字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント When it comes to gaming, there's one company that evoked more nostalgia than any other. That, of course, is Nintendo. It continues to publish and develop some of the most popular video game franchises in the world… and competes among the big 3 to this day. This is the evolution of Nintendo. Nintendo's origins can actually be traced all the way back to 1889, when it was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi as Yamauchi Nintendo. Mr. Yamauchi started off by producing handmade Hanafuda, which is a type of Japanese playing cards. In 1959, Nintendo, which changed its name to Nintendo Playing Card, entered into an agreement with Walt Disney to use the Disney characters on their cards. A few years later, the company's name was shortened to just 'Nintendo', with nobody being 100% sure what the word Nintendo actually means, though it's thought to loosely translate as 'leave luck to heaven'. Over the following years playing cards became less popular among Japanese households and in 1964, the value of the company's stock began to plummet from 900 to just 60 Yen. Nintendo was in heavy debt and Yamauchi was desperate to find the next big thing. So, they decided to invest in new ventures, like packages of instant rice… A taxi service… And the not so very family-friendly love hotels. Eventually Nintendo decided to venture into the weapons business… Uh, I mean the toy market, and released Japan's first electronic toy in 1970, the Nintendo Beam Gun. This would become an ancestor to the NES Zapper that was later used in video games such as Duck Hunt. In 1972, an American company named Magnavox created the first commercial home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. Nintendo developed and produced a light gun accessory for the console. Two years later, Nintendo also secured the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan. Having witnessed first-hand how popular video games were, Nintendo began to work on building its own consoles. Nintendo's first official console was a joint effort with partner Mitsubishi. Released in 1977, it was given the unimaginative title of the 'Color TV-Game 6,' with the number 6 denoting how many games could be played on it. Soon after, they also released the 'Color TV-Game 15', TV-Game Racing 112, Block Kuzushi and the Computer TV Game. It's hard to imagine that games on these consoles really were this simple. At the same time, Nintendo was also working on developing games for arcades, many of which would later be ported to consoles including Donkey Kong and Mario Brothers. The company's first venture into handheld electronic gaming came in 1980 with the Game & Watch. The product derived its name from featuring just a single game, as well as a clock on an LCD screen. Multiple series of the Game & Watch were made. Some looking drastically different, like the Multi Screen that featured two screens and a clam-shell design that would later be replicated in future handheld Nintendo consoles. Until 1991, Nintendo released around 60 different Game & Watch games, like Ball… Parachute.. Snoopy…. Donkey Kong Jr… And Mario the Juggler. To keep gamers entertained, most games came with two modes, 'GAME A' representing the 'easy mode', and 'GAME B' representing a faster, harder version of the same game'. The Game & Watch sold 43.4 million units worldwide. FUN FACT: Gunpei Yokoi got the idea to create the Game & Watch when he saw a bored man play with his calculator in the train. In 1985 Nintendo really started to stand out from the crowd, as they released the much-loved Nintendo Entertainment System, or 'NES'. It was Nintendo's first home video game console released outside of Japan. A different-looking version had already been released within Japan in 1983, known as the Family Computer or 'Famicom', and while some games and art styles varied, the consoles were essentially the same in terms of performance. To say the NES was significant is an understatement. It helped to revive the video game industry after the crash in 1983, going on to sell 62 million units worldwide and set the record for the longest-surviving video game system in history. It stayed on the American market until 1995, and in Japan it wasn't discontinued until 2003! Many of Nintendo's most successful game franchises were born on the NES, like Final Fantasy… Castlevania… Metroid… and the Legend of Zelda. Duck Hunt was also very popular, but the most-sold game for the NES, with over 40 million copies sold, was, of course, Super Mario Brothers. The NES was praised for its simple, yet at the time, innovative controller. Joysticks were the common method of control before Nintendo designed and patented their D-pad. Even though the trend has now reversed, with joysticks often being preferred, D-pads were much better for playing 2D games like Donkey Kong. FUN FACT: Donkey Kong was the first game that involved jumping and is therefore considered to be the first true platformer. In 1989, Nintendo offered more versatility to gamers with the handheld, brick-like Game Boy that used interchangeable cartridges. This meant that gamers could simply buy a game, rather than a new device, each time they wanted a different experience. Remaining popular until this day, the Game Boy was portable, durable and came with hugely popular titles like Super Mario Land, Kirby's Dreamland, Pokémon Red and Blue and Tetris. Nintendo released a compact version, the Game Boy Pocket, in 1996. It was notably smaller and lighter, and came in different colors. This Game Boy had a black-and-white display, rather than the green-tinted display of the original Game Boy. The battery life however was decreased from 15 hours for the original to roughly 10 hours. Two years later, the Game Boy Light hit shelves exclusively in Japan. The Game Boy screen was difficult to see in the dark, and the Game Boy Light fixed that problem with a backlight. Next came the Game Boy Color, released in 1998. It came in colorful colors and like the name suggests, the Game Boy Color could display games in color. Many games were re-released with color like The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening… and Tetris. Other games included Pokémon Gold and Silver, Super Mario Brothers Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons. Needless to say but the Game Boy and the Game Boy Color were a massive success. In total 118.7 million units were sold. FUN FACT: In 1993, a Russian cosmonaut, named Aleksandr Serebrov took his Game Boy to space to play Tetris. The Game Boy is said to have orbited earth 3000 times and was sold at an auction for $1,220. The much-anticipated successor to the NES was the SNES, released in 1991 in the United States with the new 'S' standing for 'Super', hence the