2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Companies; Computer & Video games

Nintendo Company, Limited
The Nintendo logo.
Type Public ( TYO: 7974 ; NASDAQ: NTDOY)
Founded September 23, 1889
Headquarters Japan Kyoto, Japan

United States Redmond, Washington, USA

Canada Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Germany Großostheim, Germany

Australia Scoresby, Victoria, Australia

People's Republic of China Suzhou, China (as iQue, Ltd.)

South Korea Seoul, South Korea

Key people Satoru Iwata, President and CEO
Reggie Fils-Aime: President and COO for American Division
Shigeru Miyamoto: Game designer
Gunpei Yokoi: Created the GameBoy, Game & Watch, and Metroid
Hiroshi Yamauchi: Former president and chairman
Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln: Former heads of NOA
Industry Card games
Video games
Products Game Boy line, Nintendo DS, GameCube, Wii, and various video game titles.
Revenue USD$4.5 billion (2006)
Forbes 2000 ranking: 620
Employees 3,013 (2006)
Slogan Various
Website (Japan)
(North America) (Europe)

Nintendo Company, Limited (任天堂 or ニンテンドー Nintendō ?; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 usually referred to as simply Nintendo) is a multinational corporation 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 is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington. In 2001, Nintendo purchased a sizable portion of Gyration Inc, a company specializing in gyros and motion sensors.

Nintendo has the distinction of historically being both the oldest intact company in the video game console market and one of the largest and well-known console manufacturers, as well as being the most dominant entity in the handheld console market.


Early life

Nintendo started as a small Japanese business by Fusajiro Yamauchi near the end of 1889 as Nintendo Koppai. Based in Kyoto, Japan, the business produced and marketed a playing card game called Hanafuda. The handmade cards soon began to gain popularity, and Yamauchi had to hire assistants to mass produce cards to keep up with the demand.

Middle life

In 1956, Hiroshi Yamauchi paid a visit to the US, to engage in talks with the United States Playing Card Company, the dominant playing card manufacturer in the US. Yamauchi was shocked to find that the world's biggest company in his business was relegated to 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, in order to drive sales.

In 1963, Nintendo Playing Card Company Limited was renamed to Nintendo Company, Limited by Hiroshi. Nintendo now began to experiment in other areas of business using the newly injected capital. 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 (trying to sell instant rice, similar to instant noodles), 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 2003). All these ventures failed, except toymaking, where they had some earlier experience from selling playing cards. Then, after the Tokyo Olympics, playing card sales dropped, leaving Nintendo with a measly 60 yen in stocks.

Riddled with debt, Nintendo struggled to survive in the Japanese toy industry; it was still small at this point, and dominated by already well established companies such as Bandai and Tomy. Because of the generally short product life cycle of toys, the company always had to come up with new product. This was the beginning of a major new era for Nintendo.

In 1970, Hiroshi Yamauchi was observing a 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 proper product for the Christmas rush.

The 1970s also saw the hiring of Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who (along with Yokoi) would become a living legend in the world of gaming and the secret to Nintendo's longevity; his creative vision was instrumental in determining the path Nintendo's future (and indeed, the industry's as a whole) would follow. Yokoi began to mentor Miyamoto during this period of time in R&D, teaching him all that he knew.

Electronic era

Nintendo at this time saw how successful video games were and began to dabble in them. Its first step in that field was to secure the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan, which it did in 1975. At the time, home video game consoles were extremely rare — even the seminal Atari PONG console had yet to be produced.

Nintendo's first video arcade game was 1978's Computer Othello; a large handful of others followed in the next several years, Radar Scope and Donkey Kong being among the most famous of these. The early 1980s saw Nintendo's video game division (led by Yokoi) creating some of its most famous arcade titles. The massively popular Donkey Kong was created in 1981 with Miyamoto as its mastermind, and released in the arcades and on the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and ColecoVision video game systems (although Nintendo itself generally had no involvement with these early console ports). This release method would be used on several later Nintendo arcade games of this same period, including the original Mario Bros. (not to be confused with the later Super Mario Bros.). In addition to this arcade and dedicated console game activity, Nintendo was testing the consumer handheld video game waters with the Game & Watch. Then, in 1985, Nintendo struck gold with its Nintendo Entertainment System and continued with the handheld gaming market with their highly successful GameBoy. Nintendo continued producing updates of these two concepts, leading it to become one of the world's most recognized video-game manufacturers.

