The Nintendo means something more than boring write-ups about being the first 8-bit system and the system that launched Mario as a household name. It is the system that has defined a generation and brought brothers and sisters and best friends together in a way that no other form of entertainment ever has.

Imagine a person of my generation (born in the late 70s/early 80s) during his first week at college. He walks down one of the hallways in his dorm and hears the Zelda theme. He walks through the open door and discovers that there is some guy with an old Nintendo and a stack of cartridges. He scans them, rattling off names like Gradius, Contra, Kid Icarus, and Metroid. And he realizes that even though he's from a different end of the country and lived in the mountains instead of the city, he realizes that they both shared moments with their brothers and friends, late at night, working together to defeat Bowser, reading Nintendo Power, and saving the world of Hyrule.

This is just some info on Nintendo, and a time line of what they have done.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than one billion video games worldwide, created such industry icons as Mario and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including theNintendo 64 and Game Boy - the world's best-selling video game system.
As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Washington, serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere, where more than 40 percent of American households own a Nintendo game system.
  • 1889 - Fusajiro Yamauchi, great-grandfather of the present president, began manufacturing "Hanafuda," Japanese playing cards in Kyoto.

  • 1902 - Mr. Yamauchi started manufacturing the first playing cards in Japan. Originally for export, the product became popular in Japan as well as abroad.

  • 1933 - Established an unlimited partnership, Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.

  • 1947 - Began a distribution company, Marufuku Co. Ltd.

  • 1950 - Hiroshi Yamauchi took office as President and absorbed the manufacturing operation of Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.

  • 1951 - Changed the company name from Marufuku Co. Ltd. to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.

  • 1952 - Consolidated factories were dispersed in Kyoto.

  • 1953 - Became the first to succeed in manufacturing mass-produced plastic playing cards in Japan.

  • 1959 - Started selling cards printed with Walt Disney characters, opening a new market in children's playing cards. The card department boomed!

  • 1962 - In January, listed stock on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange and on the Kyoto Stock Exchange.

  • 1963 - Changed company name to Nintendo Co. Ltd. and started manufacturing games in addition to playing cards.

  • 1969 - Expanded and reinforced the game department; built a production plant in Uji City, a suburb of Kyoto.

  • 1970 - Stock listing was changed to the first section of the Osaka Stock Exchange. Reconstruction and enlargement of corporate headquarters was completed. Started selling the Beam Gun series, employing opto-electronics. Introduced electronic technology into the toy industry for the first time in Japan.

  • 1973 - Developed laser clay shooting system to succeed bowling as a major pastime.

  • 1974 - Developed image projection system employing 16mm film projector for amusement arcades. Began exporting them to America and Europe.

  • 1975 - In cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric, developed video game system using electronic video recording (EVR) player. Introduced the microprocessor into the video game system the next year.

  • 1977 - Developed home-use video games in cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric.

  • 1978 - Created and started selling coin-operated video games using microcomputers.

  • 1979 - Started an operations division for coin-operated games.

  • 1980 - Announced a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc. in New York. Started selling "GAME & WATCH" product line.

  • 1981 - Developed and began distribution of the coin-operated video game "Donkey Kong." This video game quickly became the hottest selling individual coin-operated machine in the business.

  • 1982 - Merged New York subsidiary into Nintendo of America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., with a capital of $600,000.

  • 1983 - Built a new plant in Uji city to increase production capacity and to allow for business expansion. Established Nintendo Entertainment Centres Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to operate a family entertainment center. Raised authorized capital of Nintendo of America Inc. to $10 million. In July, listed stock on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Started selling the home video game console "Family Computer" employing a custom CPU (Custom Processing Unit) and PPU (Picture Processing Unit).

  • 1984 - Developed and started selling the unique 2-screen interactive coin-operated video game "VS. System".

  • 1985 - Started to sell the U.S. version of Family Computer "Nintendo Entertainment System" (NES) in America. The system included R.O.B. - Robotic Operating Buddy - and the games Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. Mario and Luigi became as big a hit as the NES.

  • 1986 - Developed and started selling the "Family Computer Disk Drive System" to expand the functions of the Family Computer. Began installation of the "Disk Writer" to rewrite game software. Game Counselors were organized and players from all over the world could call Nintendo for advice on games and strategies.

  • 1987 - Sponsored a Family Computer "Golf Tournament" as a communications test using the public telephone network and Disk Faxes to aid in building a Family Computer network. The NES achieved the status as the #1 selling toy in American and The Legend of Zelda became the first new generation home video game to exceed sales of one million units.

  • 1988 - Nintendo of America Inc. published the first issue of Nintendo Power magazine in July. Researched and developed the Hands Free controller, making the NES accessible to many more Nintendo fans. The game library for the NES grew to 65 titles, helping to broaden the demographics to include more adults.

  • 1989 - Released "The Adventure of Link," sequel to the top-selling game "The Legend of Zelda" in the U.S. Started "World of Nintendo" displays in U.S. to help market Nintendo products. Studies show that children are as familiar with "Mario" as they are with Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny! Introduced Game Boy, the first portable, hand-held game system with interchangeable game paks. Nintendo Power magazine became the largest paid-subscription publication in its age category.

  • 1990 - Nintendo Power Fest featuring the Nintendo World Championships tours the country. Japan enters the 16-bit market by releasing the Super Famicom in the fall.

