Oldest Nintendo Consoles in History

10 Oldest Nintendo Consoles in History

For most of us, Nintendo has been part of our childhood memory. You think about all the gaming consoles they produced and you simply want to go back to the good old days. When you see old photos of Nintendo consoles, you can’t help but be nostalgic.

That’s when you wonder, “What could be the oldest Nintendo console?” It’s an interesting question because it reminds us how time flies by so fast and how fun our childhood was with the first Nintendo games we played.

So, with that in mind, from old to oldest, let’s take a look at the oldest Nintendo consoles that ever hit the market.

10. Nintendo DS

Release date: November 21, 2004 (18 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 154.02 million
Discontinued: Yes (the official date wasn’t announced)
Successor: Wii

photo source: Wikipedia

The Nintendo DS cutting-edge design makes it unique and special. It has two LCD screens that work together to give an immersive gaming experience. Not only that but the wireless connectivity brings gamers together in a convenient manner.

DS in “Nintendo DS” means “Developers’ System.” Some suggest its meaning is Dual Screen.

Did You Know?

At the time the Nintendo DS was discontinued, it had sold more than 150 million units worldwide, making it the most popular handheld gaming console of all time. It has even overtaken the sales of Game Boy and Game Boy Color.


9. GameCube

Release date: 2001 (21 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 21.75 million
Discontinued: 2007
Successor: Wii

GameCubephoto source: Wikipedia

The GameCube is the first game console from Nintendo that used optical discs. This made ROM cartridges obsolete and has led to a new generation of video games.

To make GameCube more appealing to Nintendo fans, it can use a link cable so that you can also play Game Boy Advance with it. Unlike the competitors of GameCube, it didn’t support CDs and DVDs, which dismayed some fans.

Did You Know?

The GameCube is probably best remembered for its unique shape and controller. First off, the GameCube isn’t really a perfect cube. Nevertheless, it still looks like a cube.

The controller is also unique with a bigger A button. What’s more, the controller is wireless and thus, the players can have more freedom to move.


8. Game Boy Color

Release date: October 21, 1998 (24 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 118.69 million
Discontinued: 2003
Successor: Game Boy Advance

Game Boy Colorphoto source: Wikipedia

The Game Boy Color or simply, GBC, is a great improvement of its predecessor, the original Game Boy. Featuring a smaller colored screen, it was immediately loved by many customers. The 16 colors palette made the handheld game console more appealing. The most popular games for Game Boy Color were Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver.

Did You Know?

The Game Boy Color features backward compatibility. This means that it can play games made for Game Boy, the original version. During its production, the Game Boy Color came with more than 500 games, which are also compatible with the original Game Boy.


7. Nintendo 64

Release date: July 21, 1995 (27 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 32.93 million
Discontinued: April 30, 2002
Successor: GameCube

Nintendo 64photo source: Wikipedia

The Nintendo 64 replaced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and it is also the last game console that used cartridges. The competition was fierce when it was released. It had to go toe-to-toe against gaming console giants such as Sony PlayStation and Playstation 2, and Sega Saturn.

Did You Know?

The Nintendo 64 had a lot of delays in its release. Not only that, but the developers had a hard time trying to give the right name for the new gaming console. The developers planned to initially name it “Project Reality.” Later, it was “Nintendo Ultra 64.” Because Konami had already taken the name “Ultra Games,” Nintendo decided to go for Nintendo 64.


6. Virtual Boy

Release date: July 21, 1995 (26 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 770,000
Discontinued: 1996
Successor: ROM cartridge

Virtual Boyphoto source: Wikipedia

The Virtual Boy was an innovative addition to Nintendo’s line of gaming consoles. The problem is that not many people loved it and not all are ready for the head-mounted display that we see now becoming more and more popular.

The 32-bit tabletop Virtual Boy only came with 22 games until it was discontinued in 1996. In its short lifespan, the Virtual Boy failed because of various reasons such as expensive price, poor ergonomics, and monochrome display.

Did You Know?

