The "super-stable" 3D featured in the New 3DS was a last minute addition that came at the behest of legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed.
"I think you're probably familiar with the tales of how, in the late stages of development, Mr. Miyamoto always upends the tea table," Iwata told TIME. "So a similar thing happened this time. The hardware developers had designed a piece of hardware that they felt was at the final stage of prototyping, and they were bringing it to us for approval to begin moving forward with plans for manufacturing. But Mr. Miyamoto had seen that super-stable 3D just one week before, and he asked, 'Why aren't we putting that in this system? If we don't put this in it, there's no point in making the system.'"
Super-stable 3D allows the player to move his or her head without disrupting the glasses-free 3D effect on the system's upper screen. This corrects one of the major problems with the original 3DS (and 3DS XL), where the 3D only worked when the player's eyes were directly lined up with the screen--an especially problematic proposition when playing games that use the 3DS' gyroscope.
While super-stable 3D did end up making it into the system--which launched in Japan last October and then last month in North America and Europe--it didn't come without Nintendo's engineers repeatedly asking Iwata whether it was really something they were going to add.
"But Nintendo is a company of Kyoto craftsman, and what we don't want to do, is if we know we can make something better, we don't want to leave that behind," Iwata said. "So we were able to bring the super-stable 3D to reality by looking technically at what we can do to solve those challenges and finding those steps along the way to make it happen. This is where my background in technology is quite helpful, because it means that the engineers can't trick me.”
Before becoming the president and CEO for Nintendo, Iwata worked as a developer at Kirby and Smash Bros. developer HAL Laboratory.