A man who hardly needs any introduction on these pages, Satoru Iwata became president of Nintendo back in 2002, overseeing a truly golden era for the company with the releases of consoles such as the Nintendo DS and Wii. Today marks the third anniversary of his passing on 11th July 2015.
Iwata-san's main objective throughout his 13-year tenure as Nintendo president was to achieve a "gaming population expansion by offering compelling products that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience", with the company holding on to a philosophy of placing conceptual ideas and experiences ahead of raw processing and graphical power.
The result of this was the gaming experiences made possible through those two consoles, with the Nintendo DS' dual-screen approach and touchscreen, as well as the Wii's affordable motion control, acting as revolutionary steps within the industry. These consoles offered unique ways to play games at affordable prices, grabbing the attention of gaming fans around the world, and both went on to be huge successes selling over 150 million and 100 million units respectively.
It could be argued that the reason fans have so much love and respect for Mr Iwata isn't thanks to these early successes, however, but rather because of his tremendous personality and warmth that shone through in every Nintendo Direct presentation or interview. He was a man who added a wonderful level of kindness and light-heartedness into a rapidly growing and fierce industry, and a business figure who somehow felt entirely relatable.
Once again, thank you Iwata-san.
"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer." - Satoru Iwata