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Gumpei Yokoi : R.I.P.

The video gameindustry lost a great man. Responsible for Nintendo's biggest success, the Game Boy, Yokoi was Nintendo's biggest asset. Yokoi died as he was side-swiped by another vehicle while he was out checking his own car as they had just bumped another - they were checking for damage - Yokoi was killed, his colleague only suffered bruised ribs.
Over the years Yokoi has done a great deal for the company. He started off maintaining heavy machinary on a production line in the late '60's. Yamauchi, having heard that Yokoi liked to tinker around and build gadgets, he asked him to invent a toy so Nintendo could expand into the toy market. The out come was known as the Ultra Hand. He had built the toy in his spare time, but turned it over to his boss for the good of the company. The Ultra Hand was a smash hit. It sold 1.2 million copies through 1970. After this Yokoi started experimenting with solar cell's and light guns, in the hope of creating indoor shooting galleries. Once he had perfected the idea he showed it to Yamauchi who used it to make Laser Clay Ranges. It was big but short lived.
The Game Boy's Predecessor: Game and Watch.
Yamauchi had become convinced that Nintendo should start manufacturing Video Games, so he asked Yokoi to design a cheap hand-held game. The Game and Watch, a credit card sized game that used an inexpensive liqiud crystel display.
The game and watch revolutionised the way people played video games. Before games were played with a 4-direction joy-stick and, as there was no way that a joy stick could be used on such a flat, small machine. He created an + shaped directional pad. Realising the effectiveness of the design Yamauchi patented it and used it when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was realeased.
Yokoi was assigned (working with a young prodigy, Shiguru Miyamoto) to work on arcade games to cash in on the craze. They came up with the hardware that was Donkey Kong.
Yamauchi did'nt come to Yokoi to work on the NES, though. He turned to his younger employees that had been trained by Yokoi.
In 1989 Yokoi's research team came up with what became the biggest selling - and the only one that is still selling - hand held games console. It was not the first programmable hand held game, but it was inexpensive and had reasonably clear graphics.<
Yokoi also created the most advanced 16-bit games console, the Super NES (Super Famicom)
In 1996 he updated the game boy, making it smaller and with a clearer screen. This is the Game Boy Pocket.
And now, the Virtual Boy. A machine that never really took off, but, i am pretty sure that the people reading this enjoy playing the VB. The VB, a console that used High Resolution 3D graphics. The system, which used single colour LED technology. It was a desaster for Nintendo.
It can also be said that nintendo did not propally support the system. A great deal of the software companies were doing other things elsewhere and did not have time to work on the system. I am sure that this added to the failure of the system.
The system sold badly in the States and even worse in Japan. The price just dropped, and dropped.
When Nintendo unveiled the N64, Yokoi was elsewhere showing new VB games. The possibility of any new games coming for the wonderful system that is the Virtual Boy died with the amazing man, Gumpei Yokoi.
The legacy of Gumpei Yokoi will live on forever in the History of Nintendo.