2. Shunning the Internet
"The internet? Yeah, like that thing will ever take off. Psh. Next thing you'll tell me is today's youth doesn't want to jam their faces in glowing red eye-destroyers filled with Game Boy graphics!" someone at Nintendo, probably
Why does Nintendo hate the internet? While Sony and Microsoft were rolling out major online gaming networks, Nintendo stubbornly insisted that no one would be into playing games over the internet, providing half-assed wi-fi solutions to Gamecube and later consoles and handhelds. And the worst part the Friend Codes, long serial numbers required to find and play with people you know online. Nintendo's goal with their hesitancy and stringent measures was to limit how exposed anyone would ever be to the crude 'n rude world of online gaming by making sure you only gamed with people you knew. XBOX Live, for example, is a notorious cesspool of scum and villainy (also: racism, misogyny, etc.), but it has brought significant dividends along at this point, more people are using their XBOX 360 for non-gaming purposes, and this is all thanks to Microsoft's embrace of online capabilities. Nintendo had a solid control of their brand, and did not want to give that up. In the meantime, they got left in the dust.
Nintendo seems to be turning a corner, with rumors of the WiiU not requiring Friend Codes, but at this point they're far enough behind that they have an enormous amount of ground to make up for. Hear that everyone? Soon we'll be able to play Mario Kart online and hear random 12 year olds screaming racial slurs. That's how Nintendo will know they're back in the game.
1. Creating Sony PlayStation
This is the big one the one that would truly haunt Nintendo for the rest of their existence. Nintendo is responsible for its greatest rival's existence. Back in 1986, the CD-ROM platform was just taking off and the possibilities were endless. Nintendo partnered with Sony to develop a CD-ROM attachment for the SNES, some sort of station of play known as "Play Station." The problem was Nintendo and Sony could never come to an agreement over how to share the revenue and rights. Things seemed to be going fine otherwise, until June 1991.
That was when Sony debuted The PlayStation at the Consumer Electronics show, and then the very next day, Nintendo said they were breaking their agreement and would be doing a new CD-ROM/SNES program with Philips. This made Sony angry. Nintendo wouldn't want to see Sony when it's angry. Sony decided to push forward into the gaming industry out of pure spite (also, for money). Within a few years, Sony would release the PlayStation we know and love, and the rest is history.
Oh, and the thing Philips released was the CD-i. Definitely worth it, right?
Bonus! Multitudes of Useless Peripherals
- Super Scope 6
- N64 Transfer Pack
- N64 Disc Drive
- GameBoy Advance e-Reader
- DK Bongo Controllers
- NES Four Score
- Wii Speak
Each was awful/terrible for unique and fascinating reasons, but something has always been clear about Nintendo accessories: they're made to be purchased, not to be utilized. Typically they're wildly under- or entirely un-supported. The GameBoy Camera has the unique distinction of being a worse camera than the first camera ever invented. Great work, Nintendo.