Leading The 3DS Charge: An Interview With Hideki Konno
March 21, 2011 Page 2 of 4
It's interesting to see a software developer being put in charge of a generation of hardware. Speaking to developers, what you would say about how that influenced your vision of how this system was ultimately designed?
HK: Well I was the overall producer in charge of both hardware and software sides. That doesn't mean I thought of everything by myself.
So in this case with Nintendo 3DS, we had meeting after meeting after very involved meeting, with Mr. Iwata, Mr. Miyamoto, the head of the hardware team and myself and it was this group that got together a lot and talked about this stuff over and over again that really determined the direction of the development process.
And it's actually another one of my roles -- because, you know, you get in these meetings. Mr. Miyamoto has his personality, and Mr. Iwata has his personality, and one person wants this thing, and the other person wants to do something else, and it's my job to say, "Yeah, I understand," and sort of make sure that those waters didn't get too rough.
And sort of the idea of taking all of these disparate ideas and personalities and putting them into a cohesive unit and a smooth development process, that was another one of my roles.
Interestingly, when you speak about this development process, it occurs to me that while you're in charge, Mr. Iwata has a lot to say about the project; Mr. Miyamoto as well. All three of you are software developers, originally.
HK: Yes, that's right; Mr. Iwata of course is a former programmer, Mr. Miyamoto of course game direction and design, and of course I've been working under Mr. Miyamoto for a long time.
And though this is my first experience working on hardware development, of course Mr. Iwata and Mr. Miyamoto have been doing this for a long time. So I think it's been part of Nintendo's development process for hardware, where you have people with a software background involved right from the very beginning in designing consoles and devices.
You know, speaking of Mr. Iwata, we talk about coming into high hurdles -- things that are difficult problems, "Holy heck, what are we going to do here?" When those situations arise, that's when Mr. Iwata's eyes start to shine and sparkle; he loves that sort of thing. So being involved in here is just something that he really likes; he likes tackling really difficult problems.
Having gone to a lot of presentations by people from Nintendo and read interviews over the years, I get the impression that Mr. Miyamoto sort of pops up every so often and like looks and goes, "…really?" And then drops small bits of wisdom as he's able to attend to it. I was curious about that.
HK: Well, you're right. Mr. Miyamoto is always thinking of a lot of different things; and I mean always. And he can't keep it to himself -- this is not the sort of person who'll go, "Yeah, yeah, I'll keep that in my head and talk about it later." No, when it's there, it's there.
And it's sort of an extreme example, but let's say I'm sitting at my desk one day at 10 o'clock at night, getting ready to go home, and all of a sudden he'll just -- as you said -- pop up and be like, "Hey! About that one thing, how's that going?"; "Oh hey, I just thought of this, I think it would be really cool if we did this."; "What do you think if we did this? Can you give me your ideas on this? Let's talk about this."
And I'm like, "Can we do this tomorrow? I wanna go home!" and he's like, "No, no, no -- let's do it now." And then that's just an extreme example, but again, he is always involved in that way.
Page 2 of 4