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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogFirst Video Game Console: Best Trivia!

First Video Game Console: Best Trivia!

By James Lau
February 28, 2023
The Nintendo Switch with yellow, blue, light blue and red controllers. The first video game console by Nintendo to really change the game in the late 2010s.

Japan has been a significant player in the video game industry since the early days of home console gaming. It has produced some of the most influential and innovative consoles ever! Here are some Japanese video game consoles that have changed the industry!

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) (1983)

The NES, also known as the Famicom in Japan, was the console that revitalized the home console market after the North American video game crash of 1983. It introduced iconic franchises like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. As a result, it helped establish Nintendo as a major player in the video game industry.

An NES console near an NES controller.
The NES was Nintendo’s first video game system. Image via Shutterstock

The NES was the first console to introduce the now-standard gamepad design, with a directional pad on the left and buttons on the right. Nearly every console has used this design since, and it has become a hallmark of video game controllers. 

The NES was also the first console to introduce the concept of a “pack-in” game, where they included a popular game with the console at no extra cost. This cross-promotion helped increase the console’s value and make it more appealing to consumers.

Sony PlayStation (1994)

The PlayStation was Sony’s first video game console, a huge success. It introduced several innovations, such as using CD-ROMs for game storage, allowing for more giant and complex games than cartridge-based consoles like the Nintendo 64. It also had a built-in memory card, allowing players to save their game progress without needing external accessories.

A bunch of colorful PlayStation 1 consoles: green, purple, red, and original gray. It is the first video game console to use CD roms.
The PlayStation 1 was one of the first consoles to use CDs. Image via Shutterstock

The PlayStation introduced several iconic franchises, such as Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil, which helped establish Sony as a major player in the industry. The success of the PlayStation also helped to develop the idea of video game consoles as multimedia devices. In other words, they could play music, movies, and games.

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Nintendo 64 (1996)

The Nintendo 64 was Nintendo’s follow-up to the NES and SNES, and it introduced several important innovations, such as 3D graphics and analog stick controls. It was also the first console to introduce four-player split-screen gaming, which helped to popularize multiplayer gaming.

A green Nintendo 64 controller next to a console. It's the first video game console to successfully use 64 bits.
The Nintendo 64 was one of the first consoles to successfully use 64 bits. Image via Shutterstock

The Nintendo 64 introduced several iconic franchises, such as Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and GoldenEye 007. These breakaway hits helped establish Nintendo as a major player in the video game industry.

It was also notable for its use of cartridges, allowing faster loading times and higher-quality audio than was possible on CD-based consoles like the PlayStation.

Nintendo Game Boy (1989)

The Game Boy was Nintendo’s first handheld console, which was a massive success. It introduced several innovations, such as a low-power LCD screen and a long-lasting battery, which made it the perfect portable gaming device. Moreover, it was also backward-compatible with the vast library of games, which helped establish a dedicated fanbase for the console.

A Nintendo Game Boy controller surrounded by cartridges.
The Game Boy was one of the first portable devices. Image via Shutterstock

The Game Boy introduced several iconic franchises, such as Tetris, Super Mario Land, and Pokémon, and helped establish Nintendo as a major player in the handheld gaming market. Consequently, the Game Boy paved the way for future handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

PlayStation 2 (2000)

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) was a revolutionary gaming console released by Sony. It was the first console to feature DVD technology, which allowed for larger game worlds and higher-quality graphics. 

The console also had backward compatibility, allowing players to play games from the original PlayStation. This feature was prevalent among gamers who wanted to revisit their favorite titles from the previous generation.

The black PlayStation 2 console and matching DualShock 2 controllers near its blue box. It was the first video game console to sell a lot of the games in the early 2000s.
Many people consider the PlayStation 2 one of the greatest consoles ever. Image via Shutterstock

The PS2 had an impressive collection of games, with some of the most popular games being Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Gran Turismo 3, and Metal Gear Solid 2. The console was also known for its innovative DualShock 2 controller, which featured pressure-sensitive buttons and analog sticks. 

The controller was incredibly comfortable and became a standard in the gaming industry. The PS2 sold over 155 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling gaming console ever.

Nintendo DS (2004)

Nintendo followed up the Game Boy Advance with the Nintendo DS, which had two screens, one of which was a touchscreen. This innovation led to new types of games, such as Brain Age and Nintendogs, becoming famous. The DS also had wireless connectivity, which enabled multiplayer gaming and allowed players to share game data.

A black Nintendo DS console. It's small and is the first video game console to have two screens.
The Nintendo DS is one of the first consoles to have two screens. Image via Shutterstock

The console sold over 150 million units worldwide and was a massive success for Nintendo. The DS was also known for its games collection, including popular titles like New Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. These games helped to establish the DS as a must-have console for gamers.

Nintendo Wii (2006)

The Wii was released in 2006 by Nintendo and was a revolutionary gaming console that changed how people played games. The console featured motion controls through its Wii Remote, allowing players to interact physically with games.

A pair of Nintendo Wii nunchuk controllers.
The Nintendo Wii was one of the first consoles to use motion controls. Image via Shutterstock

This innovation made gaming more accessible to a broader audience, including casual gamers and families. The console was incredibly successful, selling over 100 million units worldwide.

The Wii also had a library of popular games, including Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. These entertaining games helped establish the Wii as a console everyone could enjoy. The Wii also had backward compatibility, allowing players to play GameCube games on the console.

These Japanese video game consoles impacted the industry, introducing important innovations and iconic franchises that have become household names. From the NES to the PlayStation to the DS, these consoles shaped the video game industry into what it is today!

Have you played or owned any of these consoles? Were there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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