Satoru Iwata put lots of effort into the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's late Satoru Iwata was extremely instrumental in creating the new unique Switch console/handheld hybrid.

Published Wed, Feb 15 2017 5:48 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:56 AM CST

Nintendo's late president Satoru Iwata was one of the major transformative forces in the company's history, and he his legacy is full of impressive hardware innovations. The Nintendo Switch, the company's new unique console-handheld hybrid, is no exception, and Iwata invested lots of personal and professional effort into manifesting the particulars of the system.

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When I watched the Nintendo Switch reveal event I could swear Iwata was watching too. I could see Iwata's touch in all of the Switch's features and experiences: the infinite possibilities of fun with 1-2 Switch, the unique transforming tablet and JoyCons combo, the ability to take the Switch anywhere and play it with anyone at any time. These were things that Iwata went through great lengths to plan out before his untimely death in 2015.

"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," Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto said in a recent TIME interview.

"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."

Read Also: Nintendo Switch is the gamer's dream, says Hideo Kojima

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The Nintendo Switch had been in early stages of development for quite some time, and the Wii U was a stepping stone to the new system. The dismal sales performance of the Wii U taught Nintendo invaluable lessons--lessons that Satoru Iwata took to heart and used to create the Switch's early "NX" prototype stages.

Since Iwata was an actual games developer, Miyamoto says that he would constantly try to tackle and figure out technical aspects of the Switch and how these features could provide fun experiences for players.

"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," Miyamoto continued.

"For example, think about when we added the ability to use a browser on the DS [Nintendo's two-screen gaming handheld-the browser was added to North American systems in 2007]. 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."

Although Iwata may be gone, his legacy lives on, and I like to think that every Nintendo Switch will have a little piece of him inside it.

The Nintendo Switch launches in just a few short weeks on March 3, 2017 for $299. Check below for a massive catalog of everything we know about the system so far.

Everything we know about the Nintendo Switch:


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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