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What is Nintendo?

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Well the short answer is that Nintendo is the greatest thing to happen to video games since the invention of electricity.




How Nintendo Got Started


Founded on September 23, 1889 in Kyoto Japan, Nintendo originally had nothing to do with video games.  They started out as a playing card company, which was the hottest new thing in Japan at that time.  But after being in the business of playing cards for a number of decades, they had to face the reality that playing cards was only a fad of that time and interest was now dying out.

Realizing they wouldn't survive if they continued to focus on playing cards alone, Nintendo began dabbling in other industries.  This included toys (Which they're still doing now!), ramen noodles (Which I know was tasty if cooked by Princess Peach!), a taxi service (I'd love to call an Uber and a MarioKart drove up!), and even vacuum cleaners (I'd love to clean my home with Luigi's Poltergust 3000!).

But they eventually found that their true calling was in video games.  This change of direction was led by a then 21 year old Hiroshi Yamauchi who was named president of Nintendo in 1949 and would go on to run the company for more than 50 years.  And video games was a hot new industry that was only just getting started at the time.


Nintendo's First Video Games


In the 70s Nintendo came up with the home pong console as part of the first generation of home video game consoles, which later became known as the Color TV Games.  It was here that Nintendo saw that video games was the way forward.

Then in 1979, it was all about the arcades.  Nintendo had already made a few arcade games of their own, including Sheriff, Space Fever, and Radar Scope.  But Radar Scope was a failure for Nintendo until the Walt Disney of Nintendo, a young Shigeru Miyamoto at the time joined the company and remade Radar Scope into the company's first big hit when he brought it back out in 1981 as Donkey Kong.

The hero of that game, known as Jumpman at the time, is the very same character that went on to become the world renowned video game icon known as Mario.  The name was lifted from the landlord of the building that Nintendo was renting at the time because he just so happened to bear a striking resemblance to Jumpman by pure coincidence.


How Nintendo Thrived Through The Second Video Game Crash


But then came the video game crash of 1983.  The market had become over-saturated because all of the companies at the time were focused on quantity instead of quality.  The arcades lost 66% of it's revenue and the home consoles lost 93% of it's revenue.

Everyone was making so many low quality games, that pretty much everyone who owned an Atari had several games that they bought for $50 that were just awful, unplayable garbage (Told you that Atari was the Playstation of the time.).  This led to Atari having to dump thousands of it's unsold games in a New Mexico landfill.

But in spite of the crash, it was during this time that Nintendo came out with the Family Computer or Famicom in Japan in 1983, and after it did well they brought it out globally after reworking it with a new and improved look and feel and renamed it the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.

Now at first people were saying that Nintendo seriously messed up because they missed the boat.  Video games was now dead and gone and they thought that Nintendo didn't know what they were doing.  But this was the very reason they succeeded, because the crash eliminated any competition and allowed Nintendo to completely take over.

The NES started up the third generation of home video game consoles.  The main way that they succeeded is that with people avoiding video games like the plague, Nintendo made the decision to market the NES as a toy, not a video game.  This was a very smart move since they knew no one would buy it as the electronic that it is, and this made the NES the hottest toy in the 1986 and 1987 holiday markets.

The other smart decision that Nintendo made was to make very high quality games.  They could tell very captivating stories and basically do so much more than just shoot the bad guy until he's dead.  This was another hard learned lesson from the crash of 1983.  Altogether, this helped Nintendo stay dominant up until 1989.


How Nintendo Brought Down Sega


Now even though Nintendo was still dominant even after 1989, what happened in 1989 was that Sega came along.  Sega completely took everyone by surprise by being the very first time ever that a gaming company directly competed with another one.  Sega's whole thing was how "We're not Nintendo!", and "We do what Nintendon't!", and "We're EXTREME!!!" and "We're in your face!", and "We're SEGA!!!!"

But as Sega would come to learn the hard way, their element of surprise was their SOLE reason for having any kind of success at all against Nintendo.  Once Nintendo understood that they had a competitor and began fighting back, Sega stood no chance against Nintendo.  I guess "doing what Nintendon't is a major handicap when what Nintendoes is what works at being successful.

I even remember hearing several Sega gamers mention how pissed off they always were that the Genesis was inferior to the Super Nintendo in every way possible when you look past things like popularity and better selling and so on and actually compare the two machines side by side (The very same exact way that I do my comparisons when determining what's really the better choice!).


How I Got Started Playing Video Games With Nintendo


Now in 1989 Nintendo came out with the Game Boy, and it pretty much did for handheld gaming what the NES did for console gaming.  Nintendo had already been experimenting with handheld gaming for quite some time with their original handheld the Game & Watch, and decided it was now time to bring together the fruits of their labor.

