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Old 02-07-2004, 05:35 PM
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Default Nintendos History

Nintendo’s history goes back a long way, as early as 1889! As some of you know, Nintendo made a card game called “The Hanafunda Cards”(pictured right) which was their first product. In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi (Kyoto, Japan.) Founded the company Nintendo Koppai, and began to produce and sell the Hanafunda cards, these cards were hand made from the bark of mulberry or mistu mata trees.

A deck of Hanafunda cards consisted of forty-eight cards divided in 12 different suits, one for each months of the year. The cards had symbols like elements, animals, the moon, or a chrysanthemum. There were several different combinations of cards which scored points depending on the combination. There were also various games playable with Hanafunda cards, the most popular game was a very complex matching game which was taken very seriously by it’s players. Hanafunda cards were sold in Nintendo’s shops in Osaka and Kyoto, they sold more successfully in Kyoto. In other regions, Nintendo put different symbols on the cards, thus creating the need to travel to collect them all. At first, Hanafunda cards were only a domestic amusement, and Fusajiro did not sell big amounts of the handmade cards. As many card games go, it started to be used for gambling, Mainly the Yakuza (or the Japanese Mafia if any body doesn’t know) used the cards for their high-stake games. Since the “professional” players wanted a new and fresh game, Fusajiro had great difficulty keeping up with the demands. He started training apprentices and such and started to mass produce the cards.

Now we Jump to 1963, which is when Nintendo changed it’s name to Nintendo Co. Ltd. and started to manufacture toys and games rather than Hanafunda cards. Yamauchi had dinner with an old friend who was in the electronics business, and were discussing the breakthrough in microprocessors being used in computers, entertainment products, and such. Fusajiro started to do research on progress being made in America in electronics. He found that companies like Atari and Magnavox made and sold domestic devices that connected to your TV to play simple games. Fusajiro talked with Magnavox and acquired a license to sell and manufacture the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan. The Magnavox had various versions of the hugely popular game “Pong” although these various versions were just plastic overlays to (for example) change the ball into a baseball, a football, tennis ball, etc. Nintendo did not have the equipment or the know-how to develop the microprocessors used in the Magnavox Odyssey system themselves, so Masayuki Uemera suggested that Nintendo should ally with an electronics company. Needless to say, Nintendo allied with Mitsubishi Electrics. Mitsubishi and Nintendo started to develop a videogame system using a video-recording player (or in other words, The Color TV Game 6, which was released in 1977, great fun.)

In 1977, Nintendo entered the video game industry completely, and Shigeru Miyamoto starts working for Nintendo. Yamauchi told his engineers to develop some new arcade games, they came up with games like “hellfire”, “Sky Skipper,” and “Sheriff”, which were pretty much shoot em ups where your mission was literally shoot anything that moved. This all changed when Miyamoto was ordered to continue on a shoot em up called RadarScope, Shigeru trashed the project and started working on Donkey Kong instead. A lot of workers at Nintendo thought DK would fail, they said that it had an anti-hero as a hero (a fat plumber), The story was that “The Plumber” was to save his girlfriend from his big monkey pet that wanted revenge on him for mistreating him, this story wasn’t exactly considered “cool”. Well, Nintendo released DK, which not to mention became a classic, became the hottest, best selling coin-op of the year. In the United States, it sold 65,000 units, which amazingly is more sold than all the Street Fighter machines combined. Boosted with confidence with their latest success, Nintendo decided to make a new system. The idea of this system was to have several different games stored on various cartridges. This machine, Fusajiro thought, had to be much better than the competitors but also cheap, the goal for the price was 9,800 yen. (Or 75$) .

Well, they had to have aide to launch this new system, so the first company they went to was Atari. Atari had a major share in the American videogame industry. Nintendo was ready for atari to sell the Famicom (Japanese version of NES, pictured right.) every place except Japan. Fortunately, Coleco demonstrated a (unlawful) prototype of Donkey Kong for their home computer Adam. Atari refused the deal assuming Nintendo was also forging a deal with Coleco. Yamauchi learned why Atari wouldn’t sign the deal, and called a meeting with Arnold Greenburg, who at the time was the president of Coleco. Yamauchi threatened to file a lawsuit that “would leave nothing of the company”. At this time Nintendo released the coin-op VS. game Mario Bros.

In 1984, the Famicom is released.
The Famicom raked in more money than they’ve ever had before. Unfortunately Nintendo had another problem, no time to make games players wanted. So, Yamauchi logically divided his employees into teams. Here are the Captains of each team: Gunpei Yokoi, R&D, Masayuki Uemera, R&D2, and Takeda Genyo for R&D3. Yamauchi then used what I call the “Xbox strategy” he didn’t make loads of mediocre games, he made 2 or 3 extremely good games that would rake in the major dough. Nintendo (like XBOX) spent several millions in advertisement and so on. Which (as I always say about XBOX) is very risky because if games don’t sell they just waste money. Super Famicom was also released, which we all know is the SNES, surprisingly, both the PAL and Japanese version were different from U.S. (Pictured right)
Nintendo then released the 3rd installment in the DK series, which didn’t sell that great. So nintendo stopped making DK games (until Rare).

Now we jump 10 years, to 1994, when Nintendo and Silicon Graphics announce “Project Reality” which obviously is now the N64. “Project Reality” would have\has a 100mhz MIPS RISC processor which is 2.5 times faster and 60 times smaller than the original supercomputer. Also in 1994, the super gameboy was released, if you remember, the Super Gameboy allowed players to play GB games on their snes in color. Nintendo also released the Gateway System, in which Super Famicoms were mounted on traffic airplanes so passengers could play games as they traveled.

The N64 is scheduled for release in April 1996, pictures of the system and it’s revolutionizing 3dstick are revealed, and information about the new Mario, Star Fox, etc. games leak out.

Today, well, there’s the Gamecube. Not much history here yet.

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Old 02-07-2004, 07:50 PM
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Cool stuff. I read about their history a couple years ago and was astonished as to how long they existed.
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:30 AM
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never thought id see a thread that was that long
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:00 AM
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Cool information Dave...pretty amazing how far they have come!

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Old 12-05-2004, 05:16 PM
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Yeah, too bad this thread is 10 months old, but hey its stickied right?

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Old 12-06-2004, 03:15 PM
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im too lazy to read that.
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Old 01-11-2006, 11:07 AM
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I didnt realize that they had been around since the 1800's. LOl Imagine what a simple card game turn into. Personally I have the N64. I like to keep it around for the graphics, colors, and resolution. Its a system I think I will keep hold of for many years. Now does anyone know what is happening with the revolution?
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:29 PM
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Ya same too, Im wondering though. What would the present be like if they merged with Sony. Neat stuff to read and think about.

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Old 09-26-2008, 03:42 AM
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Default portable gaming

The screen was four-colors-of-gray but the device defined and was enormous fun. Game Boy, which came out in 1989, was closely associated with the classic game Tetris when it debuted. Game Boy is the most successful video game system ever released. Since its introduction in 1989, Game Boy has sold well over 150 million systems worldwide. Originally bundled with the game, Tetris, this little handheld became an instant phenomenon.


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Old 09-26-2008, 09:56 PM
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That is quite interesting fact, I was never aware that it has been so long that these games came to existence.Very informative article.
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