Nintendo's History

1889 Fusajiro Yamauchi began manufacturing "Hanafuda," Japanese playing cards in Kyoto.
1902 Mr. Yamauchi started manufacturing the first playing cards in Japan. Originally for export, the product became popular in Japan as well as abroad.
1933 Established an unlimited partnership, Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.
1947 Began a distribution company, Marufuku Co. Ltd.
1950 Hiroshi Yamauchi, grandson of the original president, took office as President and absorbed the manufacturing operation of Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.
1951 Changed the company name from Marufuku Co. Ltd. to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.
1952 Consolidated factories were dispersed in Kyoto.
1953 Became the first to succeed in manufacturing mass-produced plastic playing cards in Japan.
1959 Started selling cards printed with Walt Disney characters, opening a new market in children's playing cards. The card department boomed!
1962 In January, listed stock on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange and on the Kyoto Stock Exchange.
1963 Changed company name to Nintendo Co. Ltd. and started manufacturing games in addition to playing cards.
1969 Expanded and reinforced the game department; built a production plant in Uji City, a suburb of Kyoto.
1970 Stock listing was changed to the first section of the Osaka Stock Exchange. Reconstruction and enlargement of corporate headquarters was completed. Started selling the Beam Gun series, employing opto-electronics. Introduced electronic technology into the toy industry for the first time in Japan.
1973 Developed laser clay shooting system to succeed bowling as a major pastime.
1974 Developed image projection system employing 16mm film projector for amusement arcades. Began exporting them to America and Europe.
1975 In cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric, developed video game system using electronic video recording (EVR) player. Introduced the microprocessor into the video game system the next year.
1977 Developed home-use video games in cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric.
1978 Created and started selling coin-operated video games using microcomputers.
1979 Started an operations division for coin-operated games.
1980 Announced a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc. in New York. Started selling the GAME & WATCH product line.
1981 Developed and began distribution of the coin-operated video game Donkey Kong. This video game quickly became the hottest selling individual coin-operated machine in the business.
1982 Merged New York subsidiary into Nintendo of America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., with a capital of $600,000.
1983 Built a new plant in Uji city to increase production capacity and to allow for business expansion. Established Nintendo Entertainment Centres Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to operate a family entertainment center. Raised authorized capital of Nintendo of America Inc. to $10 million. In July, listed stock on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Started selling the home video game console "Family Computer" employing a custom CPU (Custom Processing Unit) and PPU (Picture Processing Unit).
1984 Developed and started selling the unique 2-screen interactive coin-operated video game VS. System.
1985 Started to sell the U.S. version of Family Computer Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in America. The system included R.O.B. - Robotic Operating Buddy - and the games Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros.
1986 Developed the Family Computer Disk Drive System to expand the functions of the Family Computer. Began installation of the Disk Writer to rewrite game software. Game Counselors were organized and players from all over the world could call Nintendo of America Inc. for advice on games and strategies.
1987 Sponsored a Family Computer Golf Tournament as a communications test using the public telephone network and Disk Faxes to aid in building a Family Computer network. The NES achieved the status as the #1 selling toy in America and The Legend of Zelda became the first new generation home video game to exceed sales of one million units.
1988 Nintendo of America Inc. published the first issue of Nintendo Power magazine in July. Researched and developed the Hands Free controller, making the NES accessible to many more Nintendo fans. The game library for the NES grew to 65 titles, helping to broaden the demographics to include more adults.
1989 Released Zelda II - The Adventure of Link, sequel to the top-selling game The Legend of Zelda in the U.S. Started World of Nintendo displays in U.S. to help market Nintendo products. Studies show that children are as familiar with Mario as they are with Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny! Introduced Game Boy, the first portable, hand-held game system with interchangeable game paks. Nintendo Power magazine became the largest paid-subscription publication in its age category.
1990 Nintendo Power Fest featuring the Nintendo World Championships tours the country. Japan enters the 16-bit market by releasing the Super Famicom in the fall.
1991 Nintendo introduces World Class Service Center locations across the U.S. The 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES), along with Super Mario World, is released in the U.S.
1992 The Super NES Super Scope and Mario Paint with the Super NES Mouse accessory were released. The long-awaited Legend of Zelda sequel, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, arrived for Super NES. Nintendo of America Inc. developed portable Fun Centers to assist the Starlight Foundation in bringing happiness to hospitalized children by allowing them to enjoy their favorite video games during hospital stays.
1993 Nintendo announces the advent of the Super FX Chip, breakthrough technology for home video systems. The first game using the Super FX Chip, Star Fox, is released in April.
1994 The Super Game Boy accessory was released, expanding the library of games that could now be played on Super NES! Everyone's favorite heroine, Samus, returns in another long-awaited sequel, Super Metroid. Nintendo helped pioneer the development and implementation of an industry-wide rating system. This year also saw the introduction of a game that would set a new standard in video game excellence. Using proprietary Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM) graphics, Donkey Kong Country took the holiday season by storm! Nintendo Gateway projected to reach 40 million travelers.
