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This article is about the Japanese company. For the console sometimes referred to as a Nintendo, see Nintendo Entertainment System. For the development team, see Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development.
New Nintendo red logo.svg
Founded September 23, 1889­
First Mario game Donkey Kong (1981
Latest Mario game Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020
Current president Shuntaro Furukawa

Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; Rōmaji: Nintendō) is a company in Japan which develops and manufactures its own line of video games and consoles. They are the creators of many popular series, including their most popular, the Mario franchise, as well as the The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing franchises. Nintendo's mascot is Mario himself. Nintendo is often credited with reviving the North American video game industry after the video game crash of 1983.

Currently, Nintendo's highest-selling home and handheld consoles are the Wii and Nintendo DS respectively.

Nintendo's regions (headquarters) in the world. This region selector, as well as this customer support selector, show each country that has a website on Nintendo products.


Nintendo was originally founded on September 23, 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. Kaneda would run Nintendo until 1949 - he passed Nintendo down to his grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, before he retired. Under Hiroshi's leadership, Nintendo would dabble in a number of different businesses before sticking primarily to games. Nintendo entered the arcade industry in the 1970s, and began to license some of their games to other companies for distribution outside of Japan. Nintendo eventually set up its own headquarters in the United States headed by Minoru Arakawa, and the first game that would be distributed by the American division would be Radar Scope. Radar Scope did not sell well in the United States, and a number of unsold cabinets remained in warehouses.

Arakawa asked Hiroshi if a new game could be developed and inserted into the unsold Radar Scope cabinets.[1] Hiroshi went through Nintendo's entire talent pool to see who could head the designing of a potential Radar Scope replacement, and the result was Shigeru Miyamoto designing Donkey Kong. When Donkey Kong was released, it became a best-seller. Around this time, Nintendo 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; its success resulted in Nintendo becoming a dominant player in the video game industry and the revival of the industry in North America, which had been negatively affected by a crash in 1983. The most successful game for the NES, Super Mario Bros., further cemented their dominance in the industry. Aside from video games, Nintendo was also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team from 1992 to 2016. In 2002, Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down from office, giving the position to Satoru Iwata, who later became CEO of Nintendo's American branch and held both posts until his death in July 2015. After which, Tatsumi Kimishima was appointed Iwata's successor in September 2015, until he stepped down on June 28, 2018 and was succeeded by Shuntaro Furukawa.

Results of their work

The company's signature red logo from 1975 to 2006 (top) and gray logo from 2006 to 2015 (bottom). The gray logo is still used in corporate pages.
The company's signature red logo from 1975 to 2006 (top) and gray logo from 2006 to 2015 (bottom). The gray logo is still used in corporate pages.
The company's signature red logo from 1975 to 2006 (top) and gray logo from 2006 to 2015 (bottom). The gray logo is still used in corporate pages.

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 American market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured seven TV consoles and nine handheld portables. They have also developed, and published 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 do not 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 PlayStation 2's built-in DVD Player. These are the reasons why Nintendo's consoles are always the cheapest compared to other consoles.

All recent official Nintendo merchandise are marked with the Official Nintendo Seal. Originally, the seal was applied only to video games.

Some games sold so well that Nintendo made more prints under the labels Player's Choice and Nintendo Selects, under reduced prices.

Appearances in the Mario universe

The Nintendo logo appearing on Diddy Kong's cap, and on the walls at Nintendo GameCube in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
The Nintendo logo appearing on Diddy Kong's cap, and on the walls at Nintendo GameCube in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
The Nintendo logo appearing on Diddy Kong's cap, and on the walls at Nintendo GameCube in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Home consoles

A variety of Nintendo consoles and handhelds.

Attachments and remodels

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.

1 - Although the Nintendo Switch can also function as a handheld console, it is primarily marketed as a home console by Nintendo.

Handheld consoles


Releases of these consoles in China usually replace "Nintendo" in the name with "iQue". Examples are the iQue DS and the iQue 3DS XL.


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See also

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 任天堂
任天堂 is the formal name of the company. For each characters, 任 (nin) means "responsibility", "work" or "obligation", 天 (ten) means "sky" and 堂 ( ) meaning "stately", "bless" or "sanctuary". Also 天堂 (tendō ) means "heaven".
ニンテンドー is written in rough katakana form and is used for the Japanese names of some Nintendo's consoles, like Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ, Nintendō Gēmukyūbu).
The name Nintendo comes from a Japanese saying, 「運を天に任せる」(un o ten ni makaseru), meaning "To leave one's luck to heaven."
Korean 닌텐도
Chinese 任天堂
Finnish Nintendon -


  • Nintendo licensed Laral Group LLC to make a joystick controller for personal computers called the NJS-3D1. It was released in July of 1997 and it was one of only two Nintendo-licensed products by Laral, the other being the Nintendo wireless infrared stereo headphone system.[2]

External links

English Wikipedia Logo.png Wikipedia has an article on Nintendo.