Company: Nintendo Company Ltd.

Founders: Fusajiro Yamauchi

Industry: Manufacturing

Nintendo is one of the most massive multinational and best-known manufacturer of video game console platforms. Currently, it has dominated the handheld game console market with its Nintendo DS as well as its past incarnations of its best-selling Game Boy handheld.


Nintendo traces back its beginnings to being a humble Japanese business that sold cards used in a game called Hanafuda in 1889 to 1956.

In 1956, Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of the company, started diversifying Nintendo’s product lines by putting the pictures of Disney characters on the company’s cards. In 1963, he changed the company name from Nintendo Playing Card Company to Nintendo Company, Limited.

Nintendo’s first foray into the realm of video games was securing the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first ever video game console, in 1975.

The company then produced its first arcade game in 1978, which was Computer Othello. After this a series of other games was produced, with Donkey Kong and Radar Scope as two of the most popular. But it wasn’t until 1985 when Nintendo hit the mother lode with its Nintendo Entertainment System, with the company firmly entrenching itself as a world-renowned video game company. The design enjoyed unprecedented sales figures — an estimated 61.9 million units were sold worldwide according to the corporate entity. Its design was so revolutionary that nearly all video game consoles today copy elements from this invention.

Other video game systems the company produced are:

  • Game Boy – This handheld gaming system came out in 1989. It is purported to be the most successful gaming system of all time, having sold 150 million units worldwide.
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System – The successor to the first NES, the console featured 16-bit technology and sold 49 million units.

Nintendo is now one of the most powerful video game companies and is the third most valuable company in Japan. It has a market value of US$85 billion. As of 2006, it reported revenues of $7.8 billion.


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