Meet the New Faces of Nintendo

Dec 8, 2012
You may have been distracted by Nintendo introducing their new video game system, but they also used the event to showcase talent who may form their new leadership team.

Tatsumi Kimishima, the new president of Nintendo kept it low-key, introducing basic product features before handing off the presentation. He seems to have little interest in replicating Iwata's performances. Perhaps he sees himself more as a steward of the company responsible for grooming leaders from the younger generation including an eventual replacement.

Yoshiaki Koizumi, your MC for the night, was the real star of the show. He has an impressive pedigree, from sneaking backstory into Miyamoto games to directing Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Super Mario Galaxy. He went on to serve as the head of the Tokyo based Software Development Group 2, responsible for 3D Mario games. He serves as the Deputy General Manager of Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development, which oversees all Nintendo game development. And of course is now General Manager for the Switch. If this post has some truth to it I have a feeling you're going to like him.

Shinya Takahashi, General Manager for Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development is the top man in charge of all Nintendo software. Before the restructuring he was head of Nintendo SPD, the division which coordinated Nintendo games made by external development studios and developed system software for Nintendo hardware.

Kouichi Kawamoto has been involved with the WarioWare and Brain Age games. He worked in the Software Development & Design Department which was responsible for UI design on the Wii and DS systems.

Hisashi Nogami was the director of the first few Animal Crossing games. He led the Software Development Group 2 at EAD, responsible for the Wii Sports, Nintendo Land and Animal Crossing games. He then served as producer for the Splatoon games.

Kosuke Yabuki has been with Nintendo since 2005, and has relatively fewer games credited to him. He served as director for Mario Kart 7 and 8.

The Old Guard popped in for a quick cameo. They didn't show up on stage or have their names ever appear on screen.

Bill Trinen let the new translators have a go at it. He'll be keeping his job.

What do you think of the new crowd? Nuke from orbit if bad thread.
Jul 1, 2014
New faces are "old" faces but new FACES. I found that quite cool, striking and significant. No prominent role for Miyamoto.

Loved that Koizumi got to shine a bit and people finally meeting Takahashi, the new man with Miyamoto's old job so we can move on from "uuugh, Miyamoto meddling with all my gaems!"
Mar 21, 2014
Really enjoyed seeing Koizumi present today. After reading the post in the OP I like him even more now.

Hope to see more of him and be the goofy face that takes over from Iwata in future directs.
Feb 4, 2016
Yeah, I think one of the cool things about the conference is that it showed more who is the fresh leading talent at Nintendo; that it's not just Miyamoto, Aonuma and Reggie holding back the tide of investors who want Nintendo to go full Mobile. It kind of helped the show the depth of their idiosyncratic development culture, especially Koizumi's demonstration of the Joy-Con's capabilities.
Apr 21, 2012
Koizumi forever man. What an atmosphere he had a hand in for links awakening! Not to mention galaxy is a knock out of the park.
Oct 31, 2013
That one translator was hilariously bad, Maybe because the guy he was translating wasn't reading off a script, but he was superbad.
That was during Suda51's bit, right? I mean, Suda51 is an eccentric dude. I don't speak Japanese, so I just assumed that he was indeed saying lots of unscripted and untranslatable weird Suda51 stuff on stage and the translator just went "WTF???!?? PLZ HELP!!!"

That translator-BSoD was the best bit of the presentation, btw.
Oct 15, 2012
Koizumi is my man, the 3D marios and galaxies were incredible. He understands what kind if gameplay and polish they need. I am excited to see what he does with Odyssey.