Iwata in his 'HAL' days

We, like many other Nintendo fans out there, were under the pretense that HAL Laboratory - the company responsible for our lovable pink hero Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. series - was named after the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL 9000. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata even stated that the name was "very cool" during his his keynote speech at the 2005 Game Developers Conference.

However, Iwata had been keeping the real reason behind the name a secret, until revealing it during a recent Iwata Asks discussion about Zombi U. During the interview, Yves Guillemot of Ubisoft explained the meaning behind Ubisoft was derived from the word 'Ubiquity' meaning 'exists everywhere'.

No doubt feeling he should reciprocate some equally enlightening news, Iwata responded with this bombshell:

We were exactly the same in that sense. Ubisoft was named after Ubiquity because you wanted to be everywhere in the world and HAL was named as such because each letter put us one step ahead of IBM! (Laughs)

[source nintendo-gamer.net, via nintendo.co.uk]