(born December 6, 1959), current global president of Nintendo
and former president of HAL Laboratory
. He started at HAL as a regular programmer, and was notable for helping create Balloon Fight
, Kirby and for singlehandedly reprogramming EarthBound
from scratch midway through development, rescuing the entire project when all seemed lost. During his tenure as head of HAL Laboratory, he was also responsible for porting the battle codes for the original Pokémon
games in order for them to be used in Pokemon Stadium
as well as compressing both Pokemon Gold And Silver
to allow enough room to include the Kanto
region. After attaining a high ranking position at Nintendo, he became its global president after Hiroshi Yamauchi went into retirement. Both the Wii
and Nintendo DS
were promoted under his leadership with absolute full backing. He has since served as the executive producer of all Nintendo software, including outsourced projects.
His identity as Nintendo's global president is cemented through Iwata Asks
, where he interviews key designers for upcoming games released on the Nintendo platform and as the host of every Nintendo Direct
, which announces new games and information.
Works Iwata was personally involved in:
Tropes associated with Iwata:
- Catchphrase: In every Nintendo Direct he shows up, Directly to you. Complete with its own pose.
- "Please understand" is also associated with him.
- Genius Programming: Including the examples above, he spent a lot of time in his youth creating games using a pocket calculator and as well as disassembling Commodore computer programs entirely through writing it down by hand.
- Mandatory Unretirement: Iwata largely retired from programming after becoming Nintendo's General Manager, but before the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Iwata discovered that the game was close to missing its launch date due to last minute complications in development. So he went to HAL Laboratory as acting head debugging, fixed most of the bugs, found the source of those bugs, and got everyone to fix the problem in little more than three weeks.
- Memetic Hand Gesture: Seen in the page image (animation visible here◊), done every time the word "directly" or "direct" (or in the Japanese versions, "chokusetsu", Japanese for "directly") is mentioned in a Nintendo Direct. (Other Nintendo Direct hosts also do this, though.)
- The Rival: At his time as a programmer at HAL Laboratory, he saw himself as this to Shigeru Miyamoto, though it was completely one-sided.