and how they made it shouldn't surprise you. first look what they did with the wii - they introduced a family friendly console with a control style that moved away from traditional console controllers. and the people rejoiced, buying up so many units that for a while you'd be hard pressed to find one on the shelves of your local stores. 25 years ago their game plan wasn't so different. if you look at console controllers of the time, they were fairly primitive. even the NES controller was similar - a directional control and two buttons. but what they did introduce in addition to this was really something new - the zapper light gun. it allowed a completely different kind of play, and bundled with the super mario brothers / duck hunt combo cartridge, it changed the way we game. and let's not forget to mention the power pad and the R.O.B. (robot operating buddy) as alternate controllers too. after a bit of a climb, nintendo gained national popularity, with mario mania breathing life back into the video game industry, and i think you know how it went from there. the NES gave rise to the game boy SNES, sega came back with the genesis and game gear, then sony entered the game, and guess what? competition in the west and 3rd party software devs! a race to provide the best which still goes on today in console and mobile gaming. all sparked by the NES.
|ahh the zapper... fond memories|
they had more monster titles that inspired the next generation of games, and the next, and the next, etc. in addition to what's been mentioned, there was kung fu, excitebike, mega man, castlevania, and the legend of zelda. and this list goes on for a mile. as a result look at video games now - they've come out of the basement to be a tremendous part of today's mainstream media. it's no longer solely associated with geekdom worldwide, but draws a lot of different types of people to the variety of games that exist. and my generation, who were kids during the NES era, are what's driving that. you can tell by where the target market for the gaming industry lies. it's not kids anymore, but the 18-35 demographic that most of the industry's marketing dollars go to.
that's right kids, the nintendo generation is getting ready to run things around here. rejoice. and with that, my hats off to nintendo for 25 years of technology, innovation, memories, and most of all, fun.
the folks over at 1up actually has a great retrospective of 25 years of the NES, which you can get to here. wired magazine's "this day in tech" is also a good short read on the topic here.