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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The History of Nintendo Part 1

This is, of course, my first post. So please be easy on the comments.

Nintendo didn't really start as a video game company... no, no. Nintendo actually started as a card company. The company's name was called "Nintendo Koppai" and it was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in September 23, 1889 at Kyoto, Japan. The cards they made were called "Hanafuda" cards and they were made from Mulberry tree bark in a hand-made fashion.

The company was successful... so successful that Yamauchi had to keep up with demand by hiring assistants. Eventually, the cards were mass produced instead of hand-made. In 1949, Hiroshi Yamauchi (grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi) took over the company. Yamauchi would be the third president of Nintendo after Sekiryo Kaneda (the son-in-law of Fusaijro Yamauchi), which Kaneda was the second president since 1929.
The success of Nintendo continued until 1956, when at that time, it was so successful that Yamauchi decided to have a deal with United States Playing Card Company. However, there were limitations.
In 1963, Nintendo Playing Card Company Limited become Nintendo Company, Limited. Nintendo tried to go into the "love hotel", taxi, food, and TV businesses between 1963 and 1968 but they failed to have success in any of those. What was even worse was that there playing card business was failing too.

Nintendo then decided to go into the toy business. There first toy was the Ultra Hand. That became a successful toy. Nintendo then made even more successful toys like the Ultra Machine and the Love Tester. This continued until 1975.

And then, Nintendo when on to the vidoe game business (which was young at that time) in 1974. They started to produce the Color TV system. And, in 1980, Nintendo created there first portable system, Game and Watch, which become a huge success. Then in 1977, a man who had just completed a degree in industrial design was hired by Yamauchi by his father. And, that man was: Shigeru Miyamoto.

Nintendo of America (which was new at that time) wanted something successful. So Nintendo produced the arcade game, Radar Scope. However, the game became unsuccessful. NOA desperately needed a great game, so Yamauchi turned to Miyamoto. Miyamoto ended up creating Donkey Kong in 1981. Nintendo was saved because of this game. And, not only that but Nintendo had gotten there icon for Nintendo: Jumpman, which was later renamed as Mario!

Unfortunately, there were 30 or more systems in the market, and many poor games from other companies. That hurt the industry at the point of exciton. This was the video game clash of 1983-1984. Then Nintendo saved the industry by making the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES with a game that would one day become the best video game in history: Super Mario Bros.
To be continued...

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