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Nintendo logo.

Nintendo is commonly known as one of the major video game hardware and software manufacturers in the world.


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).

The word 'Nintendo' (任天堂株式会社) is said by the companies own sources to literally translate to 'leave luck to heaven'[1]. The term has its origins in gambling done with Hanafuda cards.

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 had an atheistic policy banning religious symbols in games. These policies vanished when ESRB started rating video games.

Nintendo Video game systems

An unlicensed NES game cartridge.
  • 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.[2]
  • Nintendo 3DS- New version of the DS with 3D graphic capabilities and new game library with DS backward compatibility

Notable series of Videogames by Nintendo

See also


  1. Touch Generations: What Nintendo Means