Nintendo's Old Japanese Websites Are An Internet Time Trip

During the late 20th century, Nintendo launched websites to promote games and hardware. At the time of writing, some of those websites are still live, providing an opportunity to visit the internet of yesteryear.

The earliest sites date from the early 1990s during the Super Famicom era. It’s amazing that these websites are still live. They provide a look at just how far web design has come in the past two decades.

The Super Famicom sites simply mention the genre and release date, plus include a basic description and some thumbnail screenshots.

Gif: Nintendo
Gif: Nintendo

The Japanese Nintendo 64 website is still live, with pages explaining the N64 controller, different hardware variations, and game line up.

(Image: Nintendo)
(Image: Nintendo)
(Image: Nintendo)
(Image: Nintendo)

In case you wondered how the Nintendo 64's “new controller” worked.

(Image: Nintendo)

Each game has its own page, too.

Don’t these “scenes” make you want to play Super Mario 64?

Unlike the early 1990s sites, these later websites introduced separate pages for story, characters, and gameplay as well as stages and in-game items.

It’s amazing what you can find. Did you know there was a Banjoo-Kazooie emblazoned bullet train in 1998? I did not!

Screenshot: Nintendo

The Yoshi’s Story website sure is lacking, but the Perfect Dark one still looks cool, even today.

Screenshot: Nintendo

I hope Nintendo leaves these sites up forever.

This article was originally published on September 5, 2017. It has since been updated and expanded.


    Oh how fast the page loads now, and no adds.
    Streamlined for 56K

    The page might have still looked like that in 2001, but it was probably made around 97 / 98, when the vast majority of users were on dialup (hence the small minimalistic use of jpg images and mainly text in tables page layout.

    Most web pages looked much better by 2001. Flash was already quite popular then for fancy layouts and stupid hand drawn videos. Cable had been around a few years and ADSL 1 also became available around then, so websites could afford to make use of the extra bandwidth they provided.

    For a while, there wasn't even any such thing as a download limit here in Aus - it was completely unlimited. Until one day Telstra decided they wanted to be even more rich, so they introduced the "acceptable use policy" (AUP) of a measely 3gb per month.

    And broadband has been crippled in Australia ever since, thanks to that selfish decision.

    I love how one of the ways Nintendo thought people would use the controller is with the left hand on the dpad and the right on the analogue stick. Surely no game ever actually supported this configuration by default?

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