For years, late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has been the public face of Nintendo Direct, a live broadcast program which delivers Nintendo news “directly” to gamers. It has been running up till today but more prominently presented by other faces in the company, such as Yoshiaki Koizumi, Shinya Takahashi, and Reggie Fils-Aime.
The first Nintendo Direct was streamed live on October 21, 2011. From the very first Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata appeared in nearly all major Directs, giving a personal touch to these broadcasts.
Iwata took this opportunity to show his good sense of humor, and his passion for games was evident through the way he presented during various Nintendo Direct presentations. In fact, Nintendo Direct was Iwata’s very own idea of connecting with Nintendo fans. Speaking “directly” to customers wasn’t something many company heads or CEOs would do.
Unfortunately, Iwata left us in July 2015 while fighting cancer. Although Nintendo Direct will never feel the same after his passing, the many Nintendo Directs Iwata appeared in continues to live on. Let’s take a look at some memorable, humorous, and notable Nintendo Direct videos Iwata presented in.
Nintendo Direct – October 21, 2011
The first Nintendo Direct was broadcasted on UStream. Satoru Iwata introduced to gamers new features from the first major Nintendo 3DS system update and Mario Kart 7.
Nintendo Direct – April 14, 2012 (South Korea)
In the first South Korean Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata directly addressed gamers in Korean. This means Iwata knew how to speak in three languages – Japanese, English, and Korean. April 2012 was also the same month the Nintendo 3DS officially launched in South Korea.
Wii U Direct – November 7, 2012 (Japan)
During the Japanese Wii U Direct on November 7, 2012, Satoru Iwata did a live unboxing of the Wii U Premium Set. He even wore white gloves to make sure there aren’t any fingerprints left by his hands!
Nintendo Direct – February 14, 2013
In a segment of the Japanese “Year of Luigi” Nintendo Direct, Iwata appeared wearing a Luigi cap, and Shigeru Miyamoto came along with a “working” Poltergust 5000.
Nintendo Direct Luigi Special 2 – April 17, 2013 (Japan)
While there was also another Nintendo Direct that aired on the same day in North America and Europe, the Japanese “Luigi Special 2” Direct featured numerous amounts of Luigi surrounding Satoru Iwata. This was to introduce the Special Year of Luigi Nintendo 3DS LL.
Nintendo Direct@E3 2013 – June 11, 2013
2013 marked the first year Nintendo stopped hosting traditional press conferences at E3. Instead the company opted for a better “Direct” approach to reach out to gamers worldwide. During Nintendo Direct@E3 2013, Satoru Iwata presented from the company HQ’s conference room. It was considered one of the “best Nintendo E3s” in recent years, thanks to the extensive lineup of games.
Nintendo Direct – August 7, 2013
While there wasn’t anything notable of Iwata during the American and European Nintendo Direct on August 7th, the Japanese version featured Iwata wearing Sengoku period style clothing, standing in front of a war camp backdrop to promote Koei Tecmo’s Nobunaga Yabou game for 3DS.
Nintendo Direct – Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre – November 27, 2013
During this Nintendo Direct, Iwata and Miyamoto visted the Louvre Museum in Paris, viewing paintings and demonstrating how to use Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre as an audio and visual guide. This was the first Nintendo Direct where Iwata toured a location while demoing the game itself, so it was a rather unique Direct.
Nintendo E3 Digital Event – June 10, 2014
Iwata briefly appeared in the first segment of the Nintendo Digital Event, “fighting” Reggie Fils-Aime in a CGI video which introduced the world to amiibo and Mii characters in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It would later become a really popular meme among members of the gaming community.
Nintendo Direct – April 2, 2015
In the Japanese Nintendo Direct on April 2nd, Iwata made Nintendo PR manager Morimoto a co-host of Nintendo Direct. It was this Nintendo Direct where Nintendo fans have begun to notice how much weight Iwata has lost from battling his illness. Unfortunately, this Nintendo Direct marks Iwata’s final appearance, as Morimoto took over Iwata’s duties hereafter.
And that comes to the end of what we think are Iwata’s most notable appearances in Nintendo Direct throughout the years. Sometimes, it still feels unbelievable that Iwata is no longer with us. Iwata tried his hardest to continue delivering news “directly” to Nintendo fans right till the very end.
His impact will continue to be felt for years to come, whether it’s Nintendo Direct or Nintendo’s philosophy of creating fun and unique experiences for everyone.