Can Iwata become the Steve Jobs of Nintendo?

What do you think? Could the Revolution be Ninny’s version of the iPod and totally dump the industry on it’s head? Take the GameCube, add a little “hip”, some new play mechanics, and design the hardware in an intuitive fashion… Presto!


  1. Steve Jobs ripps people off by not giving them money back for crappy batteries. Iwata wouldn’t do that.

  2. Of course, we could consider the HD and/or lack of ethernet port areas to fill the role of the battery issue on Iwata’s side.

  3. I think he can become a Steve Jobs of the gaming industry, but all the big companys have people that could become icons too. Ken “work for the PS3” Kutaragi, this Allard guy from MS and Nintendo also has the Reggienator 😉
    But Iwata is a bit different in my opinion. He really is about games and gaming. I have the speech he gave at the GDC and it really was interesting, funny and the audience liked him.

  4. I think he can but with less hippy-esq ideas in comparison with JOBS who sometimes is stupid IMO. However, it seems nobody but Jobs can run Apple well. Everybody else that tried has failed. I just dislike Jobs that is all. As for Iwata, I think he has the correct vision; after all, he is a Gamer. I rather have a Gamer controlling a game company than somebody from marketing as some of these other game companies do.

  5. Agree with sturek – I saw Nintendo’s 2005 e3 presentation and Iwata looked and spoke like a genuine gamer. I think only he could say things like: “What makes you happy [playing Nintendo games] make us happy.” and get away with it. Could you imagine Kutaragi saying something like that and not being laughed at?

    But Nintendo has always been good at that PR sort of thing. There’s Nintendo the efficient and (sometimes) ruthless Japanese company and then theres the human side of this large corporation: the Miyamoto’s and Iwata’s of the company.

    At the end of the day though Nintendo is a business that is really good at what it does: making high quality mass-market consoles and games.

  6. I believe there are several things that would prevent this from happening.
    Firstly, I find Iwata’s English, though good, is a little tricky to understand at times. Secondly, I don’t think he has the charisma required for such an iconic position.
    What Nintendo should do is combine Iwata and Reggie into a the dynamic duo of gaming. Reggie, the man with charisma to spare, who kicks arses and takes names. Iwata the gamer who understands gamers and has the power to change gaming for the better. They should have each playing off one another, combining their respective strengths and making a combination the other companies can’t beat. In the same way the combination of Mario and Zelda will always outsell the GTAs and Halos of this world, the combination of Reggie and Iwata will, in my opinion, set the gaming world alight.

  7. But is it charisma that sells products or a solid business plan?

    You can have the most charismatic people working for you but if your business model just doesn’t add up your business will ultimately fail.

    Look at Sony/SCE, you have any number of faceless dullards working for them but they have so far succeeded because they have a solid business plan.

    Sure it’d be great to have both but ultimately it’s a solid business plan and talented people working for you which will achieve results.

  8. After listening to Satoru Iwata’s keynote speech from the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco my first thought was he sounded a lot like Steve Jobs. I found him to be a charismatic visionary with a understanding of the Gaming industry and Gamers. I agree with Yorrike on the idea of using both Iwata and Reggie as the company represetive’s in North America would be best. I like Reggie’s agressive style and Iwata’s heart.

    If you havn’t listend to Iwata’s Speach at the Game Developers Conference yet, here is the link to download the MP3:

  9. I like Iwata alot, he seems like ‘one of us’ in that he may not have the best stage presence (which to be honest Jobs is pretty impossible to beat there), he does appeal to the geek in all of us.

    He has the possibility of taking a similar role for the games industry as Steve does for the computer industry, however he and Nintendo really need to start being more aggressive. It almost seems like Nintendo is a cowering puppy in the gaming world these days. I think for Nintendo to do an Apple and start making a giant come-back, they need to take on Apple’s stance of being the best of the best and not afraid to tell people about it.

    Oh and the iPod battery comment could be said for a GBA SP losing its charge after a year or two. If that kind of argument is the only one a person can come up with it’s pretty pathetic. NO company goes around providing free repairs years after the warranty expires.

  10. I like Iwata a lot too :oP

    He’a a real genuine guy – and seems to know what he’s doing. It’s Iwata, after all, that saw the masterful worldwide launch of the DS AGAINST the mighty Sony and PSP.

    I feel optimistic that Iwata can reinvent and reinvigorate Nintendo (and take over from Yamauchi’s legacy). It started with the GBA SP and continuing with DS, Micro and the Rev.

    Now all Nintendo need to do is reinvigorate their franchises – we have an older Link in TP. Now, how about an older (more mature) Mario?

