Topic: Nintendo's Best Home Console

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Hi, Im a student on a BA Games Development course and I am writing a Case Study on Nintendo's home Consoles. If you can please give me a minute of your time to give your opinion on which Nintendo console you believe was Nintendo's most successful console and why you believe this? Any opinion will be appreciated ( :



Well, if you're talking most successful from a business point of view, the Wii was the most successful because it sold the most units.
If you're asking what the most beloved console is, the SNES wins in most polls.
However, I have a feeling the Switch might soon overtake both.

Edited on by Shantephan


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I think the Gamecube, because, in my opinion of course, the controller was so subtle. The analogue stick was gloriously responsive with no dead zone, the molding around the analogue stick gave it the precision of a d-pad, the analogue triggers offered loads of subtlety and the pad elevated the games playability. The equivalent dualshock and xbox controllers could feel either twitchy or sluggish respectively (though the latter felt strangely correct when running around as master chief!) Super Monkey Ball collections on Ps2 and Xbox just didn't feel as good.

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Best console. That's a easy one

Super Nintendo.

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SNES Classic, because Yoshi's Island and custom stuff.
Wii U because Earthbound and custom Smash stuff.

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@ConnorBurdett123 Dunno if you can look up the historic quarterly reports to try and find out which consoles they made the most profit on, but in terms of market penetration the Wii is indisputably the most successful.

But the Wii was also a curse, because it's ropey SD visuals, overuse of motion controls, and the swathe of poor quality software ('shovelware') that the virgin gamers fell into buying, tarnished the brand at a time when ideally that penetration would have strengthened the brand by introducing Nintendo's commitment to quality to millions of new families.

Arguably, Nintendo's most successful home console was also its most damaging. And while there were other factors involved, I don't think it was a coincidence that the follow up to their most successful happened to be their least successful.

Edited on by gcunit

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Most succesful I think was the SNes, because I believe it was the best selling one. The best one in my opinion I can't decide between Wii and Gamecube because they have most of my favourite games. Wait a minute I don't need to decide I pick Wii so I have both this way
I like the Snes too anyway, but I like GC and Wii even more.

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As awesome as the SNES was (it's possibly my favorite system of all-time from any company), from a business standpoint the install base dropped a bit and Nintendo's stranglehold on the market was loosened a bit by Sega. The competition though provided many classic games, a lot of which still hold up extremely well today. Still say the 16-bit era was the 'Golden Age' for video games. However, when most businesses think success, sales numbers and profits are at the top, and as far as the home consoles go, Nintendo hasn't had a bigger success than the Wii (also has a game library that gets extremely underrated by haters who could never get over the whole 'casual' thing).



Define "success".

Are we talking about the console that was most commercially successful? In that case it's easily the Wii.

Are we talking about the console that successfully facilitated the biggest leaps forward in game design? In that case it's probably the N64 (or the NES).

Are we talking about the console that was the most successful in realising Nintendo's artistic visions? In that case it's probably the GameCube (but possibly the SNES or potentially even the Wii U).

Are we talking about the console that had the biggest positive impact on the Nintendo brand? In that case it's the NES.

Are we talking about the console that has left the most positive long lasting legacy for videogames? In that case it's the SNES.

Do you want to divide successful hardware design from successful marketing? In context the GameCube was Nintendo's best underlying hardware design - it was almost as powerful as the XBox but a fraction of the price and incredibly durable. The Wii is Nintendo's best and most distinctively marketed console.


All that said I'll make a case for one in particular: the Famicom/NES.

  • it was a technological powerhouse when it was launched in 1983 (in Japan) but ancient technology by the time it was widely available in the West.
  • it had a longer vital lifespan than just about any other console before or since.
  • it successfully reintroduced games consoles in the US. Something that required some very clear marketing and sales manoeuvres.
  • it leveraged Nintendo from basically no-where into the position of market leader, establishing some key tenets of their brand into the public consciousness that persist today.
  • Nintendo was able to successfully hold almost all major 3rd parties for the duration of the NES lifespan. Nintendo's control and influence over their partners and hence the industry has never been (and never will be) greater.
  • it was the console that straddled the threshold of home consoles as a place to play twitchy arcade ports making way to more exploratory involved games. In this way the NES (and Nintendo's contributions to its library) more successfully channelled the future direction of industry than any other Nintendo console.
    Only the original Playstation really comes close.

Had (for instance) the Master System or the PC Engine overthrown the NES in 1986-87 then potentially the arcade design mentality might have persisted in the home console space for much longer.


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"Most successful" by revenue or by sales? By sales, the GameBoy is far and away the leader (technically the best selling system of all time, beaten only by the PS2 due to it's exceedingly long sales life, but it's an unfair contest since many PS2's were sold as cheap DVD players back when dedicated players were expensive, where GameBoys were sold only to play games.) Runner up is DS. Followed by Wii. NES is way down the list. Nintendo had a North American monopoly on NES, but the gaming market was way smaller back then.

For revenues, you'd probably have to check the investors pages at Nintendo for product totals and YoY for current products.

Unless you meant "influential" rather than successful? That would be open to varied opinions. But if you meant success, that implies empirically measured statistics for either sales volume or revenues.



The Wii is my personal favorite, and I believe it was their most successful. A lot of people blame it for the Wii U's failure, but the Wii U's failure was the result of blantant mishandling of what made the Wii successful.

The Wii was focused on a concept, easy to market, made games fun with its hardware, and had a library of both high profile and hidden gems.

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I'd say SNES had the best library no doubt, but the Wii was the best marketed console(though the Switch is up there too). I think the Switch will end up being the best console no doubt, but as of right now I will give it to either the SNES or the Wii.

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Well it depends on what you mean by best. Bell selling? Most cultural impact? Most important to the industry? Personal favorite? Something else?

So I will answer a couple of these.
My personal favorite is probably the Switch at this point. This is because I have always had both a handheld and a console. The Switch is both. The only thing keeping me from saying this absolutely is the lack of a Virtual console on it right now. Nintendo gives us that and I call the system perfect.

Most cultural impact, I would have to say the the NES. That system's prevalence in movies, other games, books, made such a lasting impact that even today some people still think of the word Nintendo as being synonymous with video game.

Most important to the industry, definitely the NES. Because of the flooded market of mediocre games following the 1980s video game crash, video games could well have faded away as another temporary fad. Gaming was dying. Then Nintendo came around and showed everyone that gaming could still be awesome. The NES effectively saved gaming as a hobby and an industry in North America.

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