Now Nintendo's main line-up of video-game systems are the Nintendo DS/ Nintendo DS Lite the Game Boy Advance SP / GameBoy Micro, the Nintendo GameCube, and the Wii.

Gaming systems

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, is an 8-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Brazil, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Its Japanese equivalent is known as the Famicom (Family Computer). NES is the most successful gaming console of its time in Asia and North America, since Nintendo claims to have sold over 60 million NES units worldwide. It helped revitalize the video game industry following the video game crash of 1983 and set the standard for subsequent consoles in everything from game design (the first modern platform game, Super Mario Bros., was the system’s first " killer game") to business practices. The NES was the first console for which the manufacturer openly courted third-party developers.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as Super Nintendo, Super NES or SNES, is a 16-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. In Japan it is known as the Super Famicom (Super Family Computer). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics.

The SNES was Nintendo's second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System. Whereas the earlier system had struggled in the PAL region and large parts of Asia, the SNES proved to be a global success, albeit one that could not match its predecessor's popularity in Northeast Asia and North America—due in part to increased competition from Sega's Mega Drive console (released in North America as the Genesis). Despite its relatively late start, the SNES became the best selling console of the 16-bit era.

Nintendo 64 (N64)

The Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64, commonly called the N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. The N64 was released on June 23, 1996 in Japan; September 29, 1996 in North America; March 1, 1997 in Europe and Australia; and September 1, 1997 in France (the system also saw a release in Latin America, albeit an unofficial one). It was released with three launch games in Japan (Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64 and Saikyou Haniu Shogi) but only two in North America and PAL region (Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64). The Nintendo 64 cost $199 at launch in the United States. It was Nintendo's first attempt at a 3D gaming platform, and Nintendo's first 64-bit gaming console.

Nintendo GameCube (GCN)

The Nintendo GameCube
The Nintendo GameCube

The Nintendo GameCube was Nintendo's fourth home video game console, belonging to the sixth generation era—the same generation as Sega's Dreamcast, Sony's PlayStation 2, and Microsoft's Xbox. Right up until the console's unveiling at SpaceWorld 2000, the design project was known as Dolphin— this can still be seen in the console and its accessories' model numbers. The GameCube itself was the most compact and least expensive of the sixth generation era consoles. The GameCube was the first Nintendo game console to use optical discs rather than game cartridges. The GameCube was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan; November 18, 2001 in North America at USD $149.95; May 3, 2002 in Europe; and May 17, 2002 in Australia.


The Wii
The Wii

Wii (pronounced as the word " we", IPA: /wiː/) is Nintendo's seventh-generation video game console. Its official project code name was Revolution, and as with the GameCube, this reference appears on the console and its accesories.

The major feature of the Wii is the console's wireless controller, the Wii Remote, that may be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. The controller comes with a "nunchuk" accessory which gives more control to the player. The controller also contains a speaker and a rumble device to provide sensory feedback, and can be used to turn the Wii on and off. The console also features a stand-by mode entitled WiiConnect24, enabling it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while consuming very little electrical power. The console is shipped with a Wii Remote with Nunchuk, a remote sensor, a sensor stand, a console stand, and a free game, all right inside the box. Wii was released on November 19, 2006 in the Americas for a price of US$249.99, and will be released in Japan on December 2, 2006 for JP¥25,000, Australia on December 7, 2006 for AUD$399.95 and December 8, 2006 in Europe and the UK for €249 and £179 respectively.

Game Boy

The Game Boy Advance SP
The Game Boy Advance SP

The Game Boy (ゲームボーイ Gēmu Bōi ?) line is a line of battery-powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. It is one of the world's best-selling game system lines, with more than 188 million hardware units sold worldwide. The original Game Boy has sold 70 million units, while the Game Boy Colour sold 50 million units. The Game Boy Advance has managed to sell over 75 million units as of June 30, 2006. The most recent addition to the Game Boy line is the Game Boy Micro, another remake of the Game Boy Advance with a smaller screen for greater resolution, a more portable feel, and interchangeable faceplates.

Nintendo DS / DS Lite

The Nintendo DS Lite
The Nintendo DS Lite

The Nintendo DS (sometimes abbreviated NDS or DS, also as iQue DS in China) is a handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo, released in 2004. It is visibly distinguishable by its horizontal clamshell design, which is almost a throwback to the Game & Watch, and the presence of two displays, the lower of which acts as a touch screen. The system also has a built-in microphone and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 ( WiFi) standards, allowing players to interact with each other within short range (30–100 feet, depending on conditions) or over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.

