Mental Floss

How Nintendo Conquered the Gaming World

Jake Rossen
Nintendo accessories eventually got out of hand.
Nintendo accessories eventually got out of hand. / Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

If you’re a child of the ‘80s, then the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) probably shaped your free time. Games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and ExciteBike (OK, maybe not ExciteBike) captivated millions of kids. But Nintendo’s U.S. launch was anything but easy.

Following the collapse of Atari, retailers were hesitant about putting a new video game system on their shelves, and no one was exactly sure what to make of the Zapper. On this edition of Throwback, join Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy for a look into how Nintendo conquered New York City—and then the world.