If legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto has been the right hand for generations of Nintendo leaders, then Genyo Takeda has been the left one. And last night, Nintendo announced that Takeda, who led the development of the Wii game console, will retire in June from the company.
The 68-year-old Takeda joined Nintendo in 1972, 45 years ago. He was promoted to Nintendo’s Integrated Research & Development in 1981, and he mostly worked on the hardware for home consoles and handhelds. His replacement is Ko Shiota, the general manager of Nintendo’s platform technology development division.
He also created Punch Out!! and StarTropics, two of Nintendo’s classic games, and designed its EVR Race arcade game. After company president Satoru Iwata passed away in July 2015, Takeda was promoted to co-representative director and given the title of technology fellow.
Takeda developed the analog stick controller for the Nintendo 64 console, and he led the development of the Wii, which put less emphasis on horsepower and more on doing something fresh with the gesture-sensing game controller. The Wii went on to sell more than 100 million systems, making it one of gaming’s best-selling and most important products ever released.