  • 1991 - Nintendo introduces World Class Service Center locations across the U.S. The 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES), along with "Super Mario World," is released in the U.S.

  • 1992 - The Super NES Super Scope and Mario Paint with the Super NES Mouse Accessory were released. The long-awaited "Zelda" sequel, "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past," arrived for the Super NES. Nintendo of America Inc. developed portable Fun Centers to assist the Starlight Foundation in bringing happiness to hospitalized children by allowing them to enjoy their favorite video games during hospital stays.

  • 1993 - Nintendo announces the advent of the Super FX Chip, breakthrough technology for home video systems. The first game using the Super FX Chip, "Star Fox," is released in April.

  • 1994 - The Super Game Boy accessory was released, expanding the library of games that could now be played on the Super NES! Everyone's favorite heroine, Samus, returns in another long-awaited sequel, Super Metroid. Nintendo helped pioneer the development and implementation of an industry-wide rating system. This year also saw the introduction of a game that would set a new standard in video game excellence. Using proprietary Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM) graphics, Donkey Kong Country took the holiday season by storm! Nintendo Gateway projected to reach 40 million travelers.

  • 1995 - Thanks to the outstanding success of Donkey Kong Country, ACM graphics were introduced to the Game Boy system by way of Donkey Kong Land. Along with this great boost to the Game Boy system line, Nintendo also introduced the Play It Loud! series of Game Boy systems. ACM graphics made another appearance on the Super NES with the release of the arcade smash-hit, Killer Instinct. At the same time, Nintendo introduced a 32-bit Virtual Immersion system know as the Virtual Boy. Next, Nintendo responded to the demands of fans with the release of Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2. Nintendo even enhanced the quality of ACM graphics for the upcoming release of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Cruis'n USA and Killer Instinct available in local arcades. Celebration of the one-billionth game pak being sold.

  • 1996 - Nintendo 64 launches in Japan on June 23. Thousands line up to be the first to experience the world's first true 64-bit home video game system. More than 500,000 systems are sold the first day. In early September, Nintendo introduces the Game Boy pocket, a sleeker, 30-percent smaller version of the world's most popular hand-held video game system. On September 29, Nintendo 64 launches in North America. The entire initial shipment of more than 350,000 units is sold out in three days. Super Mario 64 is proclaimed by many as "the greatest video game of all time!" For the Super NES we saw the release of the third game in the continuing Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble.

  • 1998 -Nintendo introduces Game Boy Color and innovative devices Game Boy Camera and Printer, bringing new life to the longest running hit in the history of interactive entertainment. Pokémon, a breakthrough game concept for Game Boy, was introduced to the world and generated a nationwide craze to collect 'em all! With the release of Banjo-Kazooie for Nintendo 64, new characters were added to the ever-growing list of popular Nintendo characters. The most anticipated video game ever, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64 was released, setting new standards and breaking records for pre-sell for any video game to date.

  • 1999 -Nintendo expanded on the Pokémon franchise now a world wide phenomenon. Nintendo announced plans for a new system utilizing an IBM Gekko Processor and Matsushita's Unique DVD Technology. We expanded on high quality software with innovative titles such as Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Pinball. Pokémon Pinball included a built-in rumble feature. We introduced such hits as Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, Mario Golf, Donkey Kong 64, and Perfect Dark. Visteon's Rear Seat Entertainment System was released in June of 1999.

NOTE: This could be found at http://www.nintendo.com/corp/history.html

Short for Nintendo Entertainment System, quite possibly the best gaming system ever created. NOT to be confused with N64 or even Super NES / SNES. The unfortunate thing is, these babies don't work so well. However, Nintendo (the company) solved this problem by creating a re-issue where the game cartridge loads on top instead of in front as in the original. Tragically, this re-issue is rare, and will put you down some 60 bucks on eBay. Nintendo spawned a great many of the best video games of all time (of which my favorites would have to be Zelda and Bubble Bobble). Nintendo also is notable for its rad background music, which is quintessentially 80's. Nintendo was by no means the first gaming system, but certainly the most influential. Also see Atari.

As of 30th October 2002, Nintendo has been fined €149 million by the EU for restricting trade between certain European countries and keeping prices artificaly high in the period between 1991 and 1998!

"Every year, millions of European families spend large amounts of money on video games. They have the right to buy the games and consoles at the lowest price the market can possibly offer and we will not tolerate collusive behaviour intended to keep prices artificially high," said European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti.

Nintendo claims it finds the amount of the fine "surprising" and is lodging an appeal.

The company made a statement earlier today:

"Nintendo accepts the finding that, up to 1998, its distribution practices did not comply with EU competition rules. Nintendo has rectified the relevant aspects of its distribution in Europe and has instigated a thorough and far-reaching compliance programme that enables the free flow of product across Europe."

And this is the funny part - Nintendo had the money to pay any fine that came up set aside years ago in case this happened. So don't worry; Nintendo isn't going to die (not yet, anyway). Just goes to show that you really can't mess with the masters.

Most of Nintendo’s Products are widely publicised; we all know about their generation changing games and massive franchises. However a lesser-known venture is the Nintendo love hotel that was set up by Hiroshi some time between 1963 and 1968. Rooms were rented by the hour and Hiroshi was known to spend some of his time there himself. This bizarre period of Nintendo’s history also included products such as portioned rice (an utter failure) and the Daiya taxi company which was a success until union trouble brought it to its knees where upon the taxi firm and love hotel were closed.

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