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Nintendo's Establishment and Early Ventures
Craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi established Nintendo as Nintendo Karuta[d] on September 23, 1889, in Shimogy-ku, Kyoto, Japan, as an unincorporated business to create and distribute Japanese playing cards.?However, by 1959, it was reportedly changed to Nintendo Playing Card and produced playing cards featuring Disney characters. In 1974, Nintendo secured the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey home console.
Nintendo's Entry into Video Games
Having witnessed the appeal of video games, the company produced its own console in partnership with Mitsubishi. Called 'Color TV-Game 6', it was released in 1977. It was only by 1985 that the Nintendo fans love today began to form. It released the Nintendo Entertainment System, which proved to be a smash hit. The console was also the first Nintendo home console to release outside Japan.
Over the years, the Japanese multinational consumer electronics company has developed several home video game consoles, multiple handheld consoles, and other hardware for their consoles.
It is a series of five dedicated home consoles released exclusively in Japan between 1977 and 1980. Each of the consoles came with a few preloaded games and a built-in controller.
The NES is an 8-bit video game console released by the company in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa in 1983. It was also Nintendo's first home console released outside Japan. The NES marked the inception of many of the company's iconic video game franchises, such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid.
Portable Gaming with Game Boy
In 1989 Nintendo offered ew-found versatility to gamers as the handheld Game Boy. The handheld was portable, and durable, and contributed directly to the decades worth of experience that aided in the creation of the Nintendo Switch. The company's golden child made them a force to be reckoned with in the handheld gaming space. Released in 2017, the console's aging hardware hasn't dulled its appeal as it continues to be a solid experience.
The 3D Revolution: Nintendo 64 and GameCube
The Nintendo 64 was the company's third home console for the international market, released in 1996. The console included three launch titles in Japan and PAL regions, while North America received two launch games.
Some of the notable games consisted of Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Mario Kart 64, Super Smash Bros, two games in The Legend of Zelda series, and GoldenEye 007. Released in 2001, the GameCube was Nintendo's sixth-gen video game console, competing against the likes of Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Sega's Dreamcast. Moreover, the GameCube is the most compact sixth-gen console and Nintendo's first console to utilize optical discs in place of game cartridges.
The main line-up of games for this console centered on sequels to Nintendo's popular game franchises, which were firmly established by then. Super Mario Sunshine, Pokemon Colosseum, Super Smash Bros Melee, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Metroid Prime were some of those games. Meanwhile, GameCube also marked the birth of new game franchises such as Animal Crossing and Pikmin.
Nintendo Wii: Changing the Game
Nintendo released its seventh-generation home console, the Wii, in 2006. Competing with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo's console was designed to allure a wider audience, including casual gamers and people new to video games.
A collection of sports mini-games named Wii Sports leveraged the Wii Remote as a motion-sensing controller and became a very popular feature of the console among the mainstream audience. Other notable games for Wii included New Super Mario Wii, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Play, and Wii Fit.
Nintendo released the Wii U in November 2012 as a direct successor to the Wii. Moreover, the Wii U was the first to launch on the list of eighth-generation home video game consoles.
A unique hardware feature of this console is the GamePad, a tablet-like controller with a touchscreen. Besides that, the company also launched a conventional gamepad known as the Wii U Pro Controller.
The Wii U featured several new games across Nintendo's flagship series such as Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and New Super Mario Bros U, including new titles in the Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda franchises. The console also received many new Wii series games, including Wii Sports Club, Wii Fit U, and Wii Party U.
Handheld Dominance with Nintendo DS and 3DS
The 3DS console was announced globally in the year of 2004. The "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen" offered standout new features to portable games, including two LCD displays that worked together (the bottom one being a touchscreen), a built-in microphone, and support for wireless networking.
The clamshell shape of both displays is reminiscent of the Game Boy Advance SP. Another feature of the Nintendo DS is the capability for several DS systems to communicate with one another directly via Wi-Fi within a close range without connecting to an existing wireless network. The now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service allowed them to communicate online as an alternative. In the seventh console generation for video games, Sony's PlayStation Portable was its major rival.
?Nintendo Switch: The Hybrid Console
Released in March 2017, Nintendo Switch was the company's second entry in the eighth generation of gaming consoles. It is a hybrid device that can function as a home console as well as a portable console. Two detachable wireless controllers, dubbed Joy-Con, come with the console. The controllers feature standard buttons, directional analog sticks, motion sensing, and tactile feedback.
Moreover, the Joy-Cons can attach to both sides of the console to support handheld-style play. They can also be used individually or used to provide a traditional home console form by connecting to a grip accessory. Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a traditional game controller much like the GameCube's one. Being an eighth-gen console, Nintendo Switch competed against Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.
Within a year of release, Nintendo Switch units reached over 14 million in sales worldwide. The console and its inferior version, Nintendo Switch Lite, have sold over 68 million units worldwide as of September 2020.
This huge success is attributed to the sales of Nintendo's first-party titles for the console. The six exclusive games include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokemon Sword and Shield, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2. Other notable games available include Resident Evil, NBA, The Elder Scrolls, Assassin's Creed, FIFA, Final Fantasy, and more. There are over 3100 games available on the Switch.
According to the latest rumors, the Japanese gaming giant is expected to come out with a Nintendo Switch 2 at the beginning of 2024. Although there hasn't been any official confirmation on the same, a Direct announcement seems imminent.
Notable Accomplishments and Awards
The gaming juggernaut had a respectable 2023 first half. The creators have ticked all the boxes, with hits like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Metroid Prime to a smashing Nintendo Direct. The release of a new Switch may be the ideal way for the firm to cap its illustrious history. The much-awaited release might not have to wait until the end of the year, after all.
Given the brand's previous performance, the brand's enormous fan following is well deserved. Even with surreal expectations, the developers haven?t failed to deliver satisfactory work. The enjoyment was further increased by adding a Nintendo Direct to the fan table. This year, there has been a fierce rivalry among developers. However, statistical data indicates that Nintendo games are in an entirely other league!
The brand has given plenty of unforgettable characters like Mario, Link, and Pikachu. Adding on to their popularity Nintendo is planning various future projects to provide these characters with an animation silver screen platform. Following the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it seems like a bankable investment.
Hopefully, with the coming intense console rivalry, Nintendo will keep up with its promising work.