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Nintendo didn’t start making game consoles

Nintendo was a distributor of playing cards

Nintendo is a Japanese company specializing in the production of video games and consoles. Regarded as one of the largest companies in Japan, it was founded on September 23, 1889, by Yamauchi Fusajirō as a producer and distributor of playing cards. It has made several mechanical, and electronic games throughout its history then entered the world of video games in the seventies as a producer of arcade games. In 1977 they successfully launched their own home consoles called Color TV-Game. Since the 1980s, they have produced numerous desktop and portable consoles that have sold over 750 million units. The company also made the Game & Watch series and the Virtual Boy. In addition, they have published over five hundred games, often with the collaboration of other companies for development. In thirty years, it has sold over 577 million consoles and 3.5 billion copies of directly developed video games. On September 23, 2019, the company celebrated its 130th birthday. Shuntaro Furukawa is the company’s CEO and president. Simultaneously, their mascot is Mario, a character created by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981 for the arcade video game Donkey Kong. Since 1983, they have been traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Fusajiro Yamauchi put the playing cards with Disney characters on sale

Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo Koppai in Kyoto in 1889, initially a manufacturer of Hanafuda playing cards. It was renamed Nintendo Playing Card in 1951. In 1959 it entered into an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to market cards featuring Disney characters. The success of the operation led the company to go public in 1962.

The third president changed the company name to Nintendo

In 1963 Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo and grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi, changed the company name by transforming the company into Nintendo. In the 1960s, Yamauchi tried to expand the company, starting a taxi company, a chain of love hotels, and marketing various items, including household appliances, such as the Chiritorie vacuum cleaner. The only successes in the world of toys are the production of the Ultra Hand, the Ultra Machine, the Love Tester, and the Kôsenjû SP series of optical pistols.

The first video games

In 1973 the Nintendo Research & Development Department created the Laser Clay Shooting System. This clay pigeon shooting simulator perfected the technology of the optical pistols already marketed by the company. The system is intended for large rooms, such as Japanese bowling alleys, which are experiencing a crisis due to the novelty that karaoke clubs represent. The Mini Laser Clay, designed for arcades the following year, was a more compact version. The company inaugurated the Simulation System series with Wild Gunman: six arcade cabinets that use optical pistols combined with 16mm film footage. Their first programmed arcade video game was Computer Othello in 1978. In 1975 Nintendo obtained distribution rights in Japan for the Magnavox Odyssey console, containing a tennis video game 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. Also, in 1977, they hired video game developer Shigeru Miyamoto, the future creator of Super Mario.

The debuts of the consoles

Nintendo of America was born in 1980, based in New York. The Game & Watch series of portable electronic games made its debut on the market, the creation of Gunpei Yokoi was a commercial success. In 1981, the arcade video game Donkey Kong, developed by Miyamoto, was released. It has become Nintendo’s biggest hit to date. In the 1980s, they introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System in short NES, known in Japan as Famicom, to the market. The console sold millions of units during the 1983 video game crisis. Among the more than five hundred games, including The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. Of the latter title, conceived by Miyamoto and released in 1985, more than 40 million copies are sold. In 1989 they entered the handheld console market with the launch of the Game Boy. Designed by Yokoi, the Game Boy was sold together with Tetris. In 1990 they returned to home entertainment with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, SNES in short, whose success overshadowed the consoles of rival SEGA, followed by the Nintendo 64 in 1995. From the point of view of portable devices, Yokoi also produced the Nintendo Virtual Boy during the last year. Which will prove to be a failure and be considered the reason for Yokoi’s departure. The success of the Game Boy line, also thanks to the Pokémon series, will lead Nintendo in the following years to produce various updates. Including the Super Game Boy and the Game Boy Color.

Their successes and the changes of its presidents

During the 2000s, they marketed the Nintendo GameCube consoles in 2001 and Wii in 2006, and various portable devices, including the Game Boy Advance SP in 2003, the Nintendo DS in 2004, and the Nintendo DSi in 2008. The British, Italian, and Spanish branches have been opened in these ten years. In 2011 they launched the Nintendo 3DS, and in 2012 the Wii U. In September 2013, they were the video game publisher of seventeen of the twenty best-selling titles in Japan in the twenty-first century. Five of which were produced by The Pokémon Company, its affiliate. Nintendo’s fourth president, Satoru Iwata, he has ceased to exist in 2015. He had been in the role since 2002. Tatsumi Kimishima succeeded Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto after a few months. In 2016 they entered the mobile application market following the acquisition of part of the Japanese DeNA. Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch console, designed by President Iwata, in March 2017. In February 2018, he announced a co-production with Illumination for the realization of an animated film that sees Mario as the protagonist. In April 2018, the withdrawal of President Kimishima was announced, and a replacement for him was indicated. Shuntaro Furukawa was appointed president by the board of directors on June 28.

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