Famicom, released one year earlier in Japan, also became the Super Famicom. The SNES was a 16-bit console that saw a significant increase in processing power, audio and more advanced cartridges. At the time, Nintendo and Sega were going head-to-head in what is referred to as 'the bit wars', with advertising campaigns taking jabs at each other and both claiming to have the superior console. Eventually Nintendo got the upper hand and ended up outselling its closest rival, with 49 million units sold, compared to Sega Genesis' sales of 35 million. The third best-selling console at the time was the TurboGrafx-16, which lagged far behind with sales of 10 million units. Games that appeared on the SNES included the first Mario Kart game, as well as sequels to popular franchises such as Final Fantasy 6… Super Mario World… Super Metroid… Donkey Kong Country… and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The SNES controller got a makeover too, with rounded edges replacing the former rectangular design and additional buttons being added to both the front and shoulders of the gamepad. In 1995, the Virtual Boy was released, but it was a commercial failure. You had to put your head in a mounted display, which was like a VR headset. VR didn't add to games at all, it was just a novelty. It was also uncomfortable to wear, not portable, too expensive, and games were not in full color, but in black and red… Those colors were just unappealing, especially when compared to the colorful games in other Nintendo consoles. It featured a number of games, including Mario's Tennis, Wario Land and 3D Tetris. But those games weren't played that much, since people experienced dizziness and headaches from this thing. The Virtual Boy is one of the worst-selling consoles of all time, with roughly 770,000 units sold. FUN FACT: Nintendo claimed that a color display would have made the system too expensive and that it would result in “jumpy” images, so the company opted for a monochrome display. Nintendo began to face tougher opposition when they released their next generation of console, the Nintendo 64 in 1996. After all, they now had to compete with the very successful PlayStation, which had already been out for 2 years at that point. Despite quadrupling their bits to 64 and outselling the Sega Saturn, with sales figures of 33 million to just 9 million, the cartridge-based N64 was no match for the CD-based PlayStation, which took over the crown as market leader and sold more than double the amount of the other two combined. In a trend that still holds true for many today, Nintendo came to be recognized as a source of fun and entertainment for families, rather than a serious gaming console for individuals. Nintendo's games tended to have much more cartoon-like graphics and fantasy-based characters, compared to the added realism brought by other machines. Having said that, the N64 did take major steps forward in terms of its modern 3D graphics and featured iconic titles that are still enjoyed today. It had a fantastic library of adventure and party games like Super Mario 64… Super Smash Brothers… Pokémon Stadium… Donkey Kong 64… The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time…. Mario Kart 64… And GoldenEye 007. The N64 controller was a controversial change, featuring a three-pronged design with a central joystick, d-pad, face and shoulder buttons plus a trigger button at the back. FUN FACT: The epic multiplayer mode for GoldenEye was a last-minute addition. Developer Steve Ellies had access to the code written for a single-player game and decided to turn GoldenEye into a multiplayer game within a month. So thanks, Steve! Three years later than planned, in 2001, the Game Boy Advance hit store shelves. It had a landscape design and incorporated shoulder buttons, which is why they called it the Advance. With processing power similar to that of the SNES, the Advance's game library was full of SNES ports, allowing gamers to play the same epic titles while on the move. This, of course, included the greats like 'Super Mario World'… 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past'… And games from the 'Final Fantasy' series. Pokémon games, like Ruby and Sapphire were also big hits with Advance owners. A compact, foldable version of the Game Boy Advance came out in 2003, known as the 'SP'. The original Game Boy Advance received complaints due to the dark screen, and the SP fixed that problem using a significantly brighter LCD screen and an internal front-light. It was also the first of Nintendo's handheld lineup that had a rechargeable battery. The Game Boy Micro came in 2005 and was much smaller than the original. The design could be changed with interchangeable faceplates. The Game Boy Micro did not sell well, because the Nintendo DS was already released at this time. In total, the Nintendo Advance family sold over 81.5 million units globally. A console you probably never heard of before is the Pokémon mini, released in 2001. It was the smallest game system Nintendo created and themed around the Pokémon franchise. In total, only 10 games were released for the Pokémon mini, most of which were only available in Japan. Although it's unknown how many units were sold, the Pokémon mini certainly wasn't a success. It was discontinued a year after its release. If the Nintendo 64 was up against it, then the Nintendo GameCube was even more so. Released in 2001, it was up against the PlayStation 2, and Microsoft's new system the Xbox. The GameCube looked much more kid-friendly and like a toy in comparison to its rivals. Despite its name, it wasn't even a cube. It measured 5.9 by 6.3 by 4.3 inches. Nintendo managed to sell 22 million GameCubes. Instead of using cartridges, the system switched to using mini-discs, and did not use CDs or DVDs like its competitors. Whereas DVDs could store up to 8.5 gigabytes of data, the GameCube discs could only store 1.5 gigabytes. This meant that some cross-platform content had to be compressed or features removed from games entirely. Another major drawback was the lack of online gameplay. Reportedly, the GameCube only had eight games with internet or local area network support. The console didn't feature an internal hard drive either, and relied on the use of memory cards. Games which players were able to enjoy on GameCube included Super Smash Brothers Melee… The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker… Mario Kart: Double Dash…. Super Mario Sunshine… Metroid Prime… Animal Crossing… and Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo got rid of the 3-pronged controller design and instead opted for a more traditional two-pronged version. In 2002, Nintendo made a wireless controller, called the WaveBird Wireless Controller, even before Xbox and PlayStation managed to do so.