Nintendo’s 125th Birthday

If you’re old enough to recall fond memories of hours playing arcade game machines, you’re definitely old enough to remember the first time you played Nintendo. For years, Nintendo was synonymous with fun for kids, teens and adults everywhere. What you might not realize is how old the company actually is – 125, as of September 23, 2014. Wait - that means Nintendo was founded in….the 1800s?

What Was Happening in 1889?

Put it this way – while Nintendo founder Fusajiro Yamauchi was starting his company in Kyoto, Japan, there were only 38 states in the U.S. During 1889, the first issue of The Wall Street Journal was published, the first college football game was played, and the Coca-Cola Company was founded. Nintendo goes way back.

Surprisingly enough, Nintendo didn’t start out as the gaming company we all know and love today. Originally, Nintendo’s main mission was to produce playing cards. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that Nintendo transformed itself into a toy company and finally began producing Game & Watch toys in 1980. Once they found success with this line of toys, they began to corner the market on handheld video games with the release of the Game Boy in 1989.

Nintendo’s Popularity Explosion

The Game Boy is one the most popular game systems ever. To date, the game system line has sold over 200 million units. Nintendo didn’t stop at a hand-held video game system, however.

In 1991, the company released its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or SNES) in North America. The 16-bit console originally wasn’t anything spectacular compared to other similar video game systems, but developers added enhanced graphics and three-dimensional worlds which arguably had a huge influence on modern gaming technological developments.

Today, Nintendo is Japan’s third most valuable company, with a net worth of $85 billion. Mario and Luigi are still household names and common Halloween costumes, and consumers still love products like the DS and the Wii. The only question we have is – where will Nintendo take us next?