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Tech by VICE

This Is Why Nintendo's CEO Was So Beloved

Biographical video outlines the highlights of Iwata's life.

by Leif Johnson
Oct 16 2016, 4:00pm

It's been over a year since the world of video games lost Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, and for many the pain has yet to wear off. YouTube's DidYouKnowGaming recently honored that legacy with a biographical video detailing the events and philosophies that sculpted him into such a pivotal figure in his field.

Iwata's passion grew with the industry itself. The mid-'70s found him using the first magnetic card-programmable calculator—a Hewlett-Packard 65—to create simple games for his friends, and he later helped HAL Laboratory transform from a group of friends hanging around the PC section of a department store into a notable game company. His politician father, meanwhile, disapproved of all of this.

But there were great things ahead for Iwata, who eventually became a major figure at Nintendo through his work with HAL Laboratory. He believed innovations in player interaction were more important than the graphical advances pursued by the likes of Sony and Microsoft, which in time led to the stunning successes of the Wii and Nintendo DS consoles. He acted nobly even in Nintendo's dark hours, as he halved his salary to protect his employees following the disappointing sales of 2012's Wii U.

The video tells all these tales and more. Whether you're interested in gaming or technology in general, it's a fascinating and moving glimpse into a life so rich that, on the gloomy day of Iwata's funeral, former Sonic the Hedgehog developer Yuji Naka was heard to say that "Even the sky in Kyoto is crying."