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Nintendo Background & Company History

Nintendo Background :-

Nintendo is a leading name in the world of gaming. It is a major video game and home entertainment brand. Nintendo and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and sell entertainment products.  Nintendo product range includes dedicated video game platforms, playing cards, Karuta & other products. Dedicated video game platforms include hardware and software for handheld systems and home consoles. Nintendo is headquartered in Kyoto, Japan.

It has regional offices in other parts of the world too. European headquarters of Nintendo are in Germany. It is mainly engaged in development of hardware and software for gaming systems with support from companies and organisations around the world.   Some of the famous characters created by Nintendo include Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and Pokemon. Its large range of video games include Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 2 DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy, Game Cube and more.

Representative Director and President : Shuntaro Furukawa

Nintendo History:

Fusajiro Yamauchi starts making “Hanafuda” (Japanese style) playing cards in Kyoto.

Yamauchi starts making Western style playing cards. Product becomes popular in Japan and the whole world.

1933 – Yamaguchi Nintendo & Co was established as an unlimited company.

1947 -Yamauchu starts a distribution company Marufuku co ltd.

1950 – Hiroshi Yamauchi is the president and head of manufacturing operations of Yamauchi Nintendo & company.

1951 – Name changed to Nintendo Playing card co. ltd.

1952: Consolidated factories dispersed in Kyoto in Japan.

1953: becomes the first to manufacture mass produced plastic playing cards in Japan.

1959: –  Starts selling Walt Disney cards and opens a new market in children’s playing cards. Card department sales boom.

?1962: – Stock listed on second section of Osaka Stock Exchange and Kyoto stock exchange.

?1963:- Name of company changed to Nintendo Co. ltd. and starts making games also.

?1969: – Nintendo expands. Production plant built in Uji City, a Kyoto suburb in Japan.

1970:- Stock listing changed from second to first section of Osaka Stock exchange. Starts selling Beam Gun series based on opto-electronics and introduces electronic technology into the toy industry for first time in Japan.

1973:- Develops laser clay shooting system rival of bowling in Japan.

1974:- Develops an image projecting system and employs the 16mm film projector amusement arcades. Starts exporting these arcade machines to US and Europe.

1975:- In cooperation with Mitsubishi electric, Nintendo develops a video game system based upon EVR (Electronic Video Recording) player for Japan.

1976:- Nintendo created a video game system with Microprocessor.

1977:- Creates TV Game 15 and 6 with the help of Mitsubishi.

1978:- Releases a game called Computer Othello.

1979:- Minoru Arakawa opens Nintendo of America in New York and starts a division for coin operated games.

1980 to 1990.

1980:- Nintendo of America, a wholly owned subsidiary in New York.  Starts selling first portable LCD video games with a microprocessor “Game & Watch” in Japan. 

Shigeru Minamoto (Nintendo artist) creates Donkey Kong. Jumpman, a carpenter is the hero racing to save his girlfriend from an ape. Jumping was later renamed Mario. 

1981:- Nintendo’s Donkey Kong becomes a hot and best selling coin operated video game.

1983:- Builds a new production plant in Uji city. Listed on first stock section of the stock exchange. 

1984:- Develops and start selling VS system, another coin operated video game.  Launches Famicom system in Japan, renamed Nintendo Entertainment system upon global launch.

1986:- Nintendo is launched in Europe and becomes a major hit. Develops and starts selling Family Computer Disk Drive System, to support the functions of Famicom. Starts the  installation of disk writer for rewriting game software.

1987:- Sponsors a Famicom golf tournament in Japan.

1988:- Develops hands free controller and NES is accessible to more Nintendo fans. NES game library grows to 65 titles and the system’s appeal for adults grows.

1989:- Gameboy is introduced in Japan – First portable, handheld game system with interchangeable game cartridges.

1990:- Japan releases Super Famicom and enters 16 bit market. Launches Gameboy in Europe. Establishes Nintendo of Europe a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo in Germany.


1992:- Launches Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super-Famicom) in Europe. The console sells more than 46 million units worldwide. Releases Super NES Super Scope and Mario Paint with the Super NES Mouse Accessory in Japan and Zelda sequel, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for NES.

1993:- Announces Super FX Chip, a breakthrough technology for home video systems. Releases Star Wing the first game using User FX Chip. Establishes Nintendo of Netherlands in France, UK, Spain, Belgium and Australia.

1994:- Releases Super Game Boy accessory extending the Super NES game library. Pioneers the development of industrywide rating systems in USA. Donkey Kong Country (based on Advanced Computer Modelling Graphics) took the US holiday season by storm and becomes a major hit. Launches Nintendo Gateway.

1995 :- Nintendo introduces ACM to the Game Boy system. It introduced Play it Loud also; produces one billionth game cartridge.

1996:- Launches Nintendo 64 – first 64 bit home video game system. More than half a million sold on day 1. Nintendo introduces game boy Pocket, a smaller version of the world’s most popular handheld. Super Mario held as the greatest video game of all time. Releases Pokemon in Japan.

1997:- Launches Nintendo 64 in Europe and sells 2.3 million pieces in 1st year. Introduces Rumble Pak which lets players feel the real vibrations inside the game.

1998:- Introduces Game Boy Color and Game Boy Camera & Printer. Releases The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64. The game sets new records breaking previous.

