President and Chairman, Nintendo (1949–2002, 2002–2005)
September 19, 2013 will be a date that numerous gamers, especially Nintendo fans, around the world will never forget: Nintendo’s 3rd President, Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away at age 85 due to reported complications of pneumonia.
Mr. Yamauchi was (and forever will be) one of the principal cornerstones of Nintendo’s advancement. In fact, without Yamauchi, who knows if the company would have ever progressed into what it is today as he was the one responsible for bringing Nintendo’s electronic evolution. Many of you may not know that the Nintendo company actually started as a playing cards manufacturer factory which much later proceeded to be a toy making company. Yes, you read right: playing cards and toy making. Ever since he became Chairman of Nintendo in 1949, Yamauchi ruled with a firm fist and never lost faith in his company’s capacity and staff’s competence. It was Yamauchi’s polished observational skills for innovation that provided a gateway for Nintendo to maintain relevance in the worldwide market. He was responsible for bringing the legendary Famicom and overlooking all the marvelous console systems until the GameCube. During the latter console’s developement, he decided to step back and appointed Satoru Iwata as his successor – which I believe has been doing an exceptional job at keeping Nintendo’s name relevant in the industry.
Satoru Iwata, 4th President of Nintendo
Yamauchi kept true to Nintendo and his vision of maintaining the future in scope while working endlessly to make it the present and a reality to gamers around the globe. Under Yamauchi, Nintendo was ruled under the premises of originality, entertainment, and availability: Yamauchi believed in people having the opportunity to be able to play one-of-a-kind videogames that provided unique experiences at the most inexpensive price possible. Through that vision, games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario 64, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, and Starfox (all developed by famous gaming icon Shigeru Miyamoto) came into existence.
Yamauchi retired from Nintendo on 2005 feeling that his advancing age would interfere with Nintendo’s progress. Nonetheless, he left satisfied with his work and believing in Satoru Iwata’s skill and expertise in driving the company into further successes. Sadly, Yamauchi will not be able to see his company strive forward as 1-Ups do not exist.
May you rest in peace, Hiroshi Yamauchi.