When you hear the brand name "Nintendo" you think of video games and modern games. Your idea of the company probably includes a "startup date" at some point in the 1980s or even the 1990s, but did you know that Nintendo was started in 1889?
Yes, before the twentieth century even began Nintendo was operating as a game manufacturing company in Japan. At that time, it made playing cards and it continued to dabble in the world of entertainment and industry for the next 50-plus years before it took a try at the emerging video games market in the 1970s.
At that time, it was names like Atari that dominated the industry, but Nintendo was able to quickly research and adapt technologies in order to become the leading video game producer.
They had discovered video games as they began to create arcade games around 1975. This was truly the dawn of the video gaming era and things would not transition from arcades to the home for a while. However, Nintendo hired designer Genyo Takeda to create a few games, and it was when he created the world-famous "Donkey Kong" in 1981 that the Nintendo name became a household word around the globe.
It was in the late 1970s that things really got started for Nintendo as a home based video game system producer. They began to distribute video game consoles in Japan. At the time, they were not making the merchandise, but by 1977 they had started to produce consoles.
With the creation of home consoles and their hit with Donkey Kong, Nintendo was positioned for major growth and success. However, they also took a leading edge with their hand held video games during the 1980s as well. By 1983, Nintendo had released a gaming console for the home, was selling more and more handheld units and still working on arcade games.
In 1985 came Super Mario Brothers, and this made gaming history. As one of the top selling games of all times, it set Nintendo above and beyond the rest of the gaming firms, but they still kept innovating. This led to the release of Tetris, which was also epic in its success; the GameBoy devices, again another tremendous success story; and then they began to focus on the quality of their graphics.
It is amazing to watch just how quickly and proficiently Nintendo used evolving technologies to improve gamer experiences. They came up against the other leading players in the industry including Atari, Sega, and Electronic Arts, but Nintendo just seemed to know what the consumer market wanted and how to deliver. This led to the creation of the Nintendo 64, subsequent generations of Game Boy devices, their unique and interactive Wii games, and a seemingly endless list of software.
Today, a visitor to their website will find:
They will also be able to interact with other Nintendo customers around the world thanks to the advanced software and gaming options the company has integrated into its product line. There are options for shopping online, and even a newsletter outlining the latest developments and product releases.
It is hard to imagine that a firm as advanced and high tech as Nintendo began as far back as 1889. However, even though the firm was more experimental in its first decades, once it became involved in the world of gaming and video consoles it really exploded.
Today you can find Nintendo in North America, Europe, Australia, China, Korea, and Japan. It has only four primary divisions and has a large number of second party development partners around the globe. It employs more than 7k people around the world and is ranked as a leader in the gaming industry.
Though the Greenpeace organization does not take a favorable outlook on Nintendo when ranking it against other large industrial firms, the company itself does follow a very stringent set of guidelines about everything from recycling and employee welfare to conflict materials and community activities. Clearly, it is a firm that is well aware of its size and impact and is taking steps to ensure the best possible outcome.
With the ability to anticipate consumer needs, and a commitment to corporate responsibility, Nintendo remains a top contender in the world of gaming.
Nintendo. Nintendo CSR. Nintendo.com. 2014. http://www.nintendo.com/corp/csr/index.jsp