Playing With Power is a deep dive into Nintendo’s decades-long history, from the first card that was printed to the Switch’s grand slam.
Nintendo is currently at the peak of its powers once again, just like it was during the late ’80s and early ’90s. During this period, Nintendo’s absolute domination of the video game market gave it the cultural renown that still, to this day, makes it synonymous with video games.
As it turns out business isn’t good just for Nintendo, with Sony, Microsoft, and PC gaming as a whole enjoying higher sales numbers than ever that continue to push video games as an increasingly popular entertainment format. As a result, more gaming-related documentaries are also being made than ever before and it’s no surprise that Nintendo plays a significant part in several of those, as was the case with last year’s Console Wars, where it co-starred alongside its ’90s rival Sega.
The most recent five-part documentary series, Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story, will explore Nintendo’s long history from its beginnings as a card manufacturer to gaming juggernaut when it premieres next month on Crackle. Like the trailer hints, Playing With Power doesn’t skip Nintendo’s less successful years, like those following Sony’s breakthrough in the industry with the PlayStation and its successor, so there is a chance fans will get to see some Virtual Boy footage.
This documentary also has interviews with some of the biggest names of the video game industry’s early days, like Nolan Bushnell (Atari) and Tom Kalinske (Sega), while also making room for Nintendo’s new rival for the 21st century with Xbox head executive Phil Spencer and even a confirmed appearance from Reggie Fils-Aime. Playing With Power was written and directed by Jeremy Snead (Video Games: The Movie) and is narrated by Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings Trilogy), who is also credited as an executive producer.
Playing With Power comes at a perfect time for long-time Nintendo fans, as the company commemorates important milestones for its three most recognizable franchises, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon. That aside, the documentary also comes on the back of the most recent Nintendo Direct, when the company showcased plans for the first half of 2021, which is likely to be followed by similar events dedicated to Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda’s anniversaries.
Even before Playing With Power and Console Wars, Netflix had taken matters into its own hands by premiering High Score last year, a six-part series that paid tribute to Nintendo’s early legacy with one full episode. This time around, viewers will get the full journey from the NES to the Nintendo Switch, all narrated by the voice of Samwise Gamgee himself.
Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story will be available on Crackle starting March 1, 2021.
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