The Nintendo Switch goes on sale today — March 3 — retailing for about $300 in North America and 29,980 yen in Japan. It is a hybrid system that is part gaming console, part handheld device and part tablet, which allows for different styles of play.
"I think the concept alone is a game changer," Serkan Toto, CEO of consultancy firm Kantan Games, told CNBC. "The Switch is a clear reflection of Nintendo's background as a toy maker."
The Switch will likely face stiff competition from Sony's PlayStation 4, a top preference for hard-core gamers, and Microsoft's Xbox. But some say Nintendo's positioning in the market suggest the game-maker might be after the more casual gaming market.
Aaron Yip, a Singapore-based journalist who has covered Nintendo for 20 years, told CNBC the company has always positioned itself as a fun company. "In the sense, where the games may not necessarily look the prettiest, they may not always have the most powerful consoles but where they position themselves differently is the way you play games," he said.
CNBC takes a look at some of Nintendo's past consoles and handheld devices that have influenced the gaming industry.