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Nintendo is the home for video game fun

The legacy of Nintendo

Originally founded in Japan as a manufacturer of playing cards, Nintendo took the world by storm in the 1980’s, shattering the idea that video games would be a passing fad and becoming a household name synonymous with the industry itself. After humble beginnings in arcade game development, Nintendo would grow and ultimately release the Nintendo Entertainment System home console in North America in 1985—a move that would pioneer home console gaming and define the video game industry for decades to come.

Today Nintendo is still as popular as ever. The company has had its ups and downs, and seen competitors come and go, but nonetheless Nintendo has remained a consistent force in both gaming hardware and software for nearly four decades. Its chief mascot—an Italian plumber named “Mario”—is among the most recognized brand mascots across the globe, on par with fictional figures like Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus, and its penchant for creating and maintaining family-friendly characters and games in franchises like Zelda, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and more has consistently kept Nintendo in the hearts and minds of gamers both old and new.

The Nintendo family of consoles

Nintendo may have pioneered home console gaming, but their continuing innovation is one of the reasons they have remained a staple of the gaming industry over so many decades. While there is an element of iteration in their console design, Nintendo has never been afraid to throw caution to the wind and experiment with entirely new ideas.

Take a look at the Nintendo Wii for example. While its competitors were competing to make high-powered home consoles for the hardcore gaming market that essentially looked and played almost identically, Nintendo moved in a completely different direction and developed a motion controller based console built around user-friendly experiences aimed at gamers and non-gamers of all ages alike. The result was an incredible success, and the Nintendo Wii sold over 100 million units, once again solidifying Nintendo as a household name in gaming.

Its successor, the Nintendo Wii U, did not do as well commercially. However its hybrid TV/gamepad technology blazed the trail for the most recent Nintendo console—The Nintendo Switch—a true handheld/home console hybrid that can be instantly converted from docked TV mode to on-the-go play. The Switch has become another massive hit for Nintendo, receiving regular acclaim from fans and critics alike both for its functionality as well as its amazing library of software.

Of course Nintendo was no stranger to handheld gaming leading up to the Switch either. It revolutionized the concept with its first handheld—the Nintendo Gameboy—and has continued to dominate the market over the years since with its line of Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS handheld consoles.

Nintendo games and accessories

The lasting power of Nintendo doesn’t just lie in their console development and innovation, it’s also in the many hallowed characters and franchises they have developed and nurtured over their entire history. Iconic franchises like Mario and Zelda have not only stood the test of time, but remain among the most endearing to every new generation of players that discover them—and not only with core entries, but with offshoots as well that have become huge franchises in their own right—such as Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Smash Bros. just to name a few.

Over the years Nintendo has also continued to innovate and cultivate new experiences with diverse controllers and peripherals as well. While the standard gamepad of its competitors barely changes from generation to generation, Nintendo controllers have seen radical iterations in function and design—from the Wiimote motion controller to the Wii U Gamepad to the incredibly versatile Joy-Cons of the Nintendo Switch—Nintendo has never been afraid to experiment with new ideas.

With a vast library of unique experiences featuring many of the most hallowed characters and franchises in the history of the industry, Nintendo is in a league of its own when it comes to video game entertainment.