Top Ten: Nintendo Innovations

Luke takes a stroll through the Nintendo archives and discusses the best (and worst) creations from the greatest video game company of all time.

By Luke Brown. Posted 12/12/2012 14:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

2: No Glasses 3D

What’s that you say? 3D without the need for glasses? This is exactly what Nintendo managed to achieve with their most recent handheld system. It’s not perfect. The sweet spot can sometimes be hard to maintain and there are far too few games which successfully use the 3D to genuinely enhance the gaming experience. However, when it works (I’m looking at you, Super Mario 3D Land), the system soars and the old Nintendo magic comes shining through.

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2 Responses to “Top Ten: Nintendo Innovations”

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    Nice List! Enjoyed the write-up. Some other gaming mainstays (or former mainstays) that Nintendo helped bring to the masses either by creating them or just making them more common through massive commercial success:

    1.) Battery-backed saves: The original Zelda was innovative for so many reasons. Doing away with loooong passwords was just one of them!

    2.) The analog stick: Nice to see the Z-trigger shout-out, and while Nintendo wasn’t the 1st to have analog controls, it was the 1st to truly utilize it successfully. It was hilarious to see Sony scramble to change their PS1 controllers after the N64 hit the market (remember, the original PS1 controller only had directional buttons!) much like how Sony also scrambled to make the dual “shock” after the N64’s rumble pack. Yes, if you want to know Sony’s future, just look at Nintendo’s present, Kind of like the Sony “Move” looks like a Wii-Mote. We’ll probably see a “pad controller” with the PS4, which leads me to…..

    3.) Innovating entire genres: Let’s not forget that before “kart-racing” was a genre, there was the original Mario-Kart for SNES. I think we take for granted how successful/innovative the first iteration of this genre truly was. Little Big Planet Racing, Crash Team Racing, or (insert here)-racing really don’t have much on the Mario-Kart series.

    4.) Along the same lines, the Smash Bros Style Brawler: See Playstation Battle Royale. If this sells well, expect to see an Xbox iteration down the road.

    5.) “Z-Targeting”: There’s debate about Nintendo creating lock on targeting (see’s current Mega Man Legends vs. Ocarina of Time write-up) but Nintendo definitely brought it to the masses. Plus, I’d bet dollars to donuts that other developers of the 32/64 bit era looked to Ocarina of Time for guidance when developing games in 3D space.

    6.) The Mii-Verse: Just wait and see.

    7.) The “jump” button! Donkey Kong truly innovated. Our beloved Mario (then actually known as “jump man”) actually made a “jump” button mainstream.

    Again, Love the write-up! Love the site.

  • 22 points
    Luke Brown says...

    Glad you liked it! I considered a number of your suggestions when I was writing the list but Nintendo just have too many awesome innovations to fit into a top ten!!

    Keep on reading. Nintendojo really appreciates your support!

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