Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel. Nintendo found it’s place in the modern era when it developed into a video game company. It quickly became one of the most influential in the industry with a market value of over $85 billion (USD).
Nintendo’s first venture into the video-gaming industry was securing rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey video game console in Japan in 1974. Nintendo began to produce its own hardware in 1977, with the Color TV Game home video game consoles. Four versions of these consoles were produced, each including variations of a single game (for example, Color TV Game 6 featured six versions of Light Tennis).
A student product developer named Shigeru Miyamoto was hired by Nintendo at this time. One of his first tasks was to design the casing for several of the Color TV Game consoles. Miyamoto went on to create, direct and produce some of Nintendo’s most famous video games and become one of the most recognizable figures in the video game industry. He designed Donkey Kong in 1981 and it changed Nintendo’s future forever. The success of the game and its licensing opportunities gave Nintendo a huge boost in profit and cross-platform recognition.
Nintendo and Emulation
Nintendo is known for a “zero tolerance” stance for emulation of its video games and consoles. It believes that emulators are the single largest threat to the intellectual rights of video game developers. Circumventing the use of ROMs as a backup for personal ownership of video games, Nintendo claims that emulators running on personal computers have no use other than to play pirated video games. This stance is largely apocryphal, however; Nintendo remains the only modern console manufacturer that has not sued an emulator manufacturer.
Quotes from Nintendo of America’s website:
The introduction of emulators created to play illegally copied Nintendo software represents the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers.
Distribution of an emulator developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software hurts Nintendo’s goodwill, the millions of dollars invested in research & development and marketing by Nintendo and its licensees. Substantial damages are caused to Nintendo and its licensees.
Note :: Emulators have been used by Nintendo and licensed third party companies as a means to re-release older games (e.g. the Virtual Console on the Wii).
Nintendo Game Systems
The following systems were produced by Nintendo (chronological listing):