1995 Thanks to the outstanding success of Donkey Kong Country, ACM graphics were introduced to the Game Boy system by way of Donkey Kong Land. Along with this great boost to the Game Boy system line, Nintendo also introduced the Play It Loud! series of Game Boy systems. ACM graphics made another appearance on Super NES with the release of the arcade smash-hit, Killer Instinct. At the same time, Nintendo introduced a 32-bit virtual immersion system known as Virtual Boy. Next, Nintendo responded to the demands of fans with the release of Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2. Nintendo even enhanced the quality of ACM graphics for the upcoming release of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong QuestCruis'n USA and Killer Instinct available in local arcades. Celebration of the one-billionth game pak being sold.
1996 Nintendo 64 launches in Japan on June 23. Thousands line up to be the first to experience the world's first true 64-bit home video game system. In early September, Nintendo introduces Game Boy pocket, a sleeker, 30-percent smaller version of the world's most popular hand-held video game system. On September 29, Nintendo 64 launches in North America. Super Mario 64 is proclaimed by many as "the greatest video game of all time!" For Super NES we saw the release of the third game in the continuing Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble.
1998 Nintendo introduces the Game Boy Color system and innovative devices Game Boy Camera and Printer, bringing new life to the longest running hit in the history of interactive entertainment. Pokémon, a breakthrough game concept for Game Boy, was introduced to the world and generated a nationwide craze to collect 'em all! The most anticipated video game ever, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64 was released, setting new standards and breaking records for pre-sell for any video game to date.
1999 The success of the Pokémon franchise expands even further with the release of Pokémon PinballPokémon Yellow Version, and the first Pokémon title for the Nintendo 64 system, Pokémon Snap. Nintendo releases several notable Nintendo 64 titles including Star Wars: Episode 1: RacerMario GolfSuper Smash Bros.Donkey Kong 64Mario Party, and Perfect Dark. At E3, Nintendo announces development plans for a new system, code-named Dolphin, that will utilize an IBM Gekko processor and Matsushita's proprietary optical disk technology.
2000 Nintendo sells its one hundred millionth Game Boy unit, ending the year with more than 110 million sold. Game Boy is responsible for 47% of all U.S. hardware system sales (an all-time high for a portable device). Pokémon Stadium is the top-selling console game, followed by The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, both for Nintendo 64. Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version for Game Boy Color make their U.S. debut in October, becoming the fastest-selling games of all time by selling a combined 1.4 million copies in one week and 6 million through December.
2001 Beloved Nintendo characters Mario and Donkey Kong celebrate their 20th anniversaries. Nintendo launches its highly anticipated Game Boy Advance in Japan on March 21. The portable powerhouse debuts in the U.S. on June 11, and sells one million units in six weeks. Following the success of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo launches the Nintendo GameCube home video game console in Japan on September 14. The U.S. launch on November 18 smashes previous U.S. sales records, becoming the fastest-selling next generation hardware system.
2002 After 52 years at the helm of Nintendo Co., Ltd., Hiroshi Yamauchi steps down and names Satoru Iwata his successor. Nintendo releases a slew of hot titles for Nintendo GameCube including Super Mario SunshineMario Party 4Animal CrossingEternal Darkness, and the game that many laud as the greatest title of 2002, Metroid Prime. Nintendo releases their first online game for Nintendo GameCube, Phantasy Star Online. By the end of 2002, more than 25 million Game Boy Advance units are in homes around the world.
2003 Nintendo takes an already successful system and makes it better, with the introduction of the Game Boy Advance SP. Its stylish flip-top design and rechargeable battery help it become the must-have system across all age groups. Following up the previous year's critically-acclaimed success of Nintendo GameCube titles, Nintendo launches The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The game's cell-shaded style breaks the mold and is hailed as one of the best Zelda games ever. Giving fans further ways to enjoy their Nintendo products, the release of the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Player accessory allows gamers to play their Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games on their televisions.
2004 Nintendo launches the innovative, new, dual screen handled video game system: Nintendo DS. Nintendo DS offers touch screen controls, wireless multiplayer, and backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance games. The demand for the Nintendo DS system makes it one of the year's hottest items. Pokémon FireRed Version and Pokémon LeafGreen Version launch for the Game Boy Advance, continuing the success of the Pokémon franchise. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes hits the scene for Nintendo GameCube, and is lauded by critics and fans alike.
2005 November saw a truly special moment in Nintendo's history: the launching of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Nintendo DS owners were treated to this free and easy-to-use wireless service that enabled them to play with other gamers from around the world. The service was so successful that after only two months from launching, over 10 million connections were made by nearly half-a-million unique users! On the Nintendo GameCube front, the much-anticipated Resident Evil 4 launched first on Nintendo GameCube, earning "Game of the Year" honors from many publications, and setting a new standard in graphics and game play. After nearly 20 years of providing top-notch game play support, Nintendo of America Inc. transitioned its game play help resources from Game Play Counselors, to exclusively offering help on web sites, through publications, and on our pre-recorded Power Line. An improved Game Boy Advance SP, the sleek new Game Boy micro, and the innovative Nintendo DS kept Nintendo on top of the hand held market.
