Nintendo was created by a man named Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889.
It was originally named Nintendo Koppai. Nintendo means “leave luck to heaven” because they used to create handmade Hanafuda cards, which were used to gamble in Japan. Nintendo made Mario themed Hanafuda cards for their Nintendo Club to honor their past (Nintendo). After that, Gunpei Yokoi invented an extendable claw with criss crossing pieces of plastic called the Ultra Hand. The Ultra hand basically just helped you grab things that were out of reach. It became a huge hit, and became one of Nintendo’s best selling toys. Later, in 1980, Gunpei Yokoi figured out that he could program LCD calculators to play games at a cheap cost. He used this idea to create a game called Ball, the first in the Game and Watch series.
Each little device could only play one game, which meant that you had to buy a new device for each game. There were only 60 games in the Game and Watch series, the rarest being a yellow cased version of Mario that could only be won in Nintendo’s F-1 Grand Prix (HandHeld Museum). Then came in Shigeru Miyamoto who helped create the famous NES. It was actually originally known as the Famicom in Japan, and was later released in the U.S. as the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It was outsold by one of Sega’s consoles, but somehow it still went down as iconic. Its bestselling games were Super Mario Bros, Excitebike, and Duck Hunt.After the Game and Watch, Nintendo created an improved version called the Gameboy in 1989. The Gameboy was another handheld that was able to play more games with cartridges. The Gameboy ended up selling incredibly well because of the NES’s success. In fact, they later created the Gameboy Color in 1998, and the Gameboy Advance in 2001. It also started the Pokemon series with Pokemon Red and Blue. Years later, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 64.
The Nintendo 64 was Nintendo’s first 3D console and it was the first console to use a joystick instead of a D-pad, which, according to IGN, gave Sony the idea to make a Dual Analog Controller. Other than that, it also had very important games that came with it. Super Mario 64 was one of them, taking advantage of the 3D to add new twists to their levels (IGN). Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were also iconic because of their open worlds and storylines. The famous series, Super Smash Bros. by Sakurai, also started on the N64 and became famous because of its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The GameCube, known before release as Project Dolphin, was released in 2001 and was an unforgettable console. It was a small cube with 4 controller slots and a handle. It brought amazing games like Smash Bros Melee, Legend of Zelda Wind Waker, and Super Mario Sunshine. Super Smash Bros Melee became famous as an e-sport and was claimed to be the best game in the Smash Bros series today. Wind Waker even ended up getting an HD remake in 2013.Because of the Game Boy, Nintendo once again attempted to create a unique handheld, the DS.
The DS featured two screens, the bottom one being a touch screen, and a clam like design. People weren’t really sure about Nintendo’s idea, but it slowly caught on. After that, it slowly began to gain fame and Nintendo made the 3DS, which could play games in 3D on. Later came the DSi, DSi XL, 3DS XL, New 3DS, 2DS, 3DS XL, and the 2DS XL.
In November 2006, Nintendo released its best selling console, the Wii. The Wii featured a small remote with a D-pad, 1 and 2 buttons, and a Nunchuk, which connects to the remote for a better experience. It also featured motion controls, which were used for games like Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, and Wii Sports. Its best selling game though, was Wii Sports, selling over 80 million copies. Because it was so famous, Nintendo attempted to capitalize on the Wii’s success by releasing the Wii U. The only difference between them was that the Wii U had a gamepad similar that looked similar to the DS. People ended up becoming confused by the Wii U, so it failed in terms of sales. But the Wii U brought the latest installment of Super Smash Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario Kart 8.
It ended up being Nintendo’s biggest mistake.Years later, in 2017, Nintendo announced their latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo decided to try to make the first home console/handheld. The Switch came with joycons that connected together to create a controller, or connected to either side of the Switch’s portable screen. The joycons could also become two separate controllers so two people can play games together like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, and Pokken Tournament. It’s still very new and I won’t be able to write about its latest games or features so that’ll be it for now.From japanese Hanafuda cards to a hybrid console, Nintendo has come a long way in 128 years and I am hoping it continues to innovate new things in the gaming world.