Nintendo’s long run as the pioneer of mobile gaming

Nintendos long history of home consoles in one shiny case.


Since Adafruit launched the PyBadge, mobile videogames have been on the brain. And naturally, Nintendo comes to mind.

For a while there it seemed unclear where mobile gaming was going to go. The Playstation Vita never managed to keep its head above water, and the iPhone seemed to portend the winding down of the dedicated gaming console. Yet in 2017 Nintendo proved that mobile was still as vibrant as ever, and charted a middle path with the Switch. Rather than making a dedicated home console, they made a platform that was playable whether you were on your home TV or commuting to work. The mobile functionality is really where the console shines. The sales speak to this — at current rates it is likely to outsell the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

To see how we got here, Adafruit took a little trip to the Nintendo store. They have a couple display cases which contain icons in the history of gaming, especially the mobile space.

Interestingly enough, the Switch is in the console case and not listed in the mobile case shown above.

Nintendo is experimenting with other avenues of sales and burgeoning tech. They have their Amiibos, which is their toys-to-life initiative, and they’ve dipped their toes in DIY virtual reality with Labo (check out this Adafruit guide using the Labo and the Circuit Playground to see what it can do!).

But don’t let this distract too much from Nintendos bread and butter — it can’t be understated how much Nintendo has contributed to the gaming on the go. Just focusing on the products in the case above, you’re looking at nearly 40 years of mobile gaming and over 20 different consoles.

Hats off to a company that has been keeping kids (and adults) thoroughly entertained on long car rides and airplanes for over two generations.

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