January 24, 2022

Nintendo Co. Ltd. (任天堂 株式会社 Nintendō kabushiki-gaisha ?, Nintendō joint stock company) is a Japanese company specializing in the production of video games and consoles.Considered as one of the largest companies in Japan, Nintendo was founded on 23 September 1889 by Yamauchi Fusajirō as a producer and distributor of playing cards. Throughout its history it has made several mechanical and electronic games, then entering the world of video games in the seventies, as a producer of arcade games. In 1977 Nintendo successfully launched its own line of home consoles called Color TV Game. Since the 1980s, Nintendo has produced numerous desktop and portable consoles that have sold over 750 million units. Consoles that have sold more than 10 million include the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube, the Wii, the Nintendo Switch, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS. The company has also made the Game & Watch series and the Virtual Boy. Nintendo has released over five hundred games, often with the collaboration of other companies in terms of development. In thirty years it has sold over 577 million consoles and 3.5 billion copies of directly developed video games. Nintendo celebrated its 130th birthday on September 23, 2019, with the CEO and president of the company Shuntaro Furukawa, while Nintendo's mascot is Mario, a character created in 1981 by Shigeru Miyamoto for the arcade video game Donkey Kong. Nintendo has been listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1983.


The foundation

Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo Koppai in 1889 in Kyoto, initially a manufacturer of Hanafuda playing cards. The kanji used for the name "nin-ten-do" can be translated as "leave fate to heaven". In 1951 it changes its name to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd. In 1959 it enters into an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to market cards depicting Disney characters. The success of the operation led the company to go public in 1962.

Nintendo Co. Ltd. and the expansion

In 1963 Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo and grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi, changed the company name by transforming the company into Nintendo Co., Ltd. In the sixties, Yamauchi tried to expand the company, starting a taxi company, a love hotel chain and starting to market various items, including household appliances (such as the Chiritorie vacuum cleaner). Almost all attempts fail and the only successes are found in the world of toys, with the production of the Ultra Hand, the Ultra Machine, the Love Tester and the Kôsenjû SP series of optical pistols.

Entry into the video game market

In 1973 the Nintendo Research & Development Department created the Laser Clay Shooting System, a clay pigeon shooting simulator that perfected the technology of the optical pistols already marketed by the company. The system is designed to be installed in large rooms, such as Japanese bowling alleys, which are going through a period of crisis due to the novelty represented by karaoke clubs. The following year a more compact version was created, the Mini Laser Clay, designed for arcades. With Wild Gunman (1974) Nintendo inaugurates the Simulation System series: six arcade cabinets that use optical pistols combined with 16mm film footage. Nintendo's first programmed arcade video game was Computer Othello (1978). In 1975 Nintendo obtained distribution rights in Japan for the Magnavox Odyssey console, containing a tennis video game very similar to Atari's Pong. He then worked on his own version of the machine together with Mitsubishi Electric and in 1977 marketed it under the name of Color TV Game.

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