Thank You, Nintendo: I Finally Picked a Winner

I’ve been playing video games since the mid-80s. That was also the last time I picked a winning game console.

I was weaned on my brother’s Nintendo Entertainment System. While there was an Atari 5200 in the house, NES got all the playtime. All the greatest games of the generation were developed for the system — well, just about every game was made for NES.

Many years later my brother purchased a Sega Genesis, packaged with a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog. (And whatever happened with companies packing their best game along with the system? At least Nintendo brought it back with Wii Sports.)

There were some great exclusives for the Genesis, like Streets of Rage and Toe Jam & Earl, and I got to see the earliest stage of the soon-to-be EA Sports superpower with the start of annual game releases. But ultimately everyone owned a Super Nintendo, so the discussions amongst friends about Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario World were pretty lonely on my end.

So far Nintendo Co. has been a consistent winner. We ignored Sony Corp.’s PlayStation entry into video games, and split the cost of a Nintendo 64. And again, aside from a handful of brilliant games, another loser.

In 1999 I was on my own to make video game decisions. My brother was still playing his PlayStation, and I was betting on Sega Inc. to make a triumphant return, believing the company learned its lesson from the dookie that was the Saturn. But alas, only a couple good games, and the far last of that game generation.

I soon gave up on Sega when they gave up on me — just a few years after the system’s launch, Sega was throwing in the towel. Soon I put my chips in Microsoft Corp.’s expensive, ugly super system, Xbox. They were the first on the broadband bandwagon, and I was right with them. Of course, few people followed, and Xbox ended up in second.

That brings me to last year when I had finished doing my homework and determined this generation’s winner. Nintendo’s Wii seemed to have it all: a fresh idea, great games and ambitious goals for online. Microsoft got an early start with Xbox 360, but I knew Nintendo had all the right ideas. Sony, I knew, had lost it from the start with this way too powerful, way too expensive Playstation 3. But Nintendo. Nintendo has it.

And after waiting in the cold months after its release for a ticket to buy the system at Circuit City and the months leading up to today when Wiis are still selling out, the system’s total sales has finally passed Xbox 360’s. They’re both around 10 and a half million units worldwide — although Wii still trails the Xbox 360 by a couple million.

With awesome looking exclusives like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the way, I think I may have picked a winner.

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2 comments so far

  1. sokimatsu on

    I totally agree, Wii is a much better system and I love playing wii sports 🙂

  2. Mark on

    Yeah, that’s because you’re unstoppable at Wii bowling.


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