Look, guys, I know that I talk a lot about PS3 games, but I really do have a soft spot Nintendo. They are such a lovable company. I mean, have you ever watched their version of a press release?
THAT IS SO SILLY. Everything about that video is silly. Playstation would never do something like that. Xbox would never do something like that. Playstation and Xbox would make a video with a bunch of driving metal music and a deep-voiced announcer would tell you how EXTREME and MIND-BLOWING their new games are. And I mean, don’t get me wrong, that’s also cool, but it is infinitely less charming.
While Playstation and Xbox have been busy competing to have the best hardware, graphics, and online multiplayer experiences, Nintendo has been derping along their own delightful, wacky path, creating technology for gamers that we didn’t even know we needed. A handheld with two screens, the lower of which is a touch screen? Whaaat? A motion-controlled console with PlayStation2 era graphics? Whyyyy? A handheld with glasses-free 3D? Crazypants!
As weird and unnecessary as these ideas sound on paper, in practice, and paired with Nintendo’s constant commitment to making amazing first-party games, the success of the company is hard to match. Even if the Wii U’s sales haven’t been as strong as Nintendo hoped, they are improving now that Nintendo has started releasing more of those excellent first-party games for which the company is known. Nintendo even recently announced their intention to enter the mobile market, resulting in an immediate and significant uptick in stock prices.
From my personal Nintendo experience, I can tell you that while I no longer play my Wii as much as I ought (especially given that I have not yet beaten either Skyward Sword or Xenoblade Chronicles), my 3DS XL is my constant companion. The very first review I ever posted on this blog was of A Link Between Worlds, the superlatively excellent 3DS Zelda release. The 3DS is a perfect handheld for a busy professional, as I can whip it out and play it for five to ten minutes while waiting in line, eating my lunch, or sitting at the doctor’s office. Just carrying it my purse is a form of gaming, as I earn Play Coins for every step I take and Streetpasses for every other 3DS I pass.
All this is to say that the modern Nintendo is a charming and wonderful company responsible for a great number of recent gaming innovations, and I feel that many of these innovations can be directly attributed to this charming and wonderful man:
LOOK AT HIM. JUST LOOK AT HIM. He is STUPIDLY ADORABLE. Look at his LUIGI HAT. I want to give that man a hug and drink tea with him. He is literally the cutest CEO that has EVER EXISTED.
Sadly, I will never get the chance to give Iwata-san a hug or have tea with him. Satoru Iwata died on Saturday. He was only 55. Iwata’s deep, honest, and cheerful excitement about all things gaming was an incalculably valuable asset to Nintendo as a company. Whomever Nintendo selects to fill Iwata’s position has enormous shoes to fill.
Rest in peace, Satoru Iwata. Gamers will miss you.