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Thousands attend Satoru Iwata's funeral to pay respects to the Nintendo visionary

Iwata praised for his influence that "will make people around the world smile."

Satoru Iwata may be gone but he is certainly not forgotten. Thousands attended a memorial this week in Kyoto, Japan, for the former Nintendo president, who died Saturday at the age of 55.

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Nintendo

Per Japanese custom, two days of funeral services were held. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 2,600 people visited his coffin the first day, and 1,500 came the next day.

Services were held at a temple, and some in attendance even carried a 3DS. Iwata was instrumental in launching this family of portable gaming devices that have now sold hundreds of millions units.

Among those in attendance, according to Eurogamer, were Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, former Sonic Team head Yuji Naka, Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert, and multimedia artist Baiyon. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime and producer Bill Trinen also attended.

Iwata's passing comes at a major time of change for Nintendo.

With the Wii U not seeing sales Nintendo hoped for, the company plans to launch a new home console, codenamed NX, as early as next year. In addition, the first of Nintendo's new smartphone games will debut this year, while plans are also underway for Nintendo theme park attractions.

Miyamoto and senior managing director Genyo Takeda are taking over for Iwata right now until Nintendo names a new president.

In his eulogy on Friday, Takeda said he and Miyamoto would aim to complete the work that Iwata began. Takeda went on to say that the seeds Iwata planted would someday grow into flowers "that will make people around the world smile."

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