The Virtual Boy is considered to be the first biggest failure of Nintendo in terms of its video game consoles. Perhaps, the most notable feature of this game console was its blood red and black display, which led to the creation of 3D effects.


5. Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Release date: November 21, 1990 (32 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 49.10 million
Discontinued: September 25, 2003 (Japan); May 23, 2005 (UK)
Successor: Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3

photo source: Wikipedia

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (also called Super NES, Super Famicom, and Super Comboy) comes with advanced sound capabilities and advanced graphics.

During the time of the Super NES, the Super Mario Bros have become the most popular video game in the world. Thus, the plumber we all loved became the icon and mascot of Nintendo up to this day.

Did You Know?

The next generation of gaming consoles has already started with the introduction of the Sega Genesis. Interestingly, Nintendo wasn’t in a rush to dive into the 16-bit console war. It waited until 1990 that Nintendo released the SNES, which surpassed all its competitors in terms of sales. It was considered the most successful gaming console in the 16-bit era.


4. Game Boy

Release date: April 21, 1989 (33 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 118.69 million
Discontinued: March 23, 2003
Successor: Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3

Game Boyphoto source: Wikipedia

Game Boy is perhaps the most widely-recognized handheld game console from Nintendo. Who would have thought it was already a little more than 30 years that have passed since Game Boy took the world by storm?

For many modern gamers, Game Boy might have been their first taste of real gaming. With the chance of playing different games on one console and playing with multiple players, more and more people got hooked.

Did You Know?

Before Game Boy, the common perception of people was that handheld video games were just simple distractions and pastimes.

That changed when Game Boy was released. With better display, controls, and features, the Game Boy offered a true video game that both the young and old would enjoy for hours.


3. Nintendo Entertainment System

Release date: July 15, 1983 (39 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 61.91 million
Discontinued: August 14, 1995 (The rest of the world); September 25, 2003 (Japan)
Successor: Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3

photo source: Wikimedia

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is released in Japan as the Family Computer (FC) or more commonly known as Famicom. It was a big commercial hit selling more than 60 million units worldwide.

Did You Know?

The NES came into the market just after the video game crash in the United States. Before its release, a lot of experts doubted that it will thrive in a bearish economy, especially as a video game.

Contrary to the expectation of many, the NES was widely accepted by a lot of people and it even helped to revitalize the video game industry. As a result, the NES became the best-selling console during its heyday.


2. Game & Watch

Release date: April 28, 1980 (42 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 43.4 million
Discontinued: 1980-1991 (original series); 2010 (reissue); 2020-2021 (color screen)
Successor: Donkey Kong

Game & Watchphoto source: Wikipedia

The Game & Watch (also known as Tricotronic in Europe) is the second game console developed by Nintendo in 1980. It’s a handheld gaming console that saw more success than the Color TV-Game. It has sold more than 40 million units, owing to the fact that it was made available outside of Japan.

The Game and Watch comes with only one game. However, you can play one game in either two modes, “Game A” and “Game B.” Game B was generally more difficult.

Did You Know?

Game & Watch didn’t only have a game on it, but it also have a clock and alarm. That’s why it is called Game and “Watch” referring to the clock.


1. Color TV-Game

Release date: June 1, 1977 (45 years ago as of 2022)
Units sold: 3 million
Discontinued: 1983
Successor: Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System

Color TV-Gamephoto source: Wikipedia

The Color TV-Game is the oldest Nintendo console in history. From 1977 to 1980, the Color TV-Game was only available in Japan. In its history, the Color TV-Game came in a total of four models.

The introduction of the Color TV-Game was a big hit and because of this, Nintendo felt more confident to continue producing more game consoles.

Did You Know?

Nintendo started out as a manufacturer of toys and playing cards. In the latter part of the 1970s, Nintendo entered the video game market.

Inspired by the huge success of the game Space Invaders and the oil crisis in 1973 that led to the rising cost of making toys, Nintendo became a huge player in the video game industry with the Color TV-Game.

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