While Nintendo’s Game Boy is probably one of the more iconic handheld consoles of all time, the Nintendo DS has done pretty well for itself. In fact ever since its release, the console has sold millions upon millions of units, and we also saw future iterations of the device in the form of the Nintendo 3DS and the 2DS.
However as it turns out, many at Nintendo did not seem to like the original idea of the DS in the first place, whose concept was inspired by the Game & Watch. This was revealed during an interview with Retro Gamer Magazine (transcribed by Japanese Nintendo; via Kotaku) in which they interviewed Satoru Okada, the General Manager of Nintendo Research & Engineering before he retired in 2012.
According to Okada, they were actually working on a successor to the Game Boy when he was approached by the company’s president at that time, the late Satoru Iwata, who told him that the company’s former president Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted them to create a device similar to the Game & Watch, despite the fact the everyone seemed to have hated the idea.
Okada said he wanted to plead his case with Yamauchi, but Iwata stopped him and convinced him to try his best and see what they could come up with. Turns out it was a good call especially since the DS has since sold over 150 million units, while its close competitor the PSP by Sony only managed half. According to Okada, “So Iwata was right to turn me down and Yamauchi’s idea turned out to be excellent!”