back to article Satoru Iwata, Nintendo chieftain and gamer titan, dies aged 55

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has died aged 55. The fourth president of the company, Iwata-san arrived at Nintendo in 2000 after working for HAL Laboratory. He was appointed president in 2002. Bloomberg reports that under his leadership, the company tripled its revenue on the back of the Game Boy Advance SP and the Wii. In …

  1. Bleu


    Thanks for all the fun, Mr. Iwata.

    Never met you, but saw you speak.

    You'll have a lot of mourners here.


  2. Tachikoma

    GameBoy Advanced II? Shirley you mean DS, even if the original DS development kit was 2x GBA SP's glued together.

    But a sad loss, was never a fan of post GBA/GameCube Nintendo's hardware, which alienated most of it's fanbase in exchange for novelty hardware and gimmicks, but it certainly didn't do them any harm. Iwata knew what he wanted to do and did it, full respect to the man and a true loss to gaming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Grr it's Advance, not Advanced. Always bugged me when people got that wrong. Yeah there wasn't a II was there? There was the original, the SP, SP2 (with backlight) and then the micro. IIRC.

      1. Tachikoma

        Re: GBA

        I know it's Advance, I think the article originally had Advanced, which has now been fixed, although I didn't sleep last night so I may have been imagining it.

        You had:

        Original GBA (no backlight unless you modded it)

        GBA SP (clamshell and backlight)

        GBA Micro (with backlight)

        There was no GBA2, everyone thought the DS was going to be called the GBA2, but Nintendo dropped the GameBoy name, even though the DS was originally 2x GBA's welded together, later changing the 2x ARM7's (GBA processor) to an ARM7 and an ARM9 for the production hardware.

        Still got my Mario edition GBA Micro that I picked up in Akihabara years and years ago so I can play Advance Wars, great machine, probably the most perfect handheld I have ever owned.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GBA

          "I know it's Advance, I think the article originally had Advanced"

          In that case, apologies! :)

          And yes still have my Micro, fantastic little device.

        3. Bleu

          Re: GBA

          The Micro is a great machine for arcade style, but not much good for games with text (adventures, Super Robot Wars, etc.), impossible for Japanese, I would guess easier but not too easy to read English on it, too.

          ... but then, I suppose Advance Wars has text, so must be easier to read for English. Fewer pixels needed.

    2. Bleu

      You do not have much of a point

      Sure, the prototype of the DS was two GBAs slammed together, to me the GBA wasn't much more than a vehicle for recycling Sufami (SNES) titles, but there is much more, loads of demos and non-licenced programmes.

      The DS was a revolution, Nintendo's Wario, ports of N64 games like Goldeneye and Super Mario 64, third-party offerings like Pac-Pix (it is not impossible, just takes a lot of patience) and Pac-and-Roll (never got the final level open on that, and the DS I had it in was stolen), Love Rabbits (I think that was the title) and its sequel from Sega, also Sonic Rush, Namco's Goemon DS, many more. Chinatown Wars was also pretty brilliant.

      I watch people play 'smart' phone games on the trains, the games all look so boring.

      Do not have a Wii, the number of enjoyable Dreamcast, X Box, Wonder Swan, Neo-geo Pocket, Sufami, Gameboy, and DS games that I have not finished will be ample forever. Must investigate modern PC gaming, though. ... also could do with the bigger screen 3ds, text in some of the games is unreadable on a normal DS.

      The Wii was very special, not just a gimmick, young families like the party game aspect, an older friend bought one to keep her aged mother active, she says it has the desired effect.

      1. ThomH

        Re: You do not have much of a point @Bleu

        Mobile titles seem to fall into one of two categories nowadays: those that you can't lose, so that the player will stay for a long time and see lots of adverts (ala Farmville) and those that you can't conveniently win, so that the payer will spend lots on micro-transactions (ala Candy Crush Saga). In both cases the game designer has something other than player enjoyment as the main goal.

        Iwata, at least from the little I know about him as a very distant observer, really understood what it means for a player to engage with a title, and wanted to invite in as many players as possible. He was probably the best thing that could possibly have happened to video games.

  3. SecretSonOfHG

    Thanks and rest in peace, Iwata-san

    Maybe it is because of my age, but I've never been the owner of a Nintendo product. However, my two kids have spent countless hours of pure, unadulterated fun with the Wii, DS (all released varieties) and 3DS.

    Only hoping that your successors at Nintendo can continue with your legacy of providing sane and fun entertainment for ages to come. Your heritage will not be forgotten.

  4. wolfetone

    55 is no age. I feel for the family he leaves behind, knowing how crap it was when my own Dad died I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    Who knows what the future may hold, but you can go at any time. Live for the moment, do your best, live your life without regret. I'd like to think Iwata-san did that.

    RIP Iwata-san.

  5. ColonelClaw

    This is the guy who, when Nintendo's fortunes took a dive, insisted on not cutting worker's jobs, but instead cut executive's pay. That makes him awesome.

    Rest in peace

  6. John H Woods Silver badge

    According to the Graun ...

    ... he said, at the 2005 Game Developers Conference:

    "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."

    Such a shame he hit Game Over at only Level 55. Let us hope he continues to be an inspiration.

  7. John Sanders

    Rest in peace

    Sad to go at that age, thanks for all the good moments Mr Iwata.

  8. Banksy


    RIP Iwata-san. Sad news.

  9. Stevie Silver badge


    Nintendo will always have a place in history as the firm who showed everyone and his dog that gaming consoles a) were not a dead-and-loving-it idea and 2) did not have to become a cess pit of ill-written software dashed off for the quick buck a-la Atari.

    Nintendo are the reason you have X-Box and Playstation today.

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