Nintendo got its start in Japan in 1889, as a company manufacturing cards for Hanafuda, a Japanese card game. In the 1960s, it diversified into a number of ultimately unsuccessful product lines, including a toy company. In the 1970s, it moved into electronic gaming, where it was ultimately successful.
In 1981, it created the popular arcade game "Donkey Kong", which brought it international attention, and introduced Nintendo to the American market. Nintendo's products in the United States are released through Nintendo of America, their American subsidiary. They are largely responsible for saving the console video game industry after the video game crash of 1983 with the creation of the Famicom (Known as the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan).
Early restrictions on content
Before the days of ESRB video game ratings, Nintendo maintained a strict policy banning the inclusion of pornography in games made for it's consoles as they feared "their name would be forever tarnished." Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe also banned games containing blood, graphic or domestic violence, drug use, and political messages. However, NOA and NOE also were alleged to ban religious symbols in games, although in Legend of Zelda symbols religious symbols were still shown. These policies vanished when ESRB started rating video games.
Nintendo Video game systems
- NES - Nintendo Entertainment System.
- Game Boy - A classic handheld games console.
- SNES - Super Nintendo, a 16-bit console.
- Virtual Boy - A mobile system which utilised 2 screens to provide a 3D view.
- N64 - Nintendo 64, Nintendo's first 64bit console.
- GBC - Game Boy Color, evolution of the original with a color screen.
- GBA - Game Boy Advance, a 32bit handheld.
- GBA SP- Game Boy Advance SP, an upgraded version of the Game Boy Advance.
- Gamecube - Nintendo's entry to the 128bit console war with Sony's PS2 (Playstation2) & Microsoft Xbox.
- DS - An innovative 64bit handheld.
- DS Lite - Nintendo DS Lite, an improved version of the original.
- DSi - vastly improved version of the DS, with a completly updated Operating System and featuring, two cameras, downloadable content available for free or real world money (includes a free internet web
browser), and an SD card expansion slot.
- Wii - Nintendo Wii, an innovative game console, and Nintendo's latest offering, with sales exceeding expectations against stiff competition between the Xbox 360 & Playstation 3.
- Nintendo 3DS- New version of the DS with 3D graphic capabilities and new game library with DS backward compatibility
The Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly known as the NES for short and as the Famicom (short for Family Computer) in Japan, is an 8-bit video game console manufactured by the Japanese company Nintendo, first released in 1985. In Japan later on, an upgrade called the Famicom Disk System was released. The NES was released by Hyundai in South Korea as the Comboy. The NES was the first console released by Nintendo and was the best selling console of its time. Nintendo released the NES after successes in the arcade with games such as Donkey Kong and Popeye. The NES is known for revitalizing the video game industry after its 1983 crash. The NES came with a copy of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.
The main competitor of the NES was Sega who, after the Genesis was released, created a promotional campaign Genesis Does What Nintendon't. Soon after that, Nintendo released the SNES.
Unlicensed clones, dubbed Famiclones, are sold due to the lack of original hardware remaining. The first Famiclones were illegal and sold while the NES was produced in markets where the NES was not introduced. They were introduced in North America by companies such as Yobo and Retro Duo and are considered legitimate, due to NES hardware patents expiring. They have mixed compatibility rates, but Yobo and Retro Duo units function well.
- Notable Games
- Bible Adventures
- Dr. Mario
- Kirby's Adventure
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros
- Donkey Kong
Game Boy is a line of portable video game systems developed by Nintendo. However, the term "Game Boy" usually refers to the original Nintendo Game Boy.
The original Game Boy made its debut in 1989, and was about 4″ x 7″ in size. In 1997 the Game Boy Pocket was released, measuring at a reduced 3″ x 5″. In 1998, the Game Boy Color was released, succeeding the monochrome original. In 2001 a complete update was made to the line with the Game Boy Advance. The Advance included a new shape, improved sound, and more complex graphics (from 8 bit to 32 bit). Due to complaints over the Advance's lack of a back light, the upgraded Game Boy Advance SP was released in 2003; the SP had a folding case, an LCD screen with back light, and a rechargeable lithium battery. Currently, Nintendo's stake in the portable gaming market is based on the Nintendo DS (2005).
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, Super NES or Super Nintendo for short), known as the Super Famicom in Japan, and the Super Comboy in South Korea is a 16-bit video game console first released in 1991 by Nintendo. It was the successor to the company's Nintendo Entertainment System and predecessor to the Nintendo 64. Although the hardware is extremely similar, each have a regional lockout chip to prevent a console from one region from playing games from another. The SNES was the best-selling console of the 16-bit era of video games, despite having a late start against its main competitor, the Sega Genesis.
- Notable Games
- Chrono Trigger
- Final Fantasy II
- Final Fantasy III
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- Street Fighter II
- Super Mario World
- Super Metroid
The Nintendo 64 is a gaming console released by Nintendo in 1996. The console gained acute popularity with first-party titles. The Nintendo 64 was the third home console released by Nintendo and succeeded the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The console's main competitor was the Sony PlayStation, and it had a major advantage over the N64 because the PlayStation used discs rather than cartridges like the N64 and garnered much more third-party support. Despite this, Nintendo produced some of their most notable gaming classics for this system.
The Nintendo DS is a video game system created by Nintendo. Its main features are its two screens (its name is an acronym for "Dual Screens") and the touch-sensitivity of the bottom screen. Notable games include:
- Mario Kart DS
- New Super Mario Brothers
- The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass
- Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
A new version of the DS, the 'DS Lite' (which is slimmer and weighs less) has been released and an even newer version, the 'DSi' (featuring an internet browser among other features) has been released in Japan in 2008 and was released in the rest of the world in 2009.
