The SNES CD-ROM all started with Ken Kutaragi, a young engineer at Sony who’d later become known as the “father of the PlayStation.” Kutaragi struck a deal with Nintendo to create the sound chip for the Super NES—a decision he apparently made without the knowledge of Sony’s board of directors. The project was a success—the SNES’ sound hardware is one of the most widely praised aspects of the machine’s design—and for the next step in what was looking like a fruitful partnership between Nintendo and Sony, Kutaragi proposed that Sony be allowed to create a Super Nintendo that had a CD-ROM drive built in. Nintendo agreed.
The behind-the-scenes of this deal are mostly shrouded in Japanese corporate secrecy, but in late 2016, we got some rare insight into how it all went down—from one perspective, that is. Shigeo Maruyama, the former head of Sony Computer Entertainment, discussed it with the Japanese site Denfaminicogamer, translated by Nintendo Everything.
Kutaragi “was a strong advocate for pursuing CD-ROM support over cartridges,” Maruyama said. “But Nintendo wanted to stick to [cartridges] for games. CD-ROMs can take 10-15 seconds to load, after all. They probably didn’t think users would want to wait that long. But Kutaragi wouldn’t let up his arguments, so eventually Nintendo told him, ‘Alright. We don’t think it will be successful, but you can do your CD-ROM thing.’”
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.