Choosing the “best” Nintendo console is a subjective choice, but what if we went in another direction? Instead of ranking what one thinks of the history of the Japanese video game giant, it’s time to tie in something much more tangible: how much they weigh. That’s right, it’s time to put aside the nostalgia for an objective, albeit cheeky concept.
Weight matters more or less for the consoles below. No one liked trying to travel with the Virtual Boy if someone was unlucky enough to try. While the weight of most consoles never changed your mind, the low weight of the original Game Boy blew as many minds when it was released as it does today.
Game and Watch Series
Nintendo’s lightest device weighs 0.07 kg (0.15 lbs), and it’s also the company’s first handheld. The Game & Watch brand was launched in 1980 and sold 43.4 million units until it ceased production in 1991.
The product got its name from game designer Gunpei Yokoi as it included both a watch and a game on its LCD display. After generations of manufacturing playing cards, this resounding success set the Japanese company on its pioneering path.
Game Boy Color
The Game Boy Color weighs 0.14 kg (0.30 lb) and was released in Japan in October 1998 as part of the fifth generation of consoles. Nintendo manufactured the handheld until March 2003 and sold 118 million units of it and the original.
Its most popular game (Pokemon Gold and Silver) has sold over 23 million units worldwide. While you still don’t want to play this one in a dimly lit room, this device has helped the handheld market jump into the new millennium.
Game Boy Advance
The Game Boy Advance also weighs 0.14 kg (0.30 lb) and was released in Japan in March 2001. Nintendo manufactured the handheld console until 2010 in North America and sold over 81 million units. .
The GBA did not see the same sales as its predecessor because it was offered at a high price with questionable design choices from its engineers. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of hidden gems for retro game collectors.
The original Game Boy weighs 0.22 kg (0.49 lb) and it was released in Japan in April 1989. Nintendo drained this stone until it reached the last drop of blood in March 2003.
While not the video game giant’s first handheld, it has proven that a portable gaming system can not only thrive, but also break previous records. The Game Boy is today the proof of concept for an entire industry.
The 3DS weighs 23 kg (0.51 lb) and was launched in Japan in February 2011. After its big unveiling at E3 2010, Nintendo manufactured the handheld until 2020 and sold 75.77 million of units.
While this is a solid console with many merits and a fantastic collection of limited edition designs, the novelty of the 3D effect hasn’t impressed enough people to convince them that the entry price was worth the hard earned money. When Nintendo manages to create a portable device that displays 3D images to the naked eye, people will fondly remember this device.
The DS weighs 0.28 kg (0.61 lb) and was first released in North America in November 2004. Nintendo manufactured the handheld until 2013 and sold 154 million units.
While most reportedly ditched handheld consoles completely before release, the Japanese company has once again proven itself to meet a need people didn’t know they had before launching a new product. A new generation of people, young and old, have rediscovered the joy of quality mobile gaming with this device.
Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch lite weighs 0.28 kg (0.61 lb) and was released in September 2019. Although it was not as successful as the original, it sold for 10.37 million units in September 2020.
A cheaper version of the handheld that doesn’t dock has paid off for Nintendo over the past two vacation seasons. While this is a transitional device between generations of consoles, it meets the right need as long as the games you want to play are compatible.
The Switch weighs 0.29 kg (0.66 lbs) and was launched in most countries around the world in March 2017. Speculation swirls in 2021 about a possible announcement of “Nintendo Switch Pro” after selling over 70 million consoles around the world.
Skeptics have questioned the wisdom of creating a hybrid device, but no one can deny that the risk paid off big for its creator. It’s hard to imagine a world where Nintendo hasn’t made its way through the latest generation of consoles with this gem of a device, and there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021.
The Virtual Boy weighs 0.76 kg (1.67 lb) and was released in Japan in July 1995. This infamous “portable” console flop fortunately ceased production the following year.
Nintendo is known to release products ahead of their time, but this black sheep of the family arrived long before the technology was ready. The Virtual Boy was a rare faux pas for a company proud of its quality control.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo entertainment system weighs 0.96 kg (2.12 lb) and was first released in Japan in November 1990. Nintendo competed with Sega with this beloved console from the 16-bit era to the 32-bit generation.
The SNES sold nearly 100 million units before its shutdown in 2003. While the NES forever changed the video game landscape, this console has managed to dominate its competition and make the years miss even more. 90 to everyone.
The Nintendo 64 weighs 1.09 kg (2.42 lb) and was first released in Japan in June 1996. It sold 32.93 million units worldwide before its discontinuation in 2002.
Nintendo’s first 3D console didn’t perform as well as its Sony counterpart, but it remains a historic and beloved piece of video game history nonetheless. The stubborn refusal to go beyond cartridges took its toll on the beloved video game company and this console suffered from that choice.
The Wii weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 lbs) and was first released in North America in November 2006. Nintendo ditched the successful home console with 101.63 million units sold.
The video game giant has proven that its insistence on doing things its own way ends up paying off, although they may not compete as well with its latest generation of innovations. The Wii catapulted Nintendo into home video game relevance with a fun design that has stood the test of time.
The Wii U weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) and it was launched in North America and Europe in November 2012. Although it did not reach the levels of awareness of Virtual Boy, it does not. is not sold well at just 13.56 million units.
Nintendo largely failed to sell anyone beyond its loyal fan base on the merits of this console that deserved more love than it received. The building blocks of the Switch’s success are fully on display, but unable to take advantage of the opportunity.
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System weighs 2.27 kg (5 lbs) and was first released in Japan in July 1983. The NES sold 61.9 million units and continued to be manufactured until 2003 in the land of the rising sun.
Nintendo has proven that the previous video game crash was just an opportunity for the right company with a quality product to step up and grab the market. As Atari fades away, the Nintendo entertainment system rises from its ashes to make everyone fall in love with the game.
The GameCube weighs 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) and it was first released in Japan in September 2001. Although it received a positive reception from critics, fans have not. as much sustained with only 21.7 million units sold before its shutdown in 2007.
Nintendo suffered from being too “kid-friendly” during this generation of consoles and lost to rougher titles that took advantage of emerging technologies. While the company eventually moved away from cartridges, it wasn’t ready to let go of a younger audience and forgot to pay attention to its older fans.
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