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.
Nintendo Video game systems
NES - Nintendo Entertainment System
GAMEBOY - A classic handheld games console
SNES - Super Nintendo / Super Nintendo Entertainment System
N64 - Nintendo 64, Nintendo's first 64bit console
GBC - GAMEBOY Color, evolution of the original with a color screen
GBA - Gameboy Advance, a 32bit handheld.
Gamecube - Nintendo's entry to the 128bit console war with Sony's PS2 (Playstation2) & Microsoft XBOX
NDS - Nintendo DS, an innovative 64bit handheld.
DS Lite - Nintendo DS Lite, an improved version of the original
Wii - Nintendo Wii, an innovative game console, and Nintendo's latest offering, with sales exceeding expectations against stiff competition between the XBOX360 & Playstation3
Legendary Game characters
Nintendo have brought out many games over the years, many of which have seen the characters achieve legendary status in the gaming world, such as:
Mario & Luigi (Super Mario Bros, Super Marioland, Super Mario world, etc) a pair plumbers, who are also brothers.
Bowser - Mario & Luigi's arch enemy
Wario - Mario's evil twin
Princess Peach - sort of like Mario's girlfriend
Donkey Kong - a giant gorilla type character (Mario vs Donkey Kong, etc)
Link - the main star of the "The Legend of Zelda" series of games
Pikachu - A cutesy little yellow animal from the Pokemon series of games, star of "Pokemon Yellow: Pikachu edition".