In a recent interview, legendary Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto, reveals the big impact that the late Satoru Iwata had on the upcoming Nintendo Switch console.

After the huge Nintendo Switch reveal last month and the flood of details that have come out since, it’s easy to forget that the system formerly known as NX was largely a mystery for a number of years. With the Wii U not performing anywhere near expectations, all eyes naturally turned to the next console for Nintendo and fueled rumors and speculation on what the company was planning. Many of these rumors started circulating two years ago, back when the late Satoru Iwata still led the company and his impact on Switch development was significant.

In a recent interview with TIME magazine, legendary Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto, admitted that Iwata is largely responsible for the pick up and play anywhere style of the Nintendo Switch. While Miyamoto, Genyo Takeda, and Iwata all provided feedback and advice, Mr. Iwata was the head of development, meaning he placed a significant amount of time and thought into the console.


With a background in computer science and being tech-savvy, Iwata typically spearheaded discussions around making technical things like networking fun for the end user. Ultimately, he placed a focus on making the console something that really enabled users to network and communicate with others. Based on the Switch debut trailer last year, it seems Nintendo really ran with that idea.

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.

Back in March 2015, when the device was then known only as the Nintendo NX, Satoru Iwata sat down with Japanese publication Nikkei to reveal the high expectations the company was placing on the upcoming console. Iwata revealed that, in typical Nintendo fashion, the company was not just trying to create something that would expand upon existing hardware but instead aim to surprise people and ultimately change their life for the better.

Sadly, only a few months later, Satoru Iwata passed away at the young age of 55 due to complications from a tumor in his bile duct. One of the most well loved and respected members of the gaming industry, Iwata was an inspiration to many. His leadership, impact, and legacy on not only Nintendo but the gaming industry as a whole is unquestionable and is truly missed. Former Nintendo of America CEO, Tatsumi Kimishima, eventually succeeded Iwata as the fifth president of Nintendo.

Are you surprised to hear that Iwata sought to make the Switch more portable and social oriented? Sound off below in the comments.

Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017.

tags: Nintendo, Switch