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Discussion Things Nintendo did that were ahead of the industry at the time of release and you enjoyed. Software/Hardware shoot out!

ExoticSpice

Shriekbat
I started this thread because of WULFF DEN and his recent video on the DS Lite and being a bit of a DS Lite fan I thought to myself, what other Nintendo hardware or software is still peak today?


So. can you guys think of any cool things/products Nintendo did before any other company and/or a product that you still use today?

I'll start with the DS Lite. Yes, I know the PSP existed but for me the DS was more fun. The touch screen made it so it had an extra edge of the Vita. The screens are great, the design IMO is the best of any Nintendo console. Overall it really cemented Nintendo as the handheld king.
 
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A lot of things cited (like the analogue stick or hybrid design) were done before but Nintendo’s strength has always been to take existing technology and to use it in a unique way usually in conjunction with their enormously successful franchises.

The DS is also my favourite because games in general always have menus or information that’s typically “off screen”. Having it right there and accessible at all times is great then you get gameplay mechanics that can use touch controls too.

I’d absolutely love a DS style clamshell Switch.
 
I mean, the 3DS kind of still amazes me that it works the way it does…

In a more “conventional” sense, I’ve always really appreciated how much focus they’ve had on ergonomics in controllers. Every single controller has felt great to hold, even if the size and shape has differed over the years… except maybe the NES. That controller is pretty jagged. I still love it though.
 
I mean, the 3DS kind of still amazes me that it works the way it does…

In a more “conventional” sense, I’ve always really appreciated how much focus they’ve had on ergonomics in controllers. Every single controller has felt great to hold, even if the size and shape has differed over the years… except maybe the NES. That controller is pretty jagged. I still love it though.
I agree, but at the same time their handheld ergonomics (including Switch) is horrible, at least for me. My hands always cramp after a while when playing DS, 3DS or Switch :(
 
Hardware
  1. +Control Pad
  2. The foresight to prioritize battery life in a handheld gaming device
  3. Shoulder buttons
  4. Concave/convex face buttons
  5. Different color face buttons
  6. Mode 7
  7. Enhancement chips/coprocessors in a cartridge
  8. Analog stick
  9. Four controller ports
  10. Redesigning an AC adapter so a giant brick isn’t hanging off the power outlet
  11. Designing a console as a cube with a handle
  12. Clamshell handheld
  13. Rechargeable battery in a handheld gaming device
  14. Motion controls (I said what I said)
  15. Amiibo
  16. Taking mini consoles seriously which had the domino effect of convincing Sega to fire AtGames and hire M2.
Software
  1. Its pivotal role in the extension of the action-adventure genre featuring exploration and progression gated by the discovery of new, more powerful items and weapons.
  2. The entirety of Wario as a character from being a bizarro version of Mario to the cleverness of his name to putting him in a platformer without a timer or deaths.
  3. Swerving at a time when pre-rendered graphics were all the rage and making a game that looked like the scribblings of a child and that somehow being the absolute right choice.
  4. A fighting game with an increasing damage counter and the aim of knocking opponents off the stage.
  5. Creating a follow up to one of the best looking Super Nintendo games by focusing on a paper/pop-up book motif and that somehow being the absolutely right choice.
  6. Using the additional hardware power of its next generation console to make what looked like an interactive cartoon at a time when the industry was trying so hard to prove how grown up and mature it was. Not trying so hard was the best way to show that progress.
    • Also featured a child stabbing a man in the face.
  7. All the visor effects in Metroid Prime
  8. Dominating an entire generation with a character creation tool and simple yet fun gameplay
  9. A big open world that allowed players to climb most surfaces
 
Hardware
  1. +Control Pad
  2. The foresight to prioritize battery life in a handheld gaming device
  3. Shoulder buttons
  4. Concave/convex face buttons
  5. Different color face buttons
  6. Mode 7
  7. Enhancement chips/coprocessors in a cartridge
  8. Analog stick
  9. Four controller ports
  10. Redesigning an AC adapter so a giant brick isn’t hanging off the power outlet
  11. Designing a console as a cube with a handle
  12. Clamshell handheld
  13. Rechargeable battery in a handheld gaming device
  14. Motion controls (I said what I said)
  15. Amiibo
  16. Taking mini consoles seriously which had the domino effect of convincing Sega to fire AtGames and hire M2.
Software
  1. Its pivotal role in the extension of the action-adventure genre featuring exploration and progression gated by the discovery of new, more powerful items and weapons.
  2. The entirety of Wario as a character from being a bizarro version of Mario to the cleverness of his name to putting him in a platformer without a timer or deaths.
  3. Swerving at a time when pre-rendered graphics were all the rage and making a game that looked like the scribblings of a child and that somehow being the absolute right choice.
  4. A fighting game with an increasing damage counter and the aim of knocking opponents off the stage.
  5. Creating a follow up to one of the best looking Super Nintendo games by focusing on a paper/pop-up book motif and that somehow being the absolutely right choice.
  6. Using the additional hardware power of its next generation console to make what looked like an interactive cartoon at a time when the industry was trying so hard to prove how grown up and mature it was. Not trying so hard was the best way to show that progress.
    • Also featured a child stabbing a man in the face.
  7. All the visor effects in Metroid Prime
  8. Dominating an entire generation with a character creation tool and simple yet fun gameplay
  9. A big open world that allowed players to climb most surfaces
Nice list. I very much agree with all of these.
 
