Often, when we remember people, we tend to think only about what they accomplished in their lifetime. However, many great figures leave lasting impressions and help contribute to something that won't be completed until after they pass. Such is the case with the Switch and late Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with TIME magazine earlier this month to discuss all things Switch-related, including just how much Iwata influenced the development of Nintendo's next big idea.
Though Miyamoto had a hand in developing Switch, he says it was Iwata who really drove the console's design. When asked if there was anything in particular about Switch that reflected Iwata's involvement, Miyamoto suggested that it's the device's emphasis on being portable that Iwata really pushed for.
"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. 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." — Shigeru Miyamoto
According to Miyamoto, Iwata also played a huge role on the technical side, such as incorporating mobile devices and making network capabilities fun.
"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. 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." — Shigeru Miyamoto
I think it's pretty safe to say that without Iwata, the Switch as we know it might not exist. Only time will tell whether or not this goes down as one of his many shining accomplishments. I certainly hope it does.