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On September 23, 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded the Nintendo Company, which produced traditional Japanese hanafuda playing cards. The handmade cards soon became popular and the business became successful.
In 1956, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Fusajiro Yamauchi's grandson, visited the United States. He discovered that the world's largest playing card company was located in a small office and was barely making ends meet. Yamauchi's realization that the playing card business had limited potential was a turning point for the Nintendo brand.
In 1966, Nintendo entered the Japanese toy industry, but failed to become a leader in the industry.
In 1973, the company shifted its focus to family entertainment centers, focusing on arcade simulators and parts for them. In 1974, Nintendo developed an image projection system for arcade machines. That same year, Nintendo entered the video game industry by acquiring the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey game console in Japan. After gaining experience in 1977, Nintendo began producing its own off-the-shelf equipment, introducing Color TV-Game home game consoles.
In 1980, at the request of Nintendo's president, a young designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, designed Donkey Kong. At first the main character was named Jumpman, but then Miyamoto came up with the name Mario. Sales of arcade games with Donkey Kong soared to unprecedented heights.
In 1983, Nintendo released its first 8-bit game console, the Family Computer, in Japan, which captured 90 percent of the Japanese market.
With the beginning of the 2000s, Nintendo realized that the competition on the world stage is very high and still growing, and it would not be possible to experiment as it did in their homeland. All further releases of new consoles by Nintendo moved the company smoothly into the niche of handheld gaming consoles, where it successfully settled down and continues to hold a huge market share to this day.