Nintendo Nostalgia

Every summer, me and my sister take out our DS lites. Mine is in slightly better shape than my sisters. The cartridges will still work, though the screen is falling off. My sister’s DS’s mic and cartridge entry is broken. Every summer we sit down in the same spot: outside in the garden, beneath the table. A make-shift blanket fort which we build to keep out the sun is the only way we can see what is going on on our screens. We play Mario Party for a while, until we have to run for the one (1) charger that we can find. Then follows the game of “Is your DS green yet? Mine is dying” and passing the charger on. 

The Konami Code

I like to call Nintendo-products the biggest nostalgia buys you can imagine. It is not just in terms of monetary value. Nintendo may just have the biggest nostalgia-figure in its possession: Mario. Who did not play a Mario game on their console, ever? Even the ‘Konami code’ (you know it, it is Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and Start) is a big part of Nintendo nostalgia. After all, the ‘Konami code’ became huge in the West due to the NES. 

Kazuhisa Hashimoto
Kazuhisa Hashimoto

15 November 1958 – 25 February 2020

Kazuhisa Hashimoto is the creator of the Konami code. His early work consisted of developing coin operated arcade games into console games. He created the Konami code as he was converting the game Gradius, a space shooter game, from arcade to console form. The story is simple:

“I had one guy under me, and he played through the coin-op version. That one’s really tough. I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code. laughing [..] Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.”

Hashimoto, 2003, translated interview from Konami: The Nintendo Era

When I saw that Nintendo had a new handheld console, I was hyped. Not just because the Wii U was not up my lane, and a flop at that. With the Wii U, Nintendo had turned its focus away from the casual gamers and to the hardcore gamers. However, it had limited itself with its less-than-ideal third-party support among others. It is good to see that Nintendo learned from their mistakes, and profited from this as well. The Nintendo Switch oversold the Wii U in its first 10 months, even outselling the Playstation 4 in Japan. Shigeru Miyamoto noted on the success of the Switch as having been:

[..] Released with good timing in this age where people are walking around and using devices like smartphones. And yet, they get loaded up with a lot of data. So for this reason, we thought it should be relatively easy for a single console with a single technological architecture to succeed, given the situation.

Miyamoto, 2020, interview in Famitsu, quote translated on nintendoeverything.com
Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto

16 November 1952 – present

Shigeru Miyamoto is known as the creator of the worldwide hit Donkey Kong, which was made to replace the games of unsold arcade cabinets in 1980. He also designed Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda for the NES. Nowadays he oversees all of Ninetendo’s game development.

For me, as someone with little money, the Switch was still a bit too expensive. However, it did make me go and look at how much my own DS lite costs now. I might have been living under a rock, as I found an entire (Dutch) website full of Nintendo things. From gameboys to those semi-legal cartridges you could download your games on. After browsing for an hour, I realised that my gaming experience is really defined by Nintendo. From bowling at my cousins using their Wii, to playing Pokémon on the Gameboy at a friends place, to me and my sister playing Mario Party on our half broken DS’s. I guess Nintendo deserves my nostalgic feelings.

References:

Konami: The Nintendo Era

Miyamoto on the reasons behind Switch’s success

Nintendo Switch Has Already Surpassed PS4 Total Sales in Japan

Shigeru Miyamoto promises not to retire as he wins culture award. 

Why the WII U Flopped

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1 Comment

  • EmmaElize
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 12:53 pm 0Likes

    As a ‘casual gamer’ myself, I am also a huge Nintendo fan! I do also have a Playstation and an Xbox, but since my boyfriend has bought a Nintendo Switch I haven’t played on either of them. What I mainly like about the Switch (and what I liked about the old-school Nintendo DS) is that you can basically play anywhere, and you can easily bring it with you. I also like the games a lot, as they are relatively easy to play, compared to the mainstream Playstation games (still failing Assassin’s Creed). I think Nintendo has done a great job with creating consoles that are fun for all ages and all kinds of gamers, and that are also timeless. I think their main strength is indeed this nostalgia they have created with for example the DS. I also like to pick up my Nintendo DS once in a while, just to bring me back to the good old days…

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