat yo self” by playing Mario for a few hours. The Switch is a home console that works around your schedule. I might actually be able to get back into JRPGs. Though I probably wouldn’t bring it to fancy balcony parties.
Deputy Managing Editor
There’s going to be lots of talk today about what the Switch means for Nintendo, what it means for consoles and what it means for the future of gaming. Or something. All I know is what it means for me: It’ll be the first home console I’ll buy in nearly 20 years. I mean it: I’ve not had a gaming console under my TV since the Super Nintendo. OK, I briefly owned a Wii (for a review) and lived in shared houses with Xbox/PlayStations, but nothing’s convinced me to part with my cash for a long while. Switch, on the other hand, pushes all of my buttons — in a good way.
I’ve not been abstaining from games since the SNES, obviously. I mostly play retro or handheld consoles (and retro handhelds, especially). So the idea that I could return to modern home gaming and get a new handheld makes Switch a no-brainer for me. The fact that it’s Nintendo just sweetens the deal. There’s something else I like about Switch, too. The Wii and Wii U weren’t … terrible, but the smurfy design and the cutesy Mii characters, etc. didn’t resonate with me. Switch seems to shed some of that overt softness for a slightly more grown-up feel while still looking, somehow, “Nintendo.”
Last year, I predicted that Nintendo’s next console wouldn’t just be a Mario-powered Xbox — launching a standard-issue game console would have stripped the company of everything makes it fun, unique and worthwhile. I’m so glad I was right: The Switch is exactly what Nintendo needs to compete with Microsoft and Sony.
The Nintendo Switch has the potential to become the console Nintendo’s been trying to build for generations — the console gamer’s /essential/ second device. Think about it: Nintendo hasn’t tried to compete on raw power in over a decade, instead trying to woo in gamers with some sort of hook that sets its hardware apart from Sony and Microsoft. It hasn’t always worked (sorry, Wii U) but this time, it just might.
The Switch isn’t the console with the goofy motion controllers. It’s not the underpowered machine with the weird tablet, either. It’s the modular home game console you can take with you and play on an airplane. It’s not trying to replace the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in your entertainment center, but it can live alongside it. And when you have to leave the house, and can’t take those high-powered boxes with you? Well, you’ll have the Nintendo Switch.
This bridges a gap Nintendo’s been trying to close for awhile. Remember when the company launched Smash Bros. on both the 3DS and the Wii U? When it brought Hyrule Warriors to its portable device? How it recently announced that Super Mario Maker would be shrunk down to fit on its stereoscopic foldable? That’s what the Nintendo Switch is. It’s the company giving its portable gamers what they really want: home console games. Better still, it doesn’t split its own market — Microsoft and Sony die-hards who only buy Nintendo consoles for exclusives no longer need to buy two devices to play all their favorite franchises. Just one. And they can take it to the airport, on the bus, to a friends house or can simply just play it in bed. That’s a much better pitch for being the console gamer’s essential second device than the Wii U or 3DS ever had. And that’s exactly what the Switch needs to be.
Jess was too busy writing about other new consoles to contribute her unabridged thoughts. That’s a shame, but nonetheless, we’re reliably informed that this GIF accurately represents her feelings on the Switch:
Introducing Nintendo’s next game console, Switch https://t.co/nZEPC0HWuw First impression: pic.twitter.com/dGsUyx510Z
— Jessica 👻 Conditt (@JessConditt) October 20, 2016
I have a fairly large, open-plan living area. If I take my Wii U GamePad to the kitchen (about 15 feet from my TV) it loses signal. As a huge Nintendo fan, all I really needed was a better Wii U. That means more portability, a better screen, and better battery life. The Switch is definitely more portable — I could take it to someone else’s kitchen. Given the lack of a stylus, it’s almost certainly going to have a nicer screen, without the horrible resistive touchscreen overlay. The one thing I don’t know about is endurance, but I’m pretty sure it’ll last the time it takes me to cook a meal.
I might sound unenthused about the Switch, but I’m really not. It’s just that I was absolutely going to buy one anyway. I’m happy for Nintendo that (for now at least) third parties are on board, but in reality I’m likely to be playing those cross-platform games on my existing systems. I buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games, and this will definitely have lots of those.
