Nintendo’s 3 Biggest Mistakes – Gaming Historian

Nintendo’s 3 Biggest Mistakes – Gaming Historian

Recently, Nintendo unveiled their
Nintendo Creator Program for YouTube.
Previously, if you uploaded game
footage from a Nintendo game,
it would usually be copyright claimed by Nintendo.
Technically, they have every legal right
to do this, but many people wonder…
Most other game companies allow you to use their game footage and see it as free advertising.
With the Nintendo Creator Program,
Nintendo hopes to share the advertising revenue
with the content creator.
Extending an olive branch, if you will.
However, the rules and regulations of
the program have caused more frustration,
and many people think the whole program is one
of the biggest mistakes Nintendo has ever made.
Now, is it a mistake?
I think so. But their BIGGEST mistake? Hardly.
I love Nintendo. It’s my favorite
video game company ever,
but even I’ll admit that they have
made some mistakes in the past.
So I thought, today, let’s look at the top three
biggest mistakes Nintendo has ever made.
What is the Virtual Boy?
Is it a toy? A video game console?
Well, Nintendo wasn’t really sure.
Nintendo treated the system as
the successor to the Game Boy
and hoped that it would revolutionize the
video game world with its 3D technology.
Instead, the Virtual Boy was a complete disaster.
It had ugly colors, tons of health warnings…
and a steep price tag.
Only 22 games were ever made for the Virtual Boy
and Nintendo spent a ton of money developing
the system and marketing it to the public.
It was discontinued in less than a year
and is one of the worst-selling
video game consoles of all time.
While that alone is embarrassing enough,
the biggest loss was its creator, Gunpei Yokoi.
There aren’t any concrete details,
but it’s widely believed that the
relationship between Nintendo and Yokoi
was strained after the failure of the Virtual Boy.
He quietly left Nintendo after 31 years of service.
Yokoi was a Nintendo legend,
having previously developed the
Game & Watch and the Game Boy.
Just a year after leaving, he died in a car accident.
It’s fair to wonder what Yokoi
may have come up with next,
had he stayed on with Nintendo.
This was a tough inclusion, as I love the
Nintendo 64 and its library of games,
But Nintendo’s decision to stick with
cartridges was not good for business
and ultimately hurt the company in the long run.
Nintendo’s mindset was that cartridges
would lower the cost of the Nintendo 64,
eliminate load times and reduce pirating.
Developers felt different.
Making a game on the Nintendo 64 would be a gamble.
Each cartridge cost them $10 to produce
and had to be purchased through Nintendo.
If the game didn’t sell well,
they could potentially lose money.
CD based games, on the other hand,
cost less than a dollar to produce
and didn’t have to be purchased
through any specific company.
CDs could also hold a lot more
data and allowed developers
to implement full-motion video and digitized audio.
Nintendo didn’t budge.
Their plan backfired.
Nintendo’s relationship with third-
party developers was already shaky
following strict rules and regulations
on the Nintendo and Super Nintendo.
But this was the final straw.
Many third-party developers
switched to the Sony PlayStation.
The most famous: Squaresoft.
The company moved
Final Fantasy VII to the PlayStation,
where it became a huge success
and reinvigorated the RPG genre in North America.
Besides that, Nintendo 64 games were sometimes
TWICE as expensive as PlayStation games.
For the first time ever, Nintendo did not
have the best-selling home console.
The Sony PlayStation sold over 100 million units…
while the Nintendo 64 sold about 32 million units.
The effects of this decision can still be seen today,
as third-party support on current Nintendo consoles
is lacking compared to others.
Oddly enough, the PlayStation is
involved in another Nintendo mistake.
And probably their biggest.
In 1988, Nintendo and Sony announced a joint
venture to develop CD-ROM technology for games,
as well as an audio chip for their next console.
They eventually worked out a plan to develop a game
system that would play Super Nintendo cartridges
and CD-ROM games, dubbed “The Play Station.”
But as the system was getting
closer to being announced,
Nintendo grew paranoid.
Sony would have complete control
over all of the CD-based games,
including licensing and manufacturing.
They feared Sony would use the console
to force it’s way into the video game industry.
Nintendo secretly made a deal with Sony’s rival, Philips,
to develop a CD-based add-on for the Super Nintendo.
Nintendo would retain all the rights
to the games, and in exchange,
they would allow Philips to use Nintendo
franchises on their own console, the CD-i.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991,
Sony announced their plans for the PlayStation.
The very next day, Nintendo
threw a wrench into those plans
and announced they were working
on a CD-based add-on with Philips!
Nintendo completely humiliated Sony.
In response, they formed Sony Computer Entertainment
and began plans to release the
PlayStation as their own console.
They removed the Super Nintendo cart reader,
and the space in the name,
and released the Sony PlayStation a few years later.
As for Nintendo, the CD-based add-on
for the Super Nintendo was scrapped.
But Philips was still able to use
Nintendo characters for their CD-i games.
They were embarrassingly bad
and Nintendo refuses to
acknowledge their existence today.
Essentially, Nintendo’s debacle with Sony
created their most dominant rival, the PlayStation,
which makes it the biggest
mistake Nintendo has ever made.
For more information on the Virtual Boy,
I actually did a full video on it, so you
can check that out by clicking right here.
As for the Nintendo PlayStation,
there’s a lot more to talk about,
so we’ll save that for another time.
I’m sure you have a differing opinion
on Nintendo’s biggest mistakes,
so if you do, leave your top
three in the comments below.
That’s all for this episode of Gaming Historian.
Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Nintendo’s 3 Biggest Mistakes – Gaming Historian”

