In front of a packed auditorium, Iwata made a number of significant announcements relating to Nintendo’s current and future hardware platforms.
Speaking at length on the follow-up to GameCube – codenamed ‘Revolution’ – Iwata said that the console was proceeding on schedule, while revealing it would support backwards-compatibility and Wi-Fi functionality.
Indeed, online gaming – something Nintendo has thus far largely shrugged off while its rivals have prepared for the longhaul – formed a key aspect of his speech.
In a surprise announcement, the Nintendo president also said DS owners would soon be able to experience wireless Internet play for free, via hotspots in the home, hotel or café.
An online-enabled version of cult community-based GameCube title Animal Crossing was confirmed by Nintendo as a key upcoming DS title that will take advantage of this enhanced functionality. Revolution itself will be able to communicate with DS and the eventual sequel to GBA via Wi-Fi.
"This is Nintendo's plan: make our existing game world better," Iwata said. "For us, this is a passion. This is a mission of adventure."
Elsewhere, Iwata unveiled a spectacular and extensive new trailer for the next Legend of Zelda title, set to be GameCube’s last significant triple-A release when it ships towards the end of this year.