• 03. Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo

July 3, 2012 Update: The Wii U had an okay showing at E3. It didn't generate the buzz that the Wii did when E3 attendees first got their hands on that console, but it didn't flop either. Nintendo has gathered, at minimum, improved short-term third-party support for Wii U and has demonstrated, with MiiVerse, the first online Nintendo service that ever seemed comprehensive enough to succeed. Nintendo's 3DS had a solid showing at E3, and, post-E3, the company revealed a 3DS upgrade, the 3DS XL, which is getting extremely positive early reviews. All in all, a good month for Nintendo, if not the kind of blockbuster that would vault Iwata over Mattrick.

April 27, 2012 Update: Those huge losses that were expected back in february hit an official report of Nintendo's first ever annual loss.

Feb 20, 2012 Update: Not good: Nintendo posting an annual loss. Good: 3DS reaching five million units in Japan faster than any other gaming machine, ever. Let's call it a wash. Position holds.

Why He's Powerful

The former head of HAL Laboratory and the most powerful man in gaming who ever actually made a video game, Satoru Iwata is the president of a Nintendo in transition.

Under his leadership Nintendo revived itself and thrived for most of the past decade with the Nintendo DS and the Wii. His company still boasts the most popular roster of characters in gaming, including Mario, Zelda and the Miis. It still publishes Pokémon. But its new 3DS has met doubters in this age of smart-phone gaming and its Wii U currently suffers as much skepticism prior to its late-2012 launch than the Wii before it.

The gaming industry knows it is unwise to doubt Nintendo, but whether to follow them in the months ahead is a question back up for debate.

Iwata can at least be confident that, since the fall, the 3DS has been hitting its stride.