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All Nintendo Consoles in Order and Specs

All Nintendo Consoles in Order and Specs

Nintendo, a name synonymous with the world of gaming, has been revolutionizing the industry since the release of its first console in 1983.

Since then they have released a myriad of gaming consoles.

While some of these devices are designed for home play (consoles), others are built for on-the-go gaming (handhelds).

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Nintendo’s major home consoles, not handhelds.

Nintendo Console Release Dates

ConsoleRelease DateLaunch Price
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)October 1985$199.99
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)August 1991$199.99
Nintendo 64September 1996$199.99
Nintendo GameCubeNovember 2001$199.99
Nintendo WiiNovember 2006$249.99
Nintendo Wii UNovember 2012$299.99
Nintendo SwitchMarch 2017$299.99

Nintendo dominated the console scene in the 1980s and 1990s.

Subsequent competition from juggernauts Microsoft and Sony would see Nintendo primarily focus on the handheld gaming market in the 2000s and beyond.

While the Nintendo Switch is somewhat of a competitor to the Xbox and PlayStation, it is a handheld console and targeted to a different audience.

NES Specs

NES Console with controller
CPU1.79 MHz Ricoh 2A03
GPUCustom Picture Processing Unit (PPU)
Memory2 KB RAM
Resolution256 x 240
Dimensions10 x 8 x 3.5 inches
  • Units Sold: ~61.91 million
  • Best Selling Game: Super Mario Bros.

The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was Nintendo’s first home console and changed the gaming landscape. It was also known as the Famicom.

With its distinctive cartridges and a robust library of games, the NES set the stage for Nintendo’s dominance in the 1980s.

It’s astonishing to think that a console with a 1.70 MHz CPU and a measly 2 KB of RAM was once the pinnacle of gaming but it certainly was.

SNES Specs

US SNES Console with controller
CPU3.58 MHz Ricoh 5A22
GPUCustom PPU
Memory128 KB RAM
Resolution512 x 448 max
Dimensions9.2 x 7.7 x 3 inches
  • Units Sold: ~49.10 million
  • Best Selling Game: Super Mario World

The SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) built upon the success of its predecessor, offering enhanced graphics, sound, and a library of games that are still cherished today.

It was so iconic that a mini console replicating it was released in 2017.

To this day the SNES boasts some of the most revered games of all time. These included games from the Super Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong franchise.

Nintendo 64 Specs

N64 Console with controller
CPU93.75 MHz NEC VR4300
GPUSGI RCP
Memory4 MB RDRAM
Resolution640 x 480 max
Dimensions10.2 x 7.5 x 2.9 inches
  • Units Sold: ~32.93 million
  • Best Selling Game: Super Mario 64

Transitioning into the world of 3D gaming, the N64 delivered some of Nintendo’s most famous titles.

The innovative controller design and games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ensured its place in gaming history.

It also had the first Pokemon game released on console (Pokemon Stadium).

The Nintendo 64 lost the fifth generation console war to the PS1 but it maintained, even to this day, a hardcore fan base.

Nintendo GameCube Specs

Nintendo GameCube Console with controller
CPU486 MHz IBM PowerPC Gekko
GPU162 MHz ATI Flipper
Memory43 MB total
Resolution640 x 480 max
Dimensions5.9 x 6.3 x 4.3 inches
  • Units Sold: ~21.74 million
  • Best Selling Game: Super Smash Bros. Melee

Nintendo GameCube, with its compact design and mini-discs, offered a diverse library of games.

Though it faced tough competition, titles like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! secured its legacy.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, it was soundly beaten by the original Xbox and what some consider the greatest gaming console of all time, the PS2.

Nintendo Wii Specs

Nintendo Wii Console with controller
CPU729 MHz IBM PowerPC Broadway
GPU243 MHz ATI Hollywood
Memory88 MB total
Resolution720 x 480 max
Dimensions8.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Units Sold: ~101.63 million
  • Best Selling Game: Wii Sports

With a groundbreaking motion control system, the Wii opened gaming to a wider audience.

Its innovative gameplay and inclusive appeal made it a sensation, with Wii Sports leading as the flagship title.

Nintendo Wii U Specs

Nintendo Wii U Console
CPU1.24 GHz IBM PowerPC 750-based tri-core processor Espresso
GPU550 MHz AMD Radeon High Definition processor Latte
Memory2 GB DDR3 RAM
Resolution720p handheld, 1080p on TV
Dimensions10.6 x 6.75 x 1.75 inches
  • Units Sold: ~13.56 million
  • Best Selling Game: Mario Kart 8

The Wii U, Nintendo’s attempt to build upon the success of the Wii, introduced a tablet-like controller, providing second-screen experiences for gamers.

Despite a lukewarm reception and being overshadowed by its successor, the Switch, the Wii U hosted various noteworthy titles, such as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Maker,” enhancing Nintendo’s eclectic game library.

Nintendo Switch Specs

Nintendo Switch console
CPUQuad-core ARM Cortex-A57
GPUNvidia GM20B Maxwell-based GPU
Memory4 GB LPDDR4
Resolution720p handheld, 1080p docked
Dimensions9.4 x 4 x 0.55 inches
  • Units Sold: Over 130 million
  • Best Selling Game: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Blurring the lines between a home console and a handheld, the Switch provides versatility in gaming.

Whether docked for TV play or taken on the go, its hybrid design and captivating titles make it a contemporary marvel.

Playing host to the Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda franchises, the Nintendo Switch is the third highest selling console ever. It trails only the PS2 and Nintendo DS.