Satoru Iwata is becoming something of a Game Developers Conference fixture. Organizers of the event today announced that the Nintendo president will deliver the featured keynote address for the fourth time at this year's show, which runs February 28 through March 4 in San Francisco.
Iwata's talk will be titled "Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future." While gaming has actually been around significantly longer than a quarter century, the 25th birthday referenced in Iwata's talk presumably refers to the Nintendo Entertainment System, which saw a staggered North American release in 1985 and 1986.
In 2005, Iwata's GDC keynote address doled out early details on the Wii (then called the Revolution), confirming built-in Wi-Fi support and offering a peek at the system's technology, but omitting any mention of the motion-sensing controller. The following year, the executive returned to announce the DS debut of the Legend of Zelda series with The Phantom Hourglass and offer first details of the Virtual Console. In 2009, the Nintendo president's address played out similarly to his 2006 keynote address, unveiling a new Legend of Zelda DS game (Spirit Tracks) and expansions to the company's downloadable catalog with Virtual Console arcade games and high-capacity SD card support with which to store them.
The keynote address will spearhead a GDC schedule of more than 400 lectures, panels, and other sessions spread out over the course of the week. Already announced highlights include a look at the generative music system of Thief 4, tech talks on the visuals of Battlefield 3, a "Failure Workshop" where developers of hit games talk about their biggest mistakes, and more. For more on the show and a complete list of announced sessions, visit the official GDC 2011 website.