He also designed the Nintendo 64 analog stick.
One of Nintendo’s most accomplished designers is calling it a career. Nintendo has announced that Representative Director and Technology Fellow Genyo Takeda, who joined Nintendo in 1971 and led development on a number of groundbreaking hardware and software products, will retire in June at the age of 68.
While he, along with everyone else at Nintendo, was overshadowed by the company’s most famous designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, Takeda nevertheless had an incredible career over the course of almost 46 years. Most notably, Takeda was a lead designer on the Wii, which bucked industry trends and proved just about everyone outside of Nintendo wrong on its way to selling more than 100 million units, making it the third-best-selling home games console of all time.
The motion-controlled console was far from Takeda’s only accomplishment at Nintendo. On the hardware side, he also created the Nintendo 64’s analog stick, which Sony quickly aped for its competing PlayStation console and which every major home games console released since has featured two variations of. Further, Takeda led development of every single Nintendo games console released to date.
Takeda also used his creative vision in direction and/or producing a number of beloved games: Punch-Out!!, Super Punch-Out!!, Pilotwings 64, StarTropics, Dr. Mario 64, and more. In fact, Takeda’s contributions to gaming stretch all the way back to Nintendo’s very first video games. He designed 1973 light gun game Laser Clay Shooting and the arcade horse-racing cabinet EVR Race, which became Nintendo’s first video game release in 1975. The late Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s former president and CEO, once called Takeda “Nintendo’s first game designer.”
Attempting to fill Takeda’s large shoes will be Executive Officer and General Manager of Platform Technology Development Division Ko Shiota, who worked under Takeda in leading development of the Wii and dramatically less successful Wii U.