As many of you may know, Nintendo Co., Ltd, or just Nintendo for short, is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company. Its headquarter is in Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo has created some of the top-selling video game franchises and also the best-known ones. Those include Mario, Pokemon, and The Legend of Zelda. The name Nintendo translates to „leave luck to heaven“ or even as „the temple of free hanafuda“. Let’s learn more about the company’s history, products, and net worth.
On 23rd September 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded the company, which originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. In 1933, the company was established under the name Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. Ltd, but the name was changed to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd in 1951. Next to manufacturing playing cards in Japan, the company organized its own contract bridge tournament named the Nintendo Cup. By 1963, it also had tried several small businesses, which included cab services and love hotels. Also that year, the name was changed to the one we are familiar with today, which is Nintendo Co., Ltd. Three years later, Nintendo moved into the Japanese toy industry. They produced popular toys like the Ultra Machine, Love Tester and the Kousenjuu series of light gun games. The toy market required the fast development and manufacturing turnaround, which Nintendo failed to meet, and despite their successful products, Nintendo fell behind other companies.
The first video game console Nintendo manufactured was named Magnavox 888Odyssey. Three years from that, in 1977, the company started manufacturing their own hardware and 4 versions of the Color TV-Game home video game console. They hired Shigeru Miyamoto, who was a student product developer at that time. Miyamoto created, directed and produced some of Nintendo’s most famous video games. In 1981, the company released Donkey Kong, which drastically affected its earnings. After the success of this game, they also introduced an early iteration of Mario. From 1979 to 1989, the company came up with Game & Watch, a handheld video game series, the Family Computer (Famicom), a home video game console in Japan, and the Game Boy handheld system.
In 1995, the company wanted to produce an affordable virtual reality console, so they released the Virtual Boy, but the sales weren’t that good. 2004 was a breakthrough year for Nintendo when they released Nintendo DS, their fourth major handheld system. Former Nintendo president and chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi said: „The DS represents a critical moment for Nintendo’s success over the next two years. If it succeeds, we rise to the heavens, if it fails, we sink into hell.“ Luckily, it was a success thanks to the games Nintendogs and Mario Kart DS.
In 2015, the company started producing games for smart devices. In 2016 they owned 32% of the successful mobile app Pokemon Go. Nintendo has had its ups and downs, but the company is still going strong.
Nintendo’s net worth is estimated to be more than $85 billion. It is also the third most valuable company in Japan. Most of their earnings come from manufacturing and selling hardware and software of gaming consoles and smart devices. Their gaming character Super Mario is one of the most famous gaming characters, and the game itself has been played for many years so far. It is believed that their earning will increase in the years to come.