Even before these two legendary consoles arrived, Nintendo was cranking out the hits, first striking gold with a little game called Donkey Kong in 1981. This classic stand-up arcade machine would draw a crowd, being a sure bet for profit in any arcade, and marking the first introduction of the face of Nintendo: Mario (though he was known as Jumpman at this time.) Other great arcade games including the original Punch-Out and Mario Bros. also succeeded greatly, pulling in mountains of quarters.
Meanwhile, all Nintendo’s previous competitors died off: Atari went bankrupt; the C64 ceased production in 1994; Sega, developers of the incredible Master System and Genesis, with its stiff competition in games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, was chugging along, trying to keep up. Though Sega was clearly the Nintendo’s competition and had a superior mobile gaming device on the market (the Game Gear), the N64 completely killed off the demand for the Sega Saturn, which had only been on the market for a year before it was cut off. Sega responded by focusing on its next generation console in 1999, the Dreamcast, which featured incredible graphics but was short-lived due to new consoles from Nintendo and the long-time electronics industry champion, Sony.
Meanwhile, the Wii, with its interactive sports games already popular with a hugely wide demographic, continuously released sequels that built upon their previous hits: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; and of course, the Mario games: Super Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Bros. Wii, and two of the greatest games ever made, Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel. Each one of these games achieved such an unprecedented level of success and acclaim that it felt that the company might never slip backwards.
To compete with this revolutionary control redesign, Microsoft developed the Kinect, which was released last year, and Sony developed its own wand-like device. Though both seem to be viable alternatives to the Wiimote, Nintendo’s looking forward. They recently released the first true 3-D game console with the 3DS and are getting ready to make some big announcements about their upcoming console, tentatively known as the Stream.