When most people think of Nintendo they likely picture things like Mario, Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario again, and then Pokémon. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that none of those existed when the company was founded on 23rd September 1889; back then Nintendo specialised in hanafuda playing cards, for one thing.
That means that, at the time of writing, the company has turned 127 years old. Now, many of you will be reading this on 22nd September in regions like Europe and North America, but it is the right date in Japan, so as some of you have kindly pointed us to the Wikipedia page to check the date we thought it'd be appropriate to commemorate the landmark on Nintendo's time zone.
It's a remarkable run for the company. Below is part of a summary we posted to celebrate the company's 125th Anniversary.
Founded initially as Nintendo Koppai by Fusajiro Yamauchi (Koppai was rather cutely referenced in Pikmin 3), it was a company that thrived on the hanafuda playing card craze in Japan. Upon Fusajiro Yamauchi standing down in 1947 he was replaced by grandson Hiroshi Yamauchi, who would be a pivotal figure in Nintendo's moves into international markets and new products throughout his reign as President. The company's name was changed to the familiar Nintendo Co., Ltd in 1963 and famously embarked upon some diverse and failed businesses, such as taxi services, food products and, notoriously, Love Hotels. Yamauchi-san's ideas at this point may have failed and put the company at risk, but his acceptance that it needed to evolve from playing cards was fundamental to its future success.
It was when seeing Gunpei Yokoi — a pivotal figure that would revolutionise the concept of portable gaming with Game & Watch and the Game Boy — experimenting with a claw that Yamauchi-san pushed in a more successful direction. It was made into the Ultra Hand, and with its success the company was transformed into a toy company that enjoyed success through the 1970s and into the 1980s. With Yamauchi-san's drive, Yokoi-san's technological design skills and a breakthrough of a young Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo took the step from toys into electronic video games. What began as success for the original arcade Donkey Kong and licensing opportunities became the Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System, with the entertainment system branding being particularly important in the West after the failure of the game console industry in the years before. The NES became a huge success with children - in particular - in the mid to late '80s, followed by the Game Boy as a mainstream portable phenomenon by the close of that decade.
The rest, as they say, is history.
We're now in the midst of another pivotal period for Nintendo, as it prepares for a new generation of gaming hardware and continues to expand its efforts in areas such as licensing and smart device apps / games. You can bet we'll be contemplating that in an updated version of this talking point from the 125th Anniversary over the coming weekend; that's our modus operandi, after all...
For now, though, we just have one thing to say. Happy Birthday Nintendo.
It's amazing that they've managed to stay in business that long.
Would've been cool if they revealed and released the NX today.
@Galactus_33 Revealed yeah, released no. That would be the worst decision ever!
@Galactus_33 Sudden reveal and release of NX would blow up the internet. Glad they didn't do it.
Reveal would've been cool, though.
Happy birthday Nintendo
Happy birthday Nintendo! 127 years, an incredible number. Let's hope there are even more to come!
(I also still find it funny Nintendo and I share the same birthday. It's like I was destined to be a Nintendo fan from birth :3)
Happy birthday! Mine's coming up too.
Happy birthday to Nintendo, as well.
Happy birthday! So how about some NX news to celebrate? 😉
@iGen Thanks! And happy birthday to you in advance!
@iGen @RealPoketendoNL @edgedino @Nintendo
Here's to another 127 years.
We are going to need a bigger cake!
127 years of Nintendo and still kicking. That's longer than Atari, Microsoft, Sega, and Sony. Only the Milton Bradley Company managed to outlived them.
One word why releasing the NX early would be a stupid idea: Dreamcast.
Now that that's out of the way. Congrats to the company that has been a major part of my gaming life.
Happy 127th, Nintendo, here's to many more years of great games!
@sp_initiate-001 that wasn't the dreamcast. That was the Saturn.
The dreamcast was actually fairly successful it was just to late. Sega blew everything in the Saturn, 32x, and the Sega CD
Aw, thank you!
I wish good things to you today.
Your image is a blue question mark.
...I'm guessing it's a cake.
99 years older than me. Dayum.
Happy anniversary! NX info coming soon I hope.
Is there a game company out there that's older than Nintendo?
