I said it... I'll make these kind of blogs!
My old friends here, probably will remember when I did a blog (in 2 parts) talking about the Playstation Story... okay, now Sony pass the baton to the... I have to admit... The Main Game Industry of The World!! And here we will talk about the creation of this "Giant" on the principles of its existence, when it was just one... Decks Industry :o until the creation of most important console of its Life, I'm talking about the SNES!! this serie will probably divided by some parts, it's impossible to talk about Nintendo in just one blog, so in this, I'll talk about the creation of the Nintendo Enjoy It!!!
Nintendo - Industry of.... Decks??
The history of Nintendo's older than many imagine. It all began in 1889 when then Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo Koppai, a manufacturer of playing cards situated in Kyoto. The decks in question are known as Hanafuda, which consists of 48 different cards. There are 12 sets of four cards each. Each set represents one month of the year and the flower that blooms at this time. Each card is illustrated with the flower of the set and may also contain other elements as objects, animals or humans. Yamauchi achieved some success and money, selling his decks in Nintendo stores in Kyoto and Osaka. His deck was so successful it even members of the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia) used to play at their meetings and gambling. With demand growing, Yamauchi hired a staff to help him make the deck on a large scale, becoming then the "Godfather" of Hanafuda.
And so the popularity of Nintendo Koppai was growing, as well as business. As early as 1900, the company already had partnerships with other companies to sell their cards. At this time, Nintendo Koppai became the first company to produce and distribute western decks to Japan (just remembering that at that time Japan was quite conservative and did not allow foreign products at the country, including decks). In 1929 Fusajiro Yamauchi, already filthy rich, retired, and then left for his "ciccerone" Sekiryo Yamauchi, who is actually his genre, the largest decks industry in Japan.
Western cards with Hanafuda draws
Sekiryo was 20 years in the power of the company, being recognized as a good leader and businessman. In 1949 it was his turn to retire, leaving the place for your son, Hiroshi Yamauchi, but unlike his father, he was not well regarded by employees, which they said he was arrogant, unpredictable and quite temperamental. But thanks to him and his iron hand command, Nintendo is now the largest in the gaming industry. If Sega had the Hayao Nakayama, Nintendo had Yamauchi. He retired in 2002 and declined to 9 million retirement thinking that the company would make better use the money.
In the 10 years following Hiroshi made several changes. Changed the company name to Nintendo Karuta Co. Ltd, moved the company base building and began production of laminated playing cards.
In 1959 Hiroshi struck a deal with Walt Disney to produce playing cards with the famous American characters, with satisfactory results. In 1963 Hiroshi then changed the company name again, to Nintendo Co. Ltd, name one that continues today.
One reason for the change of name was so he could expand the branch of the company's products in addition to the decks, which were being made for more than 70 years. Some of these new "products" were quite different than the original founder had imagined.
Hiroshi then assembled what we call ... "love hotel" ... rooms were rented by the hour, to do ... you know what it is, who would say, the conservative Nintendo has already formed the Motel! (Curiously, these "Love Hotel" seems to be very popular there a network in Japan, so, isn't a name exclusive to Nintendo). And of course, Hiroshi took very advantage, going to visit his love hotel a few times (of course it was just to oversee their business :P ), which did not leave his wife very happy, not agreeing with the venture.
Besides the hotel, he also created a taxi firm, which lasted until a few time, but in a few years Nintendo has started losing money when powerful unions of taxi drivers have increased their salaries.
Hiroshi closed the taxi company and shortly afterwards closed the doors of the love hotel's.
Nintendo Hotel and Taxi
After their unsuccessful attempts to venture into other businesses, Hiroshi created in 1964 the first center for research and development of Nintendo, simply named "Games" which were children's toys, nothing to do with electronic games. That until a young employee named Gunpei Yokoi (just the mind behind the first Game Boy and games like Metroid, Donkey Kong and Super Mario, along with Shigeru Miyamoto, another legend in the world of games). Yokoi began to come up with innovative toys that were successful, as the Ultra Hand, Ultra Machine, Love Tester (huuummm) and Ultra Scope. Nintendo then struck a deal with Sharp Electronics to use its technology to optical sensor in some of their toys, games and so born of handguns with sensors.
The toy department of Nintendo quickly flourished, with Gunpei Yokoi leadership in the manufacture of electronic toys, including the manufacture of arcades with guns sensor. In the mid '70s, Nintendo has pro financial problems because of a crises in Japan, and wanting to maintain the recent success of Nintendo in the entertainment area, Yamauchi decided to enter into an agreement with the Magnavox to distribute the videogame Oddysey on Japan. The Oddysey sold well, but Nintendo had ambitious plans in mind. Hiring members of Sharp and Gunpei Yokoi, Nintendo decided to get into the videogame business. Created some arcades, which have some success, but they were no match against the Taito Space Invaders or Pac-Man and Galaga by Namco.
That's it... this is the first part of the Nintendo History, in the next part we will see how Nintendo dominated the game industry with the legendary NES.
Hope you enjoyed, See you soon! :)