Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Moby ID: 1891

  • 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.

Development Divisions:

  • 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)

Development Subsidiaries:

  • 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:

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.

Publishing Subsidiaries:

Credited on 1,282 Games from 1973 to 2024

Displaying most recent · View all

Endless Ocean: Luminous (2024 on Nintendo Switch)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2024 on Nintendo Switch)
Another Code: Recollection (2024 on Nintendo Switch)
Super Mario RPG (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
WarioWare: Move It! (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
F-Zero 99 (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
No Son of Mine (2023 on PlayStation 5, Windows, Nintendo Switch)
Pikmin 4 (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Everybody 1-2 Switch! (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Pikmin 1+2 (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Collector's Edition) (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Tin Hearts (2023 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops (2023 on Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch...)
Kirby's Return to Dream Land: Deluxe (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Metroid Prime: Remastered (2023 on Nintendo Switch)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Booster Course Pass (2022 on Nintendo Switch)
Pokémon Scarlet (2022 on Nintendo Switch)

[ view all ]

History +

April 28, 2007

The company acquires 80% of the shares of Monolith Software, Inc. and thus takes over the company.

December 8, 2006

The Wii is released in Europe.

December 2, 2006

The Wii is released in Japan.

November 19, 2006

The Wii is released in the United States.

March 11, 2005

Nintendo DS is released in Europe.

[ view all ]

Trivia +

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.

[ view all ]

Related Web Sites +


Add your expertise to help preserve video game history! You can submit a correction or add the following: