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For years, Nintendo has been a staple in many people’s childhoods. Although the company and its products are widely known around the world, not many know where and how it all started. The history of Nintendo begins much farther back than you’d expect:

The Origins

In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi began manufacturing Japanese playing cards in Kyoto known as “Hanafuda”. From there Yamauchi started manufacturing the first western-style playing cards in Japan, which became a worldwide sensation. By 1947, Yamauchi had established his company as an unlimited partnership, Yamauchi Nintendo & Co., and began a distribution company known as Marufuku Co. Ltd. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Nintendo made a name for itself by becoming the first to succeed in manufacturing mass-produced plastic playing cards in Japan and using this success to expand to games outside of playing cards.

Introducing Electronics

In 1970, a complete reconstruction of the company as they began selling the Beam Gun series. The Beam Gun series used optoelectronics, which introduced electronic technology into the Japanese toy industry for the first time. Four years later, the company exporting arcade machines to America and Europe. The following year, they partnered with Mitsubishi Electric to develop a videogame system using an electronic video recording (EVR) player for Japan. Once the company was able to introduce a microprocessor a videogame system, this led to the development of home-use videogames.

By the end of the 1970s, Nintendo opened new headquarters in New York City. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Nintendo created world famous games such as Donkey Kong, VS. System, Excitebike, Super Mario Bros., Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and Punch-Out! They developed new software and networks that was taking the world by storm. They also created the famous Game Boy, which was the first portable handheld game system with interchangeable game cartridges.

The Legend Continues

From the 90s on, Nintendo continued to make a name for itself and create revolutionary games and systems. These advanced technologies included Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super FX Chip, the Super Game Boy, and AMC graphics. From Pokemon to the Wii gaming system, Nintendo continues to create worldwide famous games and gaming systems. In recent years they have brought back games to the public such as Super Mario Bros. and the new Pokemon Go. As they have done since the 1800s, Nintendo will continue to bring in advanced technology to the gaming world.