Satoru Iwata is Next Generation’s 2007 Person of the Year

225_satoru-iwata.jpgThis past year was arguably a year of high’s and more high’s for Nintendo. Any of the firm’s blemishes were easily washed away by its monthly successes, and the core gamer — the everyman and woman who once again controls the fate of the video game industry — would tell you that Nintendo met their expectations and then some (with the exception, of course, that supply chain issues will cost the company an estimated $1 billion). That said, room for growth exists in spades, and I fully expect 2008 to be another banner year for the house that Mario built.

In that light, I suppose it is fitting that the head of Nintendo, President and CEO Satoru Iwata, would top the Top 25 People of 2007 list over at Next Generation.

1. Satoru Iwata, President and CEO, Nintendo

The story of 2007 was for all intents and purposes the story of Nintendo. It was the story of the Wii, the year’s biggest cultural phenomenon by any metric, and how it remained perpetually sold out no matter how many Nintendo could muster its factories to make. It was the story of competition caught flat-footed, how other hardware manufacturers worked to steal some small portion of Nintendo’s new market even as third parties scrambled to get something, anything out on Wii. It was the story of Satoru Iwata, a man Barron’s listed as one of the world’s best CEOs, and how he led his company back to market leadership. He is the obvious choice for Next-Gen’s person of the year.

This is a well deserved honor and in my humble opinion it is only the beginning. I think I speak for all of Infendo when I say congratulations, Iwata-san. May your best years — and Nintendo’s — be ahead.