It wasn’t like today where you have three main competitors. You had the Managing Odyssey, Atari 2600, Atari 200, Interrelation, Collision, PVC 4000, Fairchild 1 and 2, and the list goes on! Can you imagine having to pick out one of those? There were no internet reviews about the systems so you were basically the test dummy of gaming. Not only were there too many consoles but too many games themselves, there were no restrictions on who could make games and sell them, so just about everyone did.
When those companies made games they would often make home-ports of arcade games, such as Gala or Pace-Man, because they already had a large following, and who wouldn’t want to play an arcade game without paying a ratter every time you lose? This may sound like a genius idea but the arcade systems were much more powerful than the home consoles and to put them onto cartridges for home use was ambitious and resulted in inferior ports which pushed many people away and back to the arcade. Now before you say, what does this have to do with anything, let me explain.
During all of this Nintendo of Japan was thriving with its home videotape console called the Family Computer or Family for short. Nintendo wanted to spread its reaches across the Pacific onto LIST soil, and they couldn’t have picked a worse time. All retail stores just cancelled all video game orders and stopped selling them saying, “they were fads” and “video gaming was dead. ” Not a single store was willing to gamble with video games again. So Nintendo went back to the drawing board.
Restyling the system from its childish Family to a more futuristic (at the time) and grown-up look, and giving it a new name, instead of a video game console it was now the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NEST for short, to make consumers see it as more than just a console, but retailers still wouldn’t sell it. So in October 1985, Nintendo said, alright, we’ll give you 50,000 consoles to ell before Christmas, and whatever you don’t sell, we will buy back. So a few stores in New York decided to do it, and in a few days the system sold like a wild fire.
With superior graphics never seen before, great games, and an amazing price of only $80 a system, it was a huge success. Not all the systems sold however, though enough sold that other retailers such as Toys R Us and Sears decided to sell Nintendo Entertainment Systems as well, and the system went nationwide. Nintendo studied and learned from other systems mistakes in attempt to avoid another crash in video gaming. They saw that anyone and everyone dad games for the Atari and other consoles, which resulted in a market flooded with bad games and no one wanted to be the Guiana pig.
Nintendo decided that all games had to be licensed by Nintendo and third party companies could only make a certain amount of games a year. This proved beneficial as all games were of quality so the market wasn’t full of bad games. All systems had a lock-out chip which allowed only games that were licensed by Nintendo and that received the reverse lock-out chip to play, ensuring all games must be licensed. Nintendo also did this to restrict religious and over- violent games from being made. One company, Tangent, made games that would override the lock-out chip and would play as normal Nintendo games.
They released copies of Nintendo games, one of being Tetras, which, at the time, was at its height Of popularity, attracting many to the NEST. Nintendo sued, claiming patent infringement, and won, causing the Tangent, and specifically, the Tangent Tetras game to fall into obscurity and eBay auctions commanding ridiculous prices. The NEST sold over 60 million units and single-handedly revalidated the gaming industry. Nintendo became Japan’s most successful company, even beating Toyota in amount of revenue. Nintendo ruled the world, at least the gaming world.
It had its own magazine with tips and tricks about the games, a Super Mario and Legend of Zelda television series, toys, and even a breakfast cereal. In 1990 a movie called, The Wizard, was basically a theatrical Nintendo commercial advertising a game, Super Mario Brose. 3, which hadn’t even been released yet! And it worked, making that game the most popular on the console when it released. In 1990 Nintendo held a contest in 30 US cities called the Nintendo World Championships. Three finalists from each city were given a copy of the contest version of the game. Only 90 were in existence from then on.
Making this the rarest Nintendo game ever! Selling for extreme prices on the internet, a recent sale being $1 00,000 dollars! But that’s the kind of legacy something this great can have. Even today, games are being sold online and the same games can be bought for current generation consoles; that is how popular these games are. Whenever people think of the video game industry you can’t help but think of the good ole Super Mario Brose. We’ve all played it, which is the legacy this system holds. A few other things that helped Nintendo shape the gaming world were its involvement with Sony.
Sony originally made a sound chip for the Super Nintendo, the next console after the NEST. After Nintendo was pleased with the chip, they partnered with Sony to make a disc add-on for the Super Nintendo. Prototypes were made and shown off at a gaming convention, labeled “Nintendo Palpitation. ” The next day Nintendo canceled fearing they would lose money to Sony in the deal. Sony was infuriated and decided to make its own system to rival Nintendo, giving birth to the Sony Palpitation. Nintendo also had an effect on Microsoft’s Oxbow 360. The controllers are nearly a direct clone of the Nintendo Gamecock’s.