Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than one billion video games worldwide, created such industry icons as Mario and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon. Nintendo manufacturers and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including Nintendo 64 and Game Boy - The world's best selling video game system.
As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Washington, serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere, where more than 40 percent of American households own a Nintendo game system.
1889 - Fusajiro Yamauchi, the great-grandfather of the present president, began manufacturing "Hanafuda," Japanese playing cards, in Kyoto.
1902 - Mr. Yamauchi started manufacturing the first playing cards in Japan. Originally for export, the product became popular in Japan as well as abroad.
1975 - In cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric, Nintendo developed a video game system using an electronic video recording (EVR) player. They introduced the microprocessor into the video game system the next year.
1977 - Nintendo developed home-use video games in cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric.1978 - Nintendo created and started selling coin-operated video games using microcomputers.
1979 - An operations division, for coin-operated games, was started.
1980 - Nintendo announced a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc. in New York. It started selling the "GAME & WATCH" product line.
1981 - Nintendo developed and began distribution of the coin-operated video game "Donkey Kong." This video game quickly became the hottest selling individual coin-operated machine in the industry.
1983 - Nintendo started selling the home video game console "Family Computer" employing a custom CPU and PPU (Picture Processing Unit).
1984 - Nintendo developed and started selling the unique 2-screen interactive coin-operated video game "VS. System."
1985 - Nintendo started to sell the U.S. version of Family Computer Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in America. The system included R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) and the games Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. Mario and Luigi became as big a hit as the NES.
1986 - Nintendo developed and started selling the "Family Computer Disk Drive System" to expand the functions of the Family Computer. It began installation of the "Disk Writer" to rewrite game software. Game Counselors were organized and players from all over the world could call Nintendo for advice on games and strategies.
1987 - Nintendo sponsored a Family Computer "Golf Tournament" as a communications test using the public telephone network and Disk Faxes to aid in building a Family Computer Network. The NES achieved the status as the number one selling toy in America and The Legend of Zelda became the first new generation home video game to exceed sales of one million units.
1988 - Nintendo of America Inc. published the first issue of Nintendo Power Magazine in July. It researched and developed the Hands Free Controller, making the NES assessable to many more Nintendo fans. The game library for NES grew to 65 titles, helping to broaden the demographics to include more adults.
1989 - Nintendo released The Adventure of Link, sequel to the top selling game The Legend of Zelda in the U.S. It started "World of Nintendo" displays in the U.S. to help market Nintendo Products. Studies show that children are as familiar with Mario as they are with Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny! It introduced Game Boy, the first portable hand held game system with interchangeable game paks. Nintendo Power magazine became the largest paid subscription publication in its age category.
1990 - Nintendo Power Fest, featuring the Nintendo World Championships, tour the country. Japan entered the 16-bit market by releasing the Super Famicom in the fall.
1991 - Nintendo introduced the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) along with Super Mario World and released it in the U.S.
1992 - The Super NES Super Scope and Mario Paint with the Super NES Mouse Accessory were released. The long awaited Zelda sequel, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, arrived for the Super NES. Nintendo of America Inc. developed portable fun centers to assist the Starlight Foundation in bringing happiness to hospitalized children by allowing them to enjoy their favorite video games during hospital stays.
1993 - Nintendo announced the advent of the Super FX Chip, breakthrough technology for the home video systems. The first game using the Super FX Chip, Star Fox, was released in April.
1994 - The Super Game Boy accessory was released, expanding the library of games that could now be played on the Super NES! Everyone's favorite heroine, Samus, returned in another long awaited sequel, Super Metroid. Nintendo helped pioneer the development and implementation of an industry wide rating system. This year also saw the introduction of a game that would set a new standard in video game excellence. Using proprietary Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM) graphics, Donkey Kong Country took the holiday season by storm!
1995 - Thanks to the outstanding success of Donkey Kong Country, ACM graphics were introduced to the Game Boy system by way of Donkey Kong Land. Along with this great boost to the Game Boy system line, Nintendo also introduced the Play It Loud! series of Game Boy systems. At the same time, Nintendo introduced a 32-bit Virtual Immersion system know as the Virtual Boy. Next, Nintendo responded to the demands of fans with the release of Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2. Nintendo even enhanced the quality of ACM graphics for the upcoming release of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Cruis'n USA and Killer Instinct became available in local arcades. Also, in 1995, was the Celebration of the one billionth game pak being sold.
1996 - Nintendo 64 launched in Japan on June 23. Thousands lined up to be the first to experience the world's first true 64-bit home video game system. More than 500,000 systems were sold the first day. In early September, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy Pocket, a sleeker 30% smaller version of the world's most popular hand held video game system. On September 29, Nintendo 64 launched in North America. The entire initial shipment of more than 350,000 units was sold out in three days. Super Mario 64 was proclaimed by many as "the greatest video game of all time!" For the Super NES, the third game in the continuing Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble was released.
1998 - Nintendo introduced Game Boy Color and innovative devices Game Boy Camera and printer, bringing new life to the longest running hit in the history of interactive entertainment. Pokémon, a breakthrough game concept for Game Boy was introduced to the world and generated a nationwide craze to collect 'em all! With the release of Banjo-Kazooie for Nintendo 64, new characters were added to the ever growing list of popular Nintendo characters. The most anticipated video game ever, The Legend of Zelda: Octarina of Time for Nintendo 64 was released, setting new standards and breaking records for pre-sell for any video game to date.
1999 - Nintendo expanded on the Pokémon franchise now a world wide phenomenon. Nintendo announced plans for a new system utilizing an IBM Gekko processor and Matsushita's unique DVD technology. It expanded on high quality software with innovative titles such as Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Pinball. Pokémon Pinball included a built in rumble feature. It introduced such hits as Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, Mario Golf, Donkey Kong 64, and Perfect Dark. Visteon's Rear Seat Entertainment system was introduced in June.