Founded September 23 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi as Nintendo Playing Card Co., LtdStarted by selling Hanafuda Playing CardsIn 1929 Fusajiro Yamauchi’s daughter’s husband Sekiryo Kaneda would take reigns over the companyThe company would try other endeavors such as cab services and love hotels.Sekiryo Kaneda’s death in 1949 Hiroshi Yamauchi would be Nintendo’s third presidentIn the 1960s the after their ventures and playing cards failed to sell Nintendo would venture into toy productionIn 1963 Hiroshi Yamauchi would rename the company Nintendo Co., LtdIn 1966 Gunpei Yokoi, a maintenance worker in his free time developed the Ultra HandIn the 1970s Nintendo would venture into video games.
In 1973 Hiroshi Yamauchi worked together with Gunpei Yokoi to produce the Laser Clay Shooting Systems in abandoned bowling alleys in Japan which would later inspire the NES Zapper in games like Duck Hunt, and Wild Gunman which were enhanced versions of their previous forms in the Laser Clay Shooting Systems.In 1974 Nintendo secured the rights the distribute the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan, a console that competed with the Atari 2600 at the time.In 1977 Nintendo would begin producing video game equipment with their first series being the Color TV-Game in which the would produce several versions including their own version of Light Tennis in Color TV-Game 6During this time Gunpei Yokoi would hire a student product developer named Shigeru MiyamotoIn 1979, Gunpei Yokoi envisioning a concept of a handheld video game while watching a person on a train pass the time by playing with their LCD calculator this concept would lead to Nintendo’s first series handheld, “Game & Watch””Game & Watch” would be released in 1980, and it would be Nintendo’s first worldwide success.Nintendo around this time was struggling in arcades outside of Japan which were at the time very popular and then Shigeru Miyamoto would have to think of a way to save the failing arcade systems.
The first game he would help develop was Radar Scope in 1980, which did moderately well in Japan but still failed to make it out to America, and other countries.Hiroshi Yamauchi would let Miyamoto to take the unsold Radar Scope machines to make a game that would sell abroad, and Gunpei Yokoi would supervise the project.Miyamoto envisioned a game with conflict being a love triangle originally wanting to base the game around Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Bluto, but after Nintendo did not succeed in getting a license, they would make the game, but have changes in cast replacing Bluto with an Ape, and Popeye with a carpenter named Jumpman.This game would be Donkey Kong released July 9th, 1981 which would be incredibly popular and famous, initially reviewers would call the game “another bizarre cartoon game, courtesy of Japan”In 1983 a decade after beginning to focus on video game production they would release the Family Computer, or more commonly known as the Famicom, which was their first home console released in Japan.
In this year the Video Game Crash of 1983 would occur due to companies like Atari’s rushed video game production such as E.T. or the home console version of Pac-ManThis would leave video game related equipment seem unwanted, and doomed to fail.In 1985 Nintendo would move to bring the Famicom to the U.
S. and other countries, and due to the crash the would rebrand the Famicom to the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and packaged it with R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy) to make it look more like a toy and less like a video game console entirely.
The company also offered to release the console with games prepacked including Super Mario Bros.For that time Shigeru Miyamoto was doing well with the company after Donkey Kong, involved with its sequels and games like Mario Bros. for Arcades, but he would be brought in to make games for the Famicom/NES, and they would use Mario as a template for the game.