After 24 years of publications, Nintendo Power is releasing its final issue this month, ending the gaming magazine era for many, many people. Originally published in house then moved to Future Publishing in 2007, big-N announced this past August that they would not be renewing their contract with the publishing company.
As the first hardware manufacturer to launch a magazine, it makes us sad to see Nintendo Power go away. It has always focused on the games above anything else, and always gave preference to tips and strategies to beat current titles than it did to exposing the latest upcoming releases. You could often find maps and posters within the magazine’s cellophane wrapper, and it often blew the lid on new entries in existing franchises like Pokemon and Professor Layton.
The bright colours Nintendo is known for moved over to the magazine in its later years as a publication. Distinct yellow and red covers were often seen gracing magazine racks as Nintendo wanted to stand out with its magazine as much as it did with its games.
As is fitting for a sendoff like this, there is a look back upon the last two and a half decades of Nintendo Power by the founders. As we noted, Howard Philips, one of the original founders, said the original intention was to have a magazine with maps and gameplay tips and be able to “pull out a map of Zelda and see the entire world, and be able to go through it with your fingertip and then say, ‘Okay, there’s where you can burn that tree,’ or push that rock, or whatever. It was so cool.”
The final issue of Nintendo Power also pays homage to its very first issue with a clay-moulded scene on its cover, similar graphics and font layout, and red stripe at the bottom of the page declaring the magazine “the source for Nintendo players straight from the pros.” The cover itself depicts a similar scene with Mario bouncing on a goomba’s head with Bowser chasing him from behind. It’s amazing to see how far so many industries have come; advances in magazines, design, photography, and gaming can all be witnessed from this one cover.
So, to Nintendo Power, we have to offer our thanks for beginning a big revolution in gaming magazines. For taking the bull by the horns as a first-party developer and hardware manufacturer and getting tips and tricks to the fans in a time when there was no internet to do it ourselves. And for sticking with us through to the digital age where paper magazines just aren’t as hip as they used to be. Here’s hoping the magazine gets reincarnated in a digital form sometime.
Until then, so long, Nintendo Power. You will be missed.