Satoru Iwata

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Harold, like the rest of us, had many impressions which saved him the trouble of distinct ideas.
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Satoru Iwata (December 6, 1959 - Present) is fourth president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. His predecessor was Hiroshi Yamauchi. Iwata has been in his position since 2002.


  • Nintendo has strong views on how we should run our company. We consider ourselves, above all else, as a gaming company. We believe other companies (in the console marketplace) see themselves primarily as technology companies.
  • Although many believe that technology automatically enables more realistic expression, I believe that is just not correct.
  • Our competitors are always saying that Nintendo is just for children. To counter that, what we really need to do is explain to customers and potential customers [that we do not just make games for kids].
  • Please understand, I am not saying that technology is unimportant. I understand that technology is important. But if we are just focusing on technology and investing in an IT manufacturing plant to come up with higher performance processing [chips], we will not succeed.
  • Of course, we are applying advances in technology. But when you use those advances just to boost the processing power, the trade-off is that you increase power consumption, make the machine more expensive and make developing games more expensive. When I look at the balance of that trade-off -- what you gain and what you lose -- I don't think it's good. Nintendo is applying the benefits of advanced technology, but we're using it to make our machines more power-efficient, quieter and faster to start. And we're making a brand-new user interface. I think that way of thinking is the biggest difference.
  • Talking about the definition of the niche, or niche market, I really have the completely opposite opinion. The people the other companies are targeting are very limited to those who are high-tech oriented, and core game players. They cannot expand beyond that population. We are trying to capture the widest possible audience all around the world. In other words, we are trying to capture the people who are even beyond the gaming population. So for that kind of company, we don't think the term 'niche' is appropriate.
  • I've never once been embarrassed that children have supported Nintendo. I'm proud of it. That's because children judge products based on instinct. Everyone wants to appeal to people's instincts, but it's not easy. That doesn't mean we're making products just for children. We believe that there's interactive entertainment that people in their 60s, 70s and 80s can enjoy, so we're doing various things.

E³ 2004

  • Nintendo was proud of when we introduced the D-pad with the NES, instead of arcade joysticks. Proud of two-player gaming on the NES and four-player gaming on Nintendo 64. Proud of the analog sticks, and rumble pak, and true 3D. We are proud we established portable gaming with Game Boy. All these advances are now industry standards. All make us proud. But I think we are most proud of this.
  • Better technology is good, but technology's not enough. Today's consoles already offer fairly photorealistic expressions. Simply beefing up those graphics will not let most of us see a difference.
    • About the strategy for Wii
  • Nintendo is working on our next system, and that system will create a gaming revolution. Internal game development is underway. When the impact of the new home machine comes, our revolution will be there.
    • Regarding the development of Wii, codenamed 'Revolution'
  • I suppose I could give you a list of the technical specs. I believe you would like that, but I won't for a simple reason; they really don't matter. The time when horsepower alone made an important difference is over.
    • Regarding the technical specifications for Wii

E³ 2005

  • And my name is Iwata. I'm about making games and I'm about playing games. Last night, I played Super Smash Bros. That's my game. I kicked some... you know what and I took his name. His name was Reggie. As Nintendo president, I'm also all about asking questions. So Reggie, I have a question for you. Who's your daddy?
  • We gave you DS, a new Game Boy, and new games to play on them, and now you say "we want a revolution". Well, we've got one.
    • Referring to the Wii, codenamed 'Revolution'
  • When you turn on Revolution and see the graphics, you will say, "Wow."
    • Referring to the Wii, codenamed 'Revolution'
  • One or two Wi-Fi games will be ready for launch. And, I am pushing our team to make sure Smash Bros. is one of them. That way, no matter where Reggie is, I can always beat him.
    • Referring to the launch of the Wii
  • The key here is not what you are playing, but how you'll be playing.
  • This [the Wii] is the console where the big ideas can prevail over big budgets.
  • It is my job to run a global company, but within my job, what still gives me the most satisfaction is seeing someone pick up a controller and finding surprise and delight. What touches their heart still touches my heart.

E³ 2006

  • I am busier, busier than ever and if I have to wait 30 seconds or 40 seconds or more for a game to load, often, I get frustrated. And sometimes, I just can not wait. And now that I know I can instantly stop or start playing my DS by just closing or opening the top, I think I am spoiled.
  • Expanding the game audience with Wii means increasing the number of people in any household who are involved with games. Today, there are people who play, and people who do not. Wii will help destroy that wall between them.

GDC 2005

  • 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.
  • The name came from the computer in the movie 2001: Space Odyssey. We thought that name was very cool. Also, this is what I looked like back then. [Points to picture of self, much younger, on a motorcycle] Like all game creators, I was extremely cool, too.
  • People sometimes ask me what I did when I was hired at HAL. The answer is that I was a programmer. And an engineer. And a designer. And I marketed our games. I also ordered a lot of take-out food. And I helped clean up. And, it was all great fun.
  • Even artists must know the business side of game development. After all, if a game never comes to market, there is very little chance of it making any money.
  • One thing that has not changed--and will not change--is our nature as a form of entertainment. Like any other entertainment medium, we must create an emotional response in order to succeed. Laughter, fear, joy, anger, affection, surprise, and, most of all, pride of accomplishment. In the end, triggering these feelings from our players is the true judgment of our work. This is the bottom line measurement of success.
  • Software sells hardware. People buy game systems to play the games they love.
  • As we spend more time and money chasing exactly the same players, who are we leaving behind? Are we creating games just for each other? Do you have friends and family members who do not play video games? Well, why don't they?

GDC 2006

  • As any game developer knows, the three basic food groups are Fritos, Cheetos, and Doritos.

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