The Nintendo Company, Ltd.[b] is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. The company was founded in 1889 as Nintendo Karuta[c] by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. After venturing into various lines of business during the 1960s and acquiring a legal status as a public company under the current company name, Nintendo distributed its first video game console, the Color TV-Game, in 1977. It gained international recognition with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.
,Since then, Nintendo has produced some of the most successful consoles in the video game industry, such as the Game Boy, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo DS, the Wii, and the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has also released numerous influential franchises, including Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, Fire Emblem, Splatoon, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros., and Pokémon.
,Nintendo has multiple subsidiaries in Japan and abroad, in addition to business partners such as The Pokémon Company and HAL Laboratory. Both the company and its staff have received numerous awards for their achievements, including Emmy Awards for Technology & Engineering, Game Developers Choice Awards and British Academy Games Awards among others. Nintendo is one of the wealthiest and most valuable companies in the Japanese market.
,Nintendo was founded as Nintendo Karuta[d] on 23 September 1889 by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi in Shimogy?-ku, Kyoto, Japan, to produce and distribute hanafuda[e].:14 The word Nintendo is commonly assumed to mean 'leave luck to heaven':14, but there are no historical records to validate this assumption. It can alternatively be translated as 'the temple of free hanafuda'.
With the increase of the cards' popularity, Yamauchi hired assistants to mass-produce in order to satisfy demand. Despite a favorable start, however, the company faced financial difficulties due to the slow and expensive manufacturing process, high product price, coupled with operating in a niche market, as well as the long durability of the cards, which impacted sales due to the low replacement rate. As a solution, Nintendo produced a cheaper and lower-quality line of playing cards, Tengu, while also seeking to offer his products in other cities such as Osaka, where considerable profits were found in card games. In addition, local merchants were interested in the prospect of a continuous renewal of decks, thus avoiding the suspicions that reusing cards would generate.
,According to data from the company itself, Nintendo's first western-style deck was put on the market in 1902, although other documents postpone the date to 1907, shortly after the Russo-Japanese War. The war created considerable difficulties for companies in the leisure sector, which were subject to new levies such as the Karuta Zei. Despite this, Nintendo subsisted and, in 1907, entered into an agreement with Nihon Senbai—later known as the Japan Tobacco—to market its cards to various cigarette stores throughout the country. A promotional calendar distributed by Nintendo from the Taish? era dated to 1915 was found, indicating that the company was named Yamauchi Nintendo and used the Marufuku Nintendo Co. brand for its playing cards.
,Japanese culture stipulated that for Nintendo Koppai to continue as a family business after Yamauchi's retirement, Yamauchi had to adopt his son-in-law so that he may take over the business. As result, Sekiryo Kaneda adopted the Yamauchi surname in 1907 and became the second president of Nintendo Koppai in 1929. By that time, Nintendo Koppai was the largest card game company in Japan.
,In 1933, Sekiryo Kaneda established the company as a general partnership titled Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. Ltd., investing in the construction of a new corporate headquarters located next to the original building, near the Toba-kaid? train station. Because Sekiryo's marriage to Yamauchi's daughter produced no male heirs, he planned to adopt his son-in-law Shikanojo Inaba, an artist in the company's employ and the father of his grandson Hiroshi, born in 1927. However, Inaba abandoned his family and the company, so Hiroshi was made Sekiryo's eventual successor.