Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata began his career in the games industry making games for a programmable calculator.
Appearing on popular Japanese retro gaming show GameCenter CX, Iwata gave his origin story.
“I believed computers were going to change the world. My first interest was computers,” he said.
“At the time, there were no personal computers, so the very first computer I bought was a calculator – a calculator capable of programming. It only displayed numbers, but with a calculator that only displays numbers, I somehow made games and played them with friends.”
Iwata’s first job was at a tiny computer company with just five staff, but he made a strong push to join Nintendo when the company decided to move into home consoles with the NES or Famicom.
“I told them, ‘I think I could program Famicom games, so please let me program for the Famicom,’” the future executive said.
Iwata took his current role in 2002, and in the first president of Nintendo from outside its founding family. You can watch the full episode with subtitles below, as translated by the generous and tireless Something Awful team.