So much respect for this entertainment company. Such endurance and versatility is rare, especially in modern times.
I remember when they first started all those years ago. I was visiting Japan at the time and bought a pack of cards from them.
@zool Did you happen to meet Fusajiro Yamauchi while you were there?
And onto another 539 more successful years.
101 years older than me!
@Zanark That's how many years the NX reveal is taking. Lol
Well done to all the fans.
@Nintendude678 May have if I knew who he was. I was only five and a half at the time.
Happy Birthday too the best gaming franchise of all time.
@iGen Surprise! yep..Happy Birthday!
Proud to have been there with them during the NES era.
Happy 127 B-day Nintendo and to many more.
I can't help but wonder if there was Nintendoom sayers back in the early 90s as there is now. Would be interesting if the "doomed" company outlived them.
127 years of A-mazingness. Just a quick "INCOMING NDIRECT" post with no set date would be hella awesome.
would be great if they release a cards game based off the hanafuda playing cards, or, idk, the pokémon tcg as a freeware for the wiiu... i know, i'm dreaming, but still, the pokémon tcg on wiiu would be a great success, i,m pretty sure...
happy birthday big n, to 127 more years of innovations and success!! ;D
@ultraraichu : For all we know, there may have been Nintendoom sayers back in the 1890s.
Happy birthday, Nintendo! <3
Woah! Didn't think they were around for that! O_o
Ah, whatever! Happy birthday, Nintendo! Here's hoping the next 127 years will be better than ever! ^_^
i love how me and nintendo have same bday
Yeah, Nintendo's been around for some time.
I can picture way back then in Japanese playing card journals, bunches of people writing in complaining about how they were taking ages to bring out a new card game they were working on - in the most polite Japanese way possible they were saying "show us the damn card game already!"
Or when they brought out a variation of a semi-popular card game, handfuls of people writing stern letters saying that this is not what we wanted, we wanted the same card game but printed on better stock...
Wow ! 127 years anniversary.
Happy Birthday, Nintendo !
Nintendo NX will be the Nintendo 128......128 bit graphics, cartridges, and an awesome remake of the N64 controller for Nintendo's 128th year in business.......Happy Birthday Nintendo!
@sillygostly @ultraraichu ..lol..yea, ..but there had to be a ton of (real) white knights back then tho ..
The NX should be named the Nintendo Duel since you can play people head-to-head, it features 2 ways to play games, you can play physical games or digital games.... I mean everything about it screens 2.
127 years ... looking back at the last 10 .. voila .. even on corporate companies/levels you can use the term "senile"
Senile 127 years old .. perfect, finally explains the marketing ideas of the last 10 years.. finally .. but first, the guest of the hour, happy happy HAPPY birthday my good old friend, Nintendo
Happy birthday, Nintendo!
Same Birthday with Nintendo ?
Wow, Congrats !
Shigeru Miyamoto will be 64 years old on this year.
His Birthday is 16 November 1952.
@Anti-Matter Nintendo shares a birthday with my sister-in-law, Miyamoto shares a birthday with my sister.
Wow, I thought he was older...
Well, he's still older than my Mom.
My Mom is 60 and i will turn 32 this October.
"Hereby we humbly request for Nintendo to kindly reach down to us to give us the showing of the new card game we are so eagerly awaiting."
"Hereby we humbly request the reconsideration of the release of the new card game so kindly bestowed upon us by Nintendo."
Something like this? ^^
Nintendo Duel.... Hm, sounds nice name.
Well, better we wait for the real name of NX.
@Rin-go Oh yeah, very carefully considered and polite responses. None of this 30 somethings crying like twelve year olds we have in the 21st century... I learned a very long time ago with Japanese people and their culture that they deal with things in a very indirect and subtle way to avoid issues. It might seem like they're talking in riddles but in reality they're just being polite.
hat's really strange but also really awesome.
@RealPoketendoNL Happy birthday!
I have (jokingly) claimed the same; my birthday is September 23, 1989. Yep, I'm exactly 100 years younger than the big N.
@Strife89 Thanks! And happy birthday to you too then!
@Anti-Matter my bday is the 22nd but thats 23rd in japan so i count it incase your wondering.
Tap here to load 62 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...