Did you know that there are over 3.09 billion gamers in the world? Yes, there are! In fact, all indications suggest the number will rise to 4 billion by 2024. While the gaming industry is on an upward trajectory, looking at how far we have come, we cannot help but recognize Nintendo’s input towards the same.
Anyone who remotely knows something about gaming must know about the legendary Nintendo Company. Founded in 1889, it has served us with everything – from video games to unforgettable characters and state-of-the-art consoles. Here, we learn about some Nintendo facts every gamer should know.
1. Fusajiro Yamauchi Founded Nintendo
As aforementioned, Nintendo was founded in 1889. At this time, there was very little progress technology-wise. While most people currently identify this gaming company with their high-tech devices, it’s important to note that it started as a card game-producing entity.
The technological limitations in the earlier years meant that Nintendo’s progress was slow. Its card games were globally accepted, though. They had amazing graphics and enticed gamers in every way possible.
It was, therefore, not a surprise when Nintendo struck a deal with Disney to use their characters in its card games. This was a win-win situation for everyone. Disney introduced its characters to the Japanese market, while Nintendo received more support from the West.
2. Nintendo Game Boy Was A Game Changer
After the success of Family Computer (FC), popularly known as Famicom, Nintendo released Game Boy in 1989. It had an 8-bit Z80 processor with a monochrome LCD display and interchangeable ROM cartridges. Given the console’s success, other companies like Sega and Atari released theirs. Nintendo paved the way for a whole new venture.
One of the games that gamers could play using the Nintendo Game Boy console was Tetris (still popular today). Even though the consoles are still available today, only gamers craving retro games purchase them. Additionally, Game Boy has attracted few modifications in graphics and gameplay.
Since its invention, Nintendo Game Boy has sold over 118 million copies. This further underlines its massive success.
3. Nintendo Experimented with Several Business Ventures
Other than gaming, Nintendo experimented with other businesses. After successfully collaborating with Disney, the company changed its name from Nintendo Playing Card Co., Ltd. to simply “Nintendo.” With the new name, the entity tried other ventures between 1963 and 1968.
Some business activities that Nintendo tried, without significant success, include taxis, instant rice food, vacuum cleaning, and a “love hotel” chain. However, the company’s breakthrough came when it ventured into the toy business.
Tomy and Bandai were the major toy producers when Nintendo joined the industry. Being a businessman, Yamuachi learned that one way to beat his competitors was by quickly producing more toys. The famous toy line “Ultra Hand” was created in that period.
4. Nintendo Created the First “Jumping” Game
Over time, even though card gaming was widely appreciated, gamers craved more. Even with the new Game Boy consoles, they would be useless without games. Nintendo perfectly understood this, so they created the first-ever “Jumping” game, Donkey Kong.
The game entailed jumping between gaps and avoiding obstacles. Its difficulty improved with every level, and the enemies became more aggressive. As it turned out, the characters’ ability to jump fascinated gamers. It was a game changer – almost literally.
5. The Name Nintendo Has an Interesting Translation
Even though Nintendo has changed its subsequent names over time, the original one has stood the test of time. Interestingly, splitting the word into Nin, Ten, and Do loosely translates to “Leave luck to Heaven” in Japanese.
Do not read much into the translation, though. A lot is lost during interpretation, so there is a good chance that the name means something else: “leave one’s fortune in the hands of fate,” maybe?
6. Earlier Games Used Multi-Objects
One of the challenges that the earlier Nintendo game developers faced was limited memory. This led to many but necessary, shortcuts. For example, the clouds and bushes on the entity’s Super Mario Bros are the same objects.
Multi-object use continued until they invented new ways to boost memory.
7. A Janitor Was Nintendo’s Biggest Developer
The Nintendo Game Boy console was invented by Gunpei Yokoi. Even though he rose through the ranks to the developer position, Yokoi started as a janitor in the company. He spent his spare time building toys, and when Hiroshi Yamauchi came around and saw one of his inventions, he was amazed.
To begin with, Yokoi’s toy became the famous Ultra Hand and sold millions. When he moved to the design suite and oversaw the creation of Game Boy, the success was bigger. As they say, the rest is history.