RPGeek over at Everything2 has written an amazing account of the Nintendo Entertainment System's debut, life, and obsolescence. As we move forward into new gaming generations with new capabilities it's always nice to look back at our gaming roots. I share a lot of Everything2 writeups here because that's one of my favorite sources of essays like this, but if you know of something similar on another website, please send it to me. Great gaming writing such as this deserves to be shared with everyone.
At first, they tried to partner with Atari, who rebuffed them in favor of developing their own system, the Atari 7800, which was eventually shelved due to the failing market and later released during the NES's heyday to little success. They then tried to shop the Famicom directly to retailers, who as a group wanted nothing to do with video games and the toylike red and white Famicom.
Nintendo thus hatched a clever plan to crack the market open, and then lock it up for themselves. There were three groups they needed to win over to do this: the game retailers (mostly toy stores), the game buyers (mostly parents), and the game players (mostly children). Each group had a portion of the strategy directed towards them.
Kudos to RPGeek on a job well done. Remember, send quality gaming essay links to me at the address over on the right-hand sidebar (no direct link here to help cut back on spam to my inbox).