Nintendo Company, Limited (任天堂株式会社 Nintendō Kabushiki gaisha ) is a Japanese multinational corporation originally founded on September 23, 1889 in Kyoto, Japan by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards. In the mid-twentieth century, the company tried several small niche businesses, such as a love hotel and a taxi company. Over the years, it became a video game company, growing into one of the most powerful in the industry. Aside from video games, Nintendo was also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington, from 1992 to 2016. They also are the partial owner of the Atlanta Hawks, a National Basketball Association team in Atlanta, Georgia. As of June 30, 2007, Nintendo has sold over 453 million hardware units, and nearly 2.2 billion software units worldwide.
Nintendo was originally a card company from 1889 until 1956. From 1956 to 1975, Nintendo changed its product. During the period of time between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo set up a taxi company, a "love hotel" chain, a TV network, a food company, and several other things, including a toy remote controlled vacuum cleaner called Chiritory which was later seen as a two-player game in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!.
In debt, Nintendo struggled to survive in the Japanese toy industry; it was still small at this point, and dominated by already well established companies. Because of the generally short product life cycle of toys, the company always had to come up with a new product. This was the beginning of a major new era for Nintendo.
In 1970, Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo, was observing a Nintendo hanafuda factory. He noticed an extending arm, which was made by one of their maintenance engineers, Gunpei Yokoi, for his own amusement. Yamauchi ordered Yokoi to develop it as a product for the Christmas rush. The Ultra Hand was a huge success, selling approximately 1.2 million units, causing Yokoi to be moved from maintenance duty to product development.
The 1970s also saw the hiring of Shigeru Miyamoto, currently one of the biggest people in the video game industry.
Nintendo eventually saw how popular video games were and decided to create them. During the late 1970's and 1980's, Nintendo began to make arcade games and eventually game systems. Once their systems gained much popularity, Nintendo then began to make handheld systems, making the company even more popular. Nintendo continued producing updates of these two concepts, leading it to become one of the world's most recognized video-game manufacturers.
Nintendo's main line-up of video game consoles currently include the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS. They have foregone conferences at E3 and instead air Nintendo Direct presentations during E3, and at various points in the year.
- Color TV Game (1977 – 1980)
- Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) (1983 – 1994)
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) (1990 – 2000)
- Nintendo 64 (N64) (1996 – 2002)
- Nintendo GameCube (GCN) (2001 – 2007)
- Wii (2006 – 2013)
- Wii U (2012 - 2017)
- Nintendo Switch (2017 - Present)
- Game Boy (1989 – 2003)
- Game Boy Color (1998 - 2003)
- Game Boy Advance (2002 - 2010)
- Nintendo DS (2004 – 2014)
- Nintendo 3DS (2011 - Present)
- Game Boy Camera - a monochrome camera cartridge for the original version of the Game Boy, includes a simple picture editor and ability to print pictures via Game Boy Printer
- Broadcast Satellaview - Only released in Japan, an add-on for the Super Famicom (Japanese SNES) that allowed anyone to download games by a satellite.
- Game & Watch – A series of handheld games made by Nintendo from 1980 through 1991.
- Game Boy Player – An adapter for playing Game Boy games on the GameCube.
- Game Boy Printer - An adapter designed for printing things from the Game Boy. For example, it was used for printing out Pokémon information from the Pokédex in the Game Boy Pokémon games.
- iQue Player – A version of the Nintendo 64, with double the clock speed and downloadable games, released only in the Chinese market.
- iQue DS - A version of the Nintendo DS, release only in China.
- Nintendo 64DD – Only released in Japan, this add-on system's games are on re-writable magnetic disks. Games released include a paint and 3D construction package, F-Zero X Expansion Kit, for creating new F-Zero X tracks, a sequel to the SNES version of SimCity, SimCity 64 and a few others. A complete commercial failure, many speculated that Nintendo released it only to save face after promoting it preemptively for years.
- Pokémon Mini – Unveiled in London at Christmas 2000, the Pokémon Mini was Nintendo's cheapest system ever produced; with games costing £10 ($15) each, and the system costing £30 ($45). This remains the smallest cartridge-based games console ever made. Sales of this system were rather poor, but, unlike the Virtual Boy, Nintendo made a profit on every game and system sold.
- Mobile System GB - Released in Japan, December 14, 2000. The Mobile System is an adapter to play Game Boy Color games on the cell phone. The game Pokémon Crystal was the first game to take advantage of the Mobile System. Someone can hook an adapter to their Game Boy and connect it to a mobile phone which people can receive news, trade, and battle with other players across Japan.
- Pokémon Pikachu - A handheld device similar to the popular Tamagotchi toy that allowed the user to take care of Pikachu in the manner of a pet.
- Super Game Boy – Adapter for playing Game Boy games on the Super NES, which would be displayed in color.
- Triforce – An arcade system based on Nintendo GameCube hardware, developed in partnership with Sega and Namco.
- Virtual Boy – The Virtual Boy used an array of red LED's combined with two motor-driven mirrors to display graphics in 3D. The resulting images were displayed in varying shades of red and black. Fewer than two dozen games were released for it in the United States. It is the only Nintendo game system to be a commercial failure.
- Yakuman – A handheld Mah-jong game released in 1983.
Offices and locations Edit
Nintendo Company, Limited (NCL), the main branch of the company, is based in Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Nintendo of America (NOA), its American division, is based in Redmond, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. It has distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and North Bend, Washington. Nintendo of Canada, Ltd. (NOCL) is based in Richmond, British Columbia, with its own distribution centre in Toronto, Ontario. Nintendo of Australia, its Australian division, is based in Melbourne, Victoria, and Nintendo Europe, the European division, is based in Großostheim, Germany. iQue, Ltd., a Chinese joint venture with its founder, Doctor Wei Yen, and Nintendo, manufactures and distributes official Nintendo consoles and games for the mainland Chinese market, under the iQue brand. Nintendo also opened Nintendo of Korea (NoK) on July 7, 2006, based in Seoul, South Korea.
- ^ Company History (Japanese). Nintendo of Japan. Retrieved on 2006-07-29.
- ^ Company History. Nintendo of America. Retrieved on 2006-06-04.
- ^ Nintendo History Lesson: The Lucky Birth. N-sider. Retrieved on 2006-06-04.
- ^ Squirl:Chiritory. Retrieved on 2007-06-14.
- ^ Nintendo fined for price fixing. BBC News (2002-10-30). Retrieved on 2007-06-14.
- ^ Nintendo accused of cartel swindle. BBC News (2000-04-28). Retrieved on 2007-06-14.