Timothy J. Seppala
It looks like Nintendo has finally started paying attention to the competition, but not in the way I expected. Rather than aping Microsoft’s and Sony’s designs of oblong boxes (or sandwiches like the PlayStation 4 Pro) the console looks like a piece of lifestyle gadgetry that’d unobtrusively hang out on an end table or bookshelf — not dominate a chunk of your A/V rack. And it maintains the “friendly” look Nintendo has been hawking for decades. I’m a fan.
What concerns me though isn’t its software lineup (a new 3D Mario game! More Splatoon!), graphics prowess or even the tablet-centric nature of the system. No, it’s the iPod Shuffle-like controllers and my gigantic hands. My hand spans the width of a full-size keyboard, and my mitts cramping up is a major reason why I don’t play games on my phone or my 3DS. For the same reason, I doubt I’ll be breaking out Mario Kart on any road trips. The Wii U GamePad’s ergonomics and I don’t get along either, but at least it’s too big to lose in a couch cushion
For me, “portable gaming” means a console I can easily carry in my messenger bag or backpack and hook up at a friend’s house. And for that, the Switch looks perfect.
Nintendo has something to prove. After the Wii U flamed out spectacularly, the company needed to do something truly different to stay afloat in the console world. Its answer is the Switch, a new hybrid portable/home gaming system that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. While Microsoft and Sony are simply trying to shove in faster hardware to support 4K and HDR, Nintendo is going back to its roots with a device that evokes memories of spending carefree afternoons with your Gameboy, or going head-to-head with your friends in Mario Kart on the SNES. The Switch is a reminder that Nintendo innovates best after it fails; when its back is against the wall and it’s not just reacting to pressure from the competition.
We last saw that desperate, innovative Nintendo with the launch of the Wii. When it was first announced, we all made fun of its name, underpowered hardware and gimmicky motion controls. We worried about Nintendo’s focus on “casual” players and move away from “real” gamers. But after 100 million units sold, the critics were proven wrong. Nintendo ended up outselling the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and both Microsoft and Sony rushed to develop motion controls of their own of their own.
The Wii came after the failure of the Gamecube, a purple lunchbox of a console (who puts a handle on a gaming system?!) that sold a mere 21 million units. Its skew towards kids pushed third-parties away, which ultimately made it hard for Nintendo to go against the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Aside from its funky controller (and the promise of first-party Nintendo titles), there was simply nothing to really differentiate the Gamecube from the competition. The Gamecube also followed the so-so response to the Nintendo 64, which was stuck with cartridges while Sony and Sega were wowing us with the possibilities of games on CDs.
It’s tough to say much about the Switch at this point, since all we have to go on is a three-minute trailer and some press material from Nintendo. But at first glance, it appears to be everything I wanted with the Wii U. Most importantly though, it does something unique and useful. The Wii U felt like a response to tablet gaming, but its big-screened GamePad was clunky and developers never quite took to it. Super Mario Maker is the best example of what’s possible with the Wii U’s controller, but it came long after most gamers wrote off the system.
One of the Wii U’s few useful features — playing games right on the GamePad, instead of your TV screen — was limited by an incredibly short range. That makes sense, since it’s piping lots of data to the controller wirelessly, but it was annoying nonetheless. A big reason games have taken off on slates is because they let you play games on large screens from anywhere.
Rather than trying to improve that remote play feature on the Wii U, though, it looks like Nintendo built the Switch entirely around that concept. Dock it to your television, and you can play games on the big screen. Attach the “Joy-Con” gamepads to the side of the display, and you can take the Switch anywhere. Simple. You don’t have to worry about reception issues. But Nintendo also doubled-down on portable gaming by giving the Switch a kickstand. You can snap off the controllers, holding one in each hand, to game as you would on your couch from any location.
Most intriguingly, you can just hand one controller over to a friend for a Mario Kart match. I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually sat on a couch and played someone in a local multiplayer session. With the rush towards online gaming, local multiplayer has felt like a dying trend over the last decade. That was never lost on Nintendo, though — and the Switch seems like it’ll revive the magic of gaming with nearby friends.
Developers will likely appreciate the Switch’s straightforward design, as well. Instead of worrying about creating a second-screen experience for games, they can just focus on making games as usual for a single screen. It’s important to note that the Switch is docked when it’s connected to your TV — you’re not actually holding the screen, as you would with the Wii U. Instead, you’re holding the Joy-Con or classic controllers to play games on your television, as you would with any other console.
