Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 120th Nintendo!!!


That's right! as of today, Nintendo is "One Hundred Twenty" years old!

Most of us only think about Nintendo the video game company but Nintendo has been around for a long time doing different things. These things include, selling playing cards, running a cab company and running "Love Hotels". Through out the years Nintendo constantly proves that they can create and innovate and in the end are payed back tenfold. Here are a few "tid bits". Did you know that the word "Nintendo" roughly translates into "Leave luck to Heaven"? How about the fact that Nintendo is the major owner of the Seattle Mariners? Below, I leave you with a short timeline of Nintendo's history leading up till Nintendo's mondern age. While you read it, tell me your stories of how Nintendo has made an impacct in your life.

- Thanks to Wikipedia for some of the lines in this timeline -

founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. At that time Nintendo's business consisted of producing handmade hanafuda cards

In 1956, Hiroshi Yamauchi (the grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi) visited the U.S. to talk with the United States Playing Card Company, the dominant playing card manufacturer in that country. He found that the world's biggest company in his business was only using a small office. This was a turning point, where Yamauchi realized the limitations of the playing card business. He then gained access to Disney's characters and put them on the playing cards to drive sales.

In 1963, Yamauchi renamed Nintendo Playing Card Company Limited to Nintendo Company, Limited. The company then began to experiment in other areas of business. The company tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel

In 1966, Nintendo moved into the Japanese toy industry with the Ultra Hand, an extending arm developed by its maintenance engineer Gunpei Yokoi in his free time. Yokoi was moved from maintenance to the new "Nintendo Games" department as a product developer.

1970's Nintendo eventually develops into a video game company.

1974, Nintendo secured the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey home video game console in Japan.

1977, Nintendo began producing its own Color TV Game home video game consoles. Four versions of these consoles were produced, each playing variations on a single game (for example, Color TV Game 6 featured six versions of Light Tennis).

1977, A student product developer named Shigeru Miyamoto was hired by Nintendo at this time. He worked for Yokoi, and one of his first tasks was to design the casing for several of the Color TV Game consoles. Miyamoto went on to create some of Nintendo's most famous video games and become one of the most recognizable faces in the video game industry.

1975, Nintendo moved into the video arcade game industry with EVR Race, designed by their first game designer, Genyo Takeda, and several more titles followed. Nintendo had some small success with this venture, but the release of Donkey Kong in 1981, designed by Miyamoto, changed Nintendo's fortunes dramatically. The success of the game and many licensing opportunities (such as ports on the Atari 2600, Intellivision and ColecoVision) gave Nintendo a huge boost in profit.

In 1980, Nintendo launched Game & Watch, a handheld video game series developed by Yokoi, to worldwide success.

In 1983, Nintendo launched the Family Computer (commonly called by its shortened name "Famicom") home video game console in Japan alongside ports of its most popular arcade titles. In 1985, the console launched in North America as the Nintendo Entertainment System, and was accompanied by Super Mario Bros.. In 1989, Yokoi developed the Game Boy handheld video game console. Nintendo is the longest-surviving video game console manufacturer to date.

... and the rest is history! Nintendo goes on to create the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and the Nintendo Wii in the home console arena. As for their portable business, after the Gameboy, there was a "Pocket", "Color" and "Advanced" edition. After the "Game Boy Advanced", Nintendo shifted things to their dual screened portable, the "Nintendo" DS. So far we now have the DS Classic, DS Lite and the DSi. Who knows what else we will see from Nintendo in the future! Whatever it may be, I cant wait!

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