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 manufactures
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.
- Fusajiro Yamauchi, great-grandfather of the present president,
began manufacturing "Hanafuda," Japanese playing cards
- Mr. Yamauchi started manufacturing the first playing cards in
Japan. Originally for export, the product became popular in Japan
as well as abroad.
- Established an unlimited partnership, Yamauchi Nintendo &
- Began a distribution company, Marufuku Co. Ltd.
- Hiroshi Yamauchi took office as President and absorbed the manufacturing
operation of Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.
- Changed the company name from Marufuku Co. Ltd. to Nintendo
Playing Card Co. Ltd.
- Consolidated factories were dispersed in Kyoto.
- Became the first to succeed in manufacturing mass-produced plastic
playing cards in Japan.
- Started selling cards printed with Walt Disney characters, opening
a new market in children's playing cards. The card department
- In January, listed stock on the second section of the Osaka
Stock Exchange and on the Kyoto Stock Exchange.
- Changed company name to Nintendo Co. Ltd. and started manufacturing
games in addition to playing cards.
- Expanded and reinforced the game department; built a production
plant in Uji City, a suburb of Kyoto.
- Stock listing was changed to the first section of the Osaka
Stock Exchange. Reconstruction and enlargement of corporate headquarters
was completed. Started selling the Beam Gun series, employing
opto-electronics. Introduced electronic technology into the toy
industry for the first time in Japan.
- Developed laser clay shooting system to succeed bowling as a
- Developed image projection system employing 16mm film projector
for amusement arcades. Began exporting them to America and Europe.
- In cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric, developed video game
system using electronic video recording (EVR) player. Introduced
the microprocessor into the video game system the next year.
- Developed home-use video games in cooperation with Mitsubishi
- Created and started selling coin-operated video games using
- Started an operations division for coin-operated games.
- Announced a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc.
in New York. Started selling "GAME & WATCH" product
- 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 business.
- Merged New York subsidiary into Nintendo of America Inc., a
wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Seattle, Washington,
U.S.A., with a capital of $600,000.
- Built a new plant in Uji city to increase production capacity
and to allow for business expansion. Established Nintendo Entertainment
Centres Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to operate a family entertainment
center. Raised authorized capital of Nintendo of America Inc.
to $10 million. In July, listed stock on the first section of
the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Started selling the home video game
console "Family Computer" employing a custom CPU (Custom
Processing Unit) and PPU (Picture Processing Unit).
- Developed and started selling the unique 2-screen interactive
coin-operated video game "VS. System".
- 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.
- Developed and started selling the "Family Computer Disk
Drive System" to expand the functions of the Family Computer.
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.
- 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 #1 selling toy in American and The Legend of
Zelda became the first new generation home video game to exceed
sales of one million units.
- Nintendo of America Inc. published the first issue of Nintendo
Power magazine in July. Researched and developed the Hands Free
controller, making the NES accessible to many more Nintendo fans.
The game library for the NES grew to 65 titles, helping to broaden
the demographics to include more adults.
- Released "The Adventure of Link," sequel to the top-selling
game "The Legend of Zelda" in the U.S. Started "World
of Nintendo" displays in 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! 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.
- Nintendo Power Fest featuring the Nintendo World Championships
tours the country. Japan enters the 16-bit market by releasing
the Super Famicom in the fall.
- Nintendo introduces World Class Service Center locations across
the U.S. The 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super
NES), along with "Super Mario World," is released in
- 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.
- Nintendo announces the advent of the Super FX Chip, breakthrough
technology for home video systems. The first game using the Super
FX Chip, "Star Fox," is released in April.
- 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, returns 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! Nintendo Gateway
projected to reach 40 million travelers.
- 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. ACM graphics made another appearance on the Super
NES with the release of the arcade smash-hit, Killer Instinct.
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 available in local arcades. Celebration
of the one-billionth game pak being sold.
- Nintendo 64 launches in Japan on June 23. Thousands line up
to be the first to experience the world's first true 64-bit home
video game system. More than 500,000 systems are sold the first
day. In early September, Nintendo introduces the Game Boy pocket,
a sleeker, 30-percent smaller version of the world's most popular
hand-held video game system. On September 29, Nintendo 64 launches
in North America. The entire initial shipment of more than 350,000
units is sold out in three days. Super Mario 64 is proclaimed
by many as "the greatest video game of all time!" For
the Super NES we saw the release of the third game in the continuing
Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double
-Nintendo introduces 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: Ocarina
of Time for Nintendo 64 was released, setting new standards and
breaking records for pre-sell for any video game to date.
- The success of the Pokémon franchise expands even further
with the release of Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Yellow,
and the first Pokémon title for the Nintendo 64, Pokémon
Snap. Nintendo releases several notable N64 titles including Star
Wars: Episode 1: Racer, Mario Golf, Super Smash Bros., Donkey
Kong 64, Mario Party, and Perfect Dark. At E3, Nintendo announces
development plans for a new system, code-named Dolphin, that will
utilize an IBM Gekko processor and Matsushita's proprietary optical
- Nintendo sells its one hundred millionth Game Boy unit, ending
the year with more than 110 million sold. Game Boy is responsible
for 47% of all U.S. hardware system sales (an all-time high for
a portable device). Pokémon Stadium is the top-selling
console game, followed by The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask,
both for N64. Pokémon Gold and Silver for Game Boy Color
make their U.S. debut in October, becoming the fastest-selling
games of all time by selling a combined 1.4 million copies in
one week and 6 million through December.
- Beloved Nintendo characters Mario and Donkey Kong celebrate
their 20th anniversaries. Nintendo launches its highly anticipated
Game Boy Advance in Japan on March 21. The portable powerhouse
debuts in the U.S. on June 11, and sells one million units in
six weeks. Following the success of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo
launches the Nintendo GameCube home video game console in Japan
on September 14. The U.S. launch on November 18 smashes previous
U.S. sales records, becoming the fastest-selling next generation