264w ago - A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away, gamers had an interactive game for their TVs called pong. The game was hailed by computer enthusiasts all over the United States. Soon after pong came what older gamers would remember as Atari which allowed gamers to play many different kinds of games on one console.
But as great as these games were, video games were seen as nerdy and a "fad" that would die out within a year or so. In 1985 a Japanese company called Nintendo decided that it wanted to bring video games to the "casual gamer" and delivered to the world the NES.
Around 25 years ago video gaming was still in its infancy, and to many video gaming was a waste of time and money. Video games were not played by the masses and they happened to be a niche toy. In the mid 80's a Japanese developer and creater of Donkey Kong wanted to bring video gaming into the home and make it a family experience. Nintendo wanted to create games for the "then" so called casual gamer.
Nintendo met resistance from retailers on selling the machine saying that there is no market for the NES and claiming that no one would buy it. Nintendo persisted and made a deal with retailers to buy back the systems that didn't sell in order to reduce the risk for retailers. Retailers took the deal, and Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.
The system was a huge success and soon the Nintendo Mascot, Mario, became more recognizable than Disney's Mickey Mouse. In fact, Super Mario 3 for the NES sold over 18 million copies worldwide.
After a successful launch of its NES, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo which dawned the 16-bit era of video games, also known as the golden years for Nintendo. The Super Nintendo became a household phenomenon and became more popular than even the NES. Games like Super Mario World, Star Fox, Mario Kart, and Donkey Kong Country left thousands of memories in the hearts of gamers.
Lets move forward to today, 2008. Nintendo is again trying to expand the market like they did 23 years ago. The Nintendo Wii has outsold both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 and new genres of games have been developed like the minigame genre and the fitness genre. (These genres have been around for awhile but the Wii has refined the genres and made them more marketable.) Wii fit, Wii Sports and Play, Nintendogs, and Brain Age are drawing in new gamers just like before with the Nintendo NES.
It is easy to see why core gamers believe that Nintendo have forgotten them, but at the same time lets be reasonable; Nintendo is taking the lead on trying to attract casual gamers and they are busy showing other developers how to make games that casual gamers will buy. Nintendo has to take charge and lead the way because it is their strategy to expand the market to casual gamers, but it is important to note that Nintendo has not forgotten the core gamer.
Nintendo has given the core gamers their very best IPs in the beginning of the lifespan of this generation, Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime, Super Smash Brother Brawl, and Mario Kart to name a few. Nintendo is working overtime to make games for both the casual gamers and the core gamers.
However, as good as the NES was and as popular as it became it was the SNES that truely shined, and there is good reason to believe that Nintendo's next generation console is going to follow suit. The Wii has sold almost 25 million units as of today with the Xbox 360 at almost 19 million and the PS3 at 12 million which puts the Wii ahead of its competition by 6 million units even with the Xbox's one year head start. Just like it did 23 years ago Nintendo is changing the way that we play video games, and just like it did 15 years ago Nintendo will be releasing another console as this generation fades away and the next one comes into play.
With the backing of so many new gamers and fans, Nintendo will be releasing a new console, a better console, that will be far more popular and exciting than the Super Nintendo was back in the 1990's. This next generation that we will be heading into within the next few years will probably be better than the golden years of the 16-bit era. This is an exciting time for gamers from all corners of the world as I have a good faith basis to believe that Nintendo's next generation console will be their best one to date.
Imagine a console with high definition graphics, and a head-mounted sensor bar or glasses for graphics that can react to your head motions. Play the downloaded Virtual Console games that you have saved on your SD card on your new Nintendo Console, and having an online play system similar to Xbox Live.
Nintendo will once again change their controller, and it will add something innovative, but most of all Nintendo will be all about the fun and creating games that everyone can enjoy. Don't believe it? Well, Nintendo is already working on some of this stuff.
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