And then in 1990 they brought out the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  Now I can definitely tell you that this was my first console, and back in those days it was perfectly commonplace for consoles to come with pre - packaged games.  And I remember that the Super Nintendo came pre - packaged with Super Mario World.

So when I got my Game Boy some time later, I wasn't sure if I'd like the pre - packaged game Zelda: Link's Awakening since I was only aware of Mario games being any good.  But once I saw that it was, it became my new favorite game series.

Even now I still think of Link as my homeboy, and I try my best not to miss any new Zelda games.  So you can pretty much already guess that Zelda: Link To The Past was most definitely going to be my next Super Nintendo game.

But in 1995, Nintendo made their first big mistake when they brought out the Virtual Boy.  As I was only just getting started at the time, I didn't know yet of anything that would allow me to keep up on any new video game releases.  

So I didn't even know that Virtual Boy even existed until I later on heard people talking about how terrible it was.  The way I understand it, Virtual Boy was Nintendo's attempt at VR before VR was even possible.  But the one upside to it was that it showed that Nintendo was willing to experiment and did not fear failing.


Nintendo Listens To Gamers


A year later Nintendo brought us the Nintendo 64.  Now even though everyone was making fun of them for being the only manufacturer of that generation to bring out a cartridge console, we have to consider that it was the result of the failure of the CDi.  Once Nintendo learned that it failed because gamers did not want their games on discs at the time, they listened to their customers and decided that the customer is always right.

The main two things that made the N64 great was how Nintendo showed that even after all these years later, quality still triumphs over quantity.  Not a single PS game sold anywhere near as well as any N64 game, and almost every single one of my N64 games continue to stand the test of time.

And second was how Nintendo used the Nintendo 64 to show off their latest experiment, the rumble pack.  That's right, the whole thing about your controller vibrating so you get to feel the action rather than just watch it was all Nintendo's idea.  And let me tell you that made every N64 game, especially Starfox 64, the most awesome gameplaying experiences that you could possibly get at the time.

Then in 1998, Nintendo solved everyone's biggest problem with the Game Boy by releasing the Game Boy Color.  Now unlike the N64, no one had anything to make fun of here.  It continued to have some of the best portable gaming of the time, but was now in color.

And it was how Nintendo brought us their newest experiment, backward compatibility.  I absolutely loved how I could continue to play my original GB games on my new GBC.


Nintendo Can Finally Do What They Wanted



Then in 2001 Nintendo brought out the Gamecube.  Now the one good thing about the PS2 coming out the previous year and dominating is that it showed Nintendo that gamers changed their minds and do now want their games on discs.


This is the very reason why I firmly believe that the purpose of the GCN was to show us what the N64 would've been had Nintendo done what they wanted to do instead of listening to gamers and deciding that the customer is always right.

The biggest thing that the GCN had that the other consoles didn't is how Nintendo came up with all these different connections between the GCN and GBA.  Starting with the fact that no one else had a handheld at all.

Nintendo started out with the two machines simply exchanging data with each other, but later on evolved it into a full blown four way game playing experience.  This was how they were able to come up with a four player Zelda and a four player Final Fantasy.

And speaking of, Nintendo brought us the Game Boy Advance also in 2001.  But after people started complaining about the screen being dark and hard to see, Nintendo brought out the GBA SP with a backlight to solve this problem.

Now for me, the biggest highlight for the GBA was Fire Emblem.  Now this was one of the best games I've ever played, and had one of the best stories I've ever seen.  Nintendo seriously went all out with this one, and was only made better with the Game Boy Player.

Now I've already mentioned how the GBA had all kinds of connections with the GCN, and of course they continued with the backward compatibility.  So it was even more awesome that I could now play my GB games, GBC games, and my GBA games on my GBA.

Then in 2004, Nintendo brought us the Nintendo Dual Screen.  Now I originally thought that Nintendo was planning on having three consoles going at the same time because I saw that they were still coming out with GBA games even after the release of the DS.

I also had no reason to understand why they'd discontinue their Game Boy brand.  I was absolutely positive that if this was going to be their next handheld, they would've named it the Game Boy DS.  And they later on upgraded it to include internet with the DSi.

The thing is without any competition now that Sega was a third party, Nintendo decided to use older handhelds as their competition for improving their handhelds.  And it was the Gamecom that gave Nintendo the idea of the stylus and touchscreen.

The DS would go on to become their best selling machine of all time at the time. But at first, Nintendo didn't know if it was having two screens to use that gamers loved, or if it was the touchscreen.