The letters "DS" in the name are meant to stand for both Dual Screen and Developers' System, the latter of which refers to the features of the handheld designed to encourage innovative gameplay ideas among developers. The system was known as Project Nitro during development.

On March 2, 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, a redesigned model of the Nintendo DS, in Japan. It was later released in North America and Europe the following June. Gamers typically use the term "Phat DS" or "Tank DS" on forums to emphasize that they are referring to the older model.

Other hardware

  • 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. 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 console 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 Colour 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 Tomagatchi toy that allowed the user 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 colour.
  • Triforce – An arcade system based on Nintendo GameCube hardware, developed in partnership with Sega and Namco.
  • Virtual Boy – The Virtual Boy used two red monochrome displays to create a virtual reality-like system. 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 (see here for more information).
  • Yakuman – A handheld Mah-jong game released in 1983.

People / Divisions


Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2006
Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2006
  • Minoru Arakawa — Former president and founder of Nintendo of America.
  • Reggie Fils-Aime — President and COO of Nintendo of America.
  • George Harrison — Senior Vice President of marketing and corporate communications.
  • Satoru Iwata — Current president of Nintendo (2002-present).
  • Perrin Kaplan — Nintendo of America's Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs
  • Tatsumi Kimishima — CEO and Chairman of the Board for Nintendo of America, Inc.
  • Koji Kondo — Composer of music tracks in many Nintendo games, including virtually every home console entry of Super Mario and Legend of Zelda.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto — Nintendo's chief designer and video game producer. Largely known for creating many of Nintendo's most popular games including Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikmin, and The Legend of Zelda. In 1998 Miyamoto became the first person to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame.
  • Howard Lincoln — Now retired, former Chairman of Nintendo of America.
  • Howard Philips — Creator of Nintendo Power magazine.
  • Satoshi Tajiri — Creator of the Pokémon series.
  • Yuka Tsujiyoko — Composer of music tracks in many Intelligent Systems games, most notably Paper Mario and the Fire Emblem series.
  • Fusajiro Yamauchi — Founder of Nintendo in 1889. Died 1940.
  • Hiroshi Yamauchi — Former president of Nintendo (1949–2002).
  • Gunpei Yokoi — Best-known as the creator of the Game Boy and the Metroid series. Died 1997.
  • Shigesato Itoi - Creator of EarthBound series
  • Masahiro Sakurai - Creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros..


Nintendo has an extensive list of major developers that work on its systems. Some of the most popular being HAL Laboratory, Game Freak, and Camelot Software Planning.

Some popular franchises and characters

  • Animal Crossing - Also known as Animal Forest in Japan, a franchise that has developed a cult following and constantly growing install base with each installment. It has appeared on the Nintendo 64 (Animal Forest), GameCube, Nintendo DS, E-Reader, and will soon be appearing on the Wii.
  • Brain Age - Nintendo DS title that helps players exercise their brains in minutes a day through simple, interactive problems.
  • Donkey Kong ( Nintendo EAD Tokyo) - Dates back to Nintendo's original line of arcade games. Introduced Mario, back then known as "Jumpman."
  • EarthBound (called " Mother" in Japan) - A very quirky role-playing game series that takes place in modern times.
  • Fire Emblem ( Intelligent Systems) - Medieval RPG/strategy series started in 1990, confined to Japan until 2003.
  • F-Zero - Futuristic racing game series which began in 1990
  • Game & Watch - Nintendo's oldest franchise, started on handheld systems.
  • Ice Climber - An old franchise featuring Popo and Nana, two parka-clad mountain climbers.
  • Kid Icarus - "Sister series" to the much more popular Metroid franchise. Stars Pit, a young, bow-wielding angel.
  • Kirby ( HAL Laboratory, Inc.) - A typically pink (but sometimes multi-colored) puff who can copy enemy powers for his own use. Has starred in several games since his debut on the Game Boy.
  • Mario (Nintendo EAD) - Nintendo's flagship franchise and main influence in the platform genre. Mario has branched out to multiple spin-offs including Mario Kart, Mario Party, Paper Mario, Mario Tennis, Dr. Mario and Super Mario Strikers (has a game for almost every sport).
  • Metroid ( Intelligent Systems / Retro Studios) - One of the company's most popular franchises, featuring a futuristic bounty hunter called Samus Aran.
  • Nintendo Wars - Series historically confined to Japan but has recently appeared overseas with Advance Wars and Battalion Wars.
  • Nintendogs - A dog simulator which can be considered the first of the Touch Generations branding of Nintendo games.
  • Pikmin - One of Nintendo's newest franchises, only two installments as of summer 2006 (both on the GameCube).
  • Pokemon ( Game Freak) - Arguably the most influential (and most lucrative) of Nintendo's franchises. The aim is to try and capture one of every species of Pokémon (currently 493 are available in standard canon) and become the strongest Pokémon trainer in the Pokémon world.
  • Punch-Out!! - Boxing game where the player had to fight his/her way to win the heavyweight belt.
  • Star Fox (Nintendo EAD) - Has appeared on the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and DS. Star Fox is a futuristic flying fighter.
  • Super Smash Bros. ( HAL Laboratory, Inc. / Sora Ltd.) - A fighting game that pins Nintendo's (and, more recently, other companies') franchises up against each other. Has appeared on The Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, and will be appearing on Wii.
  • Legend of Stafy
  • The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo EAD) - One of the company's most popular franchises and widely considered to be among the best franchises ever. It has won numerous awards including several "Greatest Game of all Time" awards.

