Nintendo Company, Limited (任天堂株式会社, Nintendo Company, Limited) is a Japanese multinational corporation originally founded on September 23, 1889 in Kyoto, Japan by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade Hanafuda cards. In the mid-twentieth century, the company tried several small niche businesses, such as a Love hotel and a taxi company. Over the years, it became a video game company, growing into one of the most powerful in the industry. Aside from video games, Nintendo is a minor owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington. As of March 31, 2014, Nintendo has sold over 670.43 million hardware units, and nearly 4.23 billion software units worldwide.
Nintendo was originally a card company from 1889 until 1956. From 1956 to 1975, Nintendo changed its product. During the period of time between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo set up a taxi company, a "love hotel" chain, a TV network, a food company, and several other things, including a toy remote controlled vacuum cleaner called Chiritory which was later seen as a two-player game in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!.
In debt, Nintendo struggled to survive in the Japanese toy industry; it was still small at this point and dominated by already well-established companies. Because of the generally short product life cycle of toys, the company always had to come up with a new product. This was the beginning of a major new era for Nintendo.
In 1970, Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo, was observing a Nintendo hanafuda factory. He noticed an extending arm, which was made by one of their maintenance engineers, Gunpei Yokoi, for his own amusement. Yamauchi ordered Yokoi to develop it as a product for the Christmas rush. The Ultra Hand was a huge success, selling approximately 1.2 million units, causing Yokoi to be moved from maintenance duty to product development.
The 1970s also saw the hiring of Shigeru Miyamoto, currently one of the most influential people in the video game industry.
Nintendo eventually saw how popular video games were and decided to create them. During the late 1970's and 1980's, Nintendo began to make arcade games and eventually game systems. Once their systems gained much popularity, Nintendo then began to make handheld systems, making the company even more popular. Nintendo continued producing updates of these two concepts, leading it to become one of the world's most recognized video game manufacturers.
Nintendo's main line-up of video game systems currently includes the Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS, and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch, which was the successor to the Wii U, was released worldwide on March 3, 2017.
Offices and locations
Nintendo Company, Limited (NCL), the main branch of the company, is based in Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Nintendo of America (NOA), its American division, is based in Redmond, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. It has distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and North Bend, Washington. Nintendo of Canada, Ltd. (NOCL) is based in Richmond, British Columbia, with its own distribution centre in Toronto, Ontario. Nintendo of Australia, its Australian division, is based in Melbourne, Victoria, and Nintendo Europe, the European division, is based in Großostheim, Germany, though Nintendo UK & Ireland is based in Windsor, Berkshire, UK. iQue, a Chinese joint venture with its founder, Doctor Wei Yen, and Nintendo, manufactures and distributes official Nintendo consoles and games for the mainland Chinese market, under the iQue brand. Nintendo also opened Nintendo of Korea (NoK) on July 7, 2006, based in Seoul, South Korea.
Development of Super Smash Bros.
The original of the Smash series began life as a prototype created by Masahiro Sakurai and Satoru Iwata in their spare time titled Dragon King: The Fighting Game, and originally featured no pre-existing Nintendo characters. However, Sakurai hit on the idea of including fighters from different Nintendo franchises in order to provide 'atmosphere' which he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game. The two made a prototype in secret without knowledge or permission from Nintendo, fearing the concept would immediately be shot down. This prototype with Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus and Fox as playable characters on placeholder stages was pitched to Nintendo and approved for HAL Laboratory to enter full development production. The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was originally a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide. The game was released on January 21, 1999 in Japan and in the Americas on April 26.
HAL Laboratory (a second party developer for Nintendo) developed Super Smash Bros. Melee, with Masahiro Sakurai as the head of the production. The game was one of the first games released on the Nintendo GameCube and highlighted the advancement in graphics from the Nintendo 64.
Nintendo presented the game at the E3 event of 2001 as a playable demonstration. The next major exposition of the game came in Spaceworld 2001 in August, in which Nintendo displayed a playable demo that had updated upon the previous demo displayed in E3. Nintendo offered a playable tournament of the games for fans in which a GameCube and Super Smash Bros. Melee were prizes for the winner.
The game is notorious for having an extremely short 13 month development cycle. Sakurai would later admit that his lifestyle during that time was "destructive." During development, he took no holidays, weekends were very short, and the average work "day" was around 40 hours.
At the pre-E3 2005 press conference, the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, announced the next installment of Super Smash Bros. was not only already in development for their next gaming console, but would hopefully be a launch title with Wi-Fi compatibility for online play. Shortly after the announcement, Masahiro Sakurai, a former employee of HAL Laboratory was called up and offered a position as the game's director.
The initial trailer was revealed at E3 2006. The trailer primarily focused on the updated graphics to the darker, more realistic art style, as well as the introduction of new gameplay mechanics like Final Smashes. Aside from the reveal that Mario, Link, Pikachu and Kirby would be returning, new characters including Meta Knight, Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Wario and Snake were introduced in this trailer. From May 22, 2007 to April 14, 2008, the website Smash Bros. DOJO!! updated daily with a new blog post that detailed a part of the game, including new characters, stages, modes, and items. The game was originally set to release on December 3, 2007, but was delayed to January 15, 2008, then delayed again to finally release in Japan on January 31, 2008, in the Americas on March 9, and in the PAL region on June 27.
At the E3 2011 conference, Satoru Iwata announced that a new Super Smash Bros. title was planned for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Development began after Masahiro Sakurai completed development of Kid Icarus: Uprising. It was revealed that development would be a joint venture between Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco. The games were officially unveiled at E3 2013, which revealed Villager and Mega Man as new characers, with Wii Fit Trainer also being revealed later in the day. These trailers also started the trends of new characters getting a dedicated trailers, often with cinematic animations made specifically for the trailer. New characters were periodically revealed with a trailer in several Nintendo Directs, with a dedicated direct on April 8, 2014 explaining how both games would works and a 50 fact extravaganza explaining several ways the Wii U version is different from the 3DS version. The extravaganza also revealed Mewtwo as the first ever downloadable fighter for the series.
The 3DS version was originally supposed to release in summer of 2014, but was delayed and released in Japan on September 13, 2014, and in Western regions on October 3. The Wii U version was released first in the Americas on November 21, in PAL regions on November 28, and in Japan on December 6. The 3DS and Wii U versions differ in features and stages, but retain the same gameplay, and allow for data transfer of custom characters between both versions and use of the 3DS as a controller for the Wii U version. They are the first video games with amiibo support, and the first Super Smash Bros. games with DLC, which released periodically until February 2016. This content was revealed in various Nintendo directs with dedicated trailers, including a Final Presentation on December 15, 2015 that revealed Corrin and Bayonetta as the final to downloadable fighters.
At the end of a Nintendo Direct on March 8th, 2018, what seemed like a Splatoon trailer actually was a surprise teaser trailer for a new Super Smash Bros. title was announced for release later that year on Nintendo Switch. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was formally revealed during E3 2018 and was released on December 7, 2018. The presentation revealed that all veterans from every previous Smash game return, joined by new fighters including Inkling, Daisy and Ridley. A dedicated Smash Direct premiered on August 8, 2018 and revealed Simon, Richter, Chrom, Dark Samus and King K. Rool, as well as various new modes and features. Isabelle was surprise revealed in a direct alongside a new Animal Crossing game. Another dedicated Smash Direct premiered on November 1, 2018 and revealed Ken, and Incineroar, as well as the announcement of DLC fighters.
Piranha Plant was revealed as the first downloadable fighter, but a separate Fighters Pass was also in the works. Five fighters were a part of the fighters pass. Joker was revealed as the fighter of the pass at The Game Awards 2018. Hero and Banjo & Kazooie were revealed as the second and third fighter at E3 2019. Hero also started the trend of having a Sakurai presents video that explains the fighter in-depth, a trend that continues to this day. Terry was revealed as the fourth fighter alongside the announcement of a second fighters pass. Byleth was revealed to be the fifth fighter. A fighter from ARMS was revealed to be the first fighter of the second fighters pass, which was later revealed to be Min Min. This also marked the first fighter reveal that was not announced in a direct or other show, but instead simply on a twitter post. Steve was revealed as the second fighter, again with a twitter post. Sephiroth was revealed to be the third fighter at The Game Awards 2020. Pyra and Mythra were revealed in the February 2021 Ninendo Direct. Two more upcoming fighters are currently in development, but are currently unknown.
Official social-media website accounts