No wonder it is taking Sakurai so long to make Smash Bros Wii U. In his latest column in Famitsu he wrote that he has such bad RSI that it's getting to the point where it's starting to restrict his work and lifestyle.
Sakurai wrote: "Using a mouse, keyboard or gamepad make my arm tired, so I can't use them in a continual manner. The only device I can use for an extended period of time is a joystick. It's posing problems when I'm test-playing something in progress.
"I figure that if I cut down on writing emails and other things, try not to type in so much data myself and start giving more verbal directions, that'll reduce the amount of keyboard-oriented work I have to do but if I'm going to be supervising other people's work, there's no way to cut down the amount of mouse usage I need to perform.
"I'm trying to work it with my left hand in order to give the right one some rest, but that definitely cuts down on my work efficiency..."
As well as a joystick, Sakurai is returning to one of his old gadgets at work. A trackball. As reported on Polygon, Sakurai's old company HAL made trackballs in the 80s and Kirby was actually designed with one.
"Kirby was drawn with a trackball on the Game Boy and NES," continued Sakurai. "The internal hardware team at HAL came up with a way to connect a trackball to the NES, then use a dev tool that ran on a Twin Famicom disc to draw graphics."
It seems Sakurai plans to use a trackball until his right hand heals. "I've been familiar with trackballs for years, so controlling one should be easy... in theory! Hopefully the day will come when I'm able to use them for extended periods with my right hand again. I hope this gets healed up!"
It's either that or barking orders at Namco Bandai!