A Short History of All the Nintendo Gaming Systems

A Short History of All the Nintendo Gaming Systems

All of us have played Nintendo video games at one time or another, but you might not know where they all came from! Whether you're a fan of Nintendo Gamecube games, Wii Sports Resort, spend all of your time on your Switch, or like to take it way back with classic games on older systems, you'll love this journey through memory lane. We'll cover all of the video game consoles Nintendo has released in the United States ever since 1983. 


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1. Nintendo Entertainment System/NES (1983)

Picture it: 1983. Big hair, neon colors, and the birth of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES brought us iconic classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Duck Hunt. Ah, the days when blowing into cartridges was a legitimate troubleshooting method!

2. Game Boy (1989)

Enter the Game Boy, the brick-shaped wonder that gave us portable gaming. With its greenish screen and monophonic tunes, it was a technological marvel. Donkey Kong, Tetris, and Pokémon Red and Blue made this handheld gem an absolute game-changer.

3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System/SNES (1991)

The SNES turned up the volume with 16-bit graphics and a killer game library. Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid were instant classics that defined a generation of gamers. Blowing on Super NES cartridges was an art form of its own!

4. Virtual Boy (1995)

Okay, let's address the Virtual Boy—a quirky experiment in 3D gaming that left us scratching our heads. With its red monochrome display and a tendency to induce headaches, it was Nintendo's charming misstep. It may not have been a hit, but hey, it was a bold attempt at virtual reality before it was cool.

5. Nintendo 64/N64 (1996)

Ah, the Nintendo 64, home to groundbreaking 3D games and the weirdest controller known to mankind. Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil, and GoldenEye 007 were the crown jewels. The four controller ports were an open invitation to gaming parties, and "It's-a me, Mario!" became a household catchphrase.

6. Game Boy Color (1998)

The Game Boy Color was a rainbow in your pocket, upgrading the classic handheld with vibrant hues. Pokémon Crystal, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe made sure our on-the-go adventures were as colorful as our Pokémon teams.

7. GameCube (2001)

The GameCube dared to be different with its mini-DVD discs and, let's be honest, the weirdest controllers ever. But with classics like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Luigi's Mansion, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, and the timeless masterpiece, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the GameCube secured its place in our hearts.

8. Game Boy Advance (2001)

The Game Boy Advance was a pocket-sized powerhouse, bringing us a library of 32-bit wonders. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords, and the golden oldies made this handheld a must-have for gaming on the go.

9. Nintendo DS - Dual Screens, Double Fun (2004)

Nintendo DS, the dual-screen wonder that introduced us to touchscreen gaming and online play. Nintendogs, Brain Age, and Mario Kart DS transformed commutes into epic gaming sessions. Plus, who can forget the satisfying click of the DS closing shut?

10. Wii (2006)

The Nintendo Wii console brought motion controls into our living rooms, with our remote transforming into tools like a baseball bat or tennis racket. Wii games like Wii Sports, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword made family game nights legendary. It also brought the Wii Balance Board, Mii Channel, and Wii Shop Channel, two innovations that changed the world of gaming.

11. Nintendo 3DS (2011)

The Nintendo 3DS added an extra dimension to handheld gaming—literally! With titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Mario Kart 7, the 3DS kept us entertained on road trips and lazy Sundays.

12. Wii U (2012)

The Wii U, the second of the Wii systems, may have been a bit misunderstood, but it gave us gems like Super Mario 3D World, Splatoon, and Mario Kart 8. Plus, who could resist the allure of the GamePad? It also used an SD card, a feature that had rarely been seen in past consoles.

13. Nintendo Switch (2017)

And finally, we arrive at the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console that seamlessly transitions between handheld and TV modes. Great games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Party 8, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons help players move smoothly from solo play on the go to full-screen group play in their living room. Perfect for elementary schoolers and college students alike!

So there you have it, a whimsical journey through the evolution of Nintendo gaming experiences. From pixelated pioneers to modern marvels, Nintendo has kept us entertained for decades. Here's to many more years of jumping on Goombas, collecting Triforce pieces, and discovering new worlds with our favorite plumbers and heroes!

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