2006 In June Nintendo launched the first upgrade to its Nintendo DS system. The new Nintendo DS Lite system was less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and more than 20 percent lighter. 2006 also saw the launch of two key portable games that would go on to define the “evergreen” software phenomenon: New Super Mario Bros. and Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! In November, the new Wii system launched with the included Wii Sports game and became a holiday phenomenon. Gamers enjoyed playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess using the motion-sensitive Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers, and the motion-controlled video game revolution had begun.
2007 Super Mario Galaxy, one of the best-reviewed games of all time, launched in November. The Wii Zapper accessory launched with Link’s Crossbow Training, while the classic Metroid Prime series concluded with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The Wii Remote Jacket gave the controllers a protective cushion. The Nintendo Fan Network let Seattle Mariners fans wirelessly receive baseball-related content on their Nintendo DS systems at Safeco Field. And former rivals teamed up for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
2008 The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has honored Nintendo with an Emmy Award for excellence in engineering creativity for the motion-sensitive Wii Remote controller and dual-screen/touch screen controls of Nintendo DS. Mario Kart Wii launched with the Wii Wheel accessory, while Wii Fit and the Wii Balance Board accessory showed people that video games could combine fun and activity. To offer children an entertaining respite during difficult hospital stays, Nintendo introduced new Fun Centers that feature a Wii system and a selection of family-friendly Wii games. The WiiWare downloadable game service debuted. A North American version of Club Nintendo began rewarding Nintendo fans for their loyalty.
2009 In April, Nintendo DSi introduced a revised portable system with two cameras and wireless access to downloadable games via the Nintendo DSi Shop. Wii Sports Resort built on the Wii Sports phenomenon and included the new Wii MotionPlus accessory, which made motion controls even more fun. Wii Fit Plus brought new options and activities for active play and New Super Mario Bros. Wii brought the hand-held game to the home console. The Nintendo DS family of systems set a new all-time calendar-year U.S. sales record for any console or hand-held system.
2010 Nintendo DSi XL debuted with screens that were 93 percent larger than those on Nintendo DS Lite. Nintendo and Netflix announced a partnership that would allow most Netflix subscribers to stream movies and TV shows directly through their Wii consoles. The American Heart Association and Nintendo of America formed a multifaceted strategic relationship aimed at helping people create healthy lifestyles through physically active play. The iconic American Heart Association brand appeared on boxes for the Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort software and for the Wii system itself. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was just as well-received and well-reviewed as the original, Metroid: Other M took the franchise in a new direction and Donkey Kong Country Returns revisited a classic franchise. The Wii Games: Summer 2010 competition brought thousands of people of all ages together in fun competitions.
2011 On March 27 in the United States, Nintendo launches the Nintendo 3DS system, which allows users to view 3D content without the use of special glasses.
2012 Launching in the United States on August 19, the Nintendo 3DS XL system features 90 percent larger screens, longer battery life and a greater overall size from the original Nintendo 3DS system.
2012 With its Nov. 18 launch in North America, Wii U offers consumers completely new and unexpected game play, entertainment experiences and unique online interactions. The Wii U GamePad controller changes the way people play, browse, share and communicate. An everyday connected device, Wii U offers up a combination of games, entertainment and online connectivity with a number of features and applications including the Wii U GamePad controller, a robust library of retail and digital games availabe in stores and in  Nintendo eShop, Miiverse and access to online streaming options. Wii U launched alongside Nintendo LandNew Super Mario Bros. U and more.
2013 On Sept. 19, video game industry visionary, former Nintendo president of 52 years, and executive adviser Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away at the age of 85.
2013 Oct. 12 marked the U.S. launch of the Nintendo 2DS system, which offers new players all the benefits of the Nintendo 3DS system minus the 3D visuals. The system is designed to give first-time players an entry point into the exciting world of Nintendo hand-held video games.
2014 On Nov. 21, Nintendo characters came to life in new ways as amiibo – interactive figures that have the ability to communicate with multiple specially designed games by just tapping them to the Wii U GamePad controller. Nintendo released the first series of amiibo figures alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Other Wii U games that launched in 2014 that now have amiibo functionality include Mario Kart 8 (May 30), Hyrule Warriors (Aug. 13) and Captain Toad: Treasure TrackerSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Oct. 3) is also compatible with amiibo.
2015 The New Nintendo 3DS XL system launched in North America on Feb. 13, which offers a number of new enhancements designed to offer the smoothest and most engrossing portable gaming possible. New Nintendo 3DS XL features a wider range of controls with the addition of a C Stick and ZL/ZR buttons, super-stable 3D via face-tracking technology and built-in NFC functionality that allows for communication with amiibo figures.