  11. I don’t know about Iwata being the next Jobsy, but I think it’s possible the GB Micro could be the next iPod.

  12. Older Mario? in his 50’s? menopausic Queen Peach? its not the same…

    Steve Jobs uses the fact that apple is such a likable company right from their logo. Every time you see the apple it bring you memories of yore of easy and clean computing (altough quality means expensive) but everyone knows or thinks is worth it. Ask anyone buying a new computer, ask them if they would consider a Apple and they would say “Yeah, I’ll would buy it. but I rather have unestability and problems of windows and hundreds of cheaper and free software.” But ask an apple fan and its a different story. Kind of a Nintendo Fan. You like quality altough it may only come from inside Nintendo and you are willling to sacrife hundreds of gaming hours just for a few quality ones with their products. Do I make myself clear? I hope so.

    Steve Jobs once had a stance like “we are the best and you should join us, if you want the best” but that made him seem wacko since everyone was doin better than him. Now that they delivered since the Imac and OSX they actually are and don’t even have to tell us that. Word of mouth is that they are the best in the market. even when it seems they may be lagging in technology against its competitors an IPOD is AN IPOD and whenever you see someone carrying one you say “that girl is probably a very cool person, I wanna go talk to her!” which you don’t say from a Sony Network Walkman “That guy sucks, doesn’t he know that Sony products uses that Atrac Shit that makes you hate music, let’s go kick his ass and probably he’ll ask for more beating, HAHAHAHA!!”

    Now, Nintendo is turning into kind of apple, they were leaders of their markets, (not today) but everyone recognizes their quality even if they squeeze every last drop of their succesful choices (mario & IPOD). In the photo they even look the same weren’t for the asian & western figures, they seem to have the same taste. The both companies are very profitable agaisnt they giants they face SOny & Microsoft which both lose millions before even building them thru Research & Development (asking people what they want, and then adding their little monopolic ideas which totally mess with their progress) making a profit on their products after years of sales, if they even make one ever. They both target their fans first and then ask for more people to come by, mostly new comers. They know what portability means. so there. my hands hurts… oh, I forgot they question!

    CAn Iwata become the Steve Jobs of Nintendo? Yes
    Should Nintendo turn him into Steve Jobs? No
    Should Nintendo Try a Good Cop Bad Cop with Iwata & Regis at the same time? Totally.

  13. Besides you guys are mistaken by saying the Gameboy Micro is the next IPOD. is the other way.

    The IPOD is The Next GAMEBOY. The gameboy has Always Been a giant. The IPOD turned into A Gameboy kind of Success. Funny thing is they kind of got the blessing from IBM which help them develop their systems… coincidence?

  14. “Older Mario? in his 50’s? menopausic Queen Peach? its not the same…” – anonymous

    Nintendo DO need to reinvent Mario. I’m not suggesting anything drastic.

    Look at how the original Tomb Raider team/creator are attempting to remodel Lara Croft for example. Nintendo desperately needs to reinvent their characters and give them a graphical face-lift and makeover.

    Or perhaps even go the other way and do a Mario prequel where we see, say, a slimmer and younger Mario.

  15. Why on earth are we talking about charisma? The fact is, is that charisma doesn’t make good games. We look at what this “Jobs” guy did, he reinvented ipods and made lots of money. Look at what Iwata has done for portables, he took the same old same old buttons and D-pad gameboys, and he made a totally new gaming expereince, and I anticipate him to do the same with the Revolution. Refreshing gameplay is what he’s offering, and I think thats what the gaming world needs right now.

  16. “Of course, we could consider the HD and/or lack of ethernet port areas to fill the role of the battery issue on Iwata’s side.”

    Hmm, the Revolution has 2 USB ports, and one can have a usb ethernet adapter…

    Hard drive? Hello, we are looking for a cheap console to produce! The Revolution has 512MB and SD card slot, what more do you want?

    To asnwer the question, Iwata should not become a Steve Jobs. Besides, if you asked the average Joe or Jane who owns an ipod, they would most likely not recognize who Steve Jobs is.

    The difference between Apple and Nintendo is Apple creates quality products with a HIGH price tag. Nintendo does the same thing, but at an economical and affordable price.

  17. To be honest… yes.

  18. I got a PowerBook and a GCN, an iPod and a DS, an Airport Express that will soon be powering my Rev’s wireless…

    All my best electronics are made by Nintendo and Apple, and those two companies are some of the few who I could picture getting together not in an attempt to control the industry, but to make their products better.

    I don’t think Iwata could become an icon of Nintendo, I mean, Steve Jobs is a great speaker, but Iwata seems to speak fro the heart. Jobs tries to sell stuff, Iwata just kinda tells it as it is, as if he’s sharing this great vision… So no, I don’t see him becoming a figure like Jobs, actually I’d probably compare Reggie more to Jobs than him… good speaker, we’re here, we kick ass attitude. Heh, good cop / bad cop duo indeed…

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