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Nintendo veteran Genyo Takeda retiring

Punch-Out!! creator and Wii designer leaving after 45 years

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima and technology fellow Genyo Takeda
Marufuku on YouTube

Genyo Takeda, whose contributions to Nintendo include creating the Punch-Out!! series and leading development of the Wii console, is retiring from his role at the company, Nintendo announced today (PDF).

Takeda, 68, joined Nintendo in 1971 and worked on the company’s arcade light gun title, Laser Clay Shooting. Takeda is also credited with development of the arcade game EVR Race, which game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has called “the first video game Nintendo released.”

In 1983, Takeda created the arcade game Punch-Out!!, which was developed with the directive to use two television monitors instead of the standard one. At the time, Nintendo had a surplus of TV monitors after the success of Donkey Kong. Takeda later served as director of the NES version of Punch-Out!! and contributed to its Super NES and Wii sequels.

Genyo Takeda

Takeda may be better known as one of the key contributors to Nintendo hardware design, however. He developed the analog stick controller for the Nintendo 64 and led development of the Wii. Of the Wii, Takeda said that he wanted to focus less on technological horsepower and more on developing something fresh for players.

“If we had followed the existing Roadmaps we would have aimed to make it ‘faster and flashier,’” Takeda said in an Iwata Asks interview about the Wii. “In other words, we would have tried to improve the speed at which it displays stunning graphics. But we could not help but ask ourselves, ‘How big an impact would that direction really have on our customers?’ During development, we came to realize the sheer inefficiency of this path when we compared the hardships and costs of development against any new experiences that might be had by our customers.”

When Nintendo president Satoru Iwata died in 2015, Takeda was named one of two representative directors — Shigeru Miyamoto being the other — to serve in his stead.

Takeda will be succeeded by Ko Shiota, who currently serves as general manager of Nintendo’s Platform Technology Development Division.

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