So we ended the last episode at the North American Video Game Crash of 1983, and even though the video game market had collapsed in the United States, demand for video games remained strong in Europe and Asia. Nintendo of Japan, originally a playing card company, which had seen some success in arcades, saw this as an opportunity to (tentatively) introduce its own console to the U.S. – the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES. The NES saw a number of significant technological and gameplay improvements but it was Nintendo’s approach to game development that changed the industry. Nintendo’s defined a new set of standards for video game quality by requiring contracts with all 3rd party developers. Nintendo even used special technology within the console that forced developers to get approval, marketed as a Seal of Quality, for their games to work on the console. And this strategy worked. Nintendo reinvigorated the North American market and became synonymous with quality games. But it wouldn’t be the only new player in the U.S. for long.
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