This year, Nintendo celebrates its 130th birthday. Many of us have probably owned, used, or at least heard of one of Nintendo's many products they've developed and sold over the years. For the most part, it has been game consoles and video games, but as many may not know, the company started as a small company in Kyoto in 1889, producing so-called Hanafuda (flower cards), traditional Japanese playing cards.
In this post, we take a look back in time and see how the company went from a small business in Japan to the global giant it is today.
On September 23, 1889, the company Nintendo Koppai was founded by the then 29-year-old Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan. As mentioned, he originally produced traditional Japanese playing cards for the domestic market, but a few years later began producing the first Western playing cards, inspired by American Wild West films. The idea was that these playing cards would primarily be exported, but they became so popular that Nintendo quickly had to hire more employees to meet the demand from both the Japanese and global markets
In 1949, Fusajiro's great-grandson Hiroshi Yamauchi took over as CEO and the name of the company was changed to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.
Did you know that ...
Nintendo in 1953 became the first Japanese company to succeed in mass-producing plastic playing cards.
The first real breakthrough did not come until 1959, when Nintendo and The Walt Disney Company started a collaboration in which Nintendo used famous Disney characters on their playing cards. The collaboration opened up and created a whole new market where playing cards for children became a great success.
In 1963 and 1968, Nintendo sold a wide range of goods and services that were quite different from their original product category. Including: a taxi company, a food company, a love hotel chain and a vacuum cleaner model called Chiritory. Nintendo had dominated the Japanese market for a long time, but was experiencing long-term financial difficulties and had to come up with new ideas. The reason was that the Japanese market experienced a saturation in playing card production shortly after the Summer Olympics in Tokyo (1964). This is most likely due to the fact that Japan experienced economic growth during this period, and consumers were searching for new and more innovative goods. The Japanese market simply stopped buying playing cards, and that meant Nintendo had to come up with new products.
During a visit to one of Nintendo's Hanafud factories, Hiroshi Yamauchi drew attention to a mechanically extendable arm that a maintenance technician had made for fun. This in turn led to The Ultra Hand, which became one of Nintendo's first toy products, which then sold over a million copies.
After Nintendo experienced success in the toy industry, they decided to produce electronic toys. The interest in electronic toys was very high compared to traditional toys, and it became possible to sell the products at a significantly higher price.
Did you know that ...
That Nintendo in 1970 began selling "The Beam Gun series" . It was the first time electronic technology was used in the toy industry in Japan
The electronic toy industry quickly became a success, and in the 1970s, Nintendo also began developing parts for arcade games that became quite popular. In 1975, Nintendo developed its first video game together with Mitsubishi Electric. The name was EVR (Electronic Video Recording) Race and was launched in Japan.
In 1977, Nintendo, together with Mitsubishi Electric, developed the "TV game 15" and the "TV game 6". This was a revolution for the arcade games world. It made it possible to play arcade games at home in his own living room.
At this point, Nintendo began to focus on what they did best, which was developing games and game consoles. Below is a list of some of their best-known titles:
- 1980 – GAME &; WATCH
- 1983 – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
- 1989 – Gameboy
- 1990 – Super Famicom också känd as Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
- 1995 – Virtual Boy
- 1996 – Nintendo 64
- 1998 – Gameboy Color
- 2001 – Gameboy Advance & GameCube
- 2004 – Nintendo DS
- 2006 – Nintendo Wii
- 2011 – Nintendo 3DS
- 2012 – Nintendo Wii U
- 2017 – Nintendo Switch
Did you know that ...
Nintendo's best-known character, Super Mario, first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981. Then he was called Jumpman.
Nintendo has evolved from being a small playing card company to one of the world's older and successful companies. Nintendo has experienced both success, but also at times of adversity and hard times. In this article, we wanted to remind you that everyone experiences, has experienced or will experience adversity, it's just about coming up with solutions and fighting hard.
Is your business the next Nintendo?
Qred Business Loans