The Nintendo 3DS is a video game system created by Nintendo.It is a updated version of the DS. It has the ability to show 3D visuals, watch Netflix, has 3 cameras (2 in back and 1 in front), motion sensors, Miis, and a circle pad (similar to a stick on a controller). It can play DS games via game card and Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games via the Virtual Console service. It is able to have the connect to all types of WiFi (with Key) and connect with people around you while in sleep mode with something called Street Pass. It was released Febuary 2011 in Japan and March everywhere else.
The Nintendo Gamecube is Nintendo's fourth home video game console, belonging to the sixth generation era. The Gamecube is the most compact and least expensive of the sixth generation era consoles. It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and the predecessor of the Wii. The home console was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan; November 18, 2001 in North America; May 3, 2002 in Europe; and May 17, 2002 in Australia. It was Nintendo's first console without a launch title starring Mario.
The Nintendo Wii is a video game console launched on November 2006 and has sold 50 million units worldwide. Its major selling point is the inclusion of motion sensitive controllers the "Wiimote" and "Nunchuk". That ability is to swing at golf, throw a bowling ball, and punch with boxing provides the virtual game challenge experience. Since your fingers do not operate a game controller like all previous platforms to date, this truly becomes a next generation console. It is a physical experience and provides good cardiovascular movements. Recently, Nintendo has introduced the Wii "Fit" title along with it a balance board. This extended functionality allows the user to do yoga, ski, hoola-hoop, hit soccer balls with your head, and strength training. In July 2009, the "Wiimote" received a boost of improved sensitivity with the addition of a remote device extension. Increased range of motion games are offered with the Wii Resort package which include canoe races and ping-pong. The console is truly backwards compatible, allowing games of previous Nintendo consoles to play on the Wii such as GameCube games. Popular games for Wii include Wii Sports, Wii Play, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Mario, Legend of Zelda series, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Paper Mario.
Game characters/players are crafted by the user called Mii. This personalized experience allows you to art design your avatar for use throughout the series of games. Gather enough skills and earn professional status. As you achieve better results with the Wii, Nintendo makes your Mii's challenge harder.
Nintendo provides an online service, Wii "Connect24" for game downloads, device updates, weather, contests and other community oriented features. Points purchased at neighborhood stores unlock Wii "Shop" downloads. The console has built-in WiFi for access to the Internet.
Nintendo has always catered to family-friendly entertainment. The Wii console comes with Parental Controls. The next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony have much more detailed, hi-resolution images and increased processing power with which to play hundreds of blood-and-guts games. By comparison, of the tens-of-hundreds of games available from Nintendo, only two Wii games have mature PG17 content. In addition, Nintendo has drawn-in millions of new gamers who would not have stepped into the experience if it were not for the Wii. Women, elderly men, children have an easy time grasping the simplified means of operating the console. It is not uncommon to find these consoles in use at pubs, conventions, holiday gatherings, for hospital physical therapy, the gym and more. The result has been enormous success in sales versus their competitors.
The design is roughly the size of a external DVD player making it highly portable. Due to the Wii's widespread adoption by the public, stories of injuries began making news cycles recently. Also, stories of flying Wiimotes and smashed flat screen TV's are common.
In 2012 the Wii U was published by Nintendo. This console has a Controller with a touchscreen.
Notable series of Videogames by Nintendo
Nintendogs is a virtual pet video game created by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. The game involves caring for one or more virtual dogs. Four versions were released, Dachsund and Friends, Labrador and Friends, Chihuahua and Friends, and Dalmation and Friends. However, all breeds are available in all versions. The dogs can be taught tricks or actions, including unorthodox ones (for instance, by using the stylus to pull a dogs leg into the air, you can teach it a trick akin to a salute). These tricks are performed by the dog upon the shouting of a command (set by the player) into the DS microphone.
- Chantal and Maggie, a Yorkie.
- Archie and Spot, a Shiba Inu.
- Arnie and Trouble, a German Shepherd.
- Jack and Wanda, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
- Aubrey and Eclair, a Shiba Inu.
- Jane and Puffy, a Pug.
Wii Sports (ESRB rating: E) is a video game that formerly came packaged with the Nintendo Wii (and now is sold separately as part of Nintendo's hit line up). Nintendo has sold 50 million Wii's, so by far the most popular Wii game in widespread use. It contains five games: Baseball, Tennis, Bowling, Golf, and Boxing. Also, unique training sessions for each sport. Up to four people can play at once with or without four Wiimotes. Also, you can measure your skill and stamina with the Wii Fitness Challenge, this will assign you a Wii fitness age.
Utilizing the Wiimotes motion-sensor technology instead of a game controller, you become a first person virtual reality athlete. In golf, you swing the Wiimote the same as you would a golf club. In bowling, you are tossing a ball (while holding onto the Wiimote). In Tennis, you are paired exclusively with a partner for matches. You may choose to go it alone in the tennis training session. In baseball, you are limited to hitting and pitching. Also, there are only three innings per game.
As your skills improve, the Wii responds by increasing the challenge. It is an excellent cardiovascular workout that is simple to operate. The English Queen Elizabeth has played Wii Sports. 
A sequel to Wii Sports was introduced called Wii Sports Resort. It features an array of new games such as jousting, basketball, cycling, frisbee, archery, and the return of bowling and golf from the original game, with new improvements. This game was also the first game to use the Wii MotionPlus add-on.