It may come as a shock to learn that Nintendo was actually founded in 1889 (yeah, a long, long time ago!) but many don’t know that this is actually a Japanese company, based in Kyoto. They are one of the biggest video game companies in the world, and one of the few that didn’t actually went down when the new technology brought us better graphics and devices.
But, before you start wondering about the type of consoles used back in 1889, you should know they didn’t always earn money from this. The company went through a series of changes and only started creating children-friendly entertainment content in 1977 when they created their first video game console ever.
Nintendo and their consoles evolved with technology, which is why we decided to take a stroll down memory lane and learn a bit about how the Nintendo consoles transformed through time.
Created at the beginning of the 1980s, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) is one of the first video consoles to come with advanced features and easy-to-use controls. The console brought games such as Donkey Kong and Mario into our homes, and maybe one of the reasons it got such a good place in the history of video games.
The cool thing about the NES is that it allowed for two players to test their abilities, making 2 player games a lot more fun.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the most popular devices created, as within hours of launch, they were all sold out! This was the first to have L and R triggers, and it had a compact, quite futuristic look for the time.
Nintendo was at a time when they were in close competition with SEGA, so they were a little worried about the performance of the SNES. However, as the number shows, this was a huge success!
The Nintendo 64
Released in the 1990s, the N64 was better, cheaper, and required less power to work so you can see why the console was such a huge hit. However, we should also highlight the fact that the PS1 was also launched in the same time frame, and this put a halt in the hype about the new and improved Nintendo console.
A cool thing about the N64 controller is that it’s the first to introduce an analog stick which allowed for more control on games that require motion.
Sadly, the GameCube was released when the PS2 was extremely popular, so it may have gone unnoticed by people who were not Nintendo fans. The sales dropped even lower than with N64, and placed Nintendo third on the global market.
With the sales dropping quite fast and third-party developers leaving the bandwagon, Nintendo wanted a new approach. They decided to quit the focus on power and improve the game experience, allowing gamers to feel more connected to the characters. That’s how the Wii was created and how we got to enjoy a series of two-player games such as tennis, bowling, and more.
If you feel reminiscent about such games and don’t have access to a Wii console, we recommend trying short life– the experience is quite similar even though you don’t have the cool controllers.
But back to the Wii; because of the motion controls and the freshness of the idea, Nintendo was back in the lead. The console sold 100 million units and was considered one of the most popular of its time.
The Wii U
This is a consequence of the Wii success, and Nintendo simply released this console to continue milking the first version of the Wii. Sadly, the results were quite bad and the Wii U is marked as a dark period in the Nintendo history.
The Nintendo Switch
It is excruciatingly difficult for a company to come back from a fail like the Wii U, but Nintendo did it! The Switch console is their latest release and everything is pink and shiny again in the world of video games.
While some of the cool games we play today can’t be ported to the Nintendo Switch (at least yet), the console does come with some cool new games. But if you’re expecting high-end graphics and uber-powerful microprocessors, you’ve got another thing coming! The Switch is all about gaming experience and Nintendo continued focusing on how the player feels during the game, instead of making the game better.
A Few Final Words
Overall, Nintendo and their consoles have had a bouncy ride! But the result is definitely worth your time and we love to hear more about this company in the future. We think they can still surprise us, just like they did with the SENS, the Wii, and the Switch and we’re looking forward to this to happen!