Nintendo is commonly known as one of the major video game hardware and software manufacturers in the world. It is also one of the few video game companies to have remained largely apolitical until recently, when in June 2020, the American branch was listed as one of numerous companies that have gone "woke" and now support the criminal rioters of Antifa and Black Lives Matter in the wake of the 2020 leftist riots. Kyoto, where the head office is located, is one of the domestic progressive regions where the Japanese Communist Party is strong.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Early restrictions on content
- 3 Nintendo video game systems
- 4 Notable series
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Nintendo got its start in Japan in 1889, as a company manufacturing cards for Hanafuda, a Japanese card game. In the 1960s, it diversified into a number of ultimately unsuccessful product lines, including a toy company. In the 1970s, it moved into electronic gaming, where it was ultimately successful.
In 1981, it created the popular arcade game "Donkey Kong", which brought it international attention, and introduced Nintendo to the American market. Nintendo's products in the United States are released through Nintendo of America, their American subsidiary. They are largely responsible for saving the console video game industry after the video game crash of 1983 with the creation of the Famicom (Known as the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan).
Early restrictions on content
Before the days of ESRB video game ratings, Nintendo maintained a strict policy banning the inclusion of pornography in games made for it's consoles as they feared "their name would be forever tarnished." Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe also banned games containing blood, graphic or domestic violence, drug use, and political messages. However, NOA and NOE also were alleged to ban religious symbols in games, although in Legend of Zelda, religious symbols were still shown. These policies vanished when ESRB started rating video games.
Nintendo video game systems
- Home consoles
- Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Entertainment System.
- SNES - Super Nintendo, a 16-bit console.
- Virtual Boy - A mobile system which utilised 2 screens to provide a 3D view.
- Nintendo 64 - Nintendo 64, Nintendo's first 64bit console.
- Nintendo GameCube - A cube-shaped console that competed with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.
- Wii - Nintendo's seventh generation console which competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.
- Wii U- Nintendo's eighth generation console.
- Nintendo Switch - Nintendo's ninth generation console. It is primarily a home console, but it also functions as a handheld system.
- Game Boy - A classic handheld games console.
- Game Boy Color - Very similar to the original Game Boy but includes a color screen.
- Game Boy Advance - Game Boy Advance, a 32-bit handheld.
- Game Boy Advance SP- Game Boy Advance SP, an upgraded version of the Game Boy Advance.
- Nintendo DS - An innovative 32-bit handheld.
- Nintendo DS Lite - Nintendo DS Lite, an improved version of the original.
- Nintendo DSi - vastly improved version of the DS, with a completely updated Operating System and featuring, two cameras, downloadable content available for free or real world money (includes a free internet web
browser), and an SD card expansion slot.
- Nintendo 3DS- A successor to the Nintendo DS featuring stereoscopic 3D graphic (true 3D) capabilities. Nintendo DS titles can be played on it.
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly known as the NES for short and as the Famicom (short for Family Computer) in Japan, is an 8-bit video game console manufactured by the Japanese company Nintendo, first released in 1985. In Japan later on, an upgrade called the Famicom Disk System was released. The NES was released by Hyundai in South Korea as the Comboy. The NES was the first console released by Nintendo and was the best selling console of its time. Nintendo released the NES after successes in the arcade with games such as Donkey Kong and Popeye. The NES is known for revitalizing the video game industry after its 1983 crash. The NES came with a copy of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.
The main competitor of the NES was Sega who, after the Genesis was released, created a promotional campaign Genesis Does What Nintendon't. Soon after that, Nintendo released the SNES.
Unlicensed clones, dubbed Famiclones, are sold due to the lack of original hardware remaining. The first Famiclones were illegal and sold while the NES was produced in markets where the NES was not introduced. They were introduced in North America by companies such as Yobo and Retro Duo and are considered legitimate, due to NES hardware patents expiring. They have mixed compatibility rates, but Yobo and Retro Duo units function well.
- Bible Adventures
- Dr. Mario
- Kirby's Adventure
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Donkey Kong
- Metal Gear
The Game Boy is a portable video game system developed by Nintendo. It was released in 1989, and is the first model within the titular Game Boy line. The original Game Boy is about 4″ x 7″ in size. In 1997, a newer model was released, the Game Boy Pocket, measuring at a reduced 3″ x 5″. In 1998, a model with a light blue backlit screen was released, the Game Boy Light, although it only released in Japan. The same year, the Game Boy would receive a successor, the Game Boy Color, which is very similar but features color graphics.
