Nintendo: Facts To Know After The NX Announcement

Nintendo, in its trademark fashion, announced a new system for 2017, the NX, seemingly out of nowhere.  The Japanese game company has always been a little bit unusual, which has been a large reason for their success.

"So wait, he's an Italian plumber that grows when he eats mushrooms, can use flowers to cast fireballs, and kills other mushrooms to save a princess from a dinosaur?  Makes total sense."

“So wait, he’s an Italian plumber that grows when he eats mushrooms, can use flowers to cast fireballs, and kills other mushrooms to save a princess from a dinosaur? Makes total sense.”

While Nintendo has seen much success in the current market, the systems and games it produces are a little more niche than the Xbox or PS4.  Innovation has largely been part of the Nintendo brand, often out of necessity when considering some of the facts about the company and its games.

Nintendo Started As A Card Company

nintendo cards

Founded in 1889, Nintendo started out by producing handmade playing cards, however, by the 1960s they had expanded into several markets, most notably in toys.  It wasn’t until the 70s that they entered the consumer electronics market, and after that, the rest is history.

Mario Is A Mishmash Of Strange Circumstances

mario nintendo 2

You would be forgiven if the first time someone explained what a Mario was, you said “huh?”  Most likely, however, you played the games as a child, where literally anything makes sense.

"So wait, slow down.  It's both a tank and a jet, it can go faster than the speed of light, and it has infinite mana missiles to destroy the space demons?  Just checking, that makes total sense."

“So wait, slow down. It’s both a tank and a jet, it can go faster than the speed of light, and it has infinite mana missiles to destroy the space demons? Just checking, that’s totally clear.”

It turns out that Nintendo wanted to make a Popeye game, but were unable to get the license until the year after the first Donkey Kong game was made.  Mario wasn’t even initially called “Mario,” but was called “Jumpman” instead, because sometimes being literal is the safest course of action.  He was given his famous moniker after Nintendo had to convince their American landlord to give them a break on rent, assuring him that they would make the money.  His name was Mario Segale.

"Call me 'Jumpman' again, and I'll break your legs."

“Call me ‘Jumpman’ again, and I’ll break your legs.”

Even Mario’s large nose, mustache, and red shirt and blue overalls were designed by Shigeru Miyamoto to make the character look unique, despite the graphical limitations of the original arcade game.

"Itsa me!  Chimera of circumstance!"

“Itsa me! Chimera of circumstance!”

Nintendo Is Hugely Successful In The Handheld Market

Original Nintendo Gameboy

Nintendo’s first real foray into the home console market was its Game and Watch series in the 1980s, but it was the 1989 (1990 in North America) release of the Game Boy that really changed things for them.  By the end of the decade, the Game Boy and its newer models, had sold over 100 million units worldwide.  The Nintendo DS has been even more successful, having surpassed that number recently.  It’s no wonder that Nintendo makes more money than Sony.

Nintendo executives out for a stroll.

Nintendo executives out for a stroll.

         

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Brendan