Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has recalled the moment when he had met industry luminary Shigeru Miyamoto for the first time, shortly after he had joined the company in December 2003 as executive vice president of sales and marketing.
At a time when the GameCube hadn’t been met with as much success as Nintendo had hoped, Fils-Aimé flew to Japan where he was able to play on an early Nintendo DS prototype. Sat beside him, unexpectedly, was an observant Shigeru Miyamoto.
“There are times when you meet luminaries, that, well, the bubble is burst. But that is not at all [the case] with Mr. Miyamoto,” Fils-Aimé shared in a Facebook Live interview with Katie Linendoll. “My story is, I was a Nintendo player and a Nintendo fan before I became a Nintendo executive.
“For me, it was this unique opportunity. Rewind the clock, 2003. GameCube is not doing all that well. We were just about to reduce the price to $99, and that’s when the system really started taking off. Sony had announced they were entering the handheld market with PSP. They hadn’t shown anything yet, but they had just announced it. So, there was pressure on our handheld business.”
He continued: “I joined the company in December 2003, my first trip to Japan was in January 2004. I was fortunate enough to see a prototype of Nintendo DS. And this was circuit boards, so this wasn’t anything ready to show publicly.
“I’m looking at this and making a smart comment or two when I look to my side and there’s Mr Miyamoto. I’m not lying, my knees were shaking a little bit. Luckily he couldn’t tell. And, that was my first experience meeting an industry icon. He respected right away I was asking smart questions, I showed I understood the brand and some of the key IP. I’ve been fortunate to have a stellar relationship with him for the last 14 years.
“It is one of these things that does set us apart as a company. We are passionate about our products, we are a group who believe in what we’re doing, and whether it’s the team in Japan, the team in the US, the team in Europe, even our business partners across the world. We’re passionate about what we do, and, hopefully, it shows up in the content that’s created.”