  1. Games were awesome and fine enough on the SNES. The ultimate console for me (forgeting the price of course) is the NEO GEO!

  2. In my country playstation games were easy to buy it was easy to get a not original copy so games usually were way more cheap to buy lol plus it was easy to modify a playstation console in order to allow the console to read this copies lol i miss that !!now i have to pay full price for a ps4 game here in USA lol

  3. damn, imagine a alternate reality where we got the NINTENDO PLAYSTATION!!
    its our playstation but with super mario, metroid, and all other nintendo games.

  4. I prefer cartridges over discs. With discs you need a memory card or SD card to backup data or even save it at all, while most game carts just save the game data themselves. Plus systems that use game carts tend to last so much longer since there are not any moving parts. With a system that uses discs, the system has to work more to rotate the disc, causing it to probably last for not as long as a system with carts. Also, carts seem to be more durable. Discs can scratch or get messed up somehow if you aren't careful with them. Game carts are so much harder to mess up. One time a lot of orange juice spilled on my beloved Super Mario 3D Land game cart I have had for years. When I put it in the 3DS it didn't work. But after fully drying it up and waiting for a long time, I put it back in my 3DS and everything was perfect! I had all my save data and everything! And still today I play the game, grateful I haven't damaged it and being extra careful to never let anything like that happen again. I definitly no longer just leave my game carts near drinks, and to stop losing them I store them in a bag and keep it in a safe place on my bookshelf. Cartridges are awesome! 😀

  5. My personal thoughts on what mistakes nintendo made:

    1. Virtual boy
    2. Wii U
    3. Sticking with cartridges during the n 64 era

    P.S. this was before I watched the full video

  6. Biggest blunder of the century… Thanks Nintendo… Because of you we have the best console ever created on the planet.

  7. As I was watching I was initially thinking "what could be worse than sticking with cartridges" but then you nailed it. Creating your own rival is pretty much the stupidest thing you could do. In fact that kind of combines with the cartridge decision. If Nintendo went with CDs on the N64 then third parties would probably stick with them from the assumption that they would continue to be the market leader. Going with carts essentially sent the third parties to Sony. So not only did their actions create their biggest competitor but they then immediately helped that competitor gain an advantage over them. And this is all around the same time that the Virtual Boy was on the market so there was a span of only a few years where Nintendo had their biggest brainfarts in their entire existence one after another.

    And this is the same time period where Sega had the whole 32X/Saturn debacle. So Sony entered the market and basically just did things competently while the existing market leaders tripped over themselves to see who could be the bigger idiot. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. If Nintendo and Sega merely didn't screw up at that time would Sony have been able to establish a foot hold? What reason would third parties, and thus gamers themselves, have to switch to a newcomer if Nintendo and Sega were continuing to do as good of a job as they did with the Genesis and SNES?

  8. I love when people actually say cartridges were a mistake. It birthed a legendary system, and created a much more lasting system than Ps1. And don't even get me started on quality vs quantity, because Nintendo was the king of quality.

    When they went to do a disc program, it flopped, showing that while they lost that battle, they were wise to keep the 64 as is.

  9. making an enemy out of sony is the worst mistake they've ever made. They created an enemy that would go on to be the most successful console maker of all time, when they could have been on the same team and avoided this enemy. They would have just continued to dominate Sega, and MS would have had an even tougher time going up against one giant.

    They would have also got CD ROM tech earlier and not alienated a bunch of devs with N64's cartridge format.

  10. Nintendos biggest mistake was going all kiddies games with the " gamecube" Playstation 2 smoked the gamecube and Nintendo has never rebounded.

  11. "You could not live with your own failure.
    And where did that bring you? Back to me."

    Sony 1994

  12. Their biggest mistake was allowing you to eat while you play. I spilled spaghetti sauce all over my switch and onto a very expensive rug bc I tripped over that trash can.

  13. No, their biggest mistake was the N64, having carts instead of CD ROM. Had they partnered with Sony for the CD games in the SNES era, Sony would have made all the money. Nintendo was SMART to avoid a Sony partnership where Sony made all the money and Nintendo provided the actual core hardware (SNES) for a CD-PERIF add-on.

