How Satoru Iwata Helped To Shape Nintendo Switch

satoru iwata gdc 2011 photo

It has been nearly two years since late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away, and, as the Nintendo Switch launch nears, Shigeru Miyamoto has looked back at the role he played in the company’s plans for the console.

“Nothing really in terms of 180 degrees, but myself, Mr. Takeda and Mr. Iwata were more providing feedback during development. So a lot of the younger staff would give us presentations, and we would give them feedback and make decisions if necessary,” Miyamoto explained to TIME, asked whether any tables had been upended.

“The feedback that we did provide I think was put to good use, and I don’t think there were any times where we had major clashes of ideas. If anything, we had to think about how to make Switch unique, and there’s a certain cost associated with that. So it was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be a lot more expensive. How are we going to deal with this?’ We struggled with that together as a team.”

When posed with the question as to what in particular reflects Satoru Iwata’s involvement in Nintendo Switch, Miyamoto pointed to the core concept: a console that grants the freedom to play console games anywhere, with anyone, at any time.

He continued: “I mentioned that 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.

“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. For example, think about when we added the ability to use a browser on the [Nintendo] DS. As time goes on, all of these services become more and more advanced, and so we need to think about ‘How do we incorporate mobile devices or new browser features that come up?’ That’s something Mr. Iwata and I discussed a lot, really trying to decide what to do and what not to do in our hardware.”

Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on Friday 3rd March, priced at £279.99 ($299.99).

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