Released arcade games

  • Arm Wrestling
  • Battle Shark
  • Block Fever
  • Computer Othello
  • Cruis'n Exotica
  • Cruis'n World
  • Cruis'n USA
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Donkey Kong 3
  • Duck Hunt
  • Excitebike
  • F-Zero AX
  • F-1 Race
  • HeliFire
  • Hogan's Alley
  • Ice Climber
  • Killer Instinct
  • Killer Instinct 2
  • Laser Clay Shooting
  • Mach Rider
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (Japan Only)
  • Monkey Magic
  • The Nintendo Super System
  • The Nintendo Vs. Series
  • The PlayChoice-10 Series
  • Popeye
  • Punch-Out!!
  • Radar Scope
  • Shooting Trainer
  • Sky Hawk
  • SF-HiSplitter
  • Sheriff
  • Sky Skipper
  • Space Demon
  • Space Fever
  • Space Fire Bird
  • Space Launcher
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Test Driver
  • Urban Champion
  • Wild Gunman

Offices and locations

The exterior of Nintendo's main headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.
The exterior of Nintendo's main headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.

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. It has distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and North Bend, Washington. Nintendo of Canada, Ltd. (NOCL) is a based in Richmond, British Columbia, with its own distribution centre in Toronto, Ontario. Nintendo of Australia, its Australian division, is based in Scoresby, 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) July 7, 2006.


Slogans from Nintendo (slogans in languages other than English are also included):

  • Now you're playing with power. (NES, 1985)
  • Now you're playing with power. Super power. (SNES, 1991)
  • Now you're playing with power. Portable power. (Game Boy)
  • Play it loud! (Game Boy, 1994)
  • A 3-D game for a 3-D World (Virtual Boy)
  • Get into it! (Game Boy Colour, 1998)
  • Vous n'en reviendrez pas (N64, France 1998)
  • Feel Everything Everywhere (Game Boy Colour, Europe 1999)
  • Welcome to the future (N64, Europe 1999)
  • Change the System (N64)
  • Get N or get out. (N64)
  • Life, Advanced. (Game Boy Advance, 2001)
  • Igazi játékos vagy? (Are you a real gamer?, Game Boy Advance, Hungary 2001)
  • La vie est un jeu (GameCube, France 2002)
  • Az élet játék. (The life is a game, GameCube, Hungary 2002)
  • Gaming 24:7 (Europe 2002)
  • Touching Is Good. (Nintendo DS)
  • Touch Me!"Touchez-moi!" (DS, 2005)
  • Pick up and play (DS, Europe 2005)
  • Open up and play (DS, Europe 2005)
  • Pour changer (Wii, France 2006)
  • Playing = Believing (Wii, 2006)
  • Who are you? (United States)
  • Too much fun. (Canada)
  • Kore wa nan deshou? (What is this?, Wii, Japan 2006)
  • What is this? This is Wii. (Also translations into other languages; Wii, Europe, 2006)
  • Wii Move You (Wii, UK 2006)
  • Wii would like to play (Wii, Americas 2006)
  • Oh Wii (Wii, Quebec Canada, 2006)

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