Nintendo is one of the oldest companies that is still making video gaming products to this day. Originally set up in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, they started life producing playing cards. Over the following decades, the business expanded into a number of areas including toy manufacturing in the 1960s.
It was not until 1974 did they become involved in video games by distributing the Magnavox Odyssey. In 1977 they produced their first dedicated console hardware, the ‘Color TV-Game’. This was followed by moving into the arcades, most famously with their 1981 game Donkey Kong.
In 1983 the Nintendo Entertainment System was released. Also known as the Famicom in Japan, this was their first major home video game success story. This console is what set them ultimately on the path to where they are today. Nintendo has remained at the forefront of video gaming since this time. Whilst experiencing some relative product flops, they remain one of the key players in the industry today.
It is notable how much more successful Nintendo was in America and Japan when compared to Europe. During the 1990s, it was primarily Sega and Sony who outperformed them in terms of market share. They did experience a big resurgence in popularity in the mid-2000s with the launch of the Wii. The Wii was hugely popular across the world, outperforming both the Xbox 360 & PS3 in many territories.
This resurgence did not extend to the following generation of consoles. The launch of the Wii U led to consumers being confused as to its position in the market. Many saw the Wii U as an accessory to the original console with no new unique selling points. The marketing message for the Wii U was not clear, which resulted in very poor sales for the console.
However, Nintendo managed to not only claw back their position in the Market with the ‘Switch’, but as of mid-2022, the Switch has even outsold the Nintendo Wii.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of Retro Gaming experience. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).