Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Also Known As +
- Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. (from 1933 to 1963)
Overview edit · view history
Nintendo (任天堂), founded originally by Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan as Nintendo Koppai, has been around since 1889. The company originally sold high-quality Japanese playing cards (hanafuda) and later dabbled in toys and early electronic games.
In the 1980's, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted to change its direction. After seeking advice from his toy designers, they decided to turn towards developing arcade games. After the success of Donkey Kong in 1981, they decided to stay in the market. After its continuing success, they wanted to develop their own console, one that looked nice, and one that could be bought by the Japanese consumer for $99 US. This eventually went to $199, but it still sold very well.
Nintendo went on to splitting its research and development into 4 distinct divisions, each of them were responsible for certain aspects of Nintendo's console.
Nintendo is best known for creating Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokémon series of games, all of them are million sellers.
Nintendo is also known for engineering the Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom, Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon mini, and Virtual Boy.
- Nintendo EPD (merger between Nintendo EAD and Nintendo SPD in 2015, developers of most mainline Nintendo titles)
- Nintendo PTD (merger between Nintendo IRD and Nintendo SDD in 2015, specializing in hardware development, operating system development and its development environment and network services)
- Nintendo BDD (responsible for refining Nintendo's business model for dedicated game system business, and for furthering Nintendo's venture into development for smart devices)
Former Development Divisions:
- Nintendo EAD (merged into Nintendo EPD in 2015, previously responsible for development of most mainline Nintendo titles)
- Nintendo SPD (merged into Nintendo EPD in 2015)
- Nintendo IRD (merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
- Nintendo SDD (merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
- Nintendo RED (original hardware development team, merged into Nintendo IRD in 2013)
- Nintendo NBD (mainly responsible for ports and inhouse development for low profile hardware, merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
- Nintendo R&D1 (responsible for hardware and software of Game Boy and Famicom Disk System, developers later moved to Nintendo EAD, SPD and RED)
- Nintendo R&D2 (responsible for hardware technology, system operating tools and porting arcade titles to the Famicom, developers later moved to Nintendo EAD and SPD)
- Nintendo R&D3 (originally created as a hardware division but responsible for some arcade and Famicom games such as Punch-Out!!, later merged with Nintendo IRD)
- Nintendo R&D4 (led by Shigeru Miyamoto and responsible for creating Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, later became Nintendo EAD)
- Nintendo Software Technology Corporation (responsible for Mario vs. Donkey Kong series and more)
- Nintendo Technology Development (responsible for video game console development and software technology)
- Nintendo European Research and Development (responsible for various software technologies used in Nintendo systems)
- Nintendo Network Service Database (responsible for Nintendo Network programming, cooperate with Nintendo NBD)
The following development subsidiaries are often referred to as “external resources” by the company, despite being owned by them:
- 1-UP Studio Inc. (development support for Nintendo EPD, also responsible for Mother 3)
- iQue, Ltd. (manufacturer of Chinese Nintendo consoles and publisher/distributor of Nintendo games in the region until 2018, simplified Chinese translations since 2016, development support for Nintendo EPD)
- Monolith Software, Inc. (responsible for Xenoblade Chronicles series, development support for Nintendo EPD)
- NDCube Co., Ltd. (responsible for Wii Party series and Mario Party series starting from Mario Party 9)
- Retro Studios Inc. (responsible for Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country series starting with Donkey Kong Country Returns)
Affiliate Development Companies:
- Ambrella (responsible for multiple Pokemon spin-offs)
- Camelot Software Planning (responsible for Mario sports games and Golden Sun)
- Creatures, Inc. (responsible for the Mother series and Pokemon spin-offs)
- Cygames, Inc.
- DeNA Co., Ltd. (responsible for service infrastructure and development cooperation with multiple mobile Nintendo games)
- Game Freak, Inc. (responsible for mainline Pokemon series)
- Genius Sonority, Inc. (Pokemon spin-offs)
- Good-Feel Co., Ltd.
- Grezzo Co., Ltd. (multiple ports and remakes of Nintendo games)
- HAL Laboratory, Inc. (responsible for Kirby, Mother and initially Super Smash Bros.)
- indieszero Co., Ltd.
- Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd. (responsible for Paper Mario and Fire Emblem)
- Next Levels Games, Inc. (responsible for Luigi’s Mansion series starting from Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Mario Strikers series)
- Sora Ltd. (lead by Masahiro Sakurai, responsible for Kid Icarus: Uprising and Super Smash Bros. series (in cooperation with Bandai Namco))
- VANPOOL Inc.
- Vitei Inc.
AlphaDream Corporation (Mario & Luigi series) and Rare, Ltd. (responsible for Donkey Kong Country series) were originally affiliate development companies, with AlphaDream declaring bankruptcy in 2019 and Rare being purchased by Microsoft in 2002.
1,127 Games Released (1973 - 2023)
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Fusajiro Yamauchi (Great-Grandfather of long standing Nintendo President, Hiroshi Yamauchi) distributes "Hanafuda", a Japanese playing card he created in 1889, in Japan.
Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. established.
Hiroshi Yamauchi becomes President, absorbing the manufacturing operation of Yamauchi Nintendo & Co., with distribution company Marufuku Co. Ltd. the primary company.
Marufuku Co. Ltd. changes its name to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.
Sold playing cards with Walt Disney characters on the face, opening a new market in children's playing cards
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In 1995, Nintendo changed the name for their 64-bit console from Ultra 64 to Nintendo 64, as Konami held the rights for that term and could easily produce games with "Ultra" in the title.
Nintendo is easily the world's oldest game developer. It was originally founded in 1889 under the name Nintendo Koppai, and manufactured playing cards. Throughout its 116 year existence, the company has also been known as Yamauchi Nintendo, Nintendo Playing Cards, and Finally Nintendo Co. Ltd. In 1977 they began to take notice of the electronic game craze sweeping the world, and a year after released their first home videogame machine, a six game PONG clone creatively named The Color TV Game 6.
Nintendo's Game Boy range of hardware, including the original Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance, is the greatest selling series in video gaming industry. More then 100 million units have been sold of all 4 systems.
Meanwhile, the fifth and long lost system in the Game Boy series, the Virtual Boy, is the least selling piece of hardware Nintendo has ever created.
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Related Web Sites +
Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- 453 games with Mario Club, Inc.
- 266 games with Nintendo EAD
- 249 games with Nintendo of America Inc.
- 226 games with Nintendo of Europe GmbH
- 164 games with Nintendo R&D1
- 156 games with Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd.
- 130 games with Nintendo Australia Pty., Ltd.
- 114 games with HAL Laboratory, Inc.
- 108 games with DIGITAL Hearts Co., Ltd.
- 97 games with Hudson Soft Company, Ltd.
- All games by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Published by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Developed by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Additional Development by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Ported by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Distributed by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Additional Graphics by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Testing by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Licensed by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Manufactured by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Contributions by Nintendo Co., Ltd.
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