Happy Birthday Nintendo
In celebration is a quick Technology Hobbit Timeline below:
A “quick” visual version of Nintendo’s very long storied history (with links to sources if you want to find out more):
On September 23, 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded a company that made Hanafuda playing card, it was named Nintendo Koppai. Over the next 70 or so years Nintendo became the top Japanese card company and even got the rights to put Disney’s characters on their cards in 1959.
Starting in the 60’s, under leadership of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo starting entering new markets outside of playing cards. They dabbled in many markets, from instant rice to love hotels. To reflect this change, the company was renamed to the current name of Nintendo Co. Ltd. Starting in the mid 60’s Nintendo starting making toys, the most well known one being Gunpei Yokoi’s Ultra Hand in 1966.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s Nintendo expanded to electronic toys, starting with the Love Tester. The first video game-like device I could dig up is the Laser Clay Shooting System which was made in 1973, a mini version built into an arcade cabinet was released the next year. Next in 1975 Nintendo in co-operation with Mitsubishi Electric, created an series arcade system that used a EVR (electronic video recording) device. This is an ad for a horse racing one dig up by the folks over atblog.beforemario.com
In 1977 they released their first home video games, the Nintendo Color TV Game 6 and Color TV Game 15 (think a version of Pong). Over the next 2 years Nintendo released other games under the Color TV Game series.
Over the next couple years Nintendo started making more and more arcade games, fromNintendo Computer Othello (1978) to Nintendo Space Launcher (1979). Finally in 1980 Nintendo prepared to enter the US market by opening up Nintendo of America. Also in 1980 the first Nintendo handhelds were launch with the start of the Game & Watch line.
In 1981 Shigeru Miyamoto came to the scene with Donkey Kong. I would say this is the title is one of the most important in Nintendo’s history as it’s success solidified Nintendo’s attitude towards video games and allowed Miyamoto to rise to glory giving us many of Nintendo’s greatest hits and which in return has allowed them to create highly successful video game consoles.
The rest, as they say, is history. I’ll end with this nice little infographic to give a super quick overview of the last 35 years.
Here’s to another amazing 126 years Nintendo.