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Even though it's one of the most praised games ever, I don't think a lot of gamers truly appreciate just how revolutionary Mario 64 was when it came out.

Retrospectives usually focus on it's importance in popularizing the 3D platformer genre, and sure that's a big part of why it's part of it's legacy. But more fundamentally, Mario 64 changed how 3D games control, specifically third person games.

Before this game, third person games in general were a smorgasbord of tank controls, cameras locked behind characters, D-pad movement and more. Mario 64 was the game that not only introduced analogue 360 movement to the main character, but also separated the camera out and made it a rotatable, movable thing that you could recenter around the main character. That has impacted everything from Souls games to Uncharted. It was just a fundamental rewriting of how to make a game work in 3D, and the only other game from that gen that is even close to the same level of impact is Ocarina.
 
This just came to me but Nintendo out of the big 3 was the first to implement Passkeys which was released last year for Nintendo accounts. This is actually very useful for me as I keep my shop locked and it requires a password every time to access it. Passkeys use FaceID on my phone to unlock the eshop on my switch.

PlayStation enabled passkeys this today and Xbox is still needs to support passkeys.
 
Satellaview for sure. I never experienced it, but there's something about doing live events for video games in a radio broadcast format that's always been intriguing to me. The Nintendo Power flashcarts to cheaply download games onto a physical cart too.
 
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Maybe this is a bit broad, but getting out of the graphical arms race after the Gamecube? Looking at the current landscape of the industry, staying basically "a generation behind" and keeping budgets and sales expectations reasonable and sustainable feels like maybe the most forward-thinking move Nintendo ever made

I'd also shout-out Z-targeting from Ocarina of Time. It can't be overstated how much Nintendo managed to get right about 3D games right out of the gate, and I think the ability to lock the camera onto an enemy is still something we tend to expect even in most 3D action games today
 
There's probably an argument that could be made for e-Reader functionality being an primitive version of DLC and microtransactions for games like Animal Crossing and especially Mario Advance 4.

Although I can't remember if this was before or after Bioware's Neverwinter Nights Premium Modules program. They may have been contemporary. But Nintendo definitely got there first for consoles/handhelds.
 
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Gonna shout out BOTW for open air gameplay and mechanics like climbing and paragliding. Zelda team completely reshaped the open world genre with that game
 
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A lot of things cited (like the analogue stick or hybrid design) were done before but Nintendo’s strength has always been to take existing technology and to use it in a unique way usually in conjunction with their enormously successful franchises.

The DS is also my favourite because games in general always have menus or information that’s typically “off screen”. Having it right there and accessible at all times is great then you get gameplay mechanics that can use touch controls too.

I’d absolutely love a DS style clamshell Switch.
Same, it‘d allow both porting DS/3DS/Wii U games more easily, while having a more portable (and pocketable) form factor. Atleast they seem to experiment with it, as a Patent of a dualscreen handheld with detatchable screens, that got published few month ago, shows.
I really hope Switch 2 has a 7 inch screen rather than a 8 inch one, but could someone make a mock up how a 8 inch camshell handheld would look like in comparison to Switch and 3DS (XL)?
 
Maybe a little bit of an unconventional thing here, but I've always loved how the N64 controller has the A and B buttons have the A be lower, it feels so much better to have the layout be like that. A very nice carryover from a lot of SNES games largely using Y and B for comfort, but it's always confused me why after the N64, Nintendo went back to B being the lower button on the GBA.

Also I genuinely think the three pronged design of the N64 controller allowed for devs to get really creative with controls and allowed for a lot of shooter games to actually age super well on the N64 because they usually have modern twinstick as an option, but people just play with a modern controller and don't get why Sin & Punishment plays like it does.
 
Nintendo Direct presentations, i think they started them about 2008, although it wasn`t called "Nintendo Direct". From a style standpoint, it was pretty boring, but they paved the way for future presentions and inspired the competition to do the same.
 
Nintendo Direct presentations, i think they started them about 2008, although it wasn`t called "Nintendo Direct". From a style standpoint, it was pretty boring, but they paved the way for future presentions and inspired the competition to do the same.
And still it seems no one can do them quite as well. Sony's gotten pretty close though.
 
Game Boy camera + Printer! Those were truly a future tech, years before digital photography became mainstream, all my friends couldn't believe a simple Game Boy did that: Took a photograph, print it and stick it.
 
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Seeing 20 years ago that the death-treadmill of photorealistic AAA games is completely unsustainable and stopping their focus on raw pixel-per-pixel image quality and more on stylistic art while keeping the budgets of their video games in-check instead of letting video game budgets balloon in such a way where they need to filled with live service elements and microtransactions in order to make their budget back and appease shareholders.

Also having their president take a pay cut instead of laying anyone off.
 


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