Former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who passed away in July 2015, will sadly not get to witness the next generation of Nintendo products that he worked so hard to create. Nintendo’s own smartphone games, which he was instrumental in setting in motion, didn’t release until after his passing, and he even helped prepare the Nintendo Switch for launch.
In a recent interview with Time, Nintendo “Fellow” Shigeru Miyamoto explained how Iwata, ever the visionary and champion of portable gaming, had plenty of influence on the Nintendo Switch.
Mr. Iwata, Mr. Takeda and myself provided feedback and made decisions, but ultimately Mr. Iwata was the head of development, so he put a lot of thought and time into Switch. I think that the idea of Nintendo Switch being a device you can take out and anywhere, and the idea of it being a system that really allows networking and communicating with people, I think that’s something Mr. Iwata put a lot of emphasis on.
Miyamoto also praised Iwata for his ability to turn the boring elements of game development fun, something that he certainly took into account when dealing with Switch proposals.
Because Mr. Iwata was tech-savvy, a lot of our discussion involved trying to figure out how to make the technical things like network capabilities or servers or whatever fun.
The gaming world still feels Iwata’s influence
Satoru Iwata was instrumental in making portable gaming accessible to everyone and changing video gaming from a geeky past time into a hobby that everyone can enjoy, even Grandma!
The Wii U might have been a misstep, but if the Nintendo Switch can prove to be as big of a game-changer as the Wii or Nintendo DS, it will only further cement his already illustrious legacy at Nintendo.