What Made Nintendo Video Games So Popular and Valuable?


In 1983 there was a crash in the video game home console market. Existing consoles such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Odyssey 2, and the Fairchild II had failed the marketplace.

They failed mostly due to poor quality games that lacked the gaming experience people wanted. This led to the famous “Atari Video Game Burial” in a dump located in New Mexico. You can read about here:


Most North American game consoles were discontinued in 1984. The Commodore 64 was lucky to stay around, however.

After the crash of 1983, it was 1984 and most U.S. electronics companies did not want to think or hear about video game products. During that period, things were much different in Japan.

That’s when Nintendo was having great success in the Japanese market with its 8-bit gaming system the Famicom. It would later find its success in 1985 when they renamed it the “Nintendo Entertainment System” and marketed it as a fun toy and not a video game system in the United States.

Retailers loved it because it was perceived as more of a toy and not a video game console. This was a brilliant sales and marketing move for Nintendo considering that retailers still felt burned from the video game crash just a couple of years before.

When Nintendo released the NES in 1985, it hit the ground running. Most of this was because of the hit game Super Mario Bros. and the Light Zapper game Duck Hunt. There was also a robot accessory called R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) that never really had much success.

This huge success with Super Mario Bros and the NES revived the video game industry in the U.S. market. This encouraged the release of new consoles like the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis to compete for market share.

This trend continued growing the home console market throughout the 80’s and 90’s. It helped create highly profitable game series such as Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Final Fantasy.

However, some video game titles in the late 80’s and 90’s flopped with low sales and popularity. Some of these games included Little Sampson, Stadium Events, Duck Tales 2, and Bubble Bobble 2.

Why should I care about these unpopular games with low sales volume?

These video game flops would later be considered rare because they were not bought by many people. Plus, cartridges were too expensive to mass produce in the 80’s and 90’s compared to current day video games distributed in CD and DVD media formats.

These high production costs prevented a boatload of cartridges from being manufactured. And that is what makes games expensive and rare, even if the gameplay sucks!

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