Totally fascinating interview with Satoru Iwata up over at Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun. Even the title is great: "Mr Iwata, president of Nintendo came to our office. We had a nice talk over supper". Seeing as it's an interview with people who aren't your everyday gaming press, Iwata talks about a lot of interesting stuff, like the big thinking behind Nintendo's ideas ("There are those who are satisfied knowing that thirst is the reason for wanting something to drink, and there are those who want to unfold the cause of their thirst") and how Miyamoto gets it done:
After starting to work with Mr.Miyamoto for a while, I started to see. I was only looking from the "designer's point of view", but he was different.
His aim does have a higher percentage of becoming a hit, but he does make mistakes. After all he's not God, you know. The difference lies in how he corrects his mistakes. He brings an employee who has nothing to do with the game he's designing, and hands him/her the controller and says, "Go ahead, try it."
...So he hands him/her the controller and tells him/her to go at it, and all he does is watch him/her from behind. I used to call it "Mr. Miyamoto's View over Someone Else's Shoulder". I didn't realise how important it was until I started to work with him. Only then it occurred to me that this was it. We're not able to go to customers explaining the details of the game's intention, or how they should enjoy it.
The product is all you've got.
See? Even Miyamoto makes mistakes. He's not a God. Not even a Demi-God! Just a really talented guy. Great reading, and worth a minute or ten if you've got them spare. Don't? Oh, shame, that. You're missing out.
Mr Iwata, president of Nintendo came to our office. We had a nice talk over supper [Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun, thanks Dark Designer!]