Here at JoypadAndMe we want to set up and decide one of the biggest battles in the video gaming world. We want to know who and what will be crowned as the King Of Consoles. We will be letting our viewers and listeners decide just which manufacturer and which console will be crowned. We aren’t looking for the console that sold the most or which one was technically more superior, no, we want to know which console is the one that everyone holds dear to their hearts. Which one was the most fun to own and play. We will be pitting the consoles from each manufacturer against themselves and then against the winners of the other main manufacturers to see which one stands on top.
This time round its the turn of the legendary games company, Nintendo. A name synonymous with video gaming. Parents, children, even grandparents have known the Nintendo brand and played at least one or two games from their vast catalogue of titles.
The NES or otherwise known as the Famicom was the must have item for every kid and household in the early eighties. Released in 1983, a home console that could bring arcade style games to the home was a must. Some of the most well known and well loved games came from this very console and Super Mario Bros is still one of the highest selling games of all time. Not bad for an 8bit system with possible the most iconic yet most unfriendly to the hand controller. The NES was so popular with fans that Nintendo didn’t top producing the console in Japan until 2003! 20 years after release.
The Super Nintendo or the Super Famicom as it was known in the States was the second console release from Nintendo and really set its sights on taking over the world. The Super Nintendo sold close to 50 million consoles and some of gamer’s favourite games ever released attached to it. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that was around in the early 90’s that didn’t spend more time than they care to remember battling it out with friends on Street Fighter 2 or Wracking their brain at Super Metroid. The Super Nintendo also saw what can only be described as a gaming phenomenon with one of their off shoot titles, Mario left the platforming wonders of previous games and took to the track in Super Mario kart and created an instant classic that has seen many sequels even to this day and is still regarded as one of the best family games available.
Nintendo wanted to up their game with the N64. a 64 bit console for the home was a vast improvement on its predecessors in terms of power and performance. Launched in 1996 it came up against some stiff opposition in the forms of Sony’s PlayStation and Sega’s Saturn consoles. The issue the N64 had compared to its rivals was Nintendo’s decision to stick with cartridge based games rather than going with the now more conventional way of producing games which was in a cd based form. The cartridge decision caused games developers to have issues with the potential performance of the N64 with regards to cache space and overall game space. The N64 needed some pretty hefty games to be able to compete with this competition and what it came out with was pretty impressive. Super Mario 64 brought Nintendo’s ever active plumber into the next generation with 3d graphics and a newly developed world to explore. Probably the most highly regarded and most sought after game on the N64 had to be The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, a cult success in the series and even to this day proves a popular reason to play the N64. Who could also forget the title that has probably seen the most amount of couch multiplayer hours put in than any other game out there past or present, James Bond’s GoldenEye is the quintessential icon of video gaming on the N64. The N64 also had one of the most unusual and surprisingly ergonomic controllers yet seen with its trident shape and the inclusion of a d pad, shoulder buttons, centre trigger and an analogue stick, it gave developers and players much more control over their games and what they could do.
Nintendo’s forth instalment in the console market was a step away from the norm for Nintendo. Realising that cartridge gaming had seen its time and now needed to move on, they had to come up with something new. Rather than following the convention of going over to cd sized disks like its competition, Nintendo decided to be very Nintendo’esk and do things their own way by creating smaller optical disks for its latest console. The Nintendo Game Cube. Being smaller meant they were able to make the console smaller and more portable which was handy for some but had its drawbacks. The GameCube’s rivals were packing the ability to play CDs and even DVDs at a time when DVD players where still a luxury item for most households making the PlayStation 2 and the new kid on the block, the Microsoft Xbox some very strong competition to deal with. Sales of the Game Cube unfortunately showed just how tough this competition was. Selling just shy of 22 million consoles left it in 3rd place in the tightly fought battle for players interests. Although sales were not ground braking, the GameCube did have some fantastic games to its credit. Star Wars Rogue squadron 2: Rogue Leader was a firm fan favourite at launch.
After the disappointing sales of the GameCube, Nintendo stuck to their unique and innovative ways to bring them back into the console market fight. Coming up with something completely different to its competitors, Nintendo went for the motion controlled Nintendo Wii. Using the players hands and body to control what went on in the game was something new to most gamers that it took the world by storm and took many years for the competition to catch up. Nintendo knew they couldn’t compete with the graphical power houses of its competition so didn’t try to, instead relying on family friendly gaming and innovative uses of its motion controls and inclusion of many peripherals. The Nintendo wii sold in excess of 100 million consoles which was an extraordinary number considering the GameCube sold less than a quarter of that number. The Nintendo Wii bridged a generation gap as well with gamers of all ages buying one for reasons ranging from children’s games to keep fit which was greatly enhanced with the release of the Wii balance board. Even rest homes bought the console to aid its elderly tenants to keep fit and active, an experience that Nintendo’s competition simply could not match. No longer was the question which console did you have, it was now which other console did you have because everybody had a Nintendo Wii as well.
Following on from the monstrous success that was the Wii, Nintendo announced and released the successor, the Wii U. The Wii U caused some confusion initially as many thought the tablet controller and therefore the device itself was yet another peripheral or add on to the Nintendo Wii. unfortunately Nintendo didn’t do much to let the general public know that this wasn’t the case. Taking yet another step away from conventional console design, Nintendo went with a tablet design controller which allowed players to use a second screen during gaming which the game developers could use to show things such as maps and loot or lives and controls depending on what game the player was playing at the time. This idea has since seen its way into the competitors devices with Sony utilising their Vita handheld for some games to be used with the PlayStation 4 but this needs both devices where as the Wii U comes packaged as one device. Releasing late in the year 2012, to date the Nintendo Wii U has sold around 10 million consoles. Third party support has been a difficult issue for the Wii U and therefore has a limited catalogue of games. The first party stalwart of titles however is as strong as ever with Mario holding up the console in Atlas like fashion with a host of titles under his cap including Mario Party 10 and Mario Kart 8. The Wii U still has a few tricks up its digital sleeve with the latest Amibo craze helping to bring people back to Nintendo as well as the recent announcement that N64 games will be available digitally on its online store. If there is one thing you can be sure of, Nintendo know how to use innovation and creativity to their advantage.