Former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi has been inducted into the 2016 Consumer Technology Hall of Fame.
Yamauchi - who relinquished his presidency in 2002 to Satoru Iwata and sadly passed away in 2013 - has been recognised in the "Video Game Futurist" category. He joined Nintendo in 1949 and oversaw the company's transition away from playing cards and toys to video gaming, the arena in which has achieved the most success and fame.
Organised by The Consumer Technology Association, the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 as a means of celebrating the efforts individuals who have helped advance consumer electronics and generally make our lives easier and more enjoyable.
Yamauchi's award is perhaps a reflection on his efforts to re-establish confidence in the video game industry following the crash of 1983. Nintendo's NES was instrumental in building the industry we know today, yet it was initially treated with skepticism in the US thanks to Atari's disastrous practices during the early part of the 1980s. By the close of that decade the name Nintendo had become synonymous with gaming all over the world.
The inductees were hand-picked by a group of select media and industry professionals, based on nominations which were submitted by manufacturers, retailers and journalists.
This year's inductees are listed below:
Visionary Retailer: Sidney Cooper – Silo
Father of Bluetooth: Dr. Jaap Haartsen – Ericsson
Prominent Distribution Pioneer: David B. Lorsch – DBL Distributing
Transformational Technologist: Chuck Pagano – ESPN
Legendary Journalist: Steve Smith – TWICE Magazine
Home Automation Developer: Joel Spira – Lutron
Pioneering Accessories Executive: Nat Tiffen – The Tiffen Company
Video Game Futurist: Hiroshi Yamauchi – Nintendo
Renowned GPS Developers: Norm Hunt, Ed Tuck, Don Rea – Magellan
Distinguished Digital HDTV Grand Alliance Leaders
Dr. Peter Bingham, Phillips Labs President
Jim Carnes, Sarnoff Labs CEO
Dr. Curt Crawford, AT&T Microelectronics President
Dr. Jae Lim, MIT Professor
Jerry Pearlman, Zenith Electronics CEO
Donald Rumsfeld, General Instrument CEO
The 2016 honourees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this November.
Only just struck me that there was under two years between the deaths of Yamauchi and Iwata. I thought it was longer than that.
Terrifying man, great shades. Clearly knew his apples though: Yamauchi-san overruled Miyamoto on Mother (EarthBound Zero) when Miyamoto originally said it wasn't for Nintendo. (We cover such like in our Nintendo/retro RPG fanzine available at hyperplayrpg.com by the way 🙄)
A fantastic (if ruthless) business man. Despite pretty much having no interest in playing games himself, he had an amazing eye for spotting what would sell. I suppose you have to begrudgingly applaud his shady business tactics as well, as they certainly worked.
@kincl4 He also (apparently) called people who play rpgs "depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games", and drove Square away from Nintendo with big, burning stick.
@Shigmin - nice quote! Everyone has their genre preferences, of course, but obviously he didn't let that get in the way of the Super Famicom being the go-to console for RPGs 😉. Square's break from Nintendo was a consequence of the N64's format limitations.
I'm sure some are still thankful for the love hotels.
He deserves it. Iwata-San would have been happy if he were still around to know this.
Sure, Yamauchi-san was somewhat Machiavellian in his practices, but he had a surprisingly outstanding knowledge of what makes a video game timeless and influential (and successful, in the long run), especially for a businessman from the '70s-'90s. Yokoi and Miyamoto are most responsible for the creative side of Nintendo, but their creations would be overlooked without the logistical wisdom of the man, and for that, we should be truly be grateful to him.
But why not include Iwata in the Hall of Fame? I don't get it.
@shani Give it time
@shani The same way they're now including Yamauchi years later after his passing
@JustJulyo I don't want to lessen Yamauchi's impact but I find it strange that they credited him as "Video Game Futurist", because from what I read about him, that's not at all who he was. He was more a conservative CEO, not someone who had an eye for the future.
Iwata on the other hand always had an eye for innovation and the future and also had a real video gaming background. Honestly, Iwata's impact on the industry was way bigger than Yamauchi's. So what I meant with my question: They should've nominated Iwata instead of Yamauchi (or at least, both of them).
@shani Well if you think of it this way, Yamauchi's leadership lead to the what modern video games are. If the NES hadn't existed who knows what today, the video game world, would have looked like but Iwata is bound to be inducted in the hall of fame eventually. Might even be a big ceremony on just him alone, but we shall see
@JustJulyo I don't remember the details anymore (maybe I'll try to look it up later), but afair it was Yamauchi who at first opposed some of the ideas that later proved to be very successful, like Donkey Kong or the Gameboy (I think?).
Yamauchi still oversaw Nintendo's transformation into the electronic era and surely made good decisions [ii]as a president[/i], but I think the real [bi]brains[/i] behind Nintendo's success were guys Shigeru Miyamoto, Satoru Iwata and Gunpei Yokoi or even Genyo Takeda. But I'm not asking to put them all into the hall of fame.
@shani I wouldn't mind seeing those guys being added in a future hall of fame!
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