Nintendo is one of the most recognizable names in gaming, and has been a major force in the industry since launching the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. Its trademark characters and unique IPs, along with its innovative controllers, have been a major part of the industry’s success over the years. In 2020, Nintendo continues to make waves with the success of the Nintendo Switch and 3DS consoles. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history and future of Nintendo, its iconic characters, unique IPs, and its bestselling consoles, the Nintendo Switch and 3DS.
The History and Future of Nintendo
Nintendo has been around since 1889 when founder Fusajiro Yamauchi established the company in Kyoto, Japan as a playing card and toy manufacturer. It wasn’t until 1975 that Nintendo made the jump into the video game industry with the launch of their first home gaming console, the Color TV Game. This was followed by the hugely successful Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989. Over the years Nintendo has continued to innovate, releasing the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1991, Nintendo 64 (N64) in 1996, GameCube in 2001, Wii in 2006, Wii U in 2012 and the Nintendo Switch in 2017. The success of the Switch has reignited the company’s reputation as an innovator and leader in the gaming industry and sparked a renaissance of creativity and enthusiasm around Nintendo.
A Closer Look at Nintendo’s Iconic Characters
From the red and blue of Mario and Luigi to the very first appearance of Link in The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo has some of the most iconic video game characters in modern media. Mario, the de facto icon of Nintendo, has appeared in more than 200 games, 20 television series and two movies. Its characters’ longevity and appeal has been a major contributing factor in Nintendo’s success. Other iconic characters include Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, Pikachu, and Kirby, all of whom have featured heavily in Nintendo’s advertising and product lines over the years.
Exploring Nintendo’s Unique IPs
Nintendo has a portfolio of unique intellectual properties including Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon. These IPs are incredibly valuable to the company and have driven their success in the industry. The success of their IPs is closely tied to the company’s approach to game design and innovation, which is focused on creating experiences that are easy to pick up and difficult to master. This approach has resulted in some long-running and successful franchises for the company including Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and Super Smash Bros.
Everything You Need to Know About Nintendo Controllers
The controllers for the Nintendo systems are another important factor in the company’s success. The NES controller, for example, was revolutionary for its time, featuring a directional pad and four buttons. As the company continued to innovate, their controllers evolved to keep up with the industry’s advancements. The Nintendo 64 controller features a joystick, triggers, and four more face buttons, while the Wii and Wii U both feature motion controls and the Nintendo Switch features removable “joy-con” controllers, allowing for two players to play simultaneously on one Switch device.
Exploring the Success of Nintendo Switch and 3DS
The Wii U was a mediocre performer for the company, but the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017 was a major success. The Switch was an immediate success, selling over 32 million units in its first two years. The Switch has surpassed the lifetime sales of the Wii U in less than three years and outsold the PlayStation 4 in its first year. The continued success of the Switch has been driven by its portable nature, allowing gamers to enjoy the console on-the-go as well as at home. The 3DS, a portable console released by Nintendo in 2011, has also been a major success for the company, selling over 75 million units as of September 2020.
Nintendo has been a major player in the gaming industry since the 1980s, and has continued to innovate with new IPs, characters, consoles, and controllers that are consistently at the forefront of gaming trends. The success of Nintendo Switch and 3DS has proved that the company is still a major force in the industry, and their continuing commitment to innovation is a testament to the potential of the brand. With the launch of the upcoming Nintendo Switch Pro looming on the horizon, Nintendo has the potential to become an even bigger force in the gaming industry.