Just recently we shared some translated quotes from a 4Gamer interview with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, in which he talked about his programming days and his role in getting Super Smash Bros. Melee to market. That same thread on NeoGaf has been adding more translations, and the latest excerpts certainly catch the eye.
In a section with the focus on hardware development, Satoru Iwata explains how he became frustrated at being unable to apply a Sleep feature to the Game Boy Advance SP, despite its clamshell design. Emphasizing how that informed the inclusion of that capability of the DS, Iwata-san goes on to highlight that similar restrictions have affected the Wii U but that, again, missed opportunities are being considered for Nintendo's next generation of hardware.
By the way, speaking of usability, the Nintendo DS was the first portable game system to have a sleep function, but that feature was the result out of the frustration of not being able to implement it with the GameBoy Advance SP.
...The GBA SP was also a clam-shell design, so I pretty adamantly demanded of the hardware team that it went into sleep mode when it was closed. 'This feature is absolutely essential!' I said. However, at that time, they told me that as it would take re-working the chip so it could be turned on and off it would take a year to do it, so I had to reluctantly withdraw my request. Nevertheless, I did tell them that they had to make sure the next system they designed would be able to go into sleep mode.
...I was really upset by that at the time. But that feeling of 'We must do it next time!' connected directly to implementing that feature into the DS.
...Right after the Wii U launched, when you were kind enough to give us quite a lot of feedback, Mr. Kawakami, I had a similar feeling of frustration to the GBA SP situation then. On various points, I thought 'We have to do that next time!
...But, because of that, because of that frustration, not only do we want it to connect with features next time, we are actually working to fix it for next time.
There's a sense that Nintendo is becoming increasingly less afraid to mention the inevitable next step in its hardware cycle; senior figures have made subtle noises about the fact it's planning for the future. As we've said in the past, Nintendo is practically always researching and developing new hardware, but there are certainly interesting nods and winks coming from the company's senior executives.
With the New Nintendo 3DS arriving in the West in 2015 and the Wii U boasting an exciting line-up, Nintendo's clearly still committed to its current hardware in the coming year. It's fun to wonder what's next, however.
What do you make of Iwata-san's comments, and what features missing from the Wii U would you hope to see in future hardware?
Image credit: 4Gamer