Where it all started (sort of)

Nintendo's Famicom is a piece of gaming history. The company's first cartridge-based gaming system, it set the revitalised the industry and set the standard for what was to follow. Satoru Iwata sat down with two of Nintendo's behind-the-scenes heroes for his latest "Iwata Asks" feature: R&D advisor Masayuki Uemura and former manager of the Corporate Communications Division, Hiroshi Imanishi, to discuss how the console first came into being.

Interesting nuggets thrown up by the discussion reveal early teething troubles resulting from the controller's square buttons, despite having been subjected to tests of one million uses during production, as well as the revelation that Mario's name before Mario, Jumpman and Mr Video was "Ossan", a somewhat vulgar word for Uncle.

The complete Iwata Asks: NES & Mario is well worth reading for console historians and anyone interested in the formative years of Mario and the Japanese home console business.

[source us.wii.com]