Why did Nintendo decide to completely change direction with the Wii? The reason is immediately obvious when you look at the list of the best and worst selling Nintendo consoles of all time.
The much-loved GameCube was, in fact, one of Nintendo's least successful consoles. This forced Nintendo to realise that they had to offer something different to their rivals and expand the market beyond the traditional Nintendo hardcore. And so we had the Wii, a console with a Wii Remote that took us back to the simple days of playing games on a pad with very few buttons, only this time it was motion controlled.
Then Nintendo changed things up again by releasing Wii U, a console which comes with a tablet-style controller which features a touchscreen. It's got a long way to go if it is going to be one of Nintendo's best-selling consoles ever. That said, it's already beating one of Nintendo's consoles...
11. Virtual Boy
Hardware sales: 770,000 shipped
Software sales: UnknownThe one console that Nintendo don't include on their infographic which reveals their console sales. It has almost been deleted from history. Indeed, it didn't take long for it to be deleted from shop shelves. Released in Japan in July 1995, it had been discontinued by the end of the year thanks to poor sales. It survived until March 1996 in the US but was never even released in the UK.
Designed by Gunpei Yokoi, who also created the phenomenally successful Game Boy (more on that later), the Virtual Boy was way ahead of 3DS, promising to be the first console to deliver 3D graphics. It looked unlike anything you'd ever seen before as to view those 3D graphics, you didn't look at a screen but peer through a headset to see the cheap black and red visuals.
When we say cheap, we mean it. For like the Game Boy before it, Yokoi chose to go with the infamous red screen because, like Game Boy, he wanted to ensure that Virtual Boy was affordable. And at $180 it was. Trouble is, no one bought it and with stories of people complaining about it giving them headaches, it was doomed. Only 22 games were ever released for this console, including Mario Clash, 3D Tetris and Wario Land.
For more on Nintendo's most infamous folly, read our history of Virtual Boy.