- Super Mario Land
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- Donkey Kong Land
- Pokémon Red and Blue
- Pokémon Yellow
Game Boy Color
The Game Boy Color is the successor of the Game Boy, and was released in 1998. The Game Boy Color is similar to its predecessor, although the main difference is that its games are in full color rather than monochrome. Although it is a successor, some Game Boy Color games have been released in black cartridges, allowing them to be played on original Game Boy units, but clear cartridges indicate exclusivity to the Game Boy Color itself.
- Tetris DX
- Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
- Pokémon Gold and Silver
- Pokémon Crystal
Game Boy Advance
The Game Boy Advance is the successor to the Game Boy Color. The Advance included a new shape, improved sound, and more complex graphics (from 8 bit to 32 bit). Due to complaints over the Advance's lack of a back light, the upgraded Game Boy Advance SP was released in 2003; the SP had a folding case, an LCD screen with back light, and a rechargeable lithium battery.
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
- Pokémon Emerald
- Super Mario Advance
- Metroid Fusion
- Metroid: Zero Mission
- Golden Sun
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, Super NES or Super Nintendo for short), known as the Super Famicom in Japan, and the Super Comboy in South Korea is a 16-bit video game console first released in 1991 by Nintendo. It was the successor to the company's Nintendo Entertainment System and predecessor to the Nintendo 64. Although the hardware is extremely similar, each have a regional lockout chip to prevent a console from one region from playing games from another. The SNES was the best-selling console of the 16-bit era of video games, despite having a late start against its main competitor, the Sega Genesis.
- Chrono Trigger
- Final Fantasy II (named Final Fantasy IV in later releases)
- Final Fantasy III (named Final Fantasy IV in later releases)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- Star Fox
- Street Fighter II
- Super Mario All-Stars
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Metroid
The Nintendo 64 is a gaming console released by Nintendo in 1996. The console gained acute popularity with first-party titles. The Nintendo 64 was the third home console released by Nintendo and succeeded the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The console's main competitor was the Sony PlayStation, and it had a major advantage over the N64 because the PlayStation used discs rather than cartridges like the N64 and garnered much more third-party support. Despite this, Nintendo produced some of their most notable gaming classics for this system.
- Super Mario 64
- Mario Kart 64
- Star Fox 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
- GoldenEye 007
- Donkey Kong 64
- Super Smash Bros.
- Pokemon Stadium
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
The Nintendo GameCube is Nintendo's fourth home video game console, belonging to the sixth generation era. The GameCube is the most compact and least expensive of the sixth generation era consoles. It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and the predecessor of the Wii. The home console was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan; November 18, 2001 in North America; May 3, 2002 in Europe; and May 17, 2002 in Australia. It was Nintendo's first console without a launch title starring Mario.
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Luigi's Mansion
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Metroid Prime
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Star Fox Adventures
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Also available on Nintendo Wii)
- Mario Kart: Double Dash
- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
- Resident Evil 4
- Animal Crossing
The Nintendo DS is a video game system created by Nintendo. Its main features are its two screens (its name is an acronym for "Dual Screens" or "Developer System") and the touch-sensitivity of the bottom screen. Notable games include:
- Super Mario 64 DS
- Mario Kart DS
- New Super Mario Bros.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
- Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
A new version of the DS, the 'DS Lite' (which is slimmer and weighs less) has been released and an even newer version, the 'DSi' (featuring an internet browser among other features) has been released in Japan in 2008 and was released in the rest of the world in 2009.
The Nintendo 3DS is a video game system created by Nintendo.It is an updated version of the DS. It has the ability to show 3D visuals, watch Netflix, has 3 cameras (2 in back and 1 in front), motion sensors, Miis, and a circle pad (similar to an analog stick on a controller). It can play DS games via game card and Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games via the Virtual Console service. It is able to have the connect to WiFi (with Key) and connect with people around you while in sleep mode with a feature called Street Pass. It was released February 2011 in Japan and March everywhere else.
The Wii is a video game console launched on November 2006 and has sold 50 million units worldwide. Its major selling point is the inclusion of motion sensitive controllers the "Wiimote" and "Nunchuk". That ability is to swing at golf, throw a bowling ball, and punch with boxing provides the virtual game challenge experience. Since your fingers do not operate a game controller like all previous platforms to date, this truly becomes a next generation console. It is a physical experience and provides good cardiovascular movements. Recently, Nintendo has introduced the Wii "Fit" title along with it a balance board. This extended functionality allows the user to do yoga, ski, hoola-hoop, hit soccer balls with your head, and strength training. In July 2009, the "Wiimote" received a boost of improved sensitivity with the addition of a remote device extension. Increased range of motion games are offered with the Wii Resort package which include canoe races and ping-pong. The console is truly backwards compatible, allowing games of previous Nintendo consoles to play on the Wii such as GameCube games.
