Nintendo on the struggle of balancing various aspects during Switch’s development, prototypes
Creating the Switch was no easy task. In previous interviews, Nintendo has brought up how the word “balance” was key during development. This was something that was mentioned again in an interview with Toyo Keizai.
General Switch producer Yoshiaki Koizumi noted how game developers tend to be interested memory and a quality GPU for higher specs. As a developer himself, Koizumi can understand this. However, there was also the need to make the machine light, small, and stylish while giving consideration to the battery as well. On top of everything else, Nintendo only had a set amount of time and resources to produce the new console. So ultimately, balancing all of these different aspects was the most difficult part in developing Switch.
Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi added that in order to achieve that balance, the hardware and software teams were more closely connected with development than ever before. The goal was to have a console in which something like Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be fun to play on.
Also during the interview, Koizumi and Takahashi were asked how many prototypes were made. Koizumi himself couldn’t point to any specific number, and it’s not like he kept track. Takahashi said there are about five he actually saw.
Koizumi additionally noted how Nintendo considered different ways of attaching the Joy-Con to the main unit. They actually experimented with magnets and dish-shaped parts. In the end, we know that Nintendo settled on sliding the controllers through the rails on the side.