Nintendo is the long-time champion of the home video game market. From their first consoles to their latest motion-controlled "WII" system, they have always been on top with some of the best systems and games to appear.
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The NES is Nintendo's first system released in North America. It featured two hand-held controllers and a light-gun which operates by detecting a spot of light briefly flashed on the television screen. Nintendo set the standard with their high quality games which were stored on removable cartridges. By far the most popular system of it's day, the NES is often faulted for the complicated and unreliable system of loading cartridges through a door in the front of the unit, into a spring loaded carrier which was then pressed down to make contact.
Views: Bottom, Back and Side connections, Arcade Stick, Robot/Deluxe Set".
The Super Nintendo is Nintendo's 16-bit system. Better graphics, faster action and some 3-D capabilities were a big improvement over the NES and the system also proved extreamly popular.
Views: Game Cartridges, Bottom, Back.
I regard the N64 as one of the best video game consoles of all-time. Impressive graphics, quick loading (thanks to it's continued use of cartridges, a new ergonomic and powerful controller and truly great games! When "SuperMario64" debuted, people were mesmerized by the smooth-flowing movie-like graphics. We've come to expect this now, but in 1997 this was a truly revolutionary console.
These are some of the best of the N64 games. Nintendo has always has an eye to "good clean family fun". Incredible cartoon like graphics and animation, good storylines and exciting movements are hallmarks of these Nintendo "classics".
The games can be further enhanced by controller pak accessories which plug into the hand-held controller providing features such as additional memory storage, "rumble" (the controller shakes when you hit something - or something hits you!), and a transfer-pak to move data between the N64 and GameBoy systems. If you so inclined, third-party accessories like this GameShark could be used to "hack" the games to alter the play (a practice Nintendo never approved of).
Named for it's boxlike shape, the GameCube is a leap to a 64-bit power-PC architecture, and is capable of very impressive performance. This is also Nintendo's first foray into optical storage, using proprietary 8cm media which is very similar to the mini-DVD format. The proprietary format was chosen as a means of copy protection.
The silver cube on the right (see large-format photo) has a "GameBoy Player" attached - this expansion allows playing of GameBoy games on the cube. A network adapter which fits into the bottom of the unit is also available.
Views: Box, Controllers, Naked.
Looking at the bottom and back, we can see three generations of GameCube. The earliest unit on the left has a color matching backplate, both analog and digital AV connectors on the back, and a full compliment of expansion ports. The middle unit has "lost" one of the serial ports, although the plastics still have a "hole" for it. The most recent Cube on the right has new plastics, a generic black backplate (for all color cubes) and no longer has the digital AV outputs.
Many early Cubes have had failures of the Optical pickup. Replacements are available from several sources (I've had to replace two so far).
With the Wii, Nintendo took a new path for it's next generation console. Instead of pumping the system with heat-blasting processing power and high resolution graphics engines, they concentrated on the human interface, and created a new and very well received way to interface with the system.
The "Wiimote" is like a wand that you move around, point and shake instead of "thumbs on a joystick". The emphasis on physical movement, as well as it's continued use of Nintendo's lovable characters and only mild cartoon-like violence has made the Wii the console of choice for families with younger children.
A line of portable gaming systems. Clockwise from upper left:
Original Monochrome Game Boy system
Updated/smaller Game Boy Pocket
Game Boy Color - first color screen
Game Boy Advance - New format, wider screen and more powerful processor.
Views: Back, Cartridges.
The Game Boy Advance SP is the last of the full size Game Boy series. This unit folds into a compact block, and features the first backlit screen in the Game Boy line. It also sports a rechargable battery.
The Game Boy Micro is the last and smallest Game Boy. Smaller than the original NES controller, the Micro gives up the ability to play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games in favor of small size (It plays GBA games only). This particular unit is a "Famicon Limited Edition" released on the 20 years aniversary of Nintendo's first system, the "Famicon". The red and gold color represents the coloring of the Famicon controller.
The Game Boy supports several accessories, including a printer, TV adapter, wireless adapter, multi-player adapter, Mp3 player, link cables, and this low resolution black and white digital camera adapter.
Views: Larger and back
The Nintendo DS (Dual Screen), is the latest (as of 2007) offering from Nintendo in the portable gaming arena. It features TWO complete screens, with the lower one also serving as a touch pad (stylus included). It also features built-in WiFi connectivity for shared gaming and network play. Like the GBA-SP, it folds for storage and transport. The "Lite" model is a second generation - smaller and lighter with brighter screen.