Game characters/players are crafted by the user called Mii. This personalized experience allows you to art design your avatar for use throughout the series of games. Gather enough skills and earn professional status. As you achieve better results with the Wii, Nintendo makes your Mii's challenge harder.
Nintendo provides an online service, Wii "Connect24" for game downloads, device updates, weather, contests and other community oriented features. Points purchased at neighborhood stores unlock Wii "Shop" downloads. The console has built-in WiFi for access to the Internet.
Nintendo has always catered to family-friendly entertainment. The Wii console comes with Parental Controls. The next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony have much more detailed, hi-resolution images and increased processing power with which to play hundreds of blood-and-guts games. By comparison, of the tens-of-hundreds of games available from Nintendo, only two Wii games have mature PG17 content. In addition, Nintendo has drawn-in millions of new gamers who would not have stepped into the experience if it were not for the Wii. Women, elderly men, children have an easy time grasping the simplified means of operating the console. It is not uncommon to find these consoles in use at pubs, conventions, holiday gatherings, for hospital physical therapy, the gym and more. The result has been enormous success in sales versus their competitors.
The design is roughly the size of an external DVD player making it highly portable. Due to the Wii's widespread adoption by the public, stories of injuries began making news cycles recently. Also, stories of flying Wiimotes and smashed flat screen TV's are common.
- Super Mario Galaxy
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
- Mario Kart Wii
- No More Heroes
- Mad World
- Wii Sports
Nintendo release their latest console, the Wii U on November 18, 2012. Although a more powerful system than it's predecessor, it has not sold well. This is mainly due to lack of third-party support as well as lack of first party games (i.e. Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid). On January 31, 2017, Nintendo discontinued production of the Wii U. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced as Nintendo's last game for Wii U.
- Super Mario 3D World
- Mario Kart 8
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Super Mario Maker
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
- Star Fox Zero
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo's successor to the Wii U, called the Nintendo Switch, was released on March 3, 2017. It is both a home console and handheld system. On September 20, 2019, Nintendo came out with the Switch Lite, which was a smaller version of the system. The Switch Lite was handheld only, and had no output to a television. It launched with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video game systems became sparse at retail stores, particularly the Nintendo Switch. Although the Switch Lite had been somewhat easier to find, the regular version had been known to sell out within minutes of a store having some in stock.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Splatoon 2
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
- Luigi's Mansion 3
- Pokemon: Sword and Shield
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- Paper Mario: The Origami King
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Nintendogs is a virtual pet video game created by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. The game involves caring for one or more virtual dogs. Four versions were released, Dachsund and Friends, Labrador and Friends, Chihuahua and Friends, and Dalmation and Friends. However, all breeds are available in all versions. The dogs can be taught tricks or actions, including unorthodox ones (for instance, by using the stylus to pull a dogs leg into the air, you can teach it a trick akin to a salute). These tricks are performed by the dog upon the shouting of a command (set by the player) into the DS microphone.
Wii Sports (ESRB rating: E) is a video game that formerly came packaged with the Nintendo Wii (and now is sold separately as part of Nintendo's hit line up). Nintendo has sold 50 million Wii's, so by far the most popular Wii game in widespread use. It contains five games: Baseball, Tennis, Bowling, Golf, and Boxing. Also, unique training sessions for each sport. Up to four people can play at once with or without four Wiimotes. Also, you can measure your skill and stamina with the Wii Fitness Challenge, this will assign you a Wii fitness age.
Utilizing the Wiimotes motion-sensor technology instead of a game controller, you become a first person virtual reality athlete. In golf, you swing the Wiimote the same as you would a golf club. In bowling, you are tossing a ball (while holding onto the Wiimote). In Tennis, you are paired exclusively with a partner for matches. You may choose to go it alone in the tennis training session. In baseball, you are limited to hitting and pitching. Also, there are only three innings per game.
As your skills improve, the Wii responds by increasing the challenge. It is an excellent cardiovascular workout that is simple to operate. The English Queen Elizabeth has played Wii Sports.
A sequel to Wii Sports was introduced called Wii Sports Resort. It features an array of new games such as jousting, basketball, cycling, frisbee, archery, and the return of bowling and golf from the original game, with new improvements. This game was also the first game to use the Wii MotionPlus add-on.
Considered the mascot of Nintendo, Mario has become synonymous with video games. The character first appeared in 1981's Donkey Kong. In 1983, the character, along with his brother, Luigi, appeared in Mario Bros. In 1985, Super Mario Bros. was released.