History of Nintendo Inc.
Nintendo Co., Ltd., today a giant in the electronic game industry, is the product of over 100 years of research, risk-taking, and innovation. Up to now, Nintendo has sold more than one billion games around the world, and images like Donkey Kong, Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon are all well recognized. The company started in 1889 under Fusajiro Yamuchi, the great grandfather of the current president Hiroshi Yamauchi of Nintendo Japan. He started with manufacturing Hanafuda, or Japanese playing cards in Kyoto. Soon, the playing cards that were originally manufactured for export became popular both abroad and at home. This allowed the company to expand in a short period of time, and in 1947, the Marufuku Co. was established in order to handle the distribution sect of the company. In 1951, the company name was changed to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Nintendo was the first to succeed in manufacturing mass-produced plastic playing cards in Japan, and its card department boomed as it printed Walt Disney characters.
In 1963, the company's name was changed again to Nintendo Co., as it manufactured games besides playing cards. A crucial move by the company was made when Nintendo introduced its first electronic game in 1970. Since then, the company's course was totally changed. This decisive move, allowed Nintendo to be the biggest player in the electronic game industry. By 1978, Nintendo entered the coin-operated video game sect with "Donkey Kong," which became the hottest game at the time. In the early 80s, Nintendo set up various plants and offices in North America, as Nintendo foresaw the potential markets there, especially US. In 1983, Nintendo launched the Famicom, its first home video console. Then in 1989, Nintendo launched one of its most successful products, the Gameboy. By now, more than 100 million units were sold around the world, capturing 99.8% of the hand held game market. On the following year, Super Famicom was introduced in order to compete with other game consoles like Sega Genesis. When Nintendo launched its next generation console, the Nintendo 64, in 1996, it was another record breaker. More than 500,000 units were sold in Japan on the first day of sale; and in North America, more than 350,000 units were sold in three days. Now, Pokemon, another worldwide phenomenon, has expanded itself from cartoon to games, toys, movies, and cards that are sold worldwide.
( "Nintendo: Company History," April 21, 1999. Available, Internet. Http://www.nintendo.com/corp/history.htm Fulford, Benjamin. "Super Hiroshi-san." Forbes.com. Available, Internet. Wysiwyg://1.parentWin.11/http://www.forbes.com/forbes/00/0501/6510090a.html)