C&VG took the time to pull aside Nintendo luminary Yoshio Sakamoto at this year's ECTS and quiz him on life and times at Nintendo. The short Q&A session with the Metroid designer and manager of R&D1 makes for an interesting read, as Sakamoto starts by explaining how he came to work, design and direct projects at Nintendo.
Going on to speak about his enthusiasm for continued development of ideas and R&D1's efforts in uncharted entertainment territory, Wario Ware was used as an example of the developer's dedication to innovation. "Now that we have introduced a game called Wario Ware, we cannot follow the same track," he said. "If we are going to make a Wario Ware II for example, that's got to be uniquely different from Wario Ware I for us to live up to people's expectations of us."
When Sakamoto mentioned that he didn't "think that R&D1 should always make videogames. For example we can go back to basics and sometimes make toys, or some new gadgets, which Nintendo has never challenged", this led to C&VG pointing out the success of Sony's Eye Toy, to which came his reply: "We don't know how well that device is appreciated in Europe here at this point, but if it's quite a unique product it's a shame Nintendo didn't come up with that kind of idea."
"Having said that, we can always try some new challenge; I think we can come up with something more unique than the Eye Toy all the time. We really want to be the number one R&D team." Nothing like a spot of healthy competition, and if Ninty could come up with a gadget that comes even close to being as purely fun as Sony's inspired contraption we'd be terribly impressed.
The short interview is wrapped up with Sakamoto talking about R&D1's focus on GBA development and a vague response when questioned on his involvement in Nintendo's next handheld console. He also speaks about his role in the development of Metroid Prime II and Metroid Zero Mission for the GBA. You can read the full transcript over at C&VG.