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.
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."
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:
- Nintendo Switch supports wireless Bluetooth headsets
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild has $20 season pass
- Nintendo Switch uses 20nm Maxwell Tegra SoC
- Nintendo Switch easy for devs, light years past Wii U
- Hitman dev may be working on new IP for Nintendo Switch
- Nintendo Switch could get Wii U game remasters
- 3DS supported alongside Switch 'for the time being'
- Devs can 'easily' port PC games to the Nintendo Switch
- Nintendo Switch JoyCons have 525mAh lithium ion battery
- Nintendo Switch is the gamer's dream, says Hideo Kojima
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild is about doing things your way
- Nintendo Switch has over 100 games in development
- Nintendo Switch paid online service only costs $26 a year
- Nintendo Switch appeals to Japanese smartphone gamers
- New Zelda is based on three words 'climb, live, protect'
- EA: Nintendo listening to third-party Switch game devs
- First footage of Nintendo Switch's touchscreen in action
- Nintendo Switch games lineup: a visual guide
- Nintendo Switch replaces Wii U on Nintendo homesite
- Nintendo Switch battery life analysis
- Resident Evil 7 isn't coming to Nintendo Switch
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Hyrule is bigger than Skyrim
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild has an awesome physics engine
- Switch's 4310mAh battery takes 3 hours to fully recharge
- Could the Nintendo Switch's add-on processor box be the key to unlocking its full potential and boost CPU/GPU power via NVIDIA's cloud servers?
- Nintendo Switch will have 'steady pacing of content'
- Nintendo Switch's paid online subscription is specifically made to attract third-party devs
- Switch is all about 'playing games anywhere with anyone'
- Nintendo Switch will have 'steady pacing of content'
- Putting Nintendo Switch launch games into perspective
- Stock Nintendo Switch JoyConGrip won't recharge JoyCons
- The new Zelda game takes up nearly half Switch's storage
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild runs at 900p 30FPS docked, 720p 30FPS undocked
- Nintendo Switch supports 2TB Micro SDXC cards
- Nintendo Switch online chat requires smartphone app
- Here's why Nintendo Switch doesn't come with any games
- Nintendo will soon charging gamers to play online multiplayer via subscription service
- Nintendo Switch UI revealed, let's take a closer look
- Nintendo Switch touchscreen has haptic feedback tech
- Nintendo stock drops after Switch unveil event
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch runs at 1080p when docked
- Nintendo Switch hardware specs revealed
- Nintendo Switch costs $299, coming March 3
- Nintendo Switch battery life is 2.5 hours to 6 hours
- New Mario: Odyssey game won't be Nintendo Switch launch title
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Switch launch game