The biggest changes to every Nintendo console



Right now – since the Famicom, the Japanese NES, hit stores in 1983 – Nintendo has made more than a dozen consoles. It also spans over three decades. That includes revisions and all that, but the point is, they’re often seen as innovation leaders in the video game space. And for good reason.

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So, after the Famicom and the NES, how exactly did Nintendo choose to evolve their systems? This article will take a look at eleven consoles and handhelds in an attempt to determine exactly what their greatest contributions to the video game industry have been. Were they good, or were they even bad?


The Game Boy was Nintendo’s first real attempt at a handheld after the NES. It was launched in 1989 and was just as successful as the home console. Yes, before that they made the Game & Watch series, but it was not the same as what the Game Boy brought to the market. It was a revolution, pure and simple.

Super Nintendo

A few years later, the North American market was introduced to the successor to the NES, the SNES. This 1991 version released with Super mario world and makes the console an instant classic. It had 16-bit graphics and a fancy controller with more buttons. In Japan, they even had a downloadable service ahead of its time.

Virtual boy

It barely counts as a console (or handheld) because it failed so hard. The Virtual Boy was released in 1995, and less than a year later it was canned with very few games to come out.

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Nonetheless, Nintendo can (and perhaps should) be commended for trying to create an affordable 3D experience. The high certainly worked, but it also stung the eyes quickly after prolonged use.

Nintendo 64

Just as the Virtual Boy was canceled, the N64 was soon to follow in 1996. Likewise, the Nintendo 64 introduced 3D to a new audience – only it was not an effect, but a style to adapt to the new ones. graphics. Without surprise, Super Mario 64 has become the standard for 3D platforms and Ocarina of time for action / adventure games. In addition to the graphics enhancement, the system had an expansion slot for planned upgrades and four controller ports, making it easy to set up multiplayer.

Game Boy Color

The Game Boy Color was a late replacement for the Game Boy in 1998. It was more of a console overhaul than anything else. Its great revolutionary contribution to the handheld range was its addition of color and slightly improved graphics. It was also the first Nintendo device to offer backward compatibility natively on the system.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Color was quickly replaced by the GBA in 2001. This was another slight improvement in graphics capabilities. It also had backward compatibility which was more amazing than the GBC as it was more of a sequel system. The handheld would get better with the GBA SP revision which ultimately added a backlit display to the series. There was the Game Boy Lite that did it first, but it was a Japanese exclusive.


In the same year, Nintendo also launched the GameCube. The console kept the N64’s multiplayer orientation in mind, and not only had four controller ports, but also a handle for carrying. The small design accompanied by the handle makes it easy to take to friends. It was also the first system to use discs for Nintendo.


Compared to previous years, Nintendo has moved much faster between console and handheld versions. However, they also doubled backward compatibility, as the 2004 version of the DS also supported GBA games. It’s not like they’re giving up software altogether. The DS’s biggest gadget, however, was the dual screen with the bottom acting as a touchscreen. The first model was bulky, but the DS Lite model really made this system faithful.


In 2006, this idea of ​​motion controls from the DS touchscreen was greatly improved with the release of the Wii. Could motion games really work? For the press and consumers alike, they were all surprised to see that the Wii largely performed as promised.

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This, along with the introduction of the Virtual Console and a larger digital store, made the Wii a big hit for Nintendo. It was also their first home console to offer native backward compatibility, but only for the GameCube.


Not afraid of their failure in the face of the Virtual Boy, Nintendo embarked on 3D again with the release of 3DS in 2011. Much like the movement prowess of the Wii, it was also a surprising success in the game. ‘execution. The only thing that hurt him was the introductory price of $ 250. After the price dropped, it started to sell better. Another feature to note was the social aspect of StreetPass, which linked inactive handhelds.

Wii U

In 2012, the Wii U was released as the successor to the Wii. Because of the name and the marketing, this confused consumers at first. Was it just an expansion screen for the Wii, or was it a new console? Needless to say, Nintendo has done its best to market it, but rarely found pockets of success. Yet being able to play games on the handheld or television, with a few exceptions, was quite a revolutionary idea for them.


The Wii U was such a great idea that Nintendo retooled it and relaunched the system as the Switch in 2017. It’s kind of a joke, but for all intents and purposes, the Wii U genre. is a public demo now. Along with the improved functionality between handheld and game show, the Switch’s detachable controllers, which are motion-based, were another interesting concept. On the other hand, it was the first console since the Wii that natively offered no backward compatibility.

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