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Nintendo Power, the gaming magazine most likely to give older gamers a blast of nostalgia, is halting publication after 24 memorable years, with its last issue coming to stores in early December, it was announced last week.
The announcement comes five years after Future US, a magazine publishing company responsible for other tech and gaming magazines such as the Official Xbox Magazine and MacLife, took over Nintendo Power. The announcement also reveals an ongoing transition, where videogame magazines are slowly phased out in favor for online gaming news. At this time, however, Nintendo has not expressed interest in continuing the magazine online.
Many of the drawing points of the magazine—most gaming magazines can be found now online. Walkthroughs, previews, leaderboards, lists of release dates, even videogame awards are a click away on the Internet. And, seeing as Nintendo Power was made mainly to hype fans up (what with Nintendo games getting higher reviews than other games and Nintendo games almost always winning Game of the Year), it comes as no surprise that now that more unbiased sources are more readily available the magazine has slowly been loosing its readership.
Still, many are mourning the magazine. After its debut in 1988, the kid-friendly Nintendo Power quickly became for many the sole source of videogame information. The magazine chronicled the early days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, reported on the console wars when the Sega Genesis challenged the Super Nintendo, and served as a bastion for diehard Nintendo fans when gaming shifted from 2D to 3D and the PlayStation was trouncing the Nintendo 64. It covered five gaming generations, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Wii, over 24 years and almost 300 issues. Even the New Yorker published an article reminiscing about the magazine.
As the New Yorker notes, gaming has become more and more mainstream over the years. A magazine such as Nintendo Power closing, one that premiered on the scene when gaming was still just for nerds, shows how far gaming has come. Guitar Hero was for a time a favorite activity at parties, and first person shooters are now just as popular.
For better or for worse, gaming is definitely out of its ghetto. While hardcore gamers bemoan the current state of the industry, there is no denying gaming is doing better than ever. And, in a world where information is as readily available as air, where hardcore gamers can effortlessly search for the hardcore games that satisfy their needs, is this really such a bad thing?
As for those who still rely on Nintendo Power for news, refunds will be given for subscriptions that run past December. Although Nintendo Power’s popularity has waned these past years, the warm memories many harbor of it ensure its place in videogame history.
For those now looking for a place to get their gaming news fix, there are still plenty of other sites, like, for example, IGN, Gamespot, or, say, Toonari Post.