  14. I remember the game stores in Tokyo featuring larger Saturn sections than N64 back in the late '90s. It was quite a surprise to me as an American when I first visited Japan.

  15. Nintendo is my favourite video game company ever. But they have been sometimes total idiots with some business and design choices. Because not only was the SNES-CD debacle the worst mistake that Nintendo has made, it probably is the worst mistake in video game history.

  16. As bad as the CD-i Zelda games were, Wand of Gamelon has probably the best exchange in the history of video games:
    Villain: "You've killed meeeeee!"….
    Zelda: "Good!"
    Damn, Zelda's savage. ^_^

  17. I used to love Nintendo owning the GameCube, Gameboy, and Wii I still have my Gameboy with me but sorry the Xbox and PlayStation are my world now

  18. the wii U is probably their most recent BIG mistake. There were too many flaws to deal with. it could have been really good IF they had pulled it off right. biggest example would have been if they had made it so you could take the tablet with you for on the go gameplay with smaller games, similar to how the psp can play "minis" and ps1 games.

  19. Oh believe me, Nintendo is not the only one that refuses acknowledge the existence of those games on the CDi

  20. Between using cartridges in the 64 era and then the mini Game Cube discs, they never recovered, they were lucky in the WII gimmick that sold a lot, but then they were back to reality in the WII-U, which they should thank the marketing department for that awful name. Mario, Zelda and Smash Bros are keeping them alive, but is not enough.

  21. Sigh, if Nintendo would have had cd based games instead of cartridges they would have had a truly "ultra 64" on their hands. Great games with fmv like ff7 and killer instinct the arcade game could have been supported. What a terrible decision. Im still salty about it all these years later. All that horsepower under the hood of the n64 combined with huge memory on cd format would have been a force to be reckoned with at the time. Nintendos sales would have surely matched or maybe even surpassed those of sony. Oh well.

  22. 8 mistakes of Nintendo:
    1. LJN
    2. Revision Game Consoles
    3. Was previously used to be Black Company even until now
    4. Nintendo 64 fails in Japan
    5. Ambiguity and vaguely of the japanese products, they managed extricate itself from bad parts of the contract which Nintendo working with PHILIPS.
    6. Bad games (クソゲー) during the Famicom and Super Famicom era.
    7. WiiU
    8. Vitual Boy

  23. To me, one of Nintendo’s biggest mistakes was the N64 Controller. I loved the N64, but the controller was awful. I get innovation, but who thought it was a good idea to use buttons to control the camera in a 3D space? (Speaking primarily about Mario 64).

  24. Ucoi was planning on leaving before the Virtual Boy flopped. He was trying to set it up as a farewell gift to Nintendo.

  25. See kids being greedy is never good!!!
    Nintendo ended up being it's own worst enemy 😂😂😂
    That's cool though because it made way for the console I've been playing for years now 🎮🤘

  26. I can't find a dedicated video on the Nintendo Play Station you hinted at making later, did you ever make that episode?

  27. Nintendo's biggest mistakes:
    The Virtual Boy
    The Power Glove
    Super Mario Bros. the Movie
    Selling Rare
    The CDi
    The Power Pad
    The Super Cereal System

  28. Am I the only one's who's mind went straight to conspiracy theory when he mentioned Yokoi died in a car crash a year later??

  29. Nothing about Nintendo's love affair with Mario? Mario is okay in a few games, but when he's in EVERY GAME, come on! Kids grow up. Nintendo should have done the same.

  30. I had a N64, my buddy had a ps1 then he said he had 200 games and I had to see this. He showed me a cd case full of burnt cds. Nothing felt right about it. In a way I preferred the n64. How can people become ps1 fans and steal from them at the same time, enjoying the creative content without paying into it.

  31. The cartridges definitely were a problem. Even back then, it annoyed me that the graphics and full motion videos were far better. And, you're right about it costing them in the long run. As I haven't played Nintendo at all in the passed 6 years. Just feel like Nintendo is too childish, all their games are not fun, they're cartoony, they're not violent, etc.

  32. The PlayStation destroyed competition, as did the PS2 (and the PS4, probably the PS5 as well) now Nintendo can't compete with anyone due to a vast casual game catalog and weaker hardware along with out of sync console releases to rivals. I love the N64 though, has some of the most iconic games (conkers, goldeneye, perfect dark, it's zelda's) I just got a limited edition blue and clear N64 that's being advanced modded for sync on luma RGB.

  33. Wii u is the biggest mistake, lowest cpu than Xbox 360 And PS3, poor games COF COF Mario 3d World And the best games launched late, Bad components for standards, animal crossing amiibo festival is the worst nintendo game of all time, and the very guilty of the Nintendo haters increase more.

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