Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; Rōmaji: Nintendō) is a company in Japan which develops and manufactures its own line of video games and consoles. The name Nintendo means "leave luck to heaven" in Japanese. They are the creators of many popular series, including The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, as well as their most popular series, the Super Mario series, plus many more. Nintendo also owns the Seattle Mariners baseball team. Nintendo's mascot is Mario himself. Nintendo revived the North American video game industry after the Video Game Crash of 1983.
The company was originally founded on September 23rd, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade Hanafuda cards for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. Eventually, in 1929, the company was passed on to Yamauchi's son-in-law, Sekiryo Kaneda. He took up the Yamauchi name when he married Fusajiro's daughter, Tei Yamauchi. The company continued on to make Hanafuda cards. However, Kaneda decided to retire in 1949 and passed Nintendo down to his grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi. Little did he know that Hiroshi would change the focus of Nintendo for the best. In the late 70's, Yamauchi decided to expand Nintendo into the United States, as arcade machines were becoming very popular. However, his plan did not go over as well as he had hoped. Many children in the U.S. did not show much interest in Nintendo's products, like Sheriff or Radar Scope. Nintendo started to lose money, so in desperation, Yamauchi turned to one of his employees, Shigeru Miyamoto, for help.
He called only Miyamoto in because he was the only employee who had any time on his hands. Yamauchi asked Miyamoto to make a product for the arcade machine that would become a best-seller. Shigeru Miyamoto worked on the project he was thinking of for a while: Donkey Kong. When it entered the North American market, it became a best-seller. Nintendo started moving into video games and assigned Gunpei Yokoi to make a handheld console for enjoyment while traveling. Thus, Yokoi made the Game & Watch, which became popular in both Japan and the United States. Nintendo then made the Nintendo Entertainment System, which grew very popular among children, the most successful game being Super Mario Bros. The release of the system forever changed the focus of video game development from quantity to quality and cemented the company's place in history. Aside from video games, Nintendo is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team, which is now handled by Howard Lincoln. In 2002, Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down from office, giving the position to Satoru Iwata.
Results of their work
Nintendo is the longest running company in the history of the video game console market and historically the most influential and best known console manufacturer. However, they do have business rivalry in Sony, Microsoft, and formerly their biggest rival, Sega (which is now reduced to third-party work). Nintendo, as a video game company, began in the Japanese market in 1983, the U.S. market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured six TV consoles and nine handheld portables. They have also developed, and published well over 300 games, and have sold over 2 billion games worldwide.
Nintendo has also sold very well among other consoles. Yamauchi, when he announced the Nintendo GameCube, stated that people don't buy a console for the console, they buy it for the game they want. He also believed that a video game console should be solely for video games, never anything else, in opposition to the PlayStation 2's built-in DVD Player. These things are why he always made Nintendo's consoles the cheapest, compared to other consoles.
All recent official Nintendo merchandise are marked with the Official Nintendo Seal. Originally, the seal was applied to only video games.
Appearances in the Mario universe
These consoles may have different names in different markets. The NES is known as Famicom in Japan, the SNES subsequently as Super Famicom. In China, the Nintendo 64 was released under the name iQue Player.
Releases of these consoles in China usually replace "Nintendo" in the name with "iQue". Examples are the iQue DS and the iQue 3DS.