A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS

For a while it appeared as though Japan’s booming video game business was immune to the country’s drawn-out economic bust. As Japan slumped into a deep recession, the industry flew an inverse trajectory, reaching a dizzying peak in 1997 thanks to the invigorating success of Sony’s PlayStation. But soon enough the long winding lines of… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo GameCube


The mighty had fallen. Nintendo, the saviour of the video game in the mid-1980s and its definer for the next decade had, by the time of Nintendo 64’s decline, lost its place at the heart of the industry it had established and sustained. While Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo 64


For 13 years Nintendo consoles had dominated the video game landscape. The Famicom hoisted the industry from the pit into which it had been cast by Atari’s calamitous business decisions in the early 1980s, while its successor had allowed developers around the world to make their fortunes – and swollen Nintendo’s coffers through steep licensing… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo’s Virtual Boy

virtual boy

Not only was it the first blemish on Nintendo’s unspoiled track record in the video game hardware business, but the Virtual Boy was also the handheld that helped end the illustrious career of its inventor, Gunpei Yokoi. And yet, its innovations in stereoscopic 3D pioneered technology that would reappear 16 years later in the guise… Continue reading

Nintendo’s E3 2014: a line-up unlikely to ‘save’ Wii U, but who cares when it’s this much fun?

nintendo e3

And now for something completely different. It doesn’t matter whether you believe Nintendo’s determination to do things its own way is its greatest asset or its greatest flaw, few will have watched Nintendo’s version of an E3 press conference without cracking a smile. The tone was set from the very beginning with an extraordinary, GIF-friendly… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo Game Boy

Game Boy

Nintendo’s Game Boy became synonymous with handheld gaming overnight. A system with interchangeable games, it could be played anywhere, combining portability, miniaturization and entertainment – three of the most important attributes of today’s emerging technology – into a single, affordable, power-light device. Not only that, but the Game Boy is arguably the most iconic piece… Continue reading

Tomodachi Life review

Tomodachi Life 2

Part soap opera, part sitcom, Tomodachi Life is an ostensibly odd and subversive life sim underneath which beats a quietly conformist heart. It asks you to cater to the whims and needs of the Mii characters inhabiting a steadily growing island community; you’ll earn money by making them happy, which is invested in new items… Continue reading

Retrospective: Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime

Ignore the cheery red and yellow Space Quarterback trappings: Metroid has always been a restless and difficult series, an introvert among the pixies and plumbers of the Nintendo catalogue. Serious, complex and unfriendly to newcomers, Samus Aran’s adventures trade in elegant dread rather than clear-cut heroics, replacing the smiling clouds and summer skies with slimy… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo Famicom


Dinky, with red and white plastic casing and rounded edges, you’d be forgiven for thinking Nintendo’s defining video game system of the 1980s was a child’s toy. It’s no accident. Having achieved success with the Color TV Game 6 and 15 systems, Nintendo’s CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted to design a more serious home computer disguised… Continue reading

Retrospective: F-Zero GX

fzero GX

Nintendo understands gameplay – but you sometimes have to look outside the company’s R&D labs to find developers that understand Nintendo. HAL gave us Super Smash Bros’s unashamedly vibrant celebration of all things Nintendo. Intelligent Systems crafted the wryly self-referental Mario & Luigi twinset. And when Amusement Vision was tasked with updating Shigeru Miyamoto’s futuristic… Continue reading