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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.
Nintendo logo (2015-present): When Tatsumi Kimishima took the company helm, Nintendo's logo was changed to white-on-red. The gray logo, however, continues to be officially used as its corporate image.
Founded September 23, 1889
First Mario game Donkey Kong (1981)
Latest Mario game Mario Strikers: Battle League (2022)
Current president Shuntaro Furukawa

Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; Rōmaji: Nintendō) is a video game company with its origins in Japan. They are the creators of many popular franchises, including the Mario franchise, and 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 Nintendo Switch and Nintendo DS respectively.


Regions where Nintendo's products are available

Nintendo was originally founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards for use in Japanese card games. 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 is one of the most influential and best known console manufacturers. However, they do have business rivalry with Sony, Microsoft, and formerly their biggest rival, Sega (which is now a third-party company). 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 consoles. They have also developed and published over 300 games, and have sold over 2 billion games worldwide, having the stated goal of "Putting Smiles on the Faces of Everyone It Touches".[sic][2]

Nintendo has sold very well among other consoles, such as with the Wii, which sold over 100 million units.[3] Yamauchi, when he announced the Nintendo GameCube, stated that consoles should not cost much, as people play with the software, not the console.[4] He also believed that the ideas for Nintendo and Microsoft are completely different, due to the fact that Microsoft focuses on performance and Nintendo focuses on software.[5] These are the reasons why Nintendo's consoles are usually priced lower in comparison to other consoles.

Conversely, Nintendo have also seen quite a few commercial failures, such as the Virtual Boy and the Nintendo 64DD, which both sold fewer than a million units each.

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

Some games sold well enough for Nintendo to make more prints of them under the labels Player's Choice and Nintendo Selects, which have reduced prices compared to normal games.

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.
  • 任 (nin) means "responsibility", "work", or "obligation".
  • 天 (ten) means "sky".
  • 堂 () meaning "stately", "bless", or "sanctuary".
    • 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 consoles, like Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ, Nintendō Gēmukyūbu).

This name 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."

Chinese 任天堂
Finnish Nintendon (Captain N: The Game Master)
Korean 닌텐도


  • 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.[6]

External links


  1. ^ "IGN Presents: The History of Super Mario Bros."
  2. ^ Nintendo Co., Ltd. Modern Slavery Transparency Statement (PDF). Retrieved August 11, 2022. (Archived March 5, 2022, 16:36:39 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ QnA with Yamauchi, "People do not play with the game machine itself. They play with the software, and they are forced to purchase a game machine in order to use the software. Therefore the price of the machine should be as cheap as possible."
  5. ^ QnA with Yamauchi, "The ideas behind Xbox and Game Cube are fundamentally different. Xbox has a built-in hard drive and is being touted as an extension of a PC. Microsoft is going after performance only, and does not understand that the game is played with software. A Nintendo is ultimately a toy. It is the most advanced machine for playing games, and it is totally different from the Microsoft product. It is just like trying to compare a sumo wrestler and pro-wrestler; they play by totally different rules. We do not consider Microsoft to be our competitor."
  6. ^ Nintendrew (February 9, 2019). Nintendo's Forgotten PC Joystick - The NJS-3D1 | Nintendrew YouTube. Retrieved March 4, 2020.