eraserhead wrote: For sure, 1987 and 1988 were powerhouse years. But that was built on the base of 1985 in arcades and 1986. That was a strong foundation. Games back then had a much longer life. Super Mario 1 and Zelda 1 were still popular two and three years after they came out, even as they sat on the shelf next to their sequels which were also megahits.
Nintendo Power was well done, and I'm sorry its gone, however, there had been fun general and system specific gaming magazines before. By 1988, I give you there was Nintendo Power, and "How to Beat Nintendo" books and other things that are already building on success. Had Nintendo come out with another system, the AVS or something, in 1989, the NES would have already made a mark. Its that 1986-1987 period when the NES went from nothing to one of several with Atari and Sega to king of the hill.
Eraserhead, can you build on the '1985 in arcades' comment? Is this Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros and the PlayChoice cabinets? That's something I had not considered...the impact of those. Did you play those games and they influenced your holiday wishlist in 1986 or 1987?
"Games back then had a much longer life" is also a neat comment. You do make some good comments. Sure, some modern games like Minecraft are big for years, but other many modern games like Titanfall seem to have a short retail life span. If I think back to the 2nd generation game catalogs, some of those games were also made for years (or at least advertised, which is not the same thing). That does make me think about how the retail life span of games has shifted (if it has) over time, or do we just remember it that way. If true, then the gems of a library can stick around for years to bolster console sales - was it true for the 2600, the NES, the SNES, the PS, or other consoles?