Nintendo Tests A New Theory


So Nintendo decided to find out by first starting off by focusing on the touchscreen.  And we would see this in 2006 when Nintendo saw the third video game crash coming and stopped it dead in it's tracks before anyone could feel any of it's effects by bringing out the Wii.

Not only did they include the idea of the stylus with the new controller, but they also went overboard with backward compatibility.  Not only was it capable of playing GCN games, but it could also play N64, SNES, NES, Genesis, Master System, Tubrografx - 16, and Commodore 64 games thanks to their new Virtual Console service.

Even though the Wii had the worst graphics of all the seventh generation consoles and was the slowest of all the seventh generation consoles, people were so in love with this thing that I wouldn't be surprised if people were getting married to it.  Why?  Because at no point did Nintendo ever lose focus on the number one reason for touching a controller in the first place, to have fun.


Nintendo Goes All Out With A Console Version Of The DS


And after seeing the Wii become such a huge success, Nintendo really thought that they were on to something.  So believing that gamers loved the idea of a console version of the DS, Nintendo really went all out in their attempt to bring us exactly that with their next console the Wii U in 2012.  That's right despite what you may have heard from all the idiots out there, Nintendo WAS NOT TRYING TO DO THE SWITCH BEFORE THEY COULD DO THE SWITCH!

And in their attempt to make a console version of the DS, Nintendo greatly expanded on the concept of the Wii by using the second screen in various cool ways with the motion control.  After all people loved the DS, so why would a console that has all the same functionalities as the DS not do just as good.

And remember how I said that I do my comparisons by buying all three consoles and comparing them side by side to see with my own two eyes what's really the best, well I can tell you without a doubt in my head the the PS4 and Xbox One are nothing compared to the Wii U.  So how the Wii U did not sell all that great is beyond me.

But the idiots were right about one thing, there would've been no Switch without the Wii U.  Since they were so focused on making a console version of the DS, I believe that the idea of including the capability to be able to play the Wii U without having to use a TV was a last minute afterthought that they just said, "Oh what the hell, why not?" having  no idea the repercussions this feature would have.

Because during the course of the Wii U's time, Nintendo kept learning to their surprise that the main thing that gamers loved about the Wii U was NOT that they were playing a console version of the DS like Nintendo was expecting, but that they were capable of playing their console games without using a TV.

And it was this discovery that Nintendo focused all their energy on for their next console, and that is how the Wii U led to the Switch in 2017.  And while the Switch was most definitely a huge hit in the beginning, it ended up having a major slow down because of the pandemic.

And yes it is absolutely true that when something you are already into becomes popular, you will be the last person to find out.  Because I had no idea that the Switch was as huge as it was until I noticed that I was being stared at with envy because I wear Nintendo gear on a daily basis.

The thing about Nintendo is that they like doing their own thing, not following the crowd.  So while everyone else is all about trying to be exactly like real life and having high frame rates and all that, Nintendo couldn't care less about any of that, they're just all about having fun.

Which I feel is very smart because all of that "trying to be exactly like real life" crap is defeating the whole entire point of touching a controller in the first place, to have a fun escape from reality not to experience more reality.


The Future For Nintendo


Now going forward, the idiots think that Nintendo should be putting all their games on cell phones.  But if I know Nintendo as well as I think I do, and I've been a Nintendo gamer for most of my life because you have to think about all those years I wasn't old enough to remember anything so I know I'm very accurate, Nintendo will more than likely find ways to compete with cell phones.

And that's not as impossible as you might think since all Nintendo would have to do is give the 3DS the ability to function as a cell phone.  And I know Nintendo is perfectly capable of this because I saw them actually do this with the Wii U.  Sure you could only phone call other Wii U's, but the Wii U was able to function as a home phone.

And let's not forget that not only did Nintendo see with their own two eyes the consequences of feeling that the customer is always right, they also saw what happened to Sega when they stopped making their own consoles.  All of a sudden Sega's games lost all of their popularity because they got diluted and lost in the crowd.

Also the idiots completely forgot that it's really Playstation that would be devastated long before Nintendo ever will because they're completely reliant on third parties who can easily walk away from them anytime day or night they so choose whereas Nintendo has never stopped making their own games.

In addition, Nintendo showed us during the N64 era that they are completely capable of supporting a console all by themselves with no help from anyone else.  And I have always said that until I see Sony and Microsoft pull that one off, bring out a Playstation where no one but Sony is making games for it and bring out an Xbox where no one but Microsoft is making games for it, they've got nothing on Nintendo.


Image of What is Sega


So I predict that Nintendo will go forward by competing against cell phones by giving their future handhelds cell phone features, and maybe even giving their future consoles home phone features as well just like they did with the Switch's predecessor the Wii U.

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