1999:- Releases Pokemon throughout Europe in October. Releases high quality software Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Pinball. Releases hits like Mario Golf, Donkey Kong 64 and Perfect Dark.

2000:- Nintendo Game Boy is the most popular selling console. Sales cross 100 million. Pokemon franchise is a worldwide phenomenon. Releases limited edition Pikachu Nintendo 64. Expands N64 library with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Ridge Racer 64 and Mario Tennis.


2001:- Establishes Nintendo UK. Launches Pokémon Gold and Silver for Game Boy Color. Pokémon Gold and Silver sell one million units over the launch weekend. Becomes the fastest selling game in Europe. Launches Game Boy Advance in Japan , US and Europe – fastest ever selling console with more than half a million sold within first week in Europe. Launches Nintendo Gamecube in Japan (Sep.) and America (Nov.). Ships 2.7 million by December of which more than 1.5 millions are sold. Launches Game Boy Advance e-Reader hardware in Japan.

2002:- Establishes Nintendo Italia and opens Office in Milan. Game Boy crosses 5 million unit sales in Europe. Pokemon Mini (world’s smallest console) released with 4 titles including Pokémon mini Party and Pokémon mini Pinball launched across Europe. Nintendo, Sega & Namco announce joint development of TRIFORCE (3d graphic board) for nex-gen arcade machines. Launches Nintendo Game Cube in Europe with 1 million units. Hiroshi Yamauchi announces his retirement – Satoru Iwata named successor. By 2002 Dec. more than 25 million Game Boy advance units sold.

2003:- Released Game Boy advance SP which became an instant success. Releases Metroid Prime, appreciated worldwide by fans and critics. Arrival of Wind Waker one of the Nintendo’s flagship characters. Releases Game Boy Player for television sets. ReleasesPokemon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokemon phenomenon erupts for the first time on GameBoy advance.

2004:- Nintendo mystery system – the Nintendo DS, a dual-screened handheld with Touch Screen technology is announced worldwide. Launches Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen for Game Boy Advance. GameBoy advance arrives in several different editions – Tribal, Classic NES, Limited Pink, Zelda Limited and Mario Limited are released across Europe. Nintendo DS is released in US and Japan becomes immediate success. (New dual-screened system with wireless multiplayer, Touch Screen technology and backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles.)

2005:- March – Launch of Nintendo DS in Europe – immediate success. June: A million units sold throughout Europe. Introduces Game Boy Micro . Ultra stylish, width – 4 inches. Height – 2 inches, backlit screen.

2006 :- Nintendo DS becomes the most popular portable console. Animal Crossing: Wild World, New Super Mario Bros and Metroid Prime Hunters become best-sellers.Year ends with launch of Wii. Wii is popular among gamers and non gamers alike. Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess make the console successful.

2007:- A range of new titles arrived WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Endless Ocean and Big Brain Academy. Mii contest channel launched in November. Arrival of Link’s crossbow training and Wii Zapper. Another successful year for Nintendo. Company sees its audience grow larger.

2008:- Releases new software. Wii Fit and the Wii Balance Board took Europe by Storm. Launch of Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Wheel accessory to add fun to classic Mario Kart action.

2009:- Nintendo DSi arrives in Europe. Comes with improved sound and camera features.  Nintendo DSiWare allows users to download more games and applications. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again  took gaming fun to the next level. Pokémon Platinum Version as well as Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box released. Launch of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, (offers first four-player experience in a Mario adventure)

2010:- Nintendo announces Monster Hunter Tri for Wii in Europe. Limited edition Pink Nintendo DSi bundle launched. Nintendo DSi XL goes on sale in Europe. Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version released. WarioWare: Do It Yourself for the Nintendo DS family of systems released. Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Wii takes fun higher in summer gaming.


2011:- Nintendo 3DS released in 2011. Xenoblade Chronicles, one of the biggest games released in August. The Legend of Zelda is 25 years old.

2012:- New home console, Wii U, and a new handheld system, Nintendo 3DS XL launched. Nintendo 3DS XL the largest screen console launched in July. More titles released in succession – the zany music action of Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise on Wii, the strategic Pokémon Conquest, and New Art Academy. Launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in August with a new challenge to win 2 million gold coins.

Pokémon White Version 2 and Pokémon Black Version 2 arrive on Nintendo DS in October. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask on Nintendo 3DS mark the return of puzzle professor. launch of a new Nintendo home console: Wii U launched in November.

2013:- Another year of innovative software for Nintendo.  Luigi’s Mansion 2 launched . SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD, the first high definition multiplayer game released on Wii U. Nintendo 3DS ends the year on a high note. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is launched in November. Nintendo releases a home version of its Louvre Museum audio guide on Nintendo eShop – Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre.

2014 :- Nintendo keeps followers engaged. Launches new software throughout the year. Mario Party: Island Tour’s launched in January. Releases more from January to June : Yoshi’s New Island, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Mario Golf: World Tour, Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kid Icarus: Uprising. Mario Kart 8 on Wii U released in May. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire arrives on Nintendo 3DS  in November. Launches iconic characters like Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Samus.

2015 :- Nintendo brings more surprises. 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.  Celebrates by Let’s Super Mario campaign. Toad starrer Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launched on Wii U in January. Two new editions arrive in February – New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. Mario Party 10 arrives on Wii U in March. Tatsumi Kimishima becomes president.