In 2006, Nintendo introduced consumers to the wonders of motion control gaming with the Wii, where classics such as Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, and many more were birthed. Fifteen years later, it’s still the Japanese gaming giant’s best-selling home console, although the Nintendo Switch is rapidly catching up in sales.

To understand how it gained so much success, here's a look back at Nintendo's history in the video game market, dating back to the late 20th century. 

Gaining international acclaim with the release of Donkey Kong in 1981, Nintendo achieved popularity in the U.S. following the video game crash of the 1980s, when revenues reached their highest point at about $3.2 billion in 1983, then dropped to around $100 million by 1985.

Nintendo credited with reviving the industry with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, which was specifically designed to steer away from how American consumers viewed video games at the time. As a result, the industry made a big recovery, surpassing $2.3 billion. By 1988, Nintendo had dominated 70% of the market.

Nintendo’s dominance didn’t come without competition, however, with rival Japanese video game corporation Sega entering the mix. The Sega Genesis was released in 1988 and became Nintendo’s only real competition. 

The following years are what is commonly known as the console wars as competition between Sega and Nintendo completely took over the 90s. As such, video game companies had to innovate to keep their products fresh to consumers, exploring ways to shake up hardware development. What resulted in such experimentation, however, were some of the biggest failures the industry had seen,  

Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in 1995, which instantly became a commercial and critical failure. It had used stereoscopic LED eyepiece technology in an attempt to capture some form of virtual reality, but the only thing achieved was eye strain and continual headaches.

It was released in an unfinished state so Nintendo could focus on the upcoming Nintendo 64, which is the gaming company's worst-selling console, with less than a million units sold. 

On Sept. 14, the Nintendo GameCube celebrated its 20th anniversary. Although not as much of a disappointment as the Virtual Boy, the successor to the wildly successful Nintendo 64 console received mixed reviews and undersold by Nintendo’s standards, only selling 22 million units

Nintendo is back on the path of dominance, with the Switch continuing to perform extremely well, selling 93 million consoles to date. With the Nintendo Switch OLED Model releasing in October, the Switch family found itself as the best-selling console that month, selling over 700,000 units. With six of its games selling over 20 million units each, it's safe to say the Switch's success can be compared to its legendary predecessor. 

Former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils Aime, who was instrumental in the Wii's success, commented on the 15th anniversary of the console. "Can't believe I failed to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of launching the Wii console" he said on Twitter. "Lifetime sales over 100 million units ... genre-busting games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit. My personal favorite Zelda Twilight Princess. Overall, the best selling system in its generation."