With the unfortunate and untimely passing of Satoru Iwata two weeks ago, Nintendo is left in quite a bit of flux at present. It's sad, too, that Iwata had to pass on a rather flat note in his career and with so much vitriol from fans - the Nintendo 3DS, while successful, had nothing on the Nintendo DS, and the Wii U is considered a commercial failure, having not met its market reach due to the rise in tablets that have come out from other manufacturers. We saw Nintendo get completely crushed at E3 in comparison to Microsoft with their advances in virtual reality technology and with their XBOX One actually gaining steam, and with Sony's gigantic reveals of Final Fantasy VII and Shenmue III. They can only go up from there, which in comparison to their confidence at E3 2014, is flat out disappointing. With the announcement of the partnership between mobile company DeNA and Nintendo, along with the whispers of the new Nintendo console, code named the NX, where does Nintendo hope to go from here without the head of the serpent, who has been leading Nintendo through some of the finest ages of modern gaming to date? To say that Nintendo suffered a terrible loss two weeks ago is an understatement. It's something that not only hurts Nintendo, but the gaming industry as a whole. We all saw those great tributes respecting him. But not only did they lose a relatively successful president, they lost a gamer at heart who understood his audience. It's not every day you have a corporate executive reaching out to an audience in the way that he did, in moves such as the Iwata Asks interview series or his Nintendo Directs. Who doesn't remember Iwata opening up a brand new Wii U console in full suit and white surgical gloves? In terms of video gaming CEOs, who seem to have (in my opinion) forgotten about what makes video games fun in the first place, Iwata was a one of a kind individual. Finding someone next in line who can live up to that is going to be damning difficult, and quite frankly a lot of people are spooked that this successor will not be up to par in comparison with what Satoru Iwata has accomplished in over a decade of work. So, who are the two most likely successors at this point? At this point in the game, the two biggest faces that Nintendo has in terms of a new president are in the form of Genyo Takeda, the general manager of Nintendo's research division, and Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's ace card and, pretty much, the legend behind the most popular series and the king of first party games. When people hear Genyo Takeda, they ask, "who's this guy?" Genyo Takeda is one of the reasons why the Nintendo Wii was so successful - he pushed to have the user interface completely revamped and in doing so, helped bring about motion technology gaming. From what reports have said about Takeda, though, he's a tad unpopular over in Japan, and he's also 66 years old at present - something that may make him not exactly the most primed for leading a huge gaming behemoth such as Nintendo. He does however, have additional ways to spice up his image, as he was Nintendo's first developer, having created titles such as EVR Race, as well as the main force behind why players were able to save their games in The Legend of Zelda (Source). This guy has the corporate sense, though, and for a lot of people, that's what's important. And then, we have Shigeru Miyamoto. I'm pretty sure we don't need to introduce him, as almost everyone who's played video games has probably heard of him in some way, shape, or form. With his extensive resume and his vast successes at Nintendo, it's no wonder that people are clamoring for Miyamoto to take up the helm at Nintendo. While I find him to be a decent choice, his skills to me are much better in leading for software development. I don't quite know how Miyamoto would work leading, and quite frankly, a lot of people agree that Miyamoto may end up being a disastrous corporate figure. So there we have it; we have two men who are two sides of the coin that can essentially fulfill each other's weaknesses. And they are, right now, co-running Nintendo as Representative Directors. While Miyamoto is an excellent software head, his corporate leadership skills may not be up to par as much as Genyo Takeda. With Takeda being a good business executive, albeit an unpopular one, he is most likely going to be the one who takes the position as President of Nintendo. That unfortunately leaves the big question still unanswered - where does Nintendo go from there? With the Nintendo NX still shrouded in secrecy (but it did leave a positive impression to investors at E3 this year), and with the details of the partnership with DeNA so left out in the air for speculation, Nintendo is in a bit of a bind. One of my biggest fears with Nintendo is that they get a new president who starts to follow the path that a lot of companies seem to follow as of late - rehashing the same types of games for an artificial sense of profit, while at the same time, distancing themselves from their audience. More uninspired Super Mario rehashes. Honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of the “New” Super Mario Bros. Line. That’s just me though. Looking at the record, following the death of Steve Jobs at Apple, a lot of their products are losing their extravagant flair that they seem to have had - gone are the unpredictable days of innovation and in are the days where the latest technology is going to be thinner, a little bit faster, and glossed over. You hear "ONE MORE THING" and you don't see something great anymore. With Nintendo, this same logic could end up applying, and it could be disastrous for fans who wanted something more. It also doesn't do anyone any favors when their board of directors is so bent on living in the past. Living in the past and failing to embrace modern gaming is something that isn't going to end well. The recent changes to the Nintendo Miiverse (no more social media and post count per day restriction, really?), the lack of voice chat for their games, the vitriol with regards to Metroid Prime: Federation Forces, the lack of releases for the Nintendo Wii U this year, combined with the fact that Satoru Iwata is now no longer with us, it's going to be a rough time for Nintendo moving forward. That leads to another side divergent topic. I've been reading a lot of comments following Iwata's death that seem to praise his passing, with people cheering on his death as a sign that Nintendo will finally move out of the stone age. After reading a few interviews that took place with Dan Adelman, former independent gaming chief at Nintendo, and seeing how hierarchical Japanese society is, it's no surprise that things like this take a long time to move (Source). Apparently, to get something started, it has to get a vast majority of the stockholders and the board of directors to agree upon it, and that's no easy feat. All it takes, summing it broadly, is one no, and the project is a bust. Risk taking is not rewarded. From what interviews have been painting, Iwata was one of the forces of change within Nintendo, not the reason why Nintendo is holding back from its core audience. With that being kept in mind, I don't necessarily think that Nintendo is going to suddenly change its ways as quickly as some gamers seem to imagine. And don't get me wrong, I want to see a more modernized Nintendo going forward. Nintendo is at a crossroad right now - a crossroad that can see them blow our socks off at the next E3 with the revelation of the Nintendo NX console, or left in the dust as they fall into mediocrity - with the failure of the Wii U. And it doesn't get worse than this, Nintendo. Get your head out of the gutter, and impress us. With the passing of Satoru Iwata, while I have hopes for the future, I'm left hanging in fear a little bit as a company that has since dominated my household since I was a child could fall into a rut that they just might not make it out of. Will I ever see anything as maddening as the reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from 2004, again? You guys nailed it at E3 last year, and so what, you fell this year. Everyone falls once in a while, pull yourself together and get up! What are your guys' thoughts on this? Nintendo's good to go forward? Falling forever into its rut? Somewhere in between? Let me know what you think!