Even at this early stage, it seems like Nintendo has managed to intrigue developers more than it ever did with the Wii U. Its initial lineup of third-parties include Capcom, EA, Activision, Bethesda, Epic Games, Konami, Ubisoft and Square Enix. We’ve seen games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K running on it, along with first-party titles like Splatoon, Mario Kart, and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. All of those publishers are a good sign, since a console is only as strong as the games and developers supporting it.
Sure, there are valid concerns around the Switch. We don’t know anything about its battery life, actual graphical quality or cost. And while my Twitter feed has been freaking out over it, there’s still a chance the Switch might not take off with consumers. For now, though, I’m excited. Instead of repeating its mistakes, Nintendo seems to be learning from them. And that’s a good thing for gamers everywhere.
The Nintendo Switch looks like an impressive piece of hardware capable of going from the living room to mobile with the swipe of a hand, but it’s nothing without a lineup of acclaimed, high-quality games and fresh experiences. In the Switch’s debut teaser trailer, we got a glimpse at some of the software hitting Nintendo’s new hardware, including a new 3D Mario game, a new version of Splatoon (look at those hairstyles) and a new Mario Kart featuring King Boo and two item slots. Of course we saw The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well, but it was the third-party support that really stood out.
In the trailer, the Switch played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K, and Nintendo has listed a swathe of partners that plan to support the console. These include Call of Duty studio Activision, Fallout house Bethesda, Mass Effect publisher EA, Bayonetta developer Platinum Games, Final Fantasy creator Square Enix, The Walking Dead studio Telltale Games, Assassin’s Creed company Ubisoft and Mortal Kombat publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
This is a positive sign for Nintendo fans, following the Wii U’s rather anemic third-party support, especially near the end of its life cycle.
In today’s trailer, we also got a glimpse of some Amiibo sitting next to the Switch, though it remains unclear if the new console will support Nintendo’s toys-to-life figures natively. Nintendo promises to reveal more details about the games and functionality of the Switch before its worldwide release in March 2017.
Source: Business Wire
We’re hours away from Nintendo’s (brief) reveal of the NX, and if there’s one game we’re excited for, it’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new adventure, which is coming out on both the Wii U and NX next year, was a highlight at E3 2016, giving fans their first exposure to the more open, dynamic world. Now, Nintendo has released two new trailers, which show off its exploration and combat in equal measure. They’re beautiful snippets of the full game, underpinned by a sweeping orchestral score. I don’t need to say much more — just go watch them, you won’t regret it.
Source: Nintendo (YouTube)
It’s been almost a year and a half since Nintendo announced the NX, and now the gaming giant has finally dropped the codename and secrecy in favor of something more official: Switch. Like the countless rumors previously asserted, it’s indeed a hybrid mobile and home console with a tablet element and detachable controllers.
The tablet itself (which Nintendo calls “the Switch Console” is thin and pretty attractive. It looks to have a screen measuring around 7 inches, of unspecified resolution. At home, it’ll plug into the “Switch Dock,” which in turn plugs into your TV, while out and about you can either hold it or use the built-in kickstand to prop it up. In the trailer, a gamer plugs in what looks to be an SD Card-style cartridge, meaning games are likely to distributed both digitally and physically.
It’s powered by an unspecified custom Nvidia Tegra processor, which is “based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.” Whether that means Pascal — the architecture underpinning the 1000 series of GeForce cards and the yet-to-be-announced Tegra X2 — or just that Tegra chips in general are based on the GeForce architecture, is not clear. But the question of which SoC is powering the Switch — and whether it’s based on newer or older architecture — is important to answer if we’re to work out what exactly it’s capable of.
The controllers are just as we expected. Nintendo is calling them “Joy-Con.” They can be attached to a central unit called the “Joy-Con Grip” to behave like a single game controller, but also slide onto the side of the tablet for a more Wii U-like experience. Oh and, as rumored, they can also be used independently like two miniature gamepads.
If none of this sounds like your thing, Nintendo will once again offer a “Pro Controller” option laid out more traditionally. The trailer shows off lots of multiplayer gaming, either with multiple controllers connected to one system, or many Switch consoles connecting together wirelessly. We assume it’ll have online play as well.
So what will you be able to play on it? As well as the usual first-party suspects, Nintendo says it has the support of many developers and publishers, including Activision, Atlus, Bethesda, Capcom, EA, Epic Games, Konami, PlatinumGames, Square Enix, Take-Two and Ubisoft. In the trailer you can see third-party games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K alongside what look to be a new Mario and Mario Kart games and Splatoon. In Nintendo’s bold future, Splatoon will be an e-sport watched live by tens of thousands of people.
“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said, “it gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”
The Switch will be released worldwide in March 2017.
Timothy J. Seppala contributed to this report.
After all the rumors, we’re about to get a look at Nintendo’s mysterious NX system. The company has invited everyone to check out a “preview trailer” tomorrow on Nintendo.com at 10AM ET. Nintendo Japan tweeted that it will only last about three minutes, so prepare your expectations accordingly. Nintendo already announced the console will launch in March next year, but other than the release window and a few game titles, we don’t have much hard information to go on. What we do know for sure is that despite the success of Pokémon Go a new console can’t come a moment too soon for Nintendo.
Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has called the NX “something unique and different” from its predecessors the Wii and Wii U. That shift is also necessary to separate itself from the PS4 Pro and Xbox One / One S / Scorpio competition it will face in 2017, which crank up the horsepower to focus on graphics, realism and VR. A Eurogamer rumor pointed to an NVIDIA Tegra-powered tablet with a docking station and detachable controllers, while a patent application showed off a controller with a large touchscreen.
Be among the first to discover #NX. Watch the Preview Trailer at 7am PT/10am ET! pic.twitter.com/R2QTzjyLUo
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) October 20, 2016
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) October 20, 2016
Source: Nintendo America (Twitter)
Even the biggest Nintendo fan out there might not be familiar with Satellaview. It was a Japan-only peripheral for the Super Famicon (the country’s version of our Super NES) that broadcast games via satellite — one of which was a remixed version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Now, as reported by Kotaku, fans outside of Japan can give The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets a shot for the first time.
The game was originally only broadcast in Japanese, but you can now download language patches in English, French and German here and try the game out through an emulator for yourself. But getting a working version of the game together took more than just translation. Originally, The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets was broadcast in four one-hour chunks. That’s right, the game was broadcast at a specific time once a week for four weeks, and you could only access that particular part of the game at that time.
Making things even more tricky is the fact that each game’s broadcast was accompanied by streamed audio that contained voice acting and orchestrated music — getting that entire four-hour audio broadcast together and in sync was one of the biggest challenges in offering a complete version of this game. Semi-complete ROMS have been offered for a long time, but this seems like the closest we’ve gotten to a comprehensive vision of the game.
You can download the game now, and this site has way more details about this Nintendo oddity. Anyone who loved Link to the Past (and that’s a lot of people, given the game’s status as one of the best of the entire series) should give this a shot. For more on Satellaview and the Zelda games that were broadcast over it, check out the video below.
Source: Zelda Legends, Kotaku
In an interview posted on Nintendo’s Japanese website, Shigeru Miyamoto reminisced about the time he spent developing the classic arcade title Donkey Kong. According to Wired writer Chris Kohler, who translated the whole thing, Miyamoto dropped some previously unknown tidbits about the game in the interview. And yes, that includes the part about conjuring up ideas and getting them in order while in the company-owned housing’s communal bath.
He told the interviewer:
“There was a water boiler that was used to make the hanafuda (traditional Japanese playing cards that Nintendo manufactures), and the water from this boiler was also used for a bathtub… at night when nobody was around, you could hang out there for a long time. It totally saved me. It was really effective at letting me put my ideas in order.”
The gaming legend also revealed that Nintendo America wasn’t down with naming his famous gorilla Donkey Kong. Apparently, he wanted to convey the idea that the character was a “stupid monkey,” so he consulted a dictionary that listed “idiot” as one of “donkey’s” synonyms. His company’s American division told him it didn’t make sense, but he stood his ground.
He did listen to his American colleagues, however, when they told him the character’s voices sounded weird. Yes, the game was supposed to use human voices. “The lady stolen away by Donkey Kong was supposed to yell out, ‘Help, Help!’ And when Mario jumped over a barrel, she was supposed to yell, ‘Nice!’,” Miyamoto explained. But the Americans thought “help” sounded more like “kelp” in the voice sample, so they nixed the idea altogether. They replaced “help” with Donkey Kong’s growl and “nice” with Mario’s iconic jumping sound effect pi-ro-po-pon-pon. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for why Mario’s and Donkey Kong’s creator is talking about the old days, well, it’s likely because Nintendo is slated to release the Classic Mini NES in the West and the Famicom Mini in Japan in November. Both teensy retro consoles come pre-loaded with the Donkey Kong and Super Mario games, along with a bunch of other titles.
Source: Wired, Nintendo