Personally, I don’t think much would have changed as far as hardware and software go. Kimishima pretty much followed Iwata’s gameplay. Iwata had more fan relation stuff, but toward the end people were getting really obnoxious toward him, mocking his accent, mocking what his words, and even making posts about how investors need to force Iwata out of the company. In light of that, I have a bit of satisfaction that Furukawa doesn’t do the same PR as Iwata did.
While Street Pass would be cool, it ran out of steam after 2 or 3 years on the 3DS. I would still get people, but it wasn’t like the 1-3 dozen I’d get during the earlier periods. It’s not that people got tired of it, it’s that Nintendo didn’t have the capacity to support it very well. I’d love to have Street Pass Switch, but maybe it didn’t serve business goals - they put later stuff behind a pay wall and it meant few people actually played it. Had Nintendo gone with more of a freemium approach, like their mobile stuff, I think it would have been a lot more successful with gamers and for them, business wise. Anyway, I’d say the lack of Streetpass on Switch isn’t because of the lack of Iwata - rather, I feel Iwata might have been the guy that said NOT to put it on Switch.
While Iwata was very much into inventive thinking, he also knew what babies to kill when they weren’t working. So, I don’t think Streetpass would still be around.
But I like Switch’s consistency a lot more than the end of the Wii and the Wii U/3DS era. And I think this comes from Iwata’s goals, and Kimishima & Furukawa’s teams have executed this with mastery - and a lot of this structuring is Iwata. The DS/Wii eras were the most stable Nintendo had ever felt... until the Switch. Going back: the NES era was a huge mess, availability was inconsistent with how it’d be available in certain cities but not others - how it would be priced more than double in some countries compared to others - game availability, again, inconsistent. A lot of this was technology limitations. SNES was more stable, but had huge problems with at least half the must-have games being imports, requiring Fire Converters or emulators to even play. N64 and GameCube suffered massive droughts - it wasn’t a case of “there’s nothing new worth playing this month” it was a case of “literally no new games released this month.” - in the N64 and GameCube era. With the Wii and DS, there was always a selection of new games every week. Switch has improved on that - it basically has the Wii and DS release volume combined, on one platform!
The major difference would be in media presentation. But assessment of the Switch on VGC isn’t particularly accurate to reality. Many people here have this weird mindset in saying “If I don’t see it in a Nintendo Direct, then it didn’t happen” which is not how the vast majority of Switch owners and potential owners see things. There is a Game YouTube Channel and social media pages constantly updated, Nintendo markets all over the place. For Switch owners, there is a news channel with lots of content each day. And for the most part, Nintendo Directs are pretty poor at talking about games, especially that big one earlier this year - so pretending like that’s the only way Nintendo talks about stuff is actually a little bit foolish, and not helpful to anyone. I am not sure Iwata would necessarily still be getting his face out everywhere as he was getting bashed on social media after every single appearance in his later years. The limited face time of Nintendo’s big wigs in PR might actually be Iwata’s recommendation, I don’t know.
Last edited by Jumpin - on 07 April 2021
So, in my opinion. Not much would have changed were Iwata around. The Switch is doing what it needs to, probably, better than any past Nintendo console. But, like Iwata, Furukawa is a fixer, and he seems to be looking at the future problems stresses are leading to, and fixing them before they arise. I don’t think Iwata would do much differently, as this was basically what he was doing for the DS and Wii era. I see Furukawa as very much the successor of Iwata’s team, and Iwata the successor of Gunpei Yokoi’s legacy.