Nintendo has been around for a long time. 125 years, to be exact. This report will explain how Nintendo got so deeply rooted in our culture by examining the moves they made with their consoles, including both successes and failures.
Fusajiro Yamauchi was a skilled craftsman, he made karuta, playing cards. He would often make hanafuda cards, flower cards that people often used in various games. (Interesting tidbit, Nintendo offers hanafuda cards as a reward for a service called Club Nintendo to this day.) Once he sold the cards to shops in Kyoto, they became extremely popular. He sold them under the name of Nintendo Koppai.
Generations later, Hiroshi Yamauchi and Gunpei Yokoi added a Games division to Nintendo, after Yamauchi dropped the koppai, and started work on electronic toys. With the help of Masayuki Uemura, that evolved into making laser gun games for arcades. They became popular with 'laser shooting ranges', as they were called.
They also worked on the Color-TV Game 6. Never heard of it? Nintendo's history is very obscure before they made the NES, or Famicom in Japan. Based off Pong and the Magnavox Odyssey, another game console, the games were supposed to be various ball games, but they couldn't make circles, so the balls were square with two rectangles and plastic overlays for different games. They couldn't make it themselves, so they had it manufactured by Mitsubishi.
Yamauchi had the idea to make a small game from calculators, as they were becoming very popular, not to mention cheap. Similar inventions would later be known as handhelds. Uemura made the Game and Watch from this idea. It pretty much bombed in America. They tried to market it as a toy, which made many people not want to buy it.
Inspired by the Magnavox Odyssey, they decided to make the Famicom (short for 'family computer'). It was meant to be a cheap computer for a family to use, but it ended up just being a game console. After complaints of the games freezing up, they wanted the help of another, more experienced game company, Atari, but the Video Game Crash of 1983 nearly killed Atari.
Nintendo created the Game and Watch and released it in 1980. It was immensely popular in Japan, but not so much in America. In America, they made the huge mistake of trying to sell it as a toy. Despite that, it made handheld games extremely popular.
Five years later, they made some changes to the Famicom and released it worldwide. These changes included changing the name and the design. It was rebranded the Nintendo Entertainment System and sold to audiences outside of Japan. It was given a more boxy shape and the colors were changed from cream and red to white and grey.
Shortly after the release of the NES, Nintendo started developing a new handheld console. They eventually came out with the Gameboy. It was tremendously popular, especially with the hit games, Tetris and Pokemon.
In 1990, they released a new, 16-bit system, dubbed the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (more often called...