Nintendo has brought a ton of retro games to Switch players through the Switch Online service, and they’ve even gone the extra mile by releasing retro-themed controllers for the Switch as well. We saw it happen with the NES, SNES and Genesis, and Nintendo of course followed suit with the N64.

Any company in the entertainment business can live and die by keeping their projects under wraps, and that certainly includes Nintendo. The Big N is very well aware of how hard that can be, but things become a logistical nightmare when you’re talking about hardware over software. Thankfully, Nintendo’s staff was up to the challenge.

Takemoto Hayato, a member of Nintendo’s technical development department, spearheaded Switch Online N64 controller development, and that also included keeping a lid on the project. In an official Nintendo jobs blog, Hayato opened up on just how challenging it was to keep the controller a secret.

For the Nintendo 64 controller that we needed to deliver on the day of Nintendo 64 – Nintendo Switch Online’s release, leaked information by obtaining certification before the official announcement date was unavoidable. We knew that we could take advantage of the fact that some information could be suppressed for a short period of time after obtaining certification. However, unless we perform extremely precise calendar management and careful information control, unintended situations can occur. Sensing the risks, I took the initiative and led efforts to coordinate different departments.

[Nintendo's Takemoto Hayato]

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