Originally Posted by hap
Anyone know when Nintendo started producing their LCD games with MCUs? The patent of their 1st game "Ball" suggests it's on dedicated hardware: http://www.google.com/patents/US4438926

This interview mentions how they switched to MCUs. I don't believe it says exactly when it happened, though.


Yamamoto: Mr. Izushi and I were rookies until the fourth title, “Fire,” but I do remember that at the beginning, the games weren’t programmed as much as they were built in hardware.

Iwata: You mean the games weren’t made by being programmed like they are now, but by building the actual hardware circuits.

Izushi: That’s right. Actually, it was the same as it was for “Racing 112″ and “Block Breaker.” Keeping the gameplay in mind, you would put together a circuit schematic in your head, and pick up a soldering iron. That’s how I made the prototype for “Fire.”

Iwata: So you used a soldering iron instead of a keyboard. (laughs)

Izushi: I always thought it was faster that way. It was faster then, actually.

Yamamoto: It was, wasn’t it?

Iwata: But at some point, you changed over to conventional programming.

Izushi. Yes. When I learned to use programming languages and started to make games that way, I thought “this is so much easier!” (laughs)

Iwata: It was easer and definitely faster. (laughs)

Izushi: It was faster, and I didn’t have to get my hands dirty. (laughs)

All: (laugh)