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From NintendoWiki, your source on Nintendo information. By fans, for fans.
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This article is about the company. For information about the console sometimes referred to as "Nintendo", see Nintendo Entertainment System.
Nintendo logo.png
Corporate logo as of 2006. Current marketing and products use a white version of the logo on a red background.
Founded: September 23, 1889
Founder: Fusajiro Yamauchi
President: Shuntaro Furukawa
Parent / owner: N/A
Divisions / subsidiaries: EPD, PTD, BDD, NST, NERD, NSD, Nintendo Sales Co., iQue, Retro Studios, Monolith Soft, Nd Cube, 1-UP Studio, Mario Club, Next Level Games, SRD

Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 任天堂株式会社 Nintendō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a video game developer and video game console manufacturer based in Kyoto, Japan, with overseas divisions in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. The company's Japanese name can be loosely translated as "leave luck to Heaven". It is well known for franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. It was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889 as a manufacturer of playing cards. Its current president is Shuntaro Furukawa. Not only is Nintendo the longest running and most influential video game console company; it is also one of the largest producer of video games and has sold more than two billion video games worldwide. Over time, Nintendo has manufactured seven home video game consoles: the Famicom/NES, the Super Famicom/Super NES, the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube, the Wii, the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch (also a handheld game console). They have also manufactured many solely handheld gaming consoles, including six versions of the Game Boy, the Virtual Boy, four versions of the Nintendo DS, six versions of the Nintendo 3DS, and the Nintendo Switch Lite (fully portable version of the Nintendo Switch).


Nintendo Koppai was a small Japanese business founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi. It produced handmade Hanafuda cards. They became popular, and soon the company was mass-producing the cards with additional workers. In the following years, Yamauchi retired and placed his son-in-law, Sekiryo Yamauchi, in charge in 1929; Sekiryo Yamauchi retired in 1949, placing his grandson Hiroshi Yamauchi as president. In a highly successful move, Nintendo made a deal with The Walt Disney Company, allowing them to use Disney characters on their cards. The company was merged and renamed several times, emerging in 1963 as Nintendo Co., Ltd.

In 1969, Nintendo established a games division and sold numerous successful toys. In 1975, Yamauchi began research into video games. At the time, video games were a new American trend. Seeing the success that Atari received, he decided that it was a good venture and made a deal with Mitsubishi to manufacture dedicated video game consoles. Nintendo sold many consoles, including the Game & Watch series of handhelds. The company also released arcade games, such as Donkey Kong. It was at this time that Shigeru Miyamoto, then an art designer for arcade games joined the company.

Inspired by Atari and several other companies, Nintendo released their cartridge-based console in Japan, the Famicom. It became very successful, and soon Nintendo was selling games faster than they could make them. To ease this problem, Yamauchi divided his workers into Research & Development 1, 2, and 3 in 1984. He hoped that Nintendo would be able to create high-quality games faster. In 1985, the Famicom was released worldwide under a different name, the Nintendo Entertainment System, or "NES". Super Mario Bros. was released that same year. In 1989, Nintendo released the first Game Boy.

In 1990, the Super Famicom was released in Japan. In the next two years, it was released in other parts of the world as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as the "Super NES" or "SNES". In the mid-1990s, Nintendo agreed with Sony to develop an add-on CD-ROM drive to the SNES, but Nintendo terminated the contract. Sony used the research and development from the canceled project to release the PlayStation. In 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy; however, this proved to be a disaster for the company. Competitors Sega and Sony also released their new 32-bit consoles, the Saturn and the PlayStation. This cut into Nintendo's market share.

In 1996 and 1997, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket and the Nintendo 64 worldwide. In 1996, the first Pokémon games were released as Pocket Monsters in Japan. Pokémon Red and Green became very popular and spawned an entire franchise. Today, the franchise includes a TV series and a TCG among other things.

The GameCube and the Game Boy Advance were released worldwide in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, the long-time President of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, stepped down from his position; he handed it off to Satoru Iwata. In 2003, Reggie Fils-Aime was hired as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing in North America. In 2006, he became the Chief Operating Officer. He is the first American to hold this position.

In 2004, the Nintendo DS was released. The following year, Nintendo opened its first retail store, Nintendo World in Rockefeller Plaza, New York City. Furthermore, the Wii, going by its codename of Nintendo Revolution, was officially announced at E3. In 2006, the Nintendo DS Lite was introduced. The Nintendo DS Lite is a redesign of the original Nintendo DS. Nintendo also revealed the official name of the Wii at E3 and released it worldwide at the end of the year.

In 2010, Nintendo announced the successor to the Nintendo DS: the Nintendo 3DS. At E3 that same year, they gave crowd demonstrations of their new handheld console, which could display 3D images without the need for special glasses. It was first released in March 2011.

At E3 2011, Nintendo announced the Wii U, the successor to the Wii. It featured an innovative controller, the Wii U GamePad, sporting a 6-inch touchscreen, and the Wii U was Nintendo's first HD console. It was first released in November 2012.

In October 2016, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch, though was teased as the "NX" a few months prior. On March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch was launched, being a TV console-handheld hybrid system. The Nintendo Switch could "switch" between TV monitors and handheld through a dock; if the Nintendo Switch is inserted into the dock, the game will be displayed on the television.


The main offices are in Kyoto, Japan. The American division, Nintendo of America, rests in Redmond, Washington. Richmond, British Columbia hosts Nintendo of Canada. The European offices, Nintendo Europe, are in Frankfurt, Germany. Other main offices include China, Korea, and Australia.


Nintendo is the longest running company in the history of the video game console market and historically the most influential and best known console manufacturer. However, they do have business rival in Sony, Microsoft and formerly their biggest rival, Sega (which is now reduced to Third-Party work). Nintendo, as a video game company, began in the Japanese market in 1983, the U.S. market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured five TV consoles and nine handheld portables. They have also developed, and published well over 300 games, and have sold over 2 billion games worldwide.

Nintendo earned $7.8 billion in 2006, making their Forbes Fortune 500 rank 620. They employ 3,013 people.


External links

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Related Ownerships

Official sites


Asia Pacific

Europe, Middle East and Africa

International distributors: Maxsoft, iQue, Daewon Media, Nortec Multimedia, Tencent, Bergsala, Gradiente

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1st & 2nd Party / Owned
Internal divisions
Owned / Affiliated Seattle Mariners* • The Pokémon Company • Warpstar Inc.
* – Former / Defunct
3rd Parties / Partners
8-4 • AlphaDream* • Ambrella* • Argonaut Games* • Arika • Artoon* • Arzest • AS Tokyo Studios • Bandai Namco • Capcom • Camelot • Cing* • Creatures Inc. • DeNA • DigiNin* • DigitalScape • Eighting • Flagship* • Fuse Games* • Game Freak • Ganbarion • Genius Sonority • Good-Feel • Grezzo • HAL Laboratory • Hatena • Hudson Soft* • indieszero • iNiS • Intelligent Systems • Jamsworks • Jupiter • Koei Tecmo • Kuju • Left Field Productions* • Level-5 • Mistwalker • Monster Games • Noise • Paon • PlatinumGames • Q-Games • Rare* • Red Entertainment • Sega (Atlus) • Sora Ltd. • skip • Softnica • Spike Chunsoft • Square Enix • St.GIGA* • Syn Sophia • TOSE • Treasure • Vanpool* • Vitei
* – Former / Defunct
Key employees
Managers, etc. Internal
  • NNSD: Yusuke Beppu
  • Monolith Soft: Hirohide Sugiura, Tetsuya Takahashi
  • 1-Up Studio: Gen Kadoi
  • ND Cube: Hidetoshi Endo
  • Retro: Michael Kelbaugh
  • NERD: Alexandre Delattre