Forgive me my ignorance, but I, for some reason or other, always thought of Nintendo as a relatively new company. I say new to mean maybe 20 years old or so.

How wrong could I have been!

Nintendo's history is far more interesting and diverse than you might think.

Fusajiro Yamauchi started the company way back in 1889 do not you know. Yes, 1889 not 1989. Nintendo is 119 years old !!! Its full company name was Nintendo Koppai in Japan and started out by making and selling playing cards for a game they called Hanafuda.

After Fusajiro Yamauchi, who did not have a son, Sekiryo Yamauchi, his adopted son-in-law, took over the business. Sekiryo Yamauchi re-named the company Yamauchi Nintendo & Company.

Hiroshi Yamauchi took custody of the company as a 21 year old. This is the man who today is worth nearly £ 4BN !!!

After a deal with Disney in 1959, Nintendo playing cards sold 600,000 in 1 year!

Following several failed business ventures in the sixties, and the drop in sales of their playing cards, Nintendo's shares dropped from £ 4.34 to only 29 pence.

Later during the seventies period, Nintendo began looking at electronic toys as opposed to the then traditional ones. In 1978 they bought out their first video arcade game – Computer Othello. Other games followed – Donkey Kong, Mario Bros and others.

In the mid eighties most, if not all companies manufacturing and selling video games went out of business due to the overwhelming fall in sales figures. One of the only ones left standing was Nintendo.

In 1985 the Nintendo Entertainment System, NES, was released worldwide. In 1989 they released Game Boy with huge success.

In the late eighties Sega started making and selling their own consoles and in 1996 Sony came out with their Playstation. And so began the Console selling war during which time, the Nintendo 64 was released providing to be another success.

In the late nineties / early 2000's Nintendo bought out Game Boy Advance and Gamecube.

Hiroshi Yamauchi passed his presidency to Satoru Iwata in 2002.

In 2004 the Nintendo DS was so popular that demand was overtaking supply. At one point, 3 million DS's were ordered even before they had been manufactured. Two years later, the DS Lite was released with much success.

The Nintendo Wii was released in November, 2006 and to this day remains a massive success story.

Nintendo at 119 years old, is still going strong and still producing some superb products.

If you are not getting a Nintendo Wii – you are not lived!

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