The three people behind the Switch, and how Iwata’s passing affected development 

The second part of our translation of a Toyo Keizai Online interview with Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Please go here for the first part. 

Here Takahashi and Koizumi reveal the third player behind the Switch, and how Iwata’s passing affected development. Please credit Japanese Nintendo if re-using elsewhere.

In past developments of Nintendo hardware, there were 3 people who managed them: The late president Mr. Satoru Iwata, The father of Mario Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, and Mr. Genyo Takeda who had been managing hardware for many years. For the development this time [for Switch], did you also have a focus on 3 people?

Takahashi: There are 3 people in the final decision making of the development: Me, Koizumi, and the leader of the Technology Development team Kou Shiota. Even in the past it didn’t mean that the trio of Iwata, Miyamoto, and Takeda developed without hearing opinions from anybody else, as we also got involved properly in the development. In that sense, this development structure does not change from before.

However, this time we have the stance of “We’ll think together with you if needed, but in the end you’ll need to think by yourselves,” so we’re overlooking them as counsellors. I think we’re overlooking them with chagrined faces is a fact though (laughs).

Koizumi: Actually, at the end of every counsel we’d say “Well, it’s okay if you all decide on it” (laughs)

Mr. Iwata passed away in 2015, and people were worrying that it would also affect the Switch’s development.

Takahashi: That was already an abrupt topic. Anyway we only had the mind to properly do our jobs. But as we have talked about just before, we were the ones who had to make the final decision making, so the development itself didn’t have any major shifts.


Text kindly translated by Kite Stenbuck. Please support his hard work here.

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