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article imageOp-Ed: The Top 5 worst mistakes Nintendo ever made

By Lance Lasheras     Aug 22, 2014 in Entertainment
Despite being the most recognizable brand in video games, the Wii U is currently the worst selling console on the market. We take a look back at the Top 5 mistakes Nintendo has made to gain some perspective.
 
If your first childhood memories are lying on your knees blowing into a hard plastic shell, it's a safe bet that you've given a portion of your life to the Nintendo corporation. In the late 80s the Nintendo Entertainment system was a grey box of limitless 8-bit possibilities. 
Nintendo became a gaming giant for a simple reason: they had the best games around. From the early Super Mario/Duck Hunt combo, they hit the ground running with one amazing title after another. Yet things were not always perfect for the Big N. They've also made a series of blunders that would bring poor Mario to his knees. 
Today we're going to take a look at their top 5 worst decisions.
5) Gamecube Optical Discs
Only the 90's could make something this cute look hardcore.
The Gamecube came at a time when Sega was breathing its last breath, and Bill Gates was preparing to join the console war. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo entered a three-way race for supremacy. Playstation 2 was the obvious contender, based solely on the success of the PSX. Microsoft's only secret weapon was money — pouring vast amounts of it to design a system with the specs of a computer.
Nintendo had a different strategy: opting for a cute aesthetic. The result was a limited system smaller than a lunch box, with a controller that looked like a nightmarish hybrid of Nintendo 64 and the SNES.
Nintendo’s worst decision was the refusal to include a DVD drive. At the time, DVD players were expensive. Both the Xbox and PS2 could double as DVD players and gaming systems. Nintendo's miniature drive could not play DVD's and had a smaller storage size for games. It was a simple decision for parents to buy their kids a console that would also give them a highly touted DVD entertainment system. 
While the Gamecube sold 22 million units it, paled in comparison to the PS2's 154 million. Making it the first Nintendo console to wind up in third place.
4) Firing Gunpei Yokoi
Video game’s own personal Jesus.
When Virtual Boy destroyed Nintendo's perfect hardware streak, someone had to fall on the sword. That someone was Gunpei Yokoi. However, the Virtual Boy was a small blemish in the history of a man who contributed an incredible wealth to gaming.
Gunpei Yokoi was the architect behind the original Gameboy. Once considered the greatest selling console of all time, touted only by its direct successor the Nintendo DS. He also created the D-Pad, something used in virtually all video games since its inception. Not to mention he produced some of their most classic franchises like Mario Bros and Donkey Kong.
After being shunned by Nintendo, Gunpei went on to create a new video game system called the Wonderswan. It became the biggest competitor to the Gameboy in Asia, further establishing him as a juggernaut in the industry. 
Unfortunately, Gunpei Yokoi was killed in a car crash shortly afterwards. 
3) Last of the Cartridges
Voodoo for elementary school girls.
Like people, video games have generations. Each one has advances in technology, graphics, storage capacity, and controls. Nintendo has a bizarre history of straying from the pack and sticking to their principles. In 1994 when the war between the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and the Nintendo 64 had begun, Nintendo was the only console without an optical drive. Instead they stuck with cartridges, making them the last major console to do so.
What the cartridge made up for in loading time, it lost in storage capacity. The Saturn and Playstation started having games with incredible cinematic’s while Nintendo had Mario chanting 'Here we go!' 
This caused the infamous loss of the Final Fantasy franchise from Nintendo to Sony. The beloved RPG series, which called Nintendo its home for many years switched over to Playstation. The result was Final Fantasy VII, now heralded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. The quality of the full motion video sequences and daunting length were only made possible thanks to the storage size of compact discs. 
In an effort to try and fix their mistake, Nintendo released the 64DD in Japan. The peripheral would attach to the bottom of the console and allow for use of 64MB discs. Rather than opt for CDs and use cheap 650MB discs, they attached an expensive magneto-optical drive. After only 15,000 units sold in Japan they chose not to import it to the United States.
2) The Virtual Boy  
Got glaucoma?
The infamous red monster.
When it was released in 1995 the world had become obsessed with virtual reality. Movies like Johnny Mnemonic, The Lawnmower Man, and The Matrix created a populace hungry for the real thing. Unfortunately the technology hadn't caught up with the fantasy, and most virtual reality helmets were enormous and expensive. 
Nintendo thought they could fill a vacuum by introducing a consumer brand VR experience. Unfortunately the Virtual Boy was far less about creating alternate realities, and more about causing blindness. Most 3D technology up to that point had been created using monocular cues, but Nintendo decided to create a new illusion called 'parallax barrier'. This technique showed two separate images to each eye. Even in HD the process can cause nausea. 
At the time, the only affordable technology available made the images red monochrome nightmares. 
It was very difficult to play due to the headaches it caused, and wasn't portable because it required to be plugged in. The LED screens that made it cheap wound up being the main cause of its downfall. Nintendo blew an astounding 25 million dollars trying to market it in North America, but it never sold more than 1.5 million systems.
At least you can thank the system for producing the Mario Tennis series.
1) Rejecting the Sony Playstation
The Sony/Nintendo Play Station
The Sony/Nintendo Play Station
Kotaku
Jaime and Cercei would be proud.
Back in the early 1990s, Nintendo was just coming off the heels of a close knit race with the Sega Genesis. Nintendo began planning its next console by teaming up with electronic giant Sony. Together they began working on the Nintendo Play Station (sound familiar). Sony didn't want to jump into the video game war, as much as it wanted to push the fledging CD format at the time. 
At the 1991 Consumer Electronic Show, Sony and Nintendo announced their new system and everything was in place for them to take over the market together. The following day, Nintendo decided the venture was over and teamed up with Sony's rival Philips. The main reason for the departure was Nintendo didn't want to lose some of the rights to its franchises.
Burn it with fire.
While that might seem like a fair case, they ended up losing their licenses to Philips regardless. Philips produced three of the worst Zelda games of all time, and one of the worst Mario games for the Philips-CDi. The CDi became a financial disaster for Philips, nearly bankrupting the company.
Meanwhile, Sony having suffered the shame of being dumped, released the Sony Playstation. It went on to become the best selling home video game system of all time (until the release of its successor). It even went on to steal some of Nintendo's coveted third party franchises like Final Fantasy
Mamma mia!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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