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The success of the 3DS has vindicated Gunpei Yokoi and the Virtual Boy

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - The success of the 3DS has vindicated Gunpei Yokoi and the Virtual Boy

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One thing I've wondered for a while is what would've happened had Gunpei not left Nintendo. The Wonder Swan was very much Game Boy esque with very dated, albeit efficient, (30 hours of play with ONE AA battery?!?) technology. Would he have some how crippled Nintendo's advancement in the handheld market with his emphasis on withered technology?? Not so much with the GBA, since that was technically withered technology based heavily on the SNES, but with the DS, which was completely different from any handheld seen at that point in time.



PortisheadBiscuit said:
One thing I've wondered for a while is what would've happened had Gunpei not left Nintendo. The Wonder Swan was very much Game Boy esque with very dated, albeit efficient, (30 hours of play with ONE AA battery?!?) technology. Would he have some how crippled Nintendo's advancement in the handheld market with his emphasis on withered technology?? Not so much with the GBA, since that was technically withered technology based heavily on the SNES, but with the DS, which was completely different from any handheld seen at that point in time.

I don't know.  Once you start delving into how much more input Satoru Okada had with the tech that went into the Gameboy, and the fact that Yokoi was actually looking into using color LCD for the Virtual Boy before finding out how prohibitively expensive the device would be, it leaves open multiple possibilities.  Also, Hiroshi Yamauchi was the one who pushed for the next handheld after Gameboy Advance to be dual screen.  The DS was profitable at launch (as far as I know) retailing at $149, which was cheaper than the launch price of the Virtual Boy, and only slightly more expensive than the GBA.  Between Yamauchi's insistence on the 2nd screen, and the fact that doing so would not have rendered the price-point unfriendly to consumers; I think Nintendo's handheld division could have followed the same trajectory either way.