Nintendo were never that popular here in New Zealand. Now I have a Wii... so what happened? A Nintendo noob's opinion on it all:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

short history part I

I might start off with a short history or point of view on Nintendo in my region of the world.

Nintendo... Nintendo weren't that popular here, at least in my opinion. In my primary school ('elementary'), when I was about 10 or so, a few of my friends and I were the only kids to play video games. They just didn't seem to be that popular. And even then, most played on a computer (Commodore 64, Amstrad etc.) Only two of us had a console--my friend and I both had SEGA Master Systems. Oh, Master System! It was pretty damn good, I enjoyed it a lot. Micky Mouse was surprisingly good and I loved jiggling the cartridge while playing Wonder Boy, which made the levels go all corrupted and pretty-coloured.

However, it was the only thing we had. I'm sure there were Nintendos somewhere, but I didn't know what they were and neither did the people in my school. This doesn't mean we were somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We were actually in the biggest city of the country, in a fairly upper-middle-class area. If there were Nintendos, I think we would have noticed.

Note: I'm talking about consoles, not handhelds. Although I didn't notice many Gameboys around back then, in any case, my focus is on consoles.

Next Generation
When another of my friends got a Mega Drive (Genesis), I was a bit miffed because I still had my Master System. I wanted the new one! My friend, however, seemed to go off consoles. I'm not surprised -- I think his mother might have gone against getting anymore because he bashed his head against the stairwell when a game of Michael Jackson: Moonwalker didn't go too well.

Note: An quick history about console distribution here. Australia and New Zealand don't have their own "Sega of ...." or "Nintendo of ...", they just have distributors that have license to distribute consoles/games to shops from the European divisions of the companies. So a Sega console would come from Sega of Europe, then to Ozisoft, the distributor of Sega products in Australia/New Zealand, then to a shop, then to buyer. This will be important factor in this!

Anyway, I wanted that damn Mega Drive. It would take a while... It was then when advertising became more noticeable to me. I noticed that whenever a company wanted to be "cool" (ugh, I remember when "cool" became cool. Word flow from America took a while back then), they would offer video games in competitions. Video games were cooool. And were they ever Nintendo? No.

When I went into a shop, Sega's products took up most of the space. And lo! There was some Nintendo stuff! I didn't go near it though. It was too strange. Not many people went near it. They all wanted to play Sonic. Mario? No... Sega, Sega, Sega. I even had a Sonic soft toy. Was my life in the technological area too sheltered? Perhaps. However, Sega seemed to be King.

By the time I got my Mega Drive it was the second revision. No problems though, I thoroughly enjoyed that console. It was awesome, I loved it. I had magazines (given free to me, so I didn't really have a choice on which I wanted) full with stuff about Mega Drive games, which were so critical about Nintendo. Nintendo, to me back then... it was still pretty mysterious. I still hadn't seen one.

It's Coming...
The video game world kept advancing. 32X came out, I hired it out from the video shop every now and then. My friend had a Mega/Sega CD, which just had some lame Make a Music Video "game". I went with my friend to some guy's house. And what did he have? SNES. Still, very mysterious. I didn't play it. It was all grey and strange looking. Articles I read were hinting at something wrong with Sega. My Mega Drive, which I still loved, was becoming outdated.

Then the next generation was upon us. Saturn. Playstation.
It would change everything.

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