The Nintendo Corporation is a company based in Japan that is commonly know for publishing and creating video games and both home and hand-held consoles. Nintendo was started by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889, Kyoto, Japan. The current President and CEO of the company is Satoru Iwata.
- 1 Before Video Games (1889 - 1975)
- 2 Electronic Era (1975 - Present)
- 2.1 Successes
- 2.2 Failures
- 3 Notable Games
- 4 Trivia
- 5 External Links
Before Video Games (1889 - 1975)
1889 - 1954
Before Nintendo started to release video games and console system, it was originally a company that produced "Hanafuda", which translates to "Flower Cards", and were used as general playing cards.
1956 - 1975
During this time frame Nintendo did some experimenting with what kind of products they would be selling. Some of the things that they sold included Love Testers, Instant Rice (similar to instant noodles), A taxi service know as "Love Hotel", children's Toys, and most notably a vacuum cleaner dubbed "Chiritorie".
Electronic Era (1975 - Present)
In 1975, Nintendo obtained the rights to distribute the "Maddox Odyssey", a home video game console in Japan. Later in 1977, they produced as series of their own home console, known as the "Color TV Game". A year later in 1978, they entered the Arcade Game market and produced Computer Othello. In 1981, Nintendo produced the game "Donkey Kong" which generated major popularity and profits for the company, and is still in some Video Arcades today, and has been ported to many other systems (ex: "ColecoVision", "Atari 2600", "Personal Computers", etc.).
Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicon
- Main article: Nintendo Entertainment System
In 1983, the "Famicon" or "Family Computer" hit shelves, and then two years later in 1975, its global brother, the NEW or "Nintendo Entrainment System". These two systems had a very similar library of games and ensured that Nintendo would last.
- Main article: Game Boy
Back in 1989, Nintendo launched the "Game Boy" (GB), which was a portable hand held gaming console which gained massive popularity because people who owned these games could play video games in most places, quite a few of the original NES/Famicon games were ported to this system, but lacked color and graphics due to the systems limitations.
Super Nintendo System / Super Famicon
- Main article: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
In 1990, the "Super Nintendo Entertainment System" (SNES) and "Super Famicon", an "upgrade" of the NES/Famicon which supported a wider depth of color, basic 3D graphics, expansive cartridges among other things. This system has commonly been hailed to be Nintendo's best console ever produced. At the time of its release, some buyers of the NES/Famicon did not like the idea of this, so some of the games produced for the SNES/Super Famicon had ports for the original system, but of course, were graphically downgraded.
- Main article: Nintendo 64
The "Nintendo 64" (N64) was another home video game console created by Nintendo in 1996, it mainly boasted and featured 3D graphics.
Game Boy Color
- Main article: Game Boy Color
In 1998, Nintendo released an upgrade to the "Game Boy", called the "Game Boy Color" (GBC), it featured color as one of its main selling points, and was noticeably slimmer and lighter then it predecessor. In the begging of its release, Colored version or "DX" version of original Game Boy games were ported to the system (ex: "The legend of Zelda: Link Awakening DX"). The size of the GBC cartridges were identical to those of the original game boy, and could even be played on the older system because the processors they used were very similar.
- Main article: GameCube
In 2001, both the "GameCube" (GCN) and the "Game Boy Advance" (GBA) were released, and both were a major success. The GC operated using a CD system, which was new to the company at the time, yet offered better quality games and more storage then the old cartridges, yet required customers to buy a memory card to save their game data. The GBA was a major upgrade of the "Game Boy" series and boasted SNES like graphics and functionality. It had much smaller cartridges and could play the old GB and GBC games as well. In 2003, the GBA SP was released, a much slimmer version of the system, and also came with a backlit light to deal with the poor visibility issues that plagued the console series before, and was very well received and praised.
- Main article: Nintendo DS
In late 2004, Nintendo produced the "Nintendo DS" (DS), which had two screens, similar to the old "Game and Watch", the bottom one was slightly smaller then the top, and was a touch screen. It was hailed as a great innovation, but later was criticized by many of Nintendo's hard core fans as "forgetting about them", releasing "Shovelware", and "paying too much attention to casual gamers rather then its fan-base". It had backwards compatibility with the GBA games yet not the GB and GBC games, due to an issue with the processor it used. In mid 2006 Nintendo released a revision of it called the "DS Lite", which was a much slimmer and lighter version of the original DS.
- Main article: Wii
In late 2006, Nintendo released the "Wii" (previously "Nintendo Revolution"). It uses an accelerometer to detect movement of the remote. It also had something called the "Virtual Arcade" where customers could buy "Wii Points" and then spend them to buy games from Nintendo's previous systems to play on the Wii, some praised this while other people were annoyed that they had to pay money to play games that already owned.
- Main article: Nintendo DSi
Mid 2009, Nintendo did the global release of the "Nintendo DSi" hand held system. Its an upgrade of the DS Lite with a camera, built in web browser, SD card slot and PDA similar applications. The DSi does not have backwards compatibility with GBA games since Nintendo decided to remove the slot. There are planed to be some "DSi only" games released, which had many people in the Nintendo community angry.
The "Virtual Boy" (VB) (VR-32 in development), was a semi-portable console release in mid to late 1995 and has been called Nintendo's biggest failure. It only had a library of 22 total games. It only supported the color red, as well as shades of red. The main selling point for this system was that it was the first true "3D" processor, and that it would show you games in 3D vision.
"SNES CD" was supposed to be a disk drive addon to the SNES, first announced in 1991, and developed by Sony that was supposed to be able to play CD-Rom based video games on the SNES. The reason for its failure was that Hiroshi Yamauchi (known as the father of the Play Station) read the original contract from 1988 between Sony and Nintendo, and found out that complete control over all titled released under the SNES CD was given to Sony, he deamed this unfit and canceled the project. Later on in 1995, Yamauchi released the SNES CD as the "Sony Play Station" and gave the Sony Corporation much popularity.
Nintendo 64 Disk Drive
The "Nintendo 64 Disk Drive" (N64DD) was a disk addon the N64, similar in concept to the original SNES CD and was released close to the end of 1999 only in Japan, and was an utter failure. It boasted online play via RANDnetDD, to compete with the Sega Dreamcast's online abilities. it sold only about 15k units and had the RANDnetDD service closed by early 2001. Though this was a failure, it created a basis for the GBC.
The "Philips CD-i" was a system made by Philips Electronics in 1991, that was licensed to develop and release Nintendo games. It wasn't originally made for games but was able to do that since of it's use of CD-ROMs. Most of the games released for it were similar to PC games of the time.
Nintendo's most known video game series are Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and the Wars Series.
Nintendo does not allow Adult Only games on their systems. And their first Mature game was eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requem.