Nintendo is a Japanese company originally founded on November 6, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. In the mid-twentieth century, the company tried several small niche businesses, such as a love hotel and a taxi company. Over the years, it became a video game company, growing into one of the most powerful in the industry. Aside from video games, Nintendo is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington. Nintendo has also purchased majority ownership of Gyration, a company specializing in gyros and motion sensors, for assistance in designing the controller of the Nintendo Revolution.
Nintendo has the reputation of historically being the longest running company in the video game console market and the most influential and well-known console manufacturer, as well as being the dominant leader of the handheld console market. They began in the Japanese market in 1983, the North American market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured five TV consoles — the Famicom/NES, the Super Famicom/Super NES, the Nintendo 64, and the present GameCube and the upcoming Nintendo Revolution — and many different handheld portables, including seven versions of their popular Game Boy, the Game & Watch, the Virtual Boy, the Pokémon Mini, and the Nintendo DS. They have also published over 250 games, developing at least 180 of them, and have sold over 2,000,000,000 games worldwide.
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