Have you heard of the streaming service Crackle? Neither had I. Well, I had seen it in the app store on my PlayStation 4 but never took the time to investigate what it was. Turns out, it's a free streaming service with movies and original programming. Earlier this week, I heard about a documentary on the video game company Nintendo that was available on the service. You know what, I'll check out this free service.

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Just briefly, Crackle is free. It's like anything else, enter your email, set a password and you're in. I didn't do a whole lot of searching but there are various movies available and quite a bit of original programming. Now being that it's a free service, I expected one thing, commercials, and there are plenty. I would guess during an hour of watching, there was about nine minutes of ads. Just be prepared if you decide to check out this streaming service.

But I was there for one reason, Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story, a five part documentary about the gaming company. I was very surprised at the quality of this show. Quality enough to be on a paid service. As a gamer, with Nintendo being my introduction into video games, I had to check it out.

This documentary takes you to the start of Nintendo in 1889 as a playing card company. From there you learn how the company went from playing cards to trying several different kinds of business models to becoming a popular toy maker. Nintendo eventually got into the arcade business and finally into a home video game company.

This five part documentary covers the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the console war between Sega and Nintendo in the early 90's, how Nintendo inadvertently created one of their biggest competitors in the Sony PlayStation, the ups and downs of their various consoles and ending with the massive success of the Nintendo Switch.

Sean Astin, from Rudy and Lord of the Rings fame, is the executive producer and narrator of the series. You will hear from former executives of Nintendo of America, the former leader of Sega Tom Kalinske, XBox leader Phil Spencer, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and various Nintendo historians and internet personalities. They all reminisce about their time at Nintendo, talk about going against Nintendo or how Nintendo brought them into gaming.

All in all, it's a great documentary and you learn a lot that hasn't been mentioned in other docuseries. It does have some slow moments, some awkward edits but despite those, it's a really good watch. If you're a gamer or a fan of Nintendo, Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story is worth the free signup on Crackle. Check it out.

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