Edge Recounts Nintendo's Dark Times

Nintendo may be the console king of the mountain, thanks to its runaway success with the Wii and Nintendo DS. But it wasn't always so, as Edge Online explores.

Before the glory of motion control and touchscreen gameplay reversed Nintendo's fortunes, it settled for third place in the console wars, delivering the sometimes spectacular, sometimes mediocre Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Edge is currently looking back at the company's generation transition pains from way back in 1996, some of which you may already be intimately familiar with.

It's a fascinating read, even for someone who distinctly remembers reading the Next Generation magazine that previewed the Nintendo 64, its slate of games, its "Project Reality" technology, when the 64-bit console was full or promise, but seriously lacking in games.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the article for me is looking back at the list of games promoted as in development for the Nintendo 64 in video publications like Next Gen. These include third-party titles like Dragon Quest VII and Final Fantasy VII, as well as planned Nintendo titles like Kirby Bowl 64 and Buggie Boogie. While the former pair's relocation to the PlayStation indicated a massive change in console leadership, the latter two show how little of what was promised for the N64 made it to reality.

And Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was a US$79.99 game? Yikes.

It's a good history lesson and cautionary tale. Worth a read.

Looking Back at 1996: Nintendo's Fall, Part 1 [Edge Online]


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