Nintendo Power is a news and strategy website focusing on providing game strategy, tips and tricks, reviews, and previews of upcoming games. It was formerly a monthly news and strategy magazine initially published in-house by Nintendo of America, and later run independently. As of issue #222 (December 2007), Nintendo contracted publishing duties to "Future US", the U.S. subsidiary of British publisher Future.
The first issue published was July/August 1988 spotlighting the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2. It was one of the longest-running video game magazines in the United States and Canada, and was Nintendo's official magazine in North America.
On August 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that they would not be renewing their licensing agreement with Future Publishing, and that Nintendo Power would cease publication and move exclusively to online content at Nintendo's websites in December 2012. In Nintendo Power's online sites, reviews can be accompanied by videos illustrating points and problems, guides can adopt a wiki format that is moderated by NP but is largely left to users, etc.
Overview and designEdit
From the beginning, Nintendo Power has focused heavily on providing game strategy, tips and tricks, reviews, and previews of upcoming games. Seeing as the magazine enjoyed twenty years of Nintendo-directed publication, NP was the ultimate source for detailed mapping and insider knowledge delivered directly from the programming teams. As a result, the magazine has enjoyed the reputation of being the definitive source for all things Nintendo, separating itself from a more traditionally speculative approach as used by its contemporaries. The magazine was one of the longest-running game oriented magazines of all time.
Later, the magazine has changed its focus from game strategies and cheat codes to mainly news, previews, and articles on upcoming games. The magazine's online wiki component was instead used as a way of offering assistance to those playing games.
Early History Edit
Nintendo Power began as the several page long Nintendo Fun Club News, which was sent to subscribers for free. However, in mid-1988 Nintendo Fun Club News was discontinued after seven issues. The first issue published 3.6 million copies, with every member of the Nintendo Fun Club receiving a free one. Almost one third of the members subscribed.
The magazine was edited at first by Fun Club "President" Howard Philips, himself an avid game player. While the Fun Club News focused solely on games made in-house by Nintendo, Nintendo Power was created to allow for reviews of games produced by those licensed by Nintendo, such as Konami, Capcom, and the like. Nintendo Power's mascot in the late 1980s and early 1990s was "Nester," a comic character created by Philips. After Philips left the company, Nester became the magazine's sole mascot. Early issues of the magazine featured a two-page Howard and Nester comic, which was later replaced with the two-page Nester's Adventures, later reduced to one page, and eventually dropped altogether. Subsequently, Mario replaced Nester as the mascot of the magazine.
Recent Years Edit
On September 19, 2007, Nintendo officially announced that the large magazine publisher Future US would begin publishing Nintendo Power. The company's first official issue was released in October, as issue #222 (December 2007). It was also revealed that circulation would be increased to 13 issues a year, with the extra magazine being a holiday season bonus issue (Nintendo Power stopped making the Bonus issue in 2011).
Issue #231 (August 2008) celebrated Nintendo Power's 20th anniversary and made a list of the top twenty games from each of Nintendo's home and handheld consoles.
In issue #252, Nintendo Power included a top ten list for the best games of the decade.
Nintendo Power has additionally released seasonal Buyer's Guides, poster magazines, a 2010 calendar, and two special guides dedicated to the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series of games that were available only at retail.
On August 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that they had opted not to renew their licensing agreement with Future Publishing, and that Nintendo Power would cease publication and move exclusively to Nintendo's online content on all of its websites after 24 years. The "moving to the internet" strategy was seen as a method for Nintendo Power to improve itself. The final issue would be December 2012. Nintendo reportedly did not actively participate in discussions to continue the magazine online.
Nintendo Power's final issue was December 2012 (Volume #285). The cover featured clay models of Mario and Bowser promoting New Super Mario World, paying homage to the Mario and Wart clay models promoting Super Mario Bros 2 back in Volume #1. The issue featured a 20 pages of Stream reviews, as well as the following special sections:
- NP's All-Time Favorite Games: List of Nintendo Power's top 285 Nintendo games ever
- Great Moments in Power: A compilation of Nintendo Power history
- Power Players: Reflections from former and current Nintendo writers
The issue also included a poster displaying every past Nintendo Power cover, minus the Subscription Edition covers.
After the final issue was published, Nintendo Power was relocated to Nintendo's websites. By that time, Nintendo Power became an online-only news and strategy website owned by Nintendo.
As of September 2013, Nintendo is more focused with Nintendo Power's internet-only strategy. In Nintendo Power's online sites, reviews can be accompanied by videos illustrating points and problems, guides can adopt a wiki format that is moderated by NP but is largely left to users, etc.
Nintendo Power AwardsEdit
The Nintendo Power Awards, once called the Nester Awards (after the cartoon character featured in early issues of Nintendo Power), are the magazine's annual ceremony of recognition for the previous calendar year's games. The awards are nominated by the staff members, and the awards are voted on by the readers via Nintendo.com. The results, which appear in a following issue, reflect both the winners based on readers' votes and which candidates the writers felt should have won. As of 2006, there have been eighteen annual awards featured in what is usually the March issue of the following year, the first awards having taken place in 1989, honoring games released in 1988. The magazine was known for creative awards such as "best mullet" (won by Aqua Man) but these have largely disappeared and have been replaced by more generic awards. The 2009 awards were determined by separate votes of staff and readers leading to two possible winners for each award.
Nintendo Power in its current form as a website still employs a number of people full-time. These staff members perform a variety of roles, from writing reviews to making player guides to maintaining the site. The following is a partial list of some staff members.
- Corbie Dillard - Head of Downloadable content coverage.
- Audrey Drake - Writes reviews, previews, features, editorials, etc.
- Andre Sergers - Video editing, walkthrough and guide creation and editing, etc.
- Matthew Taranto - Artwork, Site Graphics, etc.