Masayuki Uemura is the man responsible for the Famicom and the NES. While others in the company were making games, Uemura handled the hardware creation from the get-go. Without Uemura, the Famicom and NES could have turned out completely different.
In an interview with Kotaku, Uemura reveals that he didn't even think the request to create the Famicom was real at first. He mistook the mandate as nothing more than the drunk ramblings of then president Hiroshi Yamauchi.
It started with a phone call in 1981. President Yamauchi told me to make a video game system, one that could play games on cartridges. He always liked to call me after he’d had a few drinks, so I didn’t think much of it. I just said, “Sure thing, boss,” and hung up. It wasn’t until the next morning when he came up to me, sober, and said, “That thing we talked about—you’re on it?” that it hit me: He was serious.
Once Uemura realized Yamauchi was being serious, work on the platform began. It turns out Yamauchi had even more impact on the Famicom's creation, as he came up with the color scheme.
The colors were based on a scarf Yamauchi liked. True story. There was also a product from a company called DX Antenna, a set-top TV antenna, that used the color scheme. I recall riding with Yamauchi on the Hanshin expressway outside of Osaka and seeing a billboard for it, and Yamauchi saying, “That’s it! Those are our colors!” Just like the scarf. We’d struggled with the color scheme. We knew what the shape would be, but couldn’t figure out what colors to make it. Then the DX Antenna’s colors decided it. So while it ended up looking very toy-like, that wasn’t the intent. The idea was making it stand out.