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The History of N-Evolution

by the NWR Staff - February 26, 2000, 7:10 am EST

Kosta takes a trip down memory lane to review Nintendo's history and its evolution over the years. A very thorough study of Nintendo's history, which will be added to over time.

N-Evolution Logo

Part One: The Dawn

Kosta Andreadis

"...While the N64 didn't have the ability to realise the perfect 3D world, Dolphin is going to do so. In other words, it's like the transition from NES to Super NES”

-Shigeru Miyamoto-

When we look at the history of videogames or the history of anything that has evolved from humble beginnings to something well respected we see key moments that define genres and take the art form or medium to another level. Nintendo have played a key role in the evolution of videogames and consoles and this will look at their role. Welcome to the theory of N-evolution.


A passing phase, a market swamped with mediocre remakes of the same games. This was the time before the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), a time when Atari, Mattel and Coleco were the big guns in the gaming community. Of course I was merely a toddler and oblivious to the world of videogames at this time but this was the right moment for Nintendo and their talented game developers headed by Shigeru Miyamoto to take videogames to the next level and to the masses. Making their name with the popular Donkey Kong and Mario Bros which were licensed out to the consoles of the time Nintendo were hard at work on their own console for many years and what was then known as Super Mario Bros. Releasing the Nintendo Famicon, their family computer hence the name, in Japan and it became successful.

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      NES                                    Famicom

The NES brought videogames to the people                   The Family Computer                          

Because of Atari’s dominance of the US market and the many different consoles available Nintendo chose not to release the Famicon (pictured right) into a western market. If Atari continued to dominate and the videogame crash of the early 80’s never took place I think its safe to say that videogames would still be seen as merely toys and just a passing craze. But when the market crumbled, Nintendo, keeping a keen eye on the US, felt the time was right and the people were ready for a videogame console that would become a household name and loved by millions.

Initially Nintendo had a difficult time releasing the system in America. During this crash, Atari games were sold for 10% of the suggested retail price. The American retailers promised themselves to never again sell video game consoles or computers! At last, in 1985, Mr. Arakawa (President of NOA and soon to be president of NCL) managed to persuade one retailer in New York to release it as a test for the market, and the rest as somebody once said, is history. Within 10 years of the release in February 1986, the NES sold around 30 million copies in the US alone, and had approximately 90% of the 8-bit market! The NES was released in Europe and to various other countries in 1986.

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Mario Head (Itsa Me!)


it or loath it